I’m of course talking about the mighty Resident Evil. The long-running franchise, which debuted with this groundbreaking game in 1996 on the original PlayStation (and Sega Saturn! Yes, I feel old too), is back with a major new installment in the series in the form of Resident Evil Village.
Village is set three years after the events of Resident Evil 7 and although the original game is set in the cremated town of Raccoon from the cremation, it takes you to a spooky Romanian village outside of Transylvania. Dracula’s House might seem like a bit of a cheesy place to set up a game famous for the living dead.
But Capcom has never shied away from going nerdy – and its long list of blockbuster hits didn’t hurt much, did it?
Ethan Winters returns as the protagonist. He lived with his wife Mia and newborn daughter Rosemary when Chris Redfield and his men suddenly appear and a pivotal moment in history unfolds that brings you kicking and screaming in Eastern Europe. .
Once there, Ethan must embark on a rescue mission like no other. The village is ruled by four different mutant lords, each controlling their own forces from the village strongholds. In true RE style, things get really weird, really fast – and it’s terrifying.
Village maintains the survival horror elements of Resident Evil but leans more towards action-oriented gameplay than its predecessor.
It’s in first person with an inventory management system similar to the one seen in Resident Evil 4 (i.e. a briefcase). Players can purchase weapons and items from a merchant, called the Duke. And you can also hunt some village animals and cook them in dishes to improve your health / damage resistance etc.
There is also a six-player online multiplayer game as well as a return for the arcade-style Mercenaries mode.
As successful as RE has been over the years, the series has seen its fair share of disappointing releases. But I can say with pleasure that Village is not one of them.
REV takes the best action elements of the Resident Evil franchise and updates them for the next generation while maintaining the style that made RE7 so good.
The crowning glory, however, in REV – aside from the excellent and thrilling storyline – is the pace. Capcom has done a brilliant job of mixing things up to keep you on your toes with a roller coaster of emotions as the intensity reverses.
The increase in combat level is welcome and feels smooth, intuitive and above all enjoyable.
And without saying too much, I think the Beneviento Graveyard section of REV is one of the best gaming actions I can remember.
That said, REV isn’t perfect, and I couldn’t help but feel that some elements – especially towards the end – were a bit rushed. I think the last few hours could have been better and there are some elements new to the series may not fully appreciate given the general links to all previous titles. Even for fans of the franchise, it can be difficult to tie all the connections together to make sense of the story.
Make no mistake, this village is the perfect setting for Resident Evil. The variety of enemies throughout keep the tensions palpable and does justice to the franchise.
Try hardcore mode – you’ll rarely, if ever, experience tension and anxiety like this while playing.
It’s a long-awaited and welcome return to the fast-paced action that made Resident Evil 4 so good.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-12 12:56:16