Apart from the name “strange” Village that he carries, Resident Evil Village is positioned as a sequel series to Resident Evil 7. Many years after what happened in Louisiana, Ethan and Mia are seen living normal and happy lives together. Now with their infant child, Rosemary. But suddenly everything changed in just one night.
Chris Redfield, who initially helped Ethan’s transition to normal life, suddenly attacked their residence, with a team and machine gun. He managed to finish off Mia and kidnap Rose and Ethan who, at that time, were furious and confused. In a state of unconsciousness and waking up in a mysterious location, Ethan ends up stranded in a mysterious village which turns out to contain a terror that he has never seen before. No longer inhabited by many people around, it is in fact flooded with lycan creatures who, comfortably, continue to hunt and eat humans.
In the midst of this chaotic situation, Ethan discovers that Rose should be in the same village. The investigative process made him understand that to be able to find his beloved child again, he had to subdue the 4 Lords who controlled the village under the leadership of a mysterious figure named Mother Miranda. One of these Lords is allegedly Ethan, charming Rose. But as could be predicted, there really wasn’t anything normal in this village. Monsters, terror, and more problems similar to what he had encountered in Louisiana, now come back to haunt him.
So, what really happened in this village? Can Ethan find Rose? What really motivated Chris to end up killing Mia? You will be able to get all the answers to these questions by playing Resident Evil Village.
New RE Engine Level
RE Engine is one of the best innovations that Capcom has released over the last 5 years, this seems like an indisputable fact. Exhibited in Resident Evil 7 and later used as the basis for more of their giant franchises, from Devil May Cry to Monster Hunter, this engine not only guarantees visual quality, but also stable and optimal performance, both on PC and console. What’s interesting about Resident Evil Village? They seemed to have managed to take this engine at least, one level higher. Enough to make you understand that their initial claim to push this game only on the latest generation consoles and PCs is nothing short of an exaggeration. Resident Evil Village does look stunning.
Playing it on Playstation 5 which also supports ray-tracing at a relatively stable framerate, Resident Evil Village is ready to amaze you from the minute you taste it. From things as simple as character models that currently look much more detailed than Resident Evil 7, to indoor lighting systems that look more dramatic. You can also see that most of the textures of objects in the room now look better, although admittedly, not all of them are charming. At least in the Playstation 5 version, you will still find objects such as haystacks or street textures that don’t look like the details of other objects you encounter.
Capcom’s ability to make the village aka “Village” feel like a tense location also deserves a thumbs up. You can understand from the start that this is a village that has been in ruins for many reasons that cannot be explained rationally. Village then became a hub for at least 4 different locations, each of which had a theme, and the designs were also charming. We’re talking from Dimitrescu’s castle that looks like something you’d find in medieval times to Heisenberg’s factory filled with metal and a monster production line that is enough to give goosebumps. Of course, praise also deserves to be directed to the designs of the five antagonists that you will meet later.
Regardless of whether you like the hype surrounding Lady Dimitrescu in all of Capcom’s marketing campaigns over the past few months, it’s hard not to admit that she came as a brilliant antagonist, as did Heisenberg and the other two Lords. At least he is increasingly pushing Resident Evil’s position as a “survival horror” game that no longer cares much about the need to stay at the roots of the real world. Each of these antagonists comes with a unique monster that feels familiar at the same time for fans of Resident Evil. Unfortunately, the creativity of this main antagonist is not up to par with the designs of the other monsters you meet along the way, which, admittedly, are not that creative. It’s a bit disappointing that what you come across is mostly lycan with similar shapes to each other. In Resident Evil 2 Remake for example? The zombies at least have different genders, clothes, and body sizes to make you feel that they were all these, previously human.
A special highlight deserves to be given to the implementation of DualSense and 3D Audio which is quite enchanting for those of you who enjoy it on the Playstation 5. Adaptive Trigger will make your shooting actions feel different from one another, with a little “resistance” when using certain weapons. The strong resistance of some weapons, especially handguns, can be annoying, especially when you are about to spit out bullets quickly in a panic situation. As for the audio side, even though you don’t openly write down “3D Audio” as a feature, you will still be able to enjoy the audio side in detail even when using ordinary earphones / headsets.
As for the audio design business itself, Capcom ensures that these elements work in the capacity they should. You will not be given a variety of music that deserves to be included in your Spotify library in the style of “Aunt Rhody” which in Resident Evil 7, is even used as a marketing foothold. But Capcom seems to understand exactly when they should encourage silence and when they should inject behind-the-scenes music to build the atmosphere. When it’s quiet, there are so many sound details that come out that either provide information or make it even more gripping. Our favorite part? Of course the chanting that occurred during the last boss battle, which made her figure feel even more terrifying and mysterious at the same time. For this one business, Capcom deserves praise.
