When I arrived at Resident Evil Village I didn’t even know what to expect. I had played the two demos just a few weeks before, but neither one nor the other gave me any indication of what would be waiting for me in the final version. However, what I went through the whole game was a huge mix of feelings and retrospectives, yes, that’s right, retrospectives.
Village offers a game style similar to Resident Evil 4, a game that has been around for over a decade, however, this style is combined with the technological advances introduced in Resident Evil 7 including its infamous first-person camera. And it turns out to be a great combination even though it has its flaws.
Ethan Winters, the protagonist of Resident Evil 7, returns to the main role and this time the team behind the game has done him justice, becoming a character who is now beginning to earn his status as an icon in the franchise, even though he is one. little away from that. Unfortunately for Ethan, his adventure among psychotic havens in the swamps of Louisiana turned into a fight against bloodthirsty women, werewolves, gargoyles, undead and fishmen somewhere in Eastern Europe.
The variety of situations and scenarios in which we are placed was something I held in high regard when I finally finished my approximately eleven-hour playthrough. From the imposing Castle Dimitrescu with its immaculate halls and decrepit dungeons to the fishing area with buildings falling from rot due to lack of maintenance. The atmosphere of the game reminded me a lot of Resident Evil 4, but with a location that conveys Transylvania to us. In addition, it also reminded me of other titles that have nothing to do with Resident Evil, such as: Bloodborne, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and even The Hobbit. And I don’t say it was a bad thing, in my opinion it was a very unique experience to be able to make these comparisons.
Dimitrescu and the Internet
A problem that arose after 4 or 5 hours of play was how short the segment was regarding Alcina Dimitrescu and her three daughters. After the huge exposure to the media that these 4 characters had and up to 2 demos related to their segment, it would be expected that they had more presence in the final product. It is very possible that Capcom was not expecting the huge positive feedback that the Internet showed regarding these 4 characters, in addition, Dimitrescu’s three daughters all have the same weakness and the battles against them turn out to be short and not very challenging.
As for Dimitrescu itself, as soon as I entered your luxurious home I expected your presence as an enemy stalker from a certain point, such as Mr. X in Resident Evil 2. On the other hand, I confess that I was disappointed with the ease with which it is possible to escape and the lack of suspense that it conveys, which goes against the aforementioned Tyrant . As for the performance, I admit that the two actresses behind this 3-meter-tall woman did a great job of representing her, although unfortunately her appearance only makes up a quarter of the game’s history.
Environment and World
Capcom is already known for building its scenarios with lots of details and this game is no exception. As Village is part of the name of the game, we did not only explore the central part of the village and the Castle that rises above it, there are even more locations, each different from the other. There is a location at a higher altitude that shows a greater presence of snow and that contrasts directly with the fishing village whose presence of snow is less and ends up giving the feeling that we ended up in the city of the lake in The Hobbit.
The Dimitrescu Castle itself, has a very Gothic aspect on its exterior that gives us the feeling that an invisible force inhabits that interior and, however, it ends up contrasting immensely due to the decoration that most resembles the 18th century and that was extremely well modeled by the team.
The village is the main zone of the game and is the location we always go through. It features houses with more than half a century of existence, some of them with obvious improvised maintenance over the years. It is mostly a community based on agriculture and small livestock, with a church and a workshop in the mix and is the representation of many identical places in real life. This last characteristic, together with the fact that the horror of Resident Evil is based on science and not on the supernatural, gives us that uneasy feeling that something like that can happen in our world.
Characters and Enemies
As usual in Resident Evil, friends are few and enemies immense. In addition to the Dimitrescu family, Ethan also has to face Donna Beneviento, a hermit with a taste for puppets, the miserable fishman Salvatore Moreau, the lunatic mechanic Karl Heisenberg, whose voice belongs to Neil Newborn (the talented actor behind Elijah Kamski in Detroit: Become Human) and the enigmatic witch Miranda.
As if that weren’t enough, Capcom decided to add several types of enemies to the game, in contrast to Resident Evil 7 whose common enemies were creatures called Molded. So we meet with werewolves called Lycans, various types of Zombies and even gargoyles that all combined give Resident Evil Village a huge variety of enemies and a puzzle on what to make with the scarce resources we have at hand, and that several times they made me think: “Should I make more shotgun shells or should I make more grenades? Maybe I could also buy cartridges, forget about grenades and make a first aid kit !? ”.
Speaking of shopping, one of the few friends we have is Duke, the new merchant with a huge appetite for exquisite food and rare wines. This new character offers several goods that are crucial to our survival during the adventure but also weapon improvement services and even a kitchen service, in case we have the necessary ingredients to make that fish with aromatic herbs or the ciorba de porc Romanian style. All of this has a monetary cost that can be paid with the spoils that we collect, the positive side is that Duke brings a safe location and presence that temporarily distracts us from the horrors that await us around the corner.
Terror and Action
Resident Evil Village is a mix between the survival-horror genre and the action genre. The presence of survival-horror is more transmitted in survival with suspense during much of the game. But I admit that one segment in particular was so terrifying and bizarre that it left me with goosebumps and glued to the chair for a good half hour. Of course, it also wouldn’t be a Resident Evil without having puzzles to complete while we hope that something bad happens as soon as we solve it.
The action is also very present, and perhaps a little more than what should be in a game of this type. One segment in particular made me feel like I left Resident Evil and started playing a Call of Duty or Battlefield campaign with macabre monsters in the mix. Other than that, the action is more present in certain boss fights, which always ends up captivating our attention more.
Resident Evil Village makes us feel like we are going to visit a rustic village in Eastern Europe, but at the same time, all the superstitions they have in these locations are true and are right there behind us. At one point I felt like I was in a ghost village with invisible looks even in mine never. What this new title conveys is something that has been missing from the franchise for too long. If Resident Evil 7 gave us a huge property to explore, Resident Evil Village literally gave us a village.
The game may not have that psychological terror for which its predecessor became known, and although the story seems to pass a little too quickly in certain parts, it ends up paying off with the twists and discoveries that are made about its varied cast. Therefore, Resident Evil Village is worthy of being a sequel to Resident Evil 7 and is definitely worthy of more than a playthrough.
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