Review: We played Resident Evil Village

by Nathan Dutil

Marcelo Jabulas | @mjabulas – The announcement of “Resident Evil Village” at a Sony event, which anticipated the launch of the PS5, last June, garnered attention due to the visuals referencing the fourth installment of the franchise. After all, the trailer featured a village with similar characteristics to the Spanish village of “RE4”, which is named as one of the best titles in the series.

And after playing for several hours, we can say that the new “Resident” is an ode to several episodes that form the backbone of the franchise. The game brings together elements from different games. And we’re not just talking about typewriters and green herbs.

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Village plot

But before that, let’s give a brief explanation of the plot, but no spoilers. The game once again puts the player in the shoes of Ethan Winters. After saving his wife, Mia, from the mansion in Alabama, the couple decide to settle in Europe, to erase the past.

However, the couple are assaulted and the child is taken away. Ethan is hit and wakes up in an overturned van in the middle of the freezing night. He wanders in the dark, encounters dead birds, realizes that a creature is chasing them and manages to hide in a cabin.

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Arriving at the completely devastated village, he discovers a clue that the child is in the castle near the community. Fortress owned by a strange woman who lives with her daughters and is related to the local deity known as Mãe Miranda. This introduction takes a good few minutes and allows the player to learn the basics of the game.

The references

In addition to the traditional puzzles, locks and keys that gradually unfold the plot, the game inserts such elements as a sculpture of a sheep that looks like a squirrel in “RE2” and this toy store doll in big head in “RE3”

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The village that starts the plot refers to the fourth episode, just as the outbuildings of Château Dimitrescu put the player back in a sort of Spencer Mansion. Madame Dimitrescu, in turn, is the figure that scares the player. She is a huge woman with a modeled figure, who behaves identically to the villains of yesteryear, Mr. X and Nemesis.

That’s right, the game lets you unlock doors, which often lead to places you’ve already visited. But this quick access is a way to get rid of the matriarch. But when you find your girls, then there is no conversation, you have to find a way to eliminate them. But I won’t say it.

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The game also adds new environments beyond the castle and the village. In them, strange creatures. A cool reference is the “dollhouse” closet, which is loosely inspired by “Alien Isolation”. Anyone who has played this masterpiece from Creative Assembly will know what to do.

creatures

As usual in “Resident Evil”, the creatures in this game are mad and extremely aggressive beings. However, the game deviates from that old games’ sci-fi theme (with the exception of “RE4”) that justifies Transfiguration, Zombies, and Titanic Beings. In “Village” there are supernatural elements, which little by little are explained.

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Game

The main element of the game is its first person view. This kind of vision isn’t the most popular in survival horror games, but let’s face it, it amplifies gamers’ tension the most. Like “Alien Isolation,” “Outlast,” and “Resident Evil 7,” the limited field of view always puts the player in a vulnerable position.

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However, the fact that Ethan arms himself quickly makes the player more courageous. It’s one thing to take on the villain of the game with a pocket knife. The other is to run into the damned with a 12 caliber. Anyone gets brave.

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In this game, Ethan has a more skillful arsenal than in the last title. Pistol, shotgun, rifle and even grenade launcher help the player in the mission. Ammo supply is more generous, as well as collectibles for crafting cartridges, explosives and drugs. If the player combines weapons, it is possible to keep the holster full at all times.

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From there it’s easy to fight with an open chest, mainly because the scenarios are more open and the daylight doesn’t affect the player’s psyche. But don’t get carried away, there are times when Ethan will be envious of the protagonist of “Outlast”. Connoisseurs will understand.

Shop

Anyone who has played the previous games knows very well that you need to be aware of special items, such as increased inventory, as well as parts for weapons. In “Village”, the player has a shop. A fat guy is the game’s muambeiro. He sells upgrades, ammo, blueprints, and components.

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To buy his trinkets, the player must collect the money left by fallen enemies, as well as crystals. Rare items such as tumblers, dolls, rings and other trinkets are of great value.

Visual

For this review, we tested the game on the first vintage PS4 veteran. The popular “Fat”. This factor severely limits the visual refinements that Capcom has added for the PS5, Xbox Series X / S, and PC generation. Despite everything, the game is very well designed.

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Visually, the title impresses with the quality of the details, but above all with the lighting effects. The game reproduces the opening and closing of the pupils, entering a very bright or dark environment, like a human eye. In addition, the weapon’s tint changes depending on the projection of light.

And look, we’re not talking about Ray Tracing, which comes from another planet on the old PS4, as well as HDR. All of this shows that Capcom has done a very good job exploring what the next generation of consoles and graphics cards can show.

audio

If the graphics impress, the sound effects are fundamental in “Resident Evil Village”. The game is full of subtle noises, tension-amplifying background music, and all the cracklings, howls and crunches of an age-old construction.

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However, it is important to be aware of the sounds. Not only Dumitrescu’s footsteps (in Mr. X’s best style), but also for locating important items and collectibles.

last word

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“Resident Evil Village” saves a level of horror that the games lacked. While it’s less disturbing than “RE7”, which had a more grotesque aesthetic and a desperate level of resource scarcity, the supernatural element is the spice of the title. The player never knows when he will be surprised by an inexplicable phenomenon. A sadism that only Japanese producers can create.

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