So I want to start this off by saying that I am about, 11 hours deep into Village as I don’t think I have that much left to do. That being said, It has been a very fun time and also, quite nerve wracking. I don’t want to spoil this game for anyone who has yet to play/beat it so this is going to be your very open and evident SPOILER WARNING!
Still with me? Alright, here we go…
The first thing I want to address is the obvious elephant in the room. While this game is titled “Resident Evil” I will be the first to admit it’s more like a one off story that may in some small way connect to the main story. The reason I say that is because of the fact that apart from the obviously shoehorned in cameo of Chris Redfield (who has all of a sudden gone bad?) there’s really no connection the main story at all. That was probably the biggest issue for me personally. In Resident Evil 6 Chris is fighting with the BSAA against Umbrella and their released B.O.Ws around the world, not to mention that at the end of Resident Evil 7 he shows up at the end to save Ethan and Mia from the horror house in Louisiana. And to start this game off, the first thing he does is kill Mia and abduct Ethan and his baby daughter Rose. Like what?! Not to mention the fact that Chris is apparently working for Umbrella makes me feel like 7 & Village might take place BEFORE the events of the original timeline when Chris did work for Umbrella. That’s just my theory though.
The second and biggest thing that I have a slight issue with for the game… Vampires and Werewolves? Really? I mean Zombies that are created by a virus and mutant hybrids made by a pathogen are one thing, but Lycans and Vamps in EASTERN EUROPE? That’s a little on the nose even for Capcom. But again, just my opinion on that one.
That being said, there are a lot of big pluses to the game as whole.
This one is definitely something that works for the series. Taking players from, what is normally, large cities and or underground facilities (seriously, Umbrella loves their secret underground facilities) to the mountainous region of Eastern European mountains is a welcome change. Starting in the rundown and frankly ramshackle village outskirts was definitely a good way to grab the player’s interest right away. Not to mention the constant growls and howls coming from all around you from the Lycans that you can’t see but still feel like they’re watching you. It’s enough to put everyone on edge.
There is one particular vista that made me extremely uncomfortable during the game though, the Dollmaker’s House.
Okay, so first off, I hate dolls. Like HATE them. Give me a game where there are creepy ass monsters and tell me to save the damsel in distress? Cool, give me a shotgun and stand back. Give me a game with a creepy ass doll that follows you around tormenting you and stealing all your weapons? Absolutely not! The whole section of the game in the house had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. While I had my weapons, I was double tapping every single doll that looked like it would jump at me, which caused me to waste A LOT of my limited ammo. In the end though it made me feel slightly better, that is until the ending of the section when all the dolls started moving anyways. Your weapons are gone and this creepy ass doll named Angie in a wedding dress that looks like she should be marrying Chucky starts taunting you and you have to search the whole house to stab her with a pair of scissors. Ya, scissors. This has Chucky written all over it with a mix of John Wick. Hunting down the creepy ass doll while the others move and taunt you was enough to give me serious fear while playing in the broad daylight with my dogs beside me. Not that the pooches would be any help, they’d run just as fast as me, hearts of lions they have…
Like I said before, I haven’t finished the entire game, but each area has a very different topography to give the impression that you are in fact in different areas even though they’re all just kind of suburbs of the village as a whole.
The standout vista, apart from the nightmare doll house, is Castle Dimitrescu by far. With its mix of classic gothic horror and the near labyrinth of passages underneath the clean and well kept interior, it’s well crafted and adds a air of classic horror feel. Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters make for some frightening villains yet they’re also quite sexy which I’m sure we’ve all seen across the internet with all sorts of memes and comics.
Coming fresh off playing the remasters of Resident Evil 2 and 3, the weapons situation in this game was a lot more streamlined than in previous installments. For the majority of the game, well about the first half to 2/3 you only have 4 weapons. After that though, the number and different types start piling up. I know I made it through the first 2/3 of the game with just the: knife, sniper rifle, pump action shotgun and pistol. After the Dollmaker’s house though you find a new tactical shotgun and then you can find a magnum revolver and some other fancier guns that you can buy from the vendor. The one thing I will say is that there are nowhere close to the same number of mods in this game for your weapons as there are in previous games. You can get the traditional compensator and extended mag for your pistols but the rest of the weapons only have a couple of attachments. Typically things to help reduce recoil.
