It’s finally here then, Resident Evil Village! The 8th title in the mainline horror series dropped last week and its being doing what it does best, scaring the pants off’ve YouTubers and casual gamers alike. Though there has been a gentle murmuring coming from the series’ hardcore fans who seem to have wanted a little more?
I’m not a huge Resi fan, by any stretch, it’s only very recently that I have even played the games and a lot of the reason behind that was to stop Luke from asking me to do it… I got the 2 recent remakes of 2 & 3 and then took a crack at 7 when it came available on Gamepass, I even ended up streaming my nervous adventures through the Baker residence. Now, thanks to what I have played I noticed a bit of a trend in the main line games, each one seems to be an example in different horror styles. Not simply what kind of monsters grace the title, but even how the game plays out. Like the first game being a classic zombie horror flick, the second and third being a little more contemporary and then 4 digging deep into the Blair Witch vibes. Things went off the rails a little with 5 & 6 that dropped a good amount of the horror to introduce more action and co op elements. Finally, we came to Biohazard, the 7th game which decided to throw the formula out the window and go for a horror FPS that valued atmosphere over action with new protagonist Ethan Winters being a random off the street who wanders about a house of horrors without any real idea of what he’s doing.
So, what has changed in the 8th instalment? Well even though we’re back in control of Ethan and still utilising the first-person camera, the genuine terror of 7 seems to have been dialled back. In fact, I’d say this time around Capcom are going got B-movie vibes, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far!
Mr Winters now finds himself in a small village in eastern Europe, populated by a mostly werewolf like monsters, and a few survivors with American accents, the scariest monsters of all right? TOPICAL! Anyway, Ethan has to mooch about this new locale looking for his precious baby girl, who looks more frightening than most creatures in the series, while trying to keep his assorted limbs attached this time around. The Village’s parish council is run by 4 individuals who seem to emulate a different kind of schlocky b-movie horror, covering Vampires, swamp monsters, creepy dolls and Saw like torture palaces. Now I’m very much not a horror fan, too easily frightened by most things, but so far even I’m handling most of these threats with a good amount of humour. Even the gigantic and surprisingly fetishzed Lady Dimitrescu proving to be pretty entertaining as she slowly walked around looking for me while I was sneaking behind her with a shotgun aimed squarely at her eye level rear end just in case she turned around.
Now this is what seems to be harming Village’s score with the hardcore horror fans who think this is a backwards step from 7, and they’re right, this is stepping right back into what made the original games so successful. Horror is great, but these are video games?! So sure, let me be scared and have the adrenaline pumping, but hell yes will I also go buy weapon upgrades and fancy fish dinners from an obese man who seems to have set up a shop in a vampire’s castle! Of course, I want things a little sillier and “video gamey” and I get this might not appeal to story driven fans of what Biohazard did to the series, but it certainly ticks a few more boxes for me and I imagine a few other gamers out there and casual fans of the Resident Evil franchise.
Of course, these are just my thoughts on the series as a whole, if you’re looking for a genuine review of Resident Evil: Village then stay tuned this week for our boy Luke Stone’s thoughts!