So Resident Evil Village is finally here and everyone anticipating having a towering vampire lady chasing you can now live the dream. So how does it stack up and does it really live up to just how much I fancied Resident Evil 7. Let's take a closer look and dive into it. It is worth noting that this review is spoiler free and I won't be going over any of the story or plot at all.
This game is a sequel to 7 which is one of my favorites in the series and it continues where it left off and boy was I pumped to take in this story and atmosphere. For the most part, I certainly wasn't disappointed. However, the game kind of has two very different sides to it and at some points, it feels like it could have been so much more.
I could say that I felt the same way about 7 in a way. Resident Evil 7 had a first half that was you dealing with the baker family and it was a terrifying and fun experience and then it started to transform when the mold started to come out of the wood work and the game shifted from the family to take a focus back to just random enemies. The baker family had a ton more personality. 7 as a whole was still amazing and Village is too. You will often have that tension when you are low on ammo and are trying to hunt some down and you are just praying that you don't run out.
Later on though, the game switches to pretty much make Ethan this over power force to be reckoned with. Also the boss battles just didn't feel like they were as special as they were in 7. They were mostly straight forward and just weren't as memorable. In some ways, it feels alot like 7 but other moments, like it is trying to mimic Resident Evil 4 and 5. It was bound to have tones of Resident Evil 4 in it because it obviously pulls alot of inspiration from it, but it also sometimes made it feel like it is was having an identity crisis.
How's the Gameplay?
Like I said, it tries to do two different things. Sometimes it does some really good survival horror where you are low on health and ammo, and just hoping to come across more supplies before finding something around the corner that you just don't have the supplies to deal with. During these times, the game is tense and kept me on the edge of my seat. Other times, I felt like I was Rambo and just mowing down werewolves. You also have the Duke. This merchant who will sell you supplies, upgrades, and a few other things that will help you along the way.
You can upgrade those guns and eventually even gain unlimited ammo through fully upgrading guns. You'll need the upgrades to help you out and become more powerful as you progress through the game. You'll be doing a ton of exploring and trust me, if you are an explorer, you'll be doing lots of it especially if you are the person who likes to 100% beat a game. You'll have to do lots of backtracking and it almost feels sort of like a metroidvania game at some parts.
How about that Story?
Now I am not going to spoil anything about the story. I am just going to say that it did start to deteriorate along the way. Atleast it did for me. It did start off strong but by the end, it kind of felt like it just lost it's focus. Like I said earlier, it felt like sometimes it was trying to be two different games and maybe it was because the first and second half of the game were done by two entirely different teams. It just felt slightly disconnected at times. I still very much enjoy the story for what it was. Guns felt really good and that they had some heft and power behind them.
There is also some puzzles sprinkled in there so it definitely has vibes from other Resident Evil games. It kind of borrows from multiple which is fine by me. I was disappointed however that it felt like the previews and everything played up how important Lady Dimitrescu was and how paramount things would be with her only for her to not really have a huge impact or honestly alot to do with the game. I don't think Capcom expected the outcry of fandom they got when it came to towering vampire lady and by the time they realized her popularity, it was too late. They still played it up as if she was more significant. A little disappointing really.
The Graphics Department
First off, let me say that I played the PS4 copy on my PS4 pro. The game is definitely very well optimized for last gen consoles. I had no issues with framerate and the game still looked absolutely gorgeous on my PS4 pro. Current gen does have ray tracing so obviously those are going to look better, but if you don't have a pc that will run it and can't get ahold of a newer console yet, then the last gen consoles run the game just fine which I had no worries about. RE engine games have always ran excellent on last gen consoles.
The game is quite dark though even with all the tv adjustments I could possibly do, it still just felt super dark and sometimes I struggled to see what exactly was happening. It is also worth noting that the game does have some xbox one x and ps4 pro enhancements with some boosts to performance. It is overall gorgeous alot of the time and everything is highly detailed.
It isn't as gore filled or as over the top bloody as 7 was with the Baker family, but the game has it's own beauty with the outside snowy filled environments with the sun beating down and everything has an old run down type of weathered feel to it. It is all impressive even on last gen consoles.
Sound Design & Controls
The design to sound was done very well. All the voice acting felt great and the environments had some great atmosphere to the sound. To the creaks of wood in the old rundown village, to the howl of the wind in the distance. It is all very well done. Even the sound of the weapons give off a nice feel to them and they all sound great. I can't really find anything to fault in the sound department.
As for controls, everything feels right. The aiming feels a little slippy at times but I think that's just me. I don't play a ton of shooters all to often honestly and it's probably more of a me problem. The moving along the environments to traversing over everything, it all is done precisely and satisfying to me.
The game has alot going on when it comes to what it wants to do. Almost an Identity crisis at times, but with horror and action butting heads trying to step in front of each other, we still get quite the fun and immersive game that is highly enjoyable and we'll worth the time. Speaking of time, Capcom boasted alot about this game being longer the the more recent games and longer than Resident Evil 7. It clocks in around 11-12 hours which I would say is average.
Only slightly longer than Resident Evil 7 which took me about 9-10 hours to complete. With that said, completionists will get alot more hours out of it obviously because there is plenty to collect and do here, just be warned that there is a certain point of no return in the game where you cannot go and backtrack to collect so be aware of that. The game has a lovely cast of characters that all feel fully fleshed out and realized and even though it got too action packed at the end for my liking in a Resident Evil game, I still enjoyed myself enough to say that I do recommend this game especially if you enjoyed the more action oriented Resident Evil games.
Overall, the game gets an 8 out of 10 from me. I try to stay as objectionable as possible and give everything a fair shot. The game was a wild enjoyable ride so if you are a fan of Resident Evil and wanted to continue on from 7, you need this game for sure!
Overall Score: 8/10
+ Gorgeous game
+ Has the horror elements
+ Puzzles for the Resident Evil feel
+ Great weapon feel
+ A wild ride
- Has somewhat an identity crisis
- Semi disappointing story elements