The time has come to see what awaits Ethan Winters, after his incredible fight to rescue his wife Mia and survive the monstrosities and horrors found in RE7. If you thought the Baker’s Louisiana ranch was a wild adventure…you best buckle up for this ride.
Our Protagonist Ethan, is at odds once more with being forced to investigate another mysterious place, seeping with danger and unspeakable evil. The landscape has changed from the swamps of Louisiana to snow covered peaks. For this venture, he must locate and extricate his daughter from this horrific place.
Instead of a mansion or large rural ranch to explore, players will first brave the halls and rooms of Dimitrescu’s Castle. This is where you’ll be introduced to the towering maiden and she has some likeminded daughters to contend with as well. The dark environments with light illuminating from fireplaces, candles or lanterns are beautifully detailed and heavily atmospheric. The snow covered forest seems to watch your every step. That’s because you are not alone and worst yet, not welcome here. I simply love the art design and presentation accomplished by the dev team at Capcom.
“It was both terrifying and thrilling to explore every room and area within this delightfully foreboding fortress some call home.”
This is where you’ll get a feel for the controls and the game’s mechanics. In time, you’ll find your way outside, but things only get more treacherous from here. The game itself is broken into 4 key zones, with this castle being center stage. As you progress, you can return here to gain access to previously locked areas (rewarding you with crucial items or weapons). Search, stock up and memorize each Save Room’s location.
Vampires, Lycans and more Stalk the Premises
We’ll remain spoiler free here, but as you have seen from any of the demos or trailers, there are some legendary creatures to face-off (or run from) in Resident Evil Village. Now this is where the gameplay might split some hairs for some players. It certainly leans more towards action as you progress further into the game. I’d like to see it toned down a bit more towards the later half of the game. There really isn’t anything quite like that sense of dread in a game, when you only have 2-3 shots left and are running for your life and somehow narrowly escape. It’s a hard balance to perfect, but the overall experience here is stellar and should not be missed by any RE fans.
While I still recommend making every shot count and escaping when possible, you’ll likely have enough ammo to eliminate the threat with your pistol or rifle if necessary once you do enough scavenging. That’s where the survival horror aspect takes a hit. However, raising the difficulty level can certainly increase the challenge and tension if one wishes to do so. You can choose from Casual, Standard or Hardcore. With the Trauma Pack (Deluxe Edition and Complete Bundle come with this), gamers can jump right into the Village of Shadows difficulty. This mode is only for those that are truly determined and enjoy earning every inch of progress throughout the game; well that and bragging rights.
Puzzles, Combat and Inventory
It wouldn’t be a Resident Evil game without puzzles now would it. While there really aren’t any overly complex or thankfully maddening contraptions to sort out, there is a nice mixture here that helps with game’s pacing (which is terrific by the way).
Combat feels excellent and precise. Crafting allows players to focus on one or more favorite weapons if desired, or you can simply have a nice variety of firearms to keep the enemies at bay or down for the count. There are upgrades available, including one