Resident Evil 8 or Resident Evil Village or Resident Evil 8: Village…. Whatever the hell Capcom wanted to call it in the end continues the story of Ethan & Mia Winters in their new life somewhere in Europe and whilst the game continues to utilise the first person viewpoint from Resident Evil 7, the game has borrowed a lot more elements from past Resident Evil Titles, most evidently from Resident Evil 4 and whilst it has done both of these to a great effect, the sum of everything has ended up being not as good as either.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have loved my time with Resident Evil Village and all it’s werewolves, mutants and vampires it’s decided to throw my way but it’s a game that tries to please too many people in one go and ends up somewhere nearer the Resident Evil 6 range of quality (which I did also love to be fair) and whilst it is still a damn sight better than 6, I do wish that Capcom had just doubled down on the tension and outright scariness that rose RE7 to new heights for the franchise instead of very quickly falling back into being an action game through and through with a few jump scares and horror elements thrown in for good measure.
As I mentioned in the intro, you still take control of Ethan Winters – 3 years after the events that had taken place in the Baker mansion. It’s mentioned offhandedly in this time that you have undergone some military training and picked up a few new skills along the way to protect Mia and * EARLY GAME SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT* your newborn daughter: Rose.
Everything seems idyllic for the couple as they live out their European fantasy in a beautiful house in a stunning part of the world until Mia is sniped through a window and takes a bullet to the chest… Shrugging all of this off Mia looks on in bewilderment as she takes 4 more shots to the chest and finally one to the head before she even thinking of going down.
From here, a wild Chris Redfield appears and pops one final bullet into Mia right in front of our eyes before ordering his unit to take Ethan and Rose to an undisclosed location… this all goes to pot when your escort gets ambushed and you end up in the titular Village.
*SPOILERS ENDED HERE*
One of the great strengths of Village is the world and the enemies that it pits you against. Gone are the days of walking aimlessly around the Baker mansion fighting off nondescript sludge monsters, Instead you are tasked with fighting off the aforementioned Werewolves and Vampires with everything in between in a far more interesting array of surroundings from the Village, to factories to a giant vampire infested castle.
Another of the elements borrowed heavily from RE4 is the astonishing volume of different weapons and upgrades you can get along the way to help Ethan take down all the monsters in your path and whilst you are doing all of this you can find secrets and gemstones (which are taken straight from RE4) to sell to the merchant… oh I’m sorry I mean the Duke, a rather unsightly gentleman who buys and sells all manner of things to help you in your quest, he even asks “What are you buyin” at one point, remarking that it’s something an old friend of his used to say – which I absolutely loved in the moment.
The final thing that is so obviously borrowed from RE4 is the item box management… I mean I have nothing to say here – just look:
The sound design in Village is all over the place however and never really seems to calm itself down at all with the same intensity of sound effects being used to announce the coming of giant vampires or beasties and finding a gemstone in a chest. There is no differentiation between these and it becomes almost laughable at how intense the game finds it when you come across these treasures.
Any issues I have with the game however are fairly minor really and whilst I say that the game tries to please too many people in one swoop I can’t argue that Resident Evil Village is some top quality video game.
It’s fallen back a bit into the campy action that Resident Evil did for a few years after RE4 but even still, I loved those few years and I love Resident Evil’s weird b-movie esque villains and storyline; it has kept me coming back to the franchise for decades and I will still eat up every single bit of content that Capcom are willing to throw my way.
So without further ado, I award Resident Evil Village a: