- Total Score - 9/109/10
Resident Evil Village evokes Bloodborne and Castelvania has it evolves beyond zombies, and moves survival horror to a new generation.
Developer – Capcom
Publisher – Capcom
Platforms – Playstation 5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC
Review Copy given by publisher*
Resident Evil Village tells the tale of another series of very unfortunate events starring Ethan Winters. Instead of the swamps and the Baker family, Ethan finds himself in a cold mountain village with a huge castle looming larger than life nearby. Ethan must confront and uncover a mystery involving a family so twisted it makes the Baker family come across like the Brady bunch.
Villages campaign is incredible to experience. The tight and claustrophobic locations have been replaced with a huge, sprawling locale much more fitting of the classic Resident Evil name. Capcom’s vaunted RE engine is back and brings some solid performance across all platforms. Anybody who hasn’t played 7 will have to get accustomed to the first person view, as Village retains it and never leaves first person even for the cinematics.
The game looks great, and delivers in terms of blood and gore. The amount of pain Ethan has to endure is tough to watch, and he really sets the bar for worst amount of bodily harm to ever befall a playable character that I can recall.
The zombies and mold of the previous games aren’t quite gone, but Village’s has a pretty decent Castlevania and Bloodborne inspiration in terms of the new Lycan enemies it introduces.
In terms of looks, it doesn’t matter what platform you play it on as they all look and perform excellently. My hardcore campaign playthrough was on the PS5 and it ran flawlessly through the entire experience.
In terms of atmosphere, Resident Evil Village fits neatly between RE7 and RE4.
You play in first person, but it features much more combat and action than 2017’s RE7 by a very wide margin. The fit works for the most part, but a lot of the tension of 7 is gone simply due to the fact Ethan has become a much more capable survivor than his first go round. Even the ammunition and arsenal are expanded upon, and you just never seem to run out of ammo at any point.
The tension of the previous games, is provided largely by the Lycans. They replace the zombie fodder of previous games, and their speed and aggressiveness adds a lot of fun and intensity to every combat encounter.
It’s a return to action horror that Resident Evil 4 was known for, and at times it feels like this game is true successor to it. Combat isn’t anywhere near the heights of previous third person iterations though, and the lack of some solid third person melee action to mix with the gunplay is sorely missed.
The music and sound design also helps create an incredible sense of atmosphere. Every shot, Lycan sneer, and Lady Dimitrescu stalking on her marble floors comes to life and really helps scare you when needed.
Even though the campaign will take around 11 hours to complete, Resident Evil Village offers a ton of replay ability with plenty of secrets to discover, unlock, and experience.
Even better, the much beloved Mercenaries mode returns with unlocks, tons of stages and multiple tiers of score to reach. It suffers a bit compared to previous games, only because the combat style is Village doesn’t lend itself to the chaos of 5 or 6. It’s also strictly a solo mode for now, so no coop like earlier games or the RAID mode from Revelations.
No matter if you are an old fan like myself, experiencing a story that has continued to evolve and change over two decades, or a new fan looking for the next great next gen triple-A blockbuster, Resident Evil Village has something for everybody.