Game: Resident Evil Village
Platforms: PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X and PC
Reviewed on PS5
After the successful resurgence of the Resident Evil main saga with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Capcom reimagined the classics Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, so it was time to create something new, a direct follow-up and main entry Resident Evil unashamedly named Village, with this game Capcom tried new things while keeping core aspects from its prequel and some inspiration from a certain classic
The everlasting legacy of Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil Village’s director, Morimasa Sato, stated in an interview with IGN that this new entry took inspiration from Resident Evil 4 since the very initial stages of development. Tsuyoshi Kanda, Village’s producer, said that “Resident Evil Village would essentially be a version of Resident Evil 7 that inherited the DNA of Resident Evil 4”, and this is something very palpable in the game from start to finish. From its core structure of defeating various enemies to reach a major villain, to how you administrate your weapons and resources and even the setting itself also being in a village in Europe with the presence of no zombies at all, village keeps constantly bringing back perks from Resident Evil 4 while also making constant references and connections to it, very likely to also serve as a setting for the inevitable Resident Evil 4 Remake.
The continuation of Resident Evil 7
Despite how much Resident Evil 4 is present in both the game itself and this review, Village remains Resident Evil 7’s sequel first and foremost. Ethan Winters will once again bring himself to hell for the sake of his family. Without spoilers, Village’s main story remains entertaining from beginning to end, has its own twists and fast-paced action with puzzles that prove to be worthy mini-challenges between areas in a map that will open up to allow the player to keep exploring and be recompensed with new gadgets and upgrades. What’s absent from its prequel is, in a large degree, that feeling of being constantly chased by the enemy in turn, players returning from the horrors of the Baker’s family might be disappointed if they expect more of that, but those who found it too scary should have a more engaging experience this time around.
The latest iteration of Capcom’s in house RE Engine
As a cross-gen title for the newest gen of consoles and last-gen with 2013 hardware at the bottom, there’s been some debate both from the fandom and also inside Capcom about which of them should have been targeted as the main platform, or if last-gen could be scrapped, but ultimately the game is perfectly playable in any platform, while the 2013 consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One might struggle to keep up, their middle gen upgrades PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X offer a higher-res mode and a 60fps mode which work flawlessly, on the current-gen side PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X offer 4k modes at 60fps with or without Ray Tracing, regardless each mode performs great and looks astonishing, with the PlayStation 5 version tested during this review, there’s also the add-ons of the hardware’s latest features such as trigger tensions, haptic feedback and the game-changer SSD’s speed which really has no loading time at all. Xbox Series S, the cheaper alternative for Series X, just can’t seem to keep up with Village, especially on its Ray Tracing mode.
Regardless Village is one of the best looking Resident Evil games that, despite targeting last-gen for most of its development, Resident Evil Village still takes advantage of current-gen features and capabilities. If this is what they can do with a cross-gen title, it’ll be hard to wait for what this engine can provide while working from the ground for current-gen
Larger, yet just as engaging
Whether action or tension focused, something that remains consistent in most of the franchise is how fast the games can be beaten. Resident Evil Village is the longest Resident Evil since Resident Evil 6 but, unlike the latter, finalizing the game won’t take more than 12 hours on a first run. Just like the games that came after 6, Village can be beaten in just a couple of hours, or even less, as some adept players have already demonstrated. The replayable value in this game surely won’t let down any players used to compete with friends or their own records.
Ultimately what shall determine whether this game will be of your likeness or not is if your preferred focus for the series is on its tension, like the original trilogy and 7, or an action-filled ride as crazy as Resident Evil 4 and, while Village has aspects that can please fans of either approach, it’s the action for the most part but thankfully not over the top like Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.