I’ve had a select number of encounters with the Resident Evil franchise. I despised Resident Evil 2 and the insistence on saving ammo and legging it past the enemy. I loved Slipknot’s My Plague theme song to the blockbuster movie from the, ultimately awful, first movie of the franchise. I started playing Resident Evil 7 but for some reason put the controller down and left it. I was torn when Resident Evil Village landed in to review. I knew I’d be spending a couple of hours in fear reviewing the game. But I have to say, I absolutely love it. Here’s why.
Resident Evil Village: What’s It About?
Resident Evil is one of those games that has a mega deep canon to follow. I’ve jumped into playing Resident Evil Village without any prior knowledge beyond what I mentioned in the opening paragraph and I still loved the game. Though I have to admit, there are some blank spots. You can watch this video safe in the knowledge that it will only improve playing Village. It’ll take thirty minutes but I recommend it.
Now that you’re up to speed, it’s time for Village. From here on in, there are some mild spoilers but hopefully nothing worse than what would be spoiled from watching the average game trailer.
Three years after the events of Resident Evil 7, you return as Ethan Winters. In the opening scene, Ethan and his wife Mia, are making dinner after their daughter Rose is put to bed. All hell breaks lose as long time Resident Evil character Chris Redfield bursts in all guns blazing. Mia Winters is left dead, Rose is taken and Ethan is chucked in the pack of an evacuation van with them all.
You take over control when that van crashes and Ethan hikes into the Romanian titular Village in search of his daughter.
The Village: Explained
In the village itself, there’s old shacks, grave galore and plenty of exploring to do. You learn that the village is run by four lords. If the story being based in Romania wasn’t enough, the characters of the lords lean heavily on the classics of the horror genre. Lady Alcina Dimitrescu is the mandatory vampire-type character required for any horror based in Romania. You’ve most likely already heard of her from her massive meme-worth when the game was announced. Who knew that a near ten-foot tall vampire would trigger online fandom.
Karl Heisenberg, another of the lords, plays a Dr. Frankenstein type character with telekinetic powers. Donna Beneviento is somewhat Chucky-like and I’ll be honest when I say, I’m not entirely sure how Salvatore Moreau fits into my logic of the hour classics, but I’ll be damned if I’m letting it ruin my point.
Resident Evil Village: Completed Opinion
Plenty of reviews online will talk about the game as part of the overall Resident Evil canon but I’m afraid I’m useless here. I’m picking this game up as almost a newbie, so all of the game play is new to me.
Coming in somewhat cold to Village, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story-telling of the game. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or lost at all. Just a few minutes after completing the game, I popped onto YouTube to find that video I’ve shared above. I’m a bit peeved at myself for not watching this first as I feel being up to speed would have vastly improved an already brilliant game.
Resi Village: Launch Trailer
If you want more trailers and open yourself to more spoilers, go looking for them. You’ll not find them here.
That said, I really have to admit the story is compelling to the point where I played and completed the game in three sittings between Friday and Sunday. So gripping was the story that I found myself at 2AM, slightly shaken, but deciding to stop at a save point instead of ploughing on. I was never stuck or left feeling like I couldn’t somewhat easily work out a problem or find a boss’s weakness.
How Long Does Resident Evil Take To Beat?
I’m a totally average gamer and Resident Evil Village took me just over ten hours to beat. Most above average gamers will probably do it in just under ten hours.
The world of the game is fairly explorable and I would even say somewhat replayable to find all the nooks and crannies where something could be hidden.
The vast majority of the game is played out in the first-person view of Ethan Winters.
Unlike Resi games of old, I didn’t find myself struggling with ammunition management. I will admit to playing through most of my review on “Standard” difficulty before having to drop to “Casual” towards the end. This may have influenced the ammo load-outs. One thing to note though. If like me, you do turn your game difficulty down a notch to pass a boss or something, there’s no going back up.
Regardless, my only prior experience of the franchise was having to survive without ammo and that just doesn’t suit my style. The first few kills are tense as you load round upon round into the attacking Lycans, but after a few upgrades, you take them in your stride. After a while, killing becomes second nature. While there are a few jumps I thoroughly enjoyed where the game landed between shoot ’em up and adventure game.
If that still sounds like your cup of tea, Village is still on the purchase list. Let’s keep digging.
As I’ve alluded to, throughout the game, you do get to upgrade your weapons and even acquire new ones. A special, and rather rotund, character in the game known as the Duke, will sell you items. He’ll sell you anything from weapons to health kits as long as you have the cash. You get gather items in the game and sell them to Duke in order to raise funds.
Pro-tip: The game will stores “key items” separately so you can’t sell something important to continue with the game. If the Duke will buy it and you don’t want it, sell it.
One other fear I had from my original, and very short, Resi days, was saving. I feared I’d be limited to saving only when I had an ink ribbon but thankfully that’s gone. Any time you find a typewriter in the game, save to your heart’s content.
Overall, the gameplay lends itself to Resident Evil Village striking an amazing balance between storytelling and being fun to play while remaining challenging. There is also a special Mercenaries Mode which I’ve yet to test out.
Another of the features I do recall from Resident Evil games of old is the odd puzzle. Village is littered with some of these and I have to say they did leave me feeling a little more intelligent than I am. Between solving music boxes to beating bosses, some of the puzzles are arguably a little too simplistic. I wasn’t stumped for too long, but I guess if that sounds off putting to you, ramp up the difficulty levels and you’ll get your fill of gameplay challenges.
Verdict: Is Resident Evil Village Worth Buying?
My excited for Village was muted purely based on the knowledge that the game was about to scare the life out of me for a few days. Still, as scary as the game is in parts it’s extremely playable and enjoyable even if you have mediocre gaming abilities like I do. There are very few titles available on the PlayStation 5 at the minute that cam truly claim the title of “PS5 Game”. While I enjoyed Returnal and couldn’t help but noticed the draw to come back into the game for more, Village just left me craving more hours in the day.
With ten hours of gameplay clocked up, I’ve completed and thoroughly enjoyed Resident Evil Village to the point where I might go back and try a new difficulty. I’ll definitely go and give Mercenaries Mode a lash.
For €69.99, Village is money well spent. The story is great and the gameplay enjoyable and challenging yet not off-putting. It’s an all-round winner.
Resident Evil Village is available now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S and Steam.
If you’re a hardcore gamer who doesn’t trust my opinion, check out Vinny’s review of Village from our friends at Tech Stomper.
Our YouTube review of Resident Evil Village is also live!
Resident Evil Village: FAQs
We’ve scoured the internet for the most asked questions about the game to help you weigh up your purchase.
Yes. Resident Evil Village is not a next-gen exclusive and is available for last-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.
Not really. The game itself is a single player campaign. Capcom is, however, releasing Re:Verse for online multiplayer. This was originally planned to launch with Village but has been delayed.
Kind of, yes. You are free to explore the Romanian Village but certain parts are only unlocked as you progress through the game. There’s limited value in wandering outside of the game’s story.
Nope. Afraid not. Don’t expect to see Village on Game Pass until 2022 at the earliest.
This is Resident Evil 8.