Resident Evil Village (RE8) is one of those rare games that completely reimagines the foundation that the franchise is built on and improves in many ways. While some may find the gameplay of Village to feel a bit more action-oriented than horror-survival-y, I would contest that it is a perfect combination of both.
Experience survival horror like never before in the eighth major installment in the storied Resident Evil franchise – Resident Evil Village.
Set a few years after the horrifying events in the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 7 biohazard, the all-new storyline begins with Ethan Winters and his wife Mia living peacefully in a new location, free from their past nightmares. Just as they are building their new life together, tragedy befalls them once again.
- First-Person Action – Players will assume the role of Ethan Winters and experience every up-close battle and terrifying pursuit through a first-person perspective.
- Familiar Faces and New Foes – Chris Redfield has typically been a hero in the Resident Evil series, but his appearance in Resident Evil Village seemingly shrouds him in sinister motives. A host of new adversaries inhabiting the village will relentlessly hunt Ethan and hinder his every move as he attempts to make sense of the new nightmare he finds himself in.
Just like RE7, Village offers a first-person player experience albeit with a more robust sense of fight instead of flight. You can definitely still run and hide but the game’s setting puts you in a position where a man is out to save his daughter and his wife. Considering the scope of the situation, it makes sense that Ethan would want to kill any creepy crawly thing he sees to get answers in order to save his family. And while many may protest against the idea of focusing so heavily on action, there are still many moments of stealth and evasiveness that the player can deploy in order to get around. What I am saying is, the game offers more action and focus on gunplay but sacrifices nothing in terms of horror and suspense. Village manages to retain what makes Resident Evil game scary but only sidesteps what you are used to in order to deliver something different, something more. The enemies aren’t what you are used to but things have changed, and sometimes that means you will need to upgrade your shotgun or sniper to take them down.
Village is great in that it provides players a real-world sense of danger. Here you are in a small village, surrounded by monsters with few survivors that you interact with the intent to save or get answers. Whether you are out of ammo and trying to outmaneuver a Lycan, or locked and loaded to take down some other beast, RE8 never slows down and never stops being interesting while the controller (or keyboard) is in your hands.
Visually, the game is stunning. And that only enhances the gameplay. One thing about this that it took far too long for me to notice is that many objects that you can move to create a barricade or climb to get the high ground are wrapped in colored tape to attract your attention. Whether you are climbing a ladder in a barn or hiding out in a field full of Lycans, the setting is a creature in and of itself that is just as dark and mysterious that makes you question your existence and your survival. All of that offers such a savory sense of satisfaction when you sneak around an enemy using your environment to your advantage or simply running at them guns blazing. Regardless of how you go about it, everything just looks and feels so satsifying.
Resident Evil Village is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. The sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, players control Ethan Winters, who is searching for his kidnapped daughter; after a fateful encounter with Chris Redfield, he finds himself in a village filled with mutant creatures.
That is all I want to say about the story in terms of plot. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone by saying any more. The only other bit you should know is that the game answers a lot of questions about the past and leaves a lot of questions for the future. But it’s good. It is all so good.
Unlike so many other games out there, once you complete Village, you want to go back in for more. Whether you are after collectibles or have earned enough points at the end of your playthrough to unlock new weapons (like Chris Redfield’s Dragoon Assault Rifle and infinite ammo), there is likely more to do and more to see within the Village that you may have overlooked initially. And considering you can unlock special bonuses for your next playthroughs, your available weapons early on can drastically alter the way you play and approach enemies. All this adds to a high-replay value that will surely add for many extra hours for completionists and others who simply can’t get enough of Village’s beautiful set dressing and intense enemy combat.
I can’t say that RE8 is my favorite game of all time but damn, if I really thought about it, it would certainly find a comfortable place among my top 10. It is that good. The story is engaging, the characters are compelling, the lore is rich, the combat is brutal, and the setting is dark and ominous and full of puzzles that you can’t want to solve. The more I think about it, the more I want to go back and play. And the more I do that, the less I find wrong or worthy of criticism. Resident Evil Village is a masterpiece if it isn’t perfect. And it is damn well close.