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REVIEW: Resident Evil: VIllage — Not Just a Sexy Vampire Lady

 

 
Overview
 

Published by: Capcom
 
Developed by: Capcom
 
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 Stadia Xbox One Xbox Series X/S
 
Genre(s): Survival horror
 
Mode(s): Single-player
 
Game Type: , , , , , ,
 
FG RATING
90%
90/ 100


User Rating
1 total rating

 

Raves


Hefty content, balanced game flow, and thrill, Authentic atmosphere, and impressive visuals.

Rants


Not as scary as previous titles, Not much combat variety.


0
Posted June 27, 2021 by

I rarely play horror games, so it’s always so nerve-racking when I need to review one. I’m a shrimp when it comes to jump scares and suck at resource management. Thankfully, Resident Evil Village seems to be a particularly special blend of horror. One that the likes of me could get behind without much of a compromise to the horror formula. Resident Evil 4 was the RE that did it for me. It feels good to feel that same fun again here.

STORY

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You play as Ethan Winters, the protagonist from RE7 who can’t seem to catch a break. Seems the conclusion from the last game was just a calm before an even bigger storm. It even literally starts out calm, beginning at home in what seems like a typical family evening, until shit hits the fan rather spectacularly.

Next thing you know, you’re in the middle of nowhere making your way through a creepy small village overlooked by towering castles and structures that seem to have been built way back in the dark ages.  Somehow Ethan’s baby daughter has been taken by the freaks in the village and so sets out yet again on another creepy adventure filled with horrors and dismemberments, particularly the hands; Stuff Ethan is used to now at this point.

Considering that the game takes place at a whole village now as opposed to just a house, there’s literally a lot of real estate for the narrative. There are also quite a few more interesting characters this time around, most of which are intriguing whether or not you’ve been paying close attention to the story.

GAMEPLAY

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If you loved Resident Evil: 7, Village sticks to the same approach. Only this time, as it usually is with sequels, they take it up a notch. Only, Village takes it up several notches, or better yet, introduce a few new notches into the mixer. Where 7 was more gory and enclosed, Village is more open and action/thrill oriented. You’re not hooked by cheap jump scares or overwhelming sound cues. You’ll be experiencing a more curated thrill. Anxiety grips you as the room sets up an impending horror, with fear being amplified the fewer bullets or curatives in your inventory. After each encounter, you breathe in your relief, only stress out shortly after, thinking how in the world will you survive the next encounter after everything you just blew on the last fight. And yet, you always end winning by the skin of your teeth, as the game expertly curates the entire experience such that you’ll always be faced with heavy challenges without them feeling insurmountable.

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The balance of exploration, combat, and puzzles seems very well rounded in Village, better than 7, and reminiscent of RE4. Crafting and weapon upgrades also add to a satisfying feeling of progression that scales well as the challenges ramp up. The difficulty is manageable and challenges ramp up at a reasonable pace. You won’t find yourself stuck for too long and puzzles are challenging and intuitive enough to stop you from looking up guides. Overall, Village is a multi-faceted gameplay experience that actually has a well-rounded gameplay experience that doesn’t rely on cheap scares but expertly uses thrill as a welcome spice throughout the campaign. But for those who crave challenges or just more post-end content, Mercenaries is where it’s at. It’s a collection of challenges with specific conditions or a hardboiled version of familiar encounters that rewards you with extra content.

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It has to be said that Resident Evil Village is definitely not as scary as the previous entry. There are definitely lots of effed-up creepy moments and the atmosphere is definitely eery. But overall, Horror in Village doesn’t take up as much as it did from previous titles. All that being said, it doesn’t take too much away from the core experience. Perhaps this is why I would compare this more to Resident Evil 4; we all know that game isn’t all that scary, but most of us will agree that was among the best RE ever made.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

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Horror games are all about atmosphere and Village has an eerily realistic setting that covers pretty much every horror setting tropes you can think of. The detailing and textures on nearly every surface are expertly crafted and I don’t recall ever running into a dull field or corridor throughout my playthrough. Sure some areas are stronger than others, but they’re all interesting enough to make exploration satisfying. The game runs like a dream on PS5 with the option to toggle RT on at the cost of slightly lower frames. The inclusion of RT really helps bring the eery locales to life thanks to more realistic shading and reflections. Village isn’t just pretty from graphics alone, each local is expertly designed, crafting a believable setting that seemingly complements the gameplay progression without feeling like your doing too much backtracking or being lost.

VERDICT

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All the recent Resident Evil games have been great. But, to me, Village is perhaps the best game in the series yet. Or, at least on par with RE4. It doesn’t rely on cheap thrills and instead offers a genuine adventure with the right balance of thrill, exploration, story, puzzles, and combat. The campaign itself is a belly full of fun and there are loads of extra content post-credits to sink your vampire lady teeth into.  Those looking for a big scare might be treated with something duller than what they’re used to. But, on the bright side, if you’re not a fan of horror games, Village is still something to consider if you want your fix of thrill and adventure. 


Dian Raval

 
Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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