Resident Evil Village: An In-Depth Review
As a newer fan of Resident Evil, Village seemed like a breath of fresh air for the well-established franchise. Resident Evil Village takes the horror aspects of Biohazard and the action aspects of Resident Evil 4 to create a unique experience for new and old fans alike. I, personally, couldn’t wait to jump into the game and see how the story progressed and how much Capcom has improved on the previous releases.
Plot Overview of Resident Evil Village
SPOILER ALERT: As I will be delving into key plot points in this section, I recommend jumping to the control setup section if you haven’t finished the game.
After the disastrous events of Louisiana, Ethan Winters and his wife Mia move to a European village where they plan to raise their daughter, Rose. However, when Chris Redfield, an old friend of Ethan’s, shows up and raids the Winters household, Ethan’s world is flipped upside down and things take a turn for the worst.
On a mission to find his daughter, Ethan travels to a village that sits at the bottom of a snowy mountainside. Everything is not as it seems, as this is a dangerous village with vicious intentions. As Ethan makes his way through the area he encounters Lycans. Lycans are mutated forms of the villagers that were infected with a parasite known as Cadou. At this point, he is attacked by a pack of Lycans and their leader, in a desperate fight for his life. As the game progresses, the square named Maiden of War will act as the main hub for Ethan as he visits the Four Lords.
One of the Four Lords, Lady Dimitrescu, is the first Lord you meet in-game. Taking place in her gothic horror-inspired castle, Ethan must prowl the premises in search of his daughter. During his time in the castle, Ethan must also face the Dimitrescu daughters, Bela, Daniela, and Cassandra. These three women serve as mini-boss battles during the castle segment, which is also a nice break away from searching for solutions to the puzzles.
During this part of the game, players must avoid Lady Dimitrescu herself. She takes to the castle halls to try and stop Ethan from ruining a very important ceremony. However, this does not go according to plan and Ethan must fight the mutated Dimitrescu in the closing section of the Castle to retrieve one-quarter of his daughter.
Lord Donna Beneviento
After facing Lady Dimitrescu, Ethan travels back to the village in search of the second Lord, Donna Beneviento. On the way, Ethan is reunited with Duke, the merchant of the game. Duke then informs Ethan about the flask he had retrieved from the castle. It is indeed the very person Ethan has been searching for. In a state of panic, Ethan refuses to believe Duke but then quietly learns about each of the four lords that reside in the village. Learning about what resides in the flask, Ethan then plans to make his way to House Beneviento.
Sat on the outskirts of a murky forest that’s accompanied by hanging dolls is House Beneviento. This section of the game is inspired by Silent Hill, so players can expect an unarmed main character with terrifying house occupants. Arriving at the house, Ethan is met with a large foyer that has a portrait of Donna Beneviento and her doll Angie. This is where Ethan makes his way through to the elevator which takes him to the basement.
As Ethan investigates the corridors, he reaches a doll workshop, where he’s met with Angie, a Rose flask and doll version of Mia Winters. When Ethan searches for the doll he triggers a variety of puzzles. This tension-filled segment is enough to make even the most seasoned Resident Evil fans tremble.
What Ethan experiences next is truly the most horrifying enemy in-game.
As Ethan is carefully trying to get back to the breaker box, he is met with the loud cries of a baby. This next part is the most thrilling yet terrifying scene the game has to offer. Ethan has to try and escape the mutated baby multiple times whilst trying to find his way back to the elevator in order to get back up to the main house. At this point, Ethan is met with Donna’s doll Angie and an intense game of hide and seek begins. Ethan must find Angie and destroy her before he can retrieve the second Rose flask.
Going to retrieve the third flask, Ethan battles his way to the reservoir. However, this is Moreau’s territory. Flooded and confused as to why Chris also made an appearance, Ethan races against time and Moreau to make it to the windmills. Retrieving a crank, Ethan must then go back to a worn-down building to activate the console that will support him in draining the reservoir water. When the water is drained, Ethan fends off the mutated Moreau to retrieve the flask and is suddenly interrupted by the fourth and final Lord. Heisenberg interferes with the TV to inform Ethan that the final flask resides in the Stronghold.
Now Ethan has to head to the stronghold, bringing him one step closer to getting the final flask. Here, Ethan will face waves of Lycans whilst trying to open the gates. As well as facing hordes of Lycans, there is also a mini-boss battle with the leader before continuing the story.
This all leads to the penultimate section of the game where Ethan makes his way through Heisenberg’s factory. Not everything goes according to plan. Even though Ethan gets the answers he deserves, he also ends up paying the ultimate price. However, after being visited by Eveline and learning the truth about the disaster of Louisiana, Ethan decides to fight one last time.
Making his way to where Mother Miranda resides, Ethan fights for his daughter’s survival and to stop the infamous Cadou experiments. As Ethan fights he must come to terms with the events that are about to unfold. To destroy the main source, the megamycete, Ethan must also destroy himself.
Control Set-up of Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village keeps the controls from the seventh game with one noticeable difference. The newest addition of a crafting system. If players are new to the Resident Evil games, then do not stress! The game gives a tutorial on how to navigate the new crafting and inventory system, which will prove handy in later sections of the game.
In the beginning, the game will also teach new players how to control Ethan. For example, in the house, the game will have a box pop up to inform players that it is L3 (left analogue stick) to move Ethan and R2 and L2 to aim and fire a weapon. Sometimes the game will remind players of the controls and crafting, mainly in the earlier sections, to give players a little nudge where they might get stuck. However, once the game gets going and the events start to pick up more, players will become accustomed to the controls as they are intuitive to learn and use.
Thoughts on The Story of Resident Evil Village
Overall, Resident Evil Village is a pretty solid game with a great mix of survival, horror, and action. Personally, my favourite part of the game was Castle Dimitrescu. It had the right number of puzzles that were not too difficult to solve, whilst being balanced by plenty of scares to remind you that it’s still a horror game. The purpose of being in the castle didn’t go amiss either, as players always have access to the map. Duke, with his supply of goodies, was also easily accessible.
As well as Castle Dimitrescu, there was House Beneviento, which showed players why Capcom are the true masters of survival horror. House Beneviento had the tension you would expect with most horror games but is made worse when the player (me) very much dislikes the porcelain dolls, that were scattered throughout the level.
Both the factory and the reservoir are underrated but didn’t really have the scares the series is known for.
These two were more focused on the action part of the game. The bosses were quite long too, which has the potential to mentally remove players from the game. Though on the flip side, these sections did add quite a bit to the story and gave players a chance to upgrade their weapons with Duke. Players do get a chance to upgrade weapons throughout the game which are more beneficial towards the last couple of hours.
With so many games on the market today, it can be difficult to stand out. However, Capcom has done a fantastic job of doing just that. Resident Evil Village is a game that takes what players previously knew of the franchise and flips it on its head. Right down to the finer details such as the letters scattered through each and every environment. It’s an action-packed, story-driven, truly frightening experience that indulges players in a Romanian inspired horror fairytale.