Resident Evil 8 Village is a sequel to the survival horror title that came out in 2017. It features the return of Ethan Winters, who has to go through a series of horrific environments, face tons of unique enemies, and solve puzzles to find his family. This is one of the biggest releases of the year so far, and to no one’s surprise, it’s very, very good. In our Resident Evil 8 Village Review, we will go over everything that makes this game truly special.
Story and Writing
The story of Resident Evil games has never made sense, there’s no argument about that. It’s intentionally convoluted, full of plot holes, and throws exposition dumps near the end of almost every game. Despite all that, there’s a level of charm, and consistency fans have come to expect from the series, that is simply not found anywhere else. Resident Evil Village takes place a few months after the events of Resident Evil 7. After a fairly shocking intro, players are taken to a gothic setting, with a village, townsfolk, that are slowly being taken out by a neverending army of Lycans.
Ethan Winters has some of the cheesiest lines in the series, and his comments are borderline laughable. This is something we have to come to expect from Resident Evil protagonists, and it would be a disservice to this established trope if they change it. The real highlight of the story is the cast of villains. By being as vague as possible, players will essentially confront different lords of the village, as they progress through the story. They’re well written, acted, and fairly unique in their own way. It’s refreshing to see how diverse the cast is, and how much their specific locations in the village impact their behavior, personality, and appearance.
The story is engaging, full of shocking moments, and reveals. There’s enough fanservice for fans of the franchise as a whole, and for ones that prefer Resident Evil 7 over the other entries.
Gameplay and Controls
The game follows the same camera perspective of Resident Evil 7, with some fine-tuning to the movement, shooting, and aiming. Resident Evil Village takes a more open approach when compared to the fairly linear Resident Evil 7. The central part of the village serves as a hub world, and players will keep coming back to it after completing various areas. There’s plenty of exploration, and it never becomes tiresome. Shortcuts to different locations open up as you find tools throughout your adventure. The level design shines throughout, and exploration feels organic.
Fans of Resident Evil 4 will feel right at home, and this is clearly a more action-oriented game. You will find different weapons and explosives throughout your journey. There’s never a shortage of ammo either, and you can craft it as well. It’s surprisingly easy as well, however, the level of tension created by just how aggressive the enemies are balances it out with some excellent thrills. Inventory management, and even the inclusion of Duke, who is a merchant, feel reminiscent of Resident Evil 4.
You will be swapping out weapons, making space, and organizing your inventory like a pro after a few hours. There are some extremely tense sections, and the game never loses momentum by introducing new enemies.
Exploration is meaningful, and there will be instances where you will find different pieces of treasure. The game makes sure to let you know what’s important, and getting a complete set of treasures will net you a better price from Duke. The sheer number of interconnected areas in this game is truly commendable. It manages to deliver some excellent pacing throughout each. One of the final areas does drag on a bit, and you spend quite a bit there.
Visuals and Audio
RE Engine continues to shine, and Resident Evil 8 Village is a glorious-looking game. It’s one of the cleanest games we’ve played on PC and features amazing visuals. It also runs very well on a variety of systems while providing enough graphics settings for players to tweak. Characters are expressive, have excellent models, and it’s obvious how much effort went into their facial animations, hair, and general movement.
Its gothic setting features a thick atmosphere, with fog, dim-lit rooms, and snow. Trees rustle with the wind, snow covers various buildings, and animals realistically interact with the world. Enemies have fur, and their bodies are full of scars, making them convincing monsters. The final sections of the game feature more mechanical types of enemies as well. It’s surprising how many enemy types they’ve kept hidden from all coverage.
Resident Evil 7 fans won’t be dissapointed, as there is one section that seems to be created just for them. It’s one of the scariest sections in the entire series, and it’s truly exceptional. It features some of the best audio-visual use in a horror game to date.
Village features an impressive audio design creating intense sections throughout. There are plenty of sound effects while you’re walking fill the space. You might hear something close to you, but it will turn out to be nothing or an animal in the distance. There’s a feeling of constant dread that never really escapes Ethan. The music organically rises to fit the scene on multiple occasions. Some intense tracks are played near the end of the game, which are fairly memorable. This is one of the most impressive parts of our Resident Evil 8 Village review.
Resident Evil 8 Village is one of the best entries in the series, and an exceptional survival horror game. The setting, characters, and exploration are the highlights of the title, and keep you engaged from start to finish. There’s enough content to chew on for multiple playthroughs, and the game features aspects of almost every game in the series without anything feeling crammed in. It’s an incredible title and continues to cement CAPCOM’s place in the industry as one of the most creative studios, and masters of survival horror.
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This review is based on the PC version of Resident Evil 8: Village.