Resident Evil Village review: fewer scares, more guns

Resident Evil Village review: fewer scares, more guns
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Resident Evil Village review: fewer scares, more guns

Resident Evil Village assessment: fewer scares, more guns

Resident Evil has been in a fairly good place of late. After reaching its attainable inventive nadir with Resident Evil 6, 2017’s Resident Evil 7 represented a welcome return to the sequence’ horror roots whereas reinventing itself with a first-person perspective. Since then, Capcom has put out a phenomenally good remake of Resident Evil 2, in addition to a strong if much less substantial tackle its successor.

Now we’ve Resident Evil Village, which comes with a emblem styled in a solution to let you recognize that that is actually Resident Evil 8, even when Capcom isn’t explicitly naming it as such. It’s a direct sequel to 7, with the identical first-person perspective and bland protagonist Ethan Winters. However whereas 7 evoked the slow-burning housebound horror of the unique recreation, Village is more like a first-person tackle arguably the sequence’ highest level: Resident Evil 4.

Village picks up a couple of years after the occasions of Resident Evil 7. Ethan and his spouse Mia have moved to Europe and are elevating their child, however issues shortly go south following an intervention from sequence icon Chris Redfield. Ethan finds himself in a hostile village populated by savage werewolf-adjacent folks and units out to search out his daughter.

Whereas Village shares a digicam angle and primary controls with 7, the tone is notably totally different proper from the beginning. As an alternative of tentatively exploring a creepy, atmospheric atmosphere that regularly reveals the horror inside, you’re thrown proper into the thick of the motion and are left to fend for your self in opposition to warped antagonists — which, it’s possible you’ll keep in mind, is precisely how Resident Evil 4 began out.

Resident Evil Village

Village’s similarities to 4 go additional than its breakneck opening and rural European setting. It’s a a lot more action-oriented recreation than 7, and also you’ll usually end up taking up a number of enemies without delay. Capcom has additionally made loads of quality-of-life tweaks that give the sport a breezier really feel, from a shortcut that allows you to break packing containers with out equipping your knife to an overhauled stock system that separates crafting supplies from all the pieces else, supplying you with more area and firepower.

I discovered Village’s shift in tone a bit stunning after the broad success of Resident Evil 7. That recreation was broadly lauded for its comparatively grounded return to survival horror — at the very least, about as grounded as you will get whenever you’re making a recreation involving horrifically mutated monsters brought on by shadowy bioweapon experiments. The setting — principally centered on a disgusting, fetid home in a Louisiana bayou — was evocative and terrifying, marking the primary time shortly {that a} Resident Evil recreation would genuinely make you concern what could be across the subsequent nook.

Save for a few notable sequences, Village principally throws that concept away. The village itself is a reasonably open area that you just discover within the daytime, fixing environmental puzzles as a way to unlock additional areas. It may be a bit complicated to navigate at first, nevertheless it’s not notably giant, and finally its predominant operate is to function a hub from which you got down to take down 4 lords in thrall to a mysterious determine generally known as Mom Miranda. The primary and most putting of those areas is Citadel Dimitrescu, house to the nine-foot-tall Woman Dimitrescu, who stalks you across the place similarly to prior Resident Evil villains like Nemesis.

Citadel Dimitrescu is traditional Resident Evil, and the sport settles into a well-known rhythm of locked doorways, mild puzzles, and little-by-little development as you uncover more of the map. This loop is as satisfying because it’s ever been, however not like in Resident Evil 7, I hardly ever discovered it to be scary due to the better deal with motion. There’s solely a lot stress that may construct up whenever you’re utilizing your shotgun this usually. And that holds for a lot of the remainder of the sport, as you journey to new areas that largely function theatrical preludes to showdowns with Miranda’s different followers.

Talking of these showdowns, the boss fights in Village are one of many more notable enhancements over its predecessor. Most of Resident Evil 7’s fights had been irritating and unsatisfying, however Capcom has embraced spectacle to nice impact for Village’s greatest battles. They’re not essentially titanic challenges or advanced brain-teasers, however they’re at the very least memorable, and that’s a great begin.

Resident Evil Village

Village has its atmospheric moments, to make certain, however they’re not the principle occasion. There are prolonged sections of the sport which are structured more or much less like a first-person shooter. The puzzles are principally easy, and also you’ll hardly ever end up with out the means to battle again in opposition to enemies. There’s nothing fairly as bombastic because the worst excesses of 5 or 6, and there’s one encounter specifically that leans arduous into psychological horror, however Village generally feels more like one thing from the Metro sequence than any of its personal predecessors.

Resident Evil 4 was controversial in its personal time, in fact, with some longtime sequence followers bemoaning its related shift away from survival horror. Now it’s thought of some of the revolutionary motion video games of all time. However Village doesn’t have that going for it. Whereas it takes heavy inspiration from 4, it’s nonetheless principally an iteration on 7, and the result’s simply one other remixed Resident Evil.

Resident Evil Village is an efficient recreation value enjoying, and I believe it’s very a lot a strong numbered entry within the sequence even when Capcom doesn’t wish to name it one. However by transparently mixing parts of 7 and 4, two of essentially the most dramatic overhauls in sequence historical past, it feels much less noteworthy than both. As such, the way in which you’re feeling about it’s more likely to come all the way down to how you’re feeling about Resident Evil total.

In case you’re in it for the outlandish characters and labyrinthine degree design, you’ll in all probability love Village. In case you’d hoped 7 would spark a recent new route for the sequence, although, you could be dissatisfied.

Resident Evil Village launches on Might seventh on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X, Steam, and Stadia.

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