Updated: May 10, 2021
Reviewed on: PS5
Also available on: PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Release: 7th May 2021
Price: $75 - Mightyape
Resident Evil Village is the latest instalment into the acclaimed and much loved Resident Evil franchise. In fact, I myself am a huge Resident Evil fan with it being one of my all time favourite franchises, with one exception of course (RE6 we're looking at you!). The series was previously reinvigorated by the wildly popular Resident Evil 7 and followed by a wave of much needed and very well done remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. But after a few years of remakes, Capcom is back with a new Resident Evil instalment, and in a big way!
If I could sum up Resident Evil Village with one statement it would be - it's all the things we loved the most about Resident Evil 4, mixed with all the things we loved the most about Resident Evil 7. It's dark, deep and full of jump scares but also manages to be more full of action than just about any RE game to date.
Resident Evil Village, is in fact a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7. You once again take control of Ethan Winters as his world is ripped from under him and he somehow finds himself once again contending with all things monsters and zombies-ish. In terms of overall level design and it's not quite zombie foes, Village immediately gives those Resident Evil 4 vibes (arguably the best RE game to date). From the moment I saw the trailer for Resident Evil Village I was excited; I was not disappointed.
There's no doubt for me that Resident Evil Village is a fantastic game and is absolutely one of the best Resident Evil games, for at least the last decade. Not only does it stack up in terms of story and action to the likes of RE7 but it also shows off what these next gen consoles are capable of….. Ish! Don't get me wrong, the game looks AMAZING, the large map areas, to the lycans themselves, there's a tonne of detail. Each house you enter tells its own little story, all of which adds yet another layer of intrigue and immersion, more so than just about any other game on the market. So it really bothered me (probably more than it should) when so much emphasis has been put into ray tracing - making sure everything glows and reflects the way it should; that is except the one thing that really should be reflecting better - the mirrors. Please tell me why, in a 2021 AAA game with ray tracing, we have no mirror reflections? I know it's only a small detail but it's one that really should be non existent these days. Check out the video below for an example of this in action.
<minor potential spoilers ahead> - very minor
(we mention something that happens roughly an hour into the game without any real details)
The story for Resident Evil Village, as I said, is a direct sequel to RE7 in which you're some years into the future, you and your wife Mia have a child called Rose and without giving too much away in terms of spoilers, Rose is taken and it's your job to track her down and bring her home. The story had me hooked from the get go, for reasons I can't go into, again for spoilers, but it was made personal and really thrust me into the story in ways I didn't expect it to. Vague I know, but RE8’s story is good enough for me not to want to spoil it for anyone. Once again however, there are some moments with it that leave you scratching your head. Just like with the graphics, so much effort has gone into making the story for Village really good, but this time it's negatively affected by some rather jarring things that happen, things we don't get the context for until the end of the game. One such example is at one point in the game, Ethan has his hand cut off…. I won't tell you when, I won't tell you how, but it happens. Oh and it's his shooting hand no less…. That's it, Game over right? WRONG! You simply pick your hand up, put some chem fluid on it and stick your hand back on… I mean really? I know it's all make believe but, that's something Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson would do in the latest Fast and Furious movies…This is explained later in the game, and it all makes a lot more sense, however at the time I just sat there and laughed to myself in disbelief. Aside from a few of these little moments (that being the biggest, by a long way) the story is good, very good. There's a good mixture of flashbacks and other side characters to add to the story and the lore as you go, keeping you enthralled throughout, The Duke (the vendor) doing most of the heavy lifting.
One of the reasons RE7 was such a huge success was its focus on horror. Resident Evil 5 and 6 were heading in a very action focused direction, a direction not many fans of the series liked. Number 7 however shifted very much back to the horror genre. Resident Evil Village however, takes that even one step further and while, for the most part it's probably not as scary and is more action than horror, there are parts of