Resident Evil Village is here and serves as the next entry into the Resident Evil Series. Taking place in a dark and twisted village and an empowering death filled castle in Romania. The story follows Ethan Winters once again, multiple years after the events of Resident Evil Biohazard, searching for his daughter in this unforgiving place.
In this review, I am going to take a look at the main features and part of the game to see how well they affect the game, and if they really help meet the expectations set in the Resident Evil franchise. I will be comparing quite a bit to the previous entry: Resident Evil Biohazard.
I mentioned the brief overview of what the story involves, and I won’t go into any more specific part to avoid spoilers. But what I can say about the story, is that it is good. The overarching plot and some of the moments are quite interesting and offer a nice, straightforward story.
But it isn’t absolutely amazing. I can’t help but feel it lacks in terms of terror and horror, something that made Resident Evil Biohazard so strong. The story of Village feels tamer in terms of horror, and focuses more on the crazy and strange themes that are more present in earlier entries. No doubt this is to satisfy players who felt that Biohazard was too scary to play. These moments are fine, they do offer some entertainment, but they give a whole different feel compared to what we got in RE7, and more similar to older entries.
The characters play a massive role in the story (obviously), and it is important to see how they stand out. Lady Dimitrescu really stands out among the characters. And that’s not only because of her strong performance and character behaviour, but also because the rest of the characters did not give as much of an impact.
A lot of the characters did not serve much to the story, though this is expected for a few of them. But a few of the characters that do serve a major role in the story just do not feel as impactful as they should. They do serve the purpose that the story sets out for them, but I couldn’t help but feel that they could be stronger. They are okay, but not the best.
There are some exceptions as said, like Lady Dimitrescu, but they are not used as much as they should.
The bosses in this game all follow the same concept of “point and shoot.” This is expected though, as most bosses in the franchise do follow this. There isn’t much to say about mechanics, as they aren’t commonly used. And those that do aren’t a challenge at all, just very straight forward.
But what the bosses do offer are great designs and challenging encounters. Most of the bosses do have a lot of health and deal some great damage if you don’t time your blocks well. Having to time your damage well and use swift movements to avoid their wrath. But the designs are some of the best things about the bosses. They look and feel really unique, which is a great thing to see.
Enemies in this game provide a great challenge, especially from the start. Instantly they are similar to those tanky enemies in RE7, having a lot of health and taking a lot of ammo to take down. But they do offer a new challenge, in erratic movement.
The enemies move very quickly and it makes them very difficult to deal with. Usually with the enemies you would attempt to go for the headshot, to conserve ammo and deal the best damage. But they make it so difficult. They’ll run at you, dodge side to side and make your life difficult. The challenge these enemies provide may cause some frustration, especially when you are facing large groups of them.
As you move on, you will get new weapons and gear that will help counter this issue, but they still remain quite strong.
But other than that, the enemy variety and enemy detail is a great. The enemies are thoroughly detailed and give a unique enemy design for the franchise. They aren’t terrifying, but that’s expected. You will come across a great number of enemies that make each area feel that more unique.
Resident Evil Village offers some of the best weapon variety in the franchise. You can get multiple different types of weapons. Where before, in RE7, you would only get one type of pistol or shotgun, in RE8 you can multiple of each.
There is a multitude of different pistols, shotguns, snipers, grenade launchers and so much more, it is amazing. And when you have the weapon that you love you can upgrade it even further, adding even more to the level of weapon variety and power.
And on the combat in Village, it is far more enhanced than RE7, as well as being far more of it. Within every area you are going to engage in quite a bit of combat.
It is a nice touch; it adds more to that survival part of the game. The combat isn’t mind-blowing or absolutely perfect, but it is a fine touch. It works decently well, and is quite enjoyable.
The environment is instantly far more open compared to previous entries. Being able to explore both the village and the castle as much as you want. As you make progress throughout the story, you will gain access to new areas within the village and castle, while also having full access to previous areas.
Previous areas throughout the game will also change as you go along, giving you more of a reason to go back. You can find new items and useful parts, or new enemies to face. Allowing for a far greater level of exploration compared to previous games.
The areas and environment are also extremely detailed, and they really help build up the atmosphere. The environment and areas look and feel absolutely stunning. The small details help build this, with strong details thrown at every point in the game. Resulting in some areas that have wonderful views and precise and clean details. But it further enhances that atmosphere thanks to its open environment. It feels far more freeing.
Attention to detail is absolutely brilliant within Resident Evil Village, and that is such a nice thing to see. Everything is so detailed, from enemies to the reflections and lighting. It makes the environment look so powerful and bold.
I mentioned that the story doesn’t feel as terrifying as Biohazard, but that only scrapes the surface. The whole world doesn’t feel as horrifying as you expect. With a lot of areas being very light and using themes and moments that feel quite basic in terms of horror.
The village doesn’t succeed very well in scaring you, and it doesn’t really feel like it is meant to. Being a hub-like area that more focuses far more on survival and exploration, rather than terrifying you.
The game overall takes its aim away from dreading horror and returns to the aim of providing entertainment through crazy themes and moments with a slight bit of spookiness. This isn’t a bad change at all though. It does feel rather reminiscent of older games with its themes, as said. The theme is enjoyable and provides for some strong moments.
Resident Evil Village offers some great replay ability across of the whole game. You do get the feel of wanting to come back and see more of the story thanks to the strong environment and great exploration.
But this is not all that is offered. When you have completed the story, you can experience more with the Mercenaries mode. A fast-paced action mode where you have to face hordes of enemies in order to get to the final goal. It is a fun mode; it allows you to experience more of the combat while also testing your skill. Giving you many more rewards in the process.
I have already mentioned how much I love the details and environments within this game. The attention to detail through the whole game is immense and provides for a stunning experience. With ray-tracing and other high quality video options, the visuals overall are great. There is no other way to put it. The game looks so wonderful.
I am just going to make this quick. The audio and sounds within RE8 are great. The soundtrack and attention to noise are powerful and suit the game and moments extremely well.
Resident Evil 8 runs extremely smooth. If you are on next-gen, then you are going to get the best possible experience. With high frame rates and smooth gameplay. Best of all there are no major bugs within the game, you are unlikely to encounter bugs at all. Which is great.
Overall, Resident Evil Village is good. Turning away from the intense horror experienced in Resident Evil Biohazard, and returning to the classic themes we have seen in previous games. Excelling in environmental and visual moments, and doing well with combat and story, Resident Evil Village is a good entry, with some areas that could be stronger.