Resident Evil: Village is an excellent game through and through. While it may not take the risks of Resident Evil 4 or 7 it manages to harvest the best parts of both games to create an experience that both newcomers and long-times fans will adore. If you're a fan of horror games, shooters or the gothic aesthetic Village leans so heavily on you'll find a lot to love here. This is game that's been meticulously designed to scratch the itch of a great of survival-horror experience (something which is difficult to find these days) while simultaneously providing an injection of adrenaline directly into your arm. You should play Resident Evil: Village.
Resident Evil: Village intuitively follows the path set by its predecessor (that would be the seventh game) by ditching the bulk of the series’ history. The story of Ethan Winters is a direct continuation of Resident Evil 7, and while there are nods to events that happen in much earlier games for fans who enjoy continuity, you only really need to have played the most recent game.
Just trying to get back to normality after the traumatising events of the last game, Ethan Winters is once again tasked with surviving the horrors of the world when his new life in Europe is completely upended. Dumped in a strange, backwards village where every inhabitant is either missing, dead or running through the streets as horrific beasts. Without dipping our toes in any spoilers, Ethan has to save his family and escape before the “four lords” of the village do… well, very evil things to him.
Right off the bat, Resident Evil: Village makes it clear that it doesn’t want you alive. You’ll be strapped for ammo and medicine, desperately scrounging for whatever you can find and place your shots with extra care to ensure you’re not wasting bullets. It’s a tense experience and while it’s not as overtly scary as Resident Evil 7, there’s a different kind of fear at play. You’ll be less concerned about the things behind you and more worried about dealing with the swarms in front of you.
You know this game is going to be more action-packed when you end up with a sniper rifle in your hands within the first two hours of the game which may disappoint folks who didn’t enjoy the more combat-heavy games in the franchise. Having said that, Village does an excellent job of ensuring that you’re both in control and completely out of your depth at all times.
We also need to mention the actual level designs at work in Village as even then encompass two completely generations of the franchise. The titular village itself is a sprawling mess of walls and blocked streets, a place that feels dangerous by virtue of how easy it is to get lost. As you progress through the game the village itself will open up and become easier to traverse but even with a small arsenal of weapons in your backpack it feels hostile. That’s largely due to the massive enemies you’ll often encounter in between the houses. You can avoid them entirely but the reward for killing them is often enough to convince you to spare a few bullets.
It’s also just gorgeous. Considering the limited availability of the single PS5 floating around the Stuff offices, I was forced to play it on a PS4 and even then the game looked stunning. While one could accuse it of having an overly grey, often monotonous colour palette, character models and environments are animated beautifully and the overall art design of the game reeks of the horrific creativity you’ve come to expect from the franchise. Even on last-gen hardware, the game ran well; we never experience any kind of performance stutters or glitches in our time with it and the load times were surprisingly fast.
As for the game’s story, it’s a Resident Evil game so expect supporting characters that are irritating in their uselessness, villains that are both campy and over-the-top but sinister and creepy in the same breath and a protagonist that’s just incredibly mad about everything. The four lords themselves take centre stage as the most compelling part of the narrative as each one represents a different challenge to navigate through. What this all amounts to is a story that’s always pushing itself forward.
Resident Evil: Village Verdict
Resident Evil: Village is an excellent game through and through. While it may not take the risks of Resident Evil 4 or 7 it manages to harvest the best parts of both games to create an experience that both newcomers and long-time fans will adore. If you’re a fan of horror games, shooters or the gothic aesthetic Village leans so heavily on you’ll find a lot to love here. This is a game that’s been meticulously designed to scratch the itch of a great survival-horror experience (something which is difficult to find these days) while simultaneously providing an injection of adrenaline directly into your arm. You should play Resident Evil: Village.
- Resident Evil: Village was tested on a PlayStation 4
- The review code was provided by Gamefinity