So with all these combinations, Capcom must be recognized as having succeeded in bringing RE Engine to a new level with Resident Evil Village, especially when we talk about how dramatic the indoor lighting system, world design, to the design of the main antagonist character that you have to conquer. This series makes us curious to see how far the RE Engine can be pushed with the lifetime of the newest generation consoles that are still young.
Four Kings, Four Territories
One thing you will immediately notice when playing Village is Capcom’s clear ambition to expand things compared to the previous series. The first expansion comes from the lore series without spoilers, we can confirm that it has succeeded in explaining some of the story “holes” that gamers had complained about both for this series and the previous series. The second expansion comes from the “playground” design which is now no longer trapped in a giant house with a complex structure filled with monsters inside. The word “Village” in Resident Evil Village does refer to the definition of what village should be, but it does not necessarily become the main setting. The village acts more as a hub.
A hub that is located in the middle of the area, where you have to pass before you can move to subdue the 4 Lords under Mother Miranda who each live in a different residence. Its position as a hub does not mean that the Village itself is “peaceful” and calm. The transition process between subduing one Lord to another, which runs linearly and moves in a specific sequence (you can’t choose which one is Megaman’s first), usually will change something in the Village itself. This means there are opportunities to access more locations, get more resources, and the possibility to meet new threats.
But at least, your position in the Village will be much more “relaxed” than when you visit each of the Lord’s locations where you will be asked to complete any mission there, before you can return to the village. In this village, besides hunting for resources that will increase the more key items you lock. You can also visit The Duke which is always available here. The Duke itself plays a Resident Evil 4 merchant style, where you can sell your treasure, buy items and weapons, upgrade to make these weapons stronger, and also ask him to cook resource-based food that you collect from the animals you kill, to get a permanent buff for Ethan. Of course, there’s always a typewriter to save here.
Then the next step is to move towards the location of each Lord to push the side of the story. Special? Instead of making them the same, Capcom made the locations of the four Lords four regions with different themes. The theme is not only about its unique setting, but also contains a unique gameplay approach as well. There is an impression that they are trying to apply the gameplay and content that was popular and loved in the past Resident Evil series to each of these regions.
In Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, you meet the classic Resident Evil sensation. You are trapped in a large structure filled with puzzles that require you to go around various locations for key items while killing several threats that appear with the weapons you have. Of course, there are mini boss fights here, which require a little strategy and lots of bullets to beat. You also get an injection of the sensation of Resident Evil 2 and 3 through the figure of Lady Dimitrescu who will continue to chase you, across space as you approach the conclusion of the story for this one area.
The second area belongs to Beneviento, which borrows from one of the missions in Resident Evil 7, where it doesn’t carry the action side at all. In this relatively short area session, Capcom seems to want to prove itself that they still have the spurs to mix a real horror game – where the super tense atmosphere that emerges will be enough to make you scream like a child. Beneviento’s house is counted smaller than Lady Dimitrescu, but it was built with just a puzzle as the main challenge. This is our favorite area because the horror elements it offers are really effective. A solid space that is able to offer a fear that is stronger and denser than the entire Resident Evil 7 series though.
Then move to Moreau’s disgusting swamp area which is the “most Resident Evil 4” area compared to all other regions. The battle against the giant fish that he made the highlights, as well as how the boat ends up as a mode of transportation will bring you to a wonderful memory with the throwing pony – Leon in Resident Evil 4 first. Next up is Heisenberg’s location which takes the action side of Resident Evil Village to a whole new level. Without a puzzle and containing enemy after enemy, who are tough and need lots of bullets to beat, this side will test how effective your process of distributing your resources and currency to The Duke is during the last few levels.
Along with these progresses, you will also be spoiled with several non-mission locations that you can visit to get more resources. Some of them are clearly visible, such as the location of the house in the Village which is locked and requires a strategy or a specific key to be opened. But not a few also come quite “hidden”, where you need to move to a new location, which you will not be able to open until you have successfully locked a specific important item. For this last business, it can even end up being a new, deadly weapon that will make your journey easier later. Village at least provides extra motivation for exploration, instead of just moving from one Lord location to another.
So with a design like this, outside of Beneviento’s territory that focuses on the horror side, you will now play Ethan who will be more active in pressing the trigger of the weapon he has rather than running around. The same reason that makes us move to the next topic of discussion.
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