That being said, the vendor (Duke) can upgrade the reload speed, firepower and ammo capacity of your weapons for some of the in game currency. It’s a far more streamlined way of upgrading the weapons but it leaves those who like to explore to find new things a little wanting.
So far the weapons I’ve found are:
Lemi Handgun (starter gun)
Pump Action Shotgun
F2 Sniper Rifle
The story is a direct continuation of the main story from Resident Evil 7. You once again play as Ethan Winters, the main protagonist who spent the entire previous game trying to find his wife Mia in the swamps of Louisiana. This time, Ethan, Mia and their new baby daughter Rose (Rosemary) have been relocated to Eastern Europe by Chris Redfield and his team. Chris has also provided Ethan with some training to help him to better protect his family. The thing they never specify is exactly what country in eastern Europe you and your family have been relocated to. Given the names of some of the NPCs, not to mention Lady Dimitrescu, it’s probably a safe bet that it’s somewhere around Romania and Czech Republic. The actual location is unimportant, it just provides with some very scenic mountain views with snow as opposed to just endless swamps of the last game. The story picks up as I mentioned before with Ethan and his family having a nice dinner when Chris Redfield and his Wolf Hounds begin firing into the home. They manage to hit Mia several times before Ethan can drag her to the floor. The team abducts both Ethan and baby Rose as the main credits roll. Ethan wakes up after the transport he was in crashes outside of “the village”. The village isn’t given a name, it’s simply referred to by that moniker for the rest of the game. Immediately you are attacked by Lycans and sent on your quest to find your infant daughter to save her from the rest of the weird characters inhabiting the village and surrounding area. Lady Dimitrescu is a 9ft. tall vampire lady who uses a large Freddy Krueger claw to eviscerate you if you let her get too close. Her siblings are a crazy doll lady (as mentioned above), a weird mutated fish/amphibian thing, a giant furry Lycan alpha with a huge hammer and finally a weird steampunk-ish guy who reminds me a lot of Van Helsing crossed with Heisenberg; oh ya, that’s his actual name as well, Heisenberg.
Each of the siblings controls their own area and Estate in the village with their mother reigning over them all (I haven’t met her yet, but I’m sure she’s loads of fun). You find out through the merchant “Duke” that baby Rose has been turned into a crystal and broken into 4 pieces, with each of the four taking a piece of her. Duke explains that if you get all the pieces of her and perform a ritual she can restored to her normal form and life. Ethan, having lost Mia and his daughter starts his crusade through the hell that is the Village killing everything in his path to find the pieces of his baby girl and bring her back to life. It’s a typical revenge story just set in a nowhere mountainous town with weird mutants, vamps and werewolves.
Not Resident Evil
I feel like if you’ve gotten this far into the post it’s fairly evident that this game is definitely not a typical Resident Evil game, at least so far. What I mean by a typical Resident Evil game is that there is little to no mention of Umbrella for the majority of the game until you find the “altar” which has the Umbrella company crest. There’s no virus, no massive Umbrella control room that’s coordinating everything and there’s no super secret person who is working with you to then betray you as is with the majority of Resident Evil games. Like I said though, the biggest thing is the fact that none of the main characters from the core games show up except for Chris in a antagonist role. The three times he has appeared in the game so far have been not nice instances. To me it seems like a giant deviation from his character that fans have come to love through decades of dealing Umbrella and their bullshit.
Despite me saying it’s not “Resident Evil” I do really enjoy the game a lot. If they had called it like “Van Helsing” or something like that it would probably sell just as well, especially given the title card for the game. Check it out down below.
*I have since finished the game and I’m doubling down on my stance. With a few shoehorned in references they made it fit into the Resident Evil Universe, but it still doesn’t really feel like Resident Evil to me*
See you next week!