Resident Evil Village Review

This might be the scariest Resident Evil game yet.

Resident Evil Village 080

Resident Evil Village is a melting pot of awesome ideas. You have the first-person view and mechanics first introduced in Resident Evil 7, a heavy influence from Resident Evil 4 (the clear favorite in the entire franchise among fans and critics alike), classic monsters like vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein-like creations, a rag-tag team of instantly iconic villains, and a serious level-up in scares taken straight out of the book of games like Amnesia and Outlast, all while keeping intact the staples we love so much about this franchise.

In other words, they nailed it.

There was quite a lot to be frightened of this time around, but the two things that sent me into pure FFF mode (fight, flight, or freeze) were the sections with the killer baby monster and the fully-transformed werewolves. I don’t know if it’s something deep in our human DNA that has us naturally afraid of wolves, but werewolves send a special jolt of fear down my spine.

I only have two minor gripes with the game, and to be fair, they’re both technically my own fault.

The first one is that I played on the old generation of consoles. This resulted in a clear degradation of graphics both in terms of resolution and texture loading. There were at least a couple dozen times where I was taken out of the moment by coming upon areas where it took a jarring amount of time for blurry walls to load in.

The second would be the difficulty balancing. On many games, I’ll often select Hard because developers have become notoriously easy-going on players and so I’ve come to expect that this is necessary to get a properly challenging experience. However, certain games, like with RE, they’ve maintained a healthy level of difficulty even on their Normal/Standard difficulty setting all these years.

I expected the same here, but unfortunately, it turned out to be far too easy. Perhaps I’m just too much of an RE veteran at this point, or my skills and strategy in scavenging, bottle-necking, and using doors that enemies can’t pass through were just enough to take down enemies quickly, or maybe RE‘s difficulty settings have just been unbalanced all these years and they finally got it right this time and I should have picked Hard?

Story wise and scare wise, the game was a complete joy, but I found it too easy to get through enemies, and that was a bit of a bummer. If you’re thinking why don’t I just go back and play on a harder difficulty level, I’ve never been one to have much fun immediately replaying through a single player experience that I’ve just completed.

That said, when I eventually upgrade to current gen consoles (most likely this Christmas), I’ll be sure to revisit the game to enjoy both the improved graphics and harder difficulty level.

Two other stand-out aspects of the game that fans have been having fun with on social media are the secrecy of Ethan’s face and the fan favorite villain, Lady Dimitrescu.

Polygon did an excellent job covering the topic of Ethan’s face here and here are a couple fun videos about Lady Dimitrescu:

Honorable Mention: The Duke, a merchant that you can buy/sell/trade with, had a delightfully more involved role in the story than just being a generic character. I really enjoyed this aspect and the little side mystery of just exactly “who or what” The Duke is that it created.

After beating the game, we’re treated to an after credits scene that reveals what to expect in a third game of this new first-person trilogy: that Ethan’s daughter, who’s hinted at having special abilities, will be our protagonist in Resident Evil 9. I think it’s safe to predict that she’ll likely have telekinetic abilities to use against enemies.

Considering Capcom’s recent release schedule for new RE games in the last couple of years, we might actually be playing it as soon as 2022, but we’ll see…

Snaps of My Journey Through the Game

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