Me, oh my, the monsters are coming in the latest Resident Evil installment.
25 years ago, the Capcom franchise has earned a hallmark place in the horror video game genre for its convoluted story, shocking reveals for the characters and most importantly the level of fear provided for the those who’ve experienced a play through of any Resident Evil game. However, Resident Evil 7 was the beginning of this rejuvenating appeal with a first-person perspective, a narrower scope, and the gameplay having a greater empathizes on horror. In this installment of Resident Evil Village, those components evolve this bringing a more engaging experience for the player. Despite some loosely links like Chris Redfield’s appearances, taking away some of those frightening points, Resident Evil Village is an amazing game that will have many picking this game as their favorite one in the franchise next to the early installments (RE2 & RE4).
It has been talked to death that Resident Evil Village is a revamped version of Resident 4. Although both games do share similar qualities like the village setting, a cult like following of a figure in the village, and the denizens turning into horrific monsters, Village manages to take its predecessor’s approach from being overwhelmed by enemies, backed into corners and jump scares to complete panic that makes you feel hopeless given the environment that changes through progression. In the eyes of many comparing the likes of RE8 to RE4, Capcom has been successful in push the formula of its reboot in a completely different direction.
RE8: Village again focuses on protagonist Ethan Winters, three years after the events of Resident Evil 7. After recusing his wife Mia from the dreadful Baker house, one of the franchise’s main characters, Chris Redfield ends up saving and moving them into hiding to Europe to restart their lives. While they try to move on from the horrifying events in Louisiana, both Ethan and Mia have a daughter. Although this seems to be something Ethan struggles with throughout the game trying to cope with the past and the present state of family turmoil. Mia, meanwhile, keeps trying to put the subject out of her mind and even seems to be struggling to remember it. But before Ethan can really get to the bottom of why his wife is acting kinda weird about the whole “survived being tormented in a house full of monsters” trauma they shared, Chris and his team bust into the couple’s house and drag Ethan and baby Rose off.
We then, see Ethan waking up some time later from an apparent crash. There are two random special forces agents outside the transport dead. This is where your take control of Ethan, who is now wandering in the snowy woods in search of his missing child. You trek through until shuffling to a ramshackle. You definitely get a sense of being watched as you hearing footsteps, growls and crows chirping from an unknown figure running about. Before long, you soon discover this “empty” village is under siege by what appears to be werewolves. This is where; minus the werewolves some similarities of Resident Evil 4 come into play, that being you in a village overrun with enemies who acted like humans rather than shambling, mindless zombies. During, the first few moments of the game you have to avoid an onslaught of the lycan wielding weapons and shooting arrows at you. They can be avoided by running into houses and barricading doors to slow them down or you can take them on by using the knife or gun you were given by the old man also don’t forget to find ammo in open houses. There’s this stark difference in terms of defeating the enemies this go around as it takes 6-8 bullets to kill a molded enemy in RE7 than a lycan that takes 4-5 bullets in RE8.
Speaking of which, Capcom has been able to take Village and properly make a sequel that seems like its reaching a new to challenge itself. Although the controls can feel a bit clunky and Ethan’s sprint making it seems as if he’s barely moving the challenges you face provide you with notion to use the resources you find effectively. As for the enemies they do approach slowly and cautiously, so dealing with them comes together like a standoff that has you planning your next attack or retreat to throw them off guard to hit their weak points before they get a chance to ravage your life. This definitely adds to the level of tension when you try to navigate through areas and turning around corners. When it comes to boss battles the controls are not something you need to worry too much about as you’ll be running away from their attacks majority of the time. Even the added function of throwing your hands up to guard will mitigate the damage you take from enemies even that taken from the big baddies. However, without the ability to side-step in any direction you’re actually force to just run for it and hop that whatever is chasing you doesn’t hit you and that can literally take you out of the battle for the most part.
You got Lei? Well he has what you need and some secret advice while you’re traveling as well. THE DUKE is by far one of the best additions to return in Resident Evil Village. Another relived feature from RE4, is the merchant The Duke that provides you with the ability to purchase weapons add-ons and upgrades along with limited mounts of medkits and ammunition. that allows you to build your arsenal on as you progress through the game. You first meet The Duke before entering Caste Dimitrescu after you survive the Four Lord’s death game. You not only have the chance to upgrade your weapons but you can upgrade your character as well by hunting animals like pigs, chickens, rams & fish. After shooting them you can bring their meat to the Duke, he’ll cook them into meals that increase your health, amp up your movement speed and/or make your guard more effective. Don’t forget to expand your pockets or inventory because Capcom brought back the inventory management system of RE4. You have small amount of space to work with in the beginning but progressing in the game will give you the opportunity to expand it allowing you to hold more weapons, ammunition & other items needed. Thankfully, crafting materials are not counted in your inventory so you’re free to make bullets and health items on the fly. You will have to make some decisions on what you truly need and what can be trashed or sell.
Capcom uses this loneliness as a game device in Village, elevating things beyond mere survival-horror. The gears in your mind turn as you discover this crest, or listen to your inhuman enemies discuss your fate — and you do it all alone. Silence and background sounds are used to brilliant effect in Village, leaving you constantly on edge, but constantly exploring and pushing forward. This is reinforced whenever you meet other characters; they’re stripped away from you in smart ways, just as you start to get to know them.
The main attraction to everyone who has anticipated RE8 wanted to see what the story was behind the gothicaly tall vampire, Lady Dimitrescu. Although disappointing given how short that portion of the story is the level itself and story behind her and her fiendish daughters are intriguing enough that warrants their own story, which many expected it to be. You’ll occasionally face enemies you have to gun down, but much more time in the castle is spent navigating its tight corridors as Dimitrescu and her daughters–all seemingly vampires capable of turning themselves into clouds of bugs and recomposing themselves elsewhere–are hunting you. You can’t kill Dimistrescu or her daughters with your conventional weapons, so you have to run if you’re found. The entire level is spent exploring the castle, looking for the items you need to advance through the area, while listening for Dimitrescu’s clomping footsteps and trying to keep away from her. That’s the one joy about Resident Evil 8, each section of the game doesn’t seem repeat itself. It mixes it up and provides you with different levels of horrors to test your skills and challenge your fears. Later in the game, the levels start to throw obstacles your way almost comparable to those in the mansion of Resident Evil or the police station of Resident Evil 2. There are moments where you’ll have to prepare yourself for the inevitable battle of powerful enemies, which will have you looking for more ammo and explosives. There are many times in Village that utilize the intense frights which RE7 founded.
Resident Evil 8 ‘Village’ is like heading to an abandon town not knowing what horror may be lurking around the corner but the level of mystery will have you wanting to know what’s coming next. The game capitalizes on reintroducing the best action elements of the franchise while breathing new life in the story as a whole. The boss fights may disappoint at times but could be a heighten the level of fear if you’re playing on Hardcore mode. Village takes a step back from the slow-burn scares of Resident Evil 7, but if you’re looking for action-heavy survival horror then Resident Evil Village give you what you want from the every aspect of the game.