Resident Evil Village – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, Horror
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Resident Evil Village – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Atmosphere, Mechanics, Overall story
Bad: Some minor bugs
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The Resident Evil franchise has always been a popular one, especially seeing it has spawned so many spin-off games over the years. Nonetheless, things went downhill for the main series with Resident Evil 5’s release. Even though the reviews were still in favor of the fifth installment, the sixth one was deemed to be too far away from the game’s source material, its first installment in 1996. The original Resident Evil presented puzzles, very tough enemies to kill, and a proper horror experience. The newer games, however, turned into action-based shooters with an easier difficulty curve. In 2017, a new mainline Resident Evil game was created, which continued in the same universe but offered completely new gameplay mechanics. The series swapped the third-person gameplay, for a more immersive first-person view in a creepy setting, without too many weapons at our disposal. It seemed that survival, exploring, and puzzling became key once again. Now, we arrive at the direct sequel of Ethan Winters’ story arc in Resident Evil Village.

Story

The story of Resident Evil Village takes place three years after the seventh Resident Evil game. You continue playing as Ethan Winters, who has now settled down with Mia, and they now have a three-month-old daughter. Things seem to be going quite well for the young family, but Ethan cannot fathom why Mia does not want to talk about the things that happened to them three years ago. Before digging deeper into that, Chris Redfield and other soldiers break into Ethan’s home, with deadly consequences. Rosemary, their baby, gets taken away, and Ethan also gets knocked out and dragged along. Inexplicably you find yourself in the woods a bit later, trying to find your bearings and hopefully find your daughter. You come across a strange village, where monsters have seemingly butchered the inhabitants. It doesn’t take long before you find yourself fighting off monsters again, hoping your daughter is still alive.

As this game supposedly plays out somewhere in Europe, we can’t help but wonder how other continents think ‘small European villages’ look like. We’ve seen medieval settings with more modern technology than this village. Outside of a few guns and a phone, this town looks like a 16th-century collection of hovels. That being said, the story itself is quite intriguing and doesn’t overstay its welcome. All story snippets prove to be interesting and contribute to a great storyline for Ethan’s second adventure.

Graphics

Having tried out the PS5 version of the game, we can easily say that this installment of the RE series looks absolutely gorgeous. The intricate designs of the areas you’ll wade through are amazingly handled and it all motivates you to delve even deeper into the experience, leaving no stone unturned. Of course, as this game was also developed for the last generation as well, we do see a few muddier textures, some minor rough edges, etc. That being said, the game feels ‘next-gen’ from start to finish. There are a few odd design choices, however. When swapping from the handgun to the shotgun, you already have your two arms popping up, while the arm holding the handgun isn’t completely gone yet. For a fraction of a second, this will always make Ethan seem like a three-armed monster.

Outside of the very nice environments to explore, the character models are equally as impressive. True, a few random monsters will be recycled throughout the game, but that is standard fare for the genre. Facial expressions have been handled properly, and even the minions move fluidly and have clearly been properly captured, making them more realistic. Outside a few clipping errors from time to time, we could not really spot any faults with the graphical design of the game.

Sound

The sound design is also very fitting for the game. You’ll have creepy atmospheric music when the situation requires it, to have a subtle backdrop for the most part of the game. The voice acting is superb, making immersion that much easier. The voiced lines feel like quality work, and this adds to the overall atmosphere of the story you uncover as you go. Most sound effects also sound decent, and the weapons pack a realistic punch when squeezing the trigger.

Gameplay

Resident Evil Village is, like its predecessor(s), a survival horror game, albeit with a bit more gunplay in it than the previous one. You’ll be playing as Ethan Winters again, who is trying to save his kidnapped daughter. Ending up in a strange village, you’ll have to explore the area, complete puzzles, and either kill or run away from the monsters that chase you.

In terms of gameplay, things are actually quite simple. While the world around you may be somewhat ‘open’, you’ll always need to achieve certain conditions to open new segments of the map. More than often a passageway is (b)locked, and you’ll need a key or a specific item to open the way. This also proves to be very true for the first portion of the game where you explore a castle. You’ll have to go back and forth a lot, unlocking new rooms and paths, making sure you can progress the story. This is very reminiscent of the very first Resident Evil game, where you explored the mansion, but often found yourself having to find a key to open a door or solve a few small puzzles along the way. In RE Village, it’s also rewarding to explore, as you have fairly big ‘treasure’ options, which allow you to sell these valuable items and buy new upgrades.

The game is very accessible as it has a lot of difficulty options, ranging from a fairly relaxed mode for beginners, to more brutal difficulties where fighting is certainly not always an option, and ammo tends to be a bit rarer. This may cause some players to find the game a bit short, but if it’s too easy, you can always ramp up the difficulty and see how that plays out for you. We have to say, we rather have ten(-ish) hours of quality content, than a dragged-out game that just repeats the same things over and over again. For us, the length was just fine, especially considering everything was properly polished. The only thing we noticed is that headshots don’t pack a proper punch, often resulting in the same numbers of shots an enemy could withstand as when just shooting it in its body.

Conclusion

While many gamers may argue the game is quite short, we did enjoy every minute of Resident Evil Village, and may even consider it being one of the best entries in the franchise. The game has gone back to its roots with a lot of explorative options, as well as many standard puzzles to crack, where one may have to go back and forth between different locations. This is what the original games stood for with their fairly simplistic puzzles, its uncomplicated combat, but its great atmosphere and engaging storyline with creepy ghoulish monsters lurking around every corner. The game feels extremely polished, and will also cater to casual and veteran gamers with its very adaptive difficulty settings. If you want a proper Resident Evil game to play, we can wholeheartedly recommend playing through Resident Evil Village.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Resident Evil Village - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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