“I’m really lycan this one!”
A Review of Resident Evil 8 : Village Author: Josh Warby
Let me preface this review by acknowledging that I live and breathe horror, so much so that for me, a jumpscare is a foot tickle and a roaming corpse is like the orange of a trac light. I’ll possibly jolt and glance for a second before yawning and moving on with my life. But this game. . .this had me on edge in the best possible way. Here’s why Resident Evil 8 : Village is a must-play for both old school fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.
If you haven’t played Resident Evil 7 : Biohazard, I highly recommend pre-ordering a couple extra packs of undies and getting on that. Village is its sequel, though a quick YouTube recap should also get you up to speed if you’re so inclined.
Village continues the story of Ethan Winters, who has tied the knot with Mia and started a family somewhere in Europe at the concerned behest of one Chris Redfield. In a twisty turn of events rather left unspoiled, Ethan has to unlock the adult diaper lockbox once thought long sealed, and embark into the heart of a mysterious village amidst a snowy mountaintop ruled by Mother Miranda and her “children”, to rescue your recently kidnapped baby daughter.
GAMEPLAY & MECHANICS:
Village diverges slightly from its predecessor Biohazard, in that nding handgun ammo felt like a blessing from the gaming gods. The sequel shifts its gun sights more onto explosive action; though don’t let that deter you as a horror fan. Though there are intense, frantic moments of gunning down a monstrous boss, the game also keeps you grounded in particular areas, where your patience, problem solving skills and bladder strength while staring down bulletproof enemies will prevail over the ‘guns blazing’ approach.
A perk to having played the PlayStation 5 release was that the adaptive triggers certainly added to the ferocity of surviving a close encounter. Other than that and the smoother framerate, there aren’t many dierences from a technical standpoint.
The sequel also oers more in the way of exploration, in that a wrong turn could turn out for the best, or for the absolute worst. The curiosity to investigate strange noises and paths is a huge plus. The village itself serves as a central story device and area; a place you’ll often return to to restock and resupply from a teleporting merchant, as well as an opportunity to nd additional treasures as you ll your inventory with all sorts of broken bits and bobs that reveal their value as your progress.
My only real issue in terms of gameplay is that quite often the controls felt a little sluggish, especially in the moments when my brain moved faster than Ethan. This could be a preference thing; it certainly can add to the intensity of many encounters. To each their own with this miniscule gripe.
When the game wants you to have an epic moment of bravado, you feel heroic. When the game wants you to humble yourself and sweat like an embarrassed anime character, you will do that too. The pacing of the game is phenomenal in that you are urged along so intricately in this highly immersive world.
The game stays true to so many aspects of the original titles; the shiny hidden crystals, the lore unfolding in scribbled diaries of madmen, the underlying conspiracy of something bigger going on and putting you in charge of unfolding its mystery.
I’ll avoid spoilers here, but the creatures and how they came to be was a real bonus for me. From as early on the game’s rst teaser, fans were complaining about the lack of zombies and the introduction of werewolves and vampires. Without giving away too much; forces are at work in this mountain, and if anything, the addition of new lore only improves upon the gameplay and the interactions you are likely to encounter. I’ll leave it at that. As someone in the production industry, I also couldn’t help but be wildly impressed by the audio mixing. The sound eects, atmosphere, and chilling screams make for an incredibly engaging and menacing world.
I’ve not encountered a single bug or glitch, visual or game-breaking alike; and at the time of writing there is yet to be a single patch. Props to Capcom for releasing a fully eshed out game – a feat for developers these days, apparently!
The cast (excluding Ethan and Heisenberg) were beautifully performed. Each t the role and type perfectly, making such an unbelievable premise more believable.
The dialogue. Holy hordes of lycans, the dialogue. I could hold a microphone to a baby in it’s sleep and it would spew out better dialogue (something I think Capcom actually did for a particular level). The lackluster delivery
of these lines from the faceless titular character doesn’t quite add to it either. I’ve never heard anyone less shocked to be seeing AND EXPERIENCING the hellish nightmare that Ethan encounters in Village. Given that he is faceless, all I can picture is Mark Whalberg, wandering these halls of nightmares going “What?” “What’s going on here?” “What the hell was that thing?” “Huh?”
Other such cringey dialogue from other characters include: “I am but a humble merchant.” Don’t forget “You will never defeat me!” and the classic, “And stay down!” Yawn.
Also, I am upset that Heisenburg sounds like a Nickelodeon level kind of evil boss, with his cartoonish inections to his voice. It’s set in an old European village, it involves devilry and lycans – what a wasted opportunity to not employ Peter Stormare for the role! He even looks like him. Meh.
The length, unfortunately, is also a downside. The game takes an average of 10 hours to complete. It took me 11 hours on Medium diculty, and I’d chalk up that extra hour to wandering around trying to gure out where to go next only to discover it was the thing I originally thought, but I didn’t look properly at something or other. However, there is a New Game + in which your currency, items, upgrades and weapons carry over. There are also plenty of challenges and trophies to achieve, some of which will require multiple playthroughs. On top of that, there is an added The Mercenaries challenge mode. The more you play and upgrade, the more you can unlock things like innite ammo, and even a lightsaber.
Resident Evil Village is a welcomed title that really nails its intended immersion. It adds just the right amount of action while ensuring you will scream at some point. In a beautifully woven world with an intriguing mystery to unfold, you are most certain to nd both thrills and nostalgia in this memorable title, if you can shrug o the questionable dialogue of a boring protagonist.
ZAPA Gaming Reviews – Rating: 9 / 10
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Genre: FPS / Survival Horror
Platform: PS4 / PS5 / Xbox One / Xbox Series X / PC Multiplayer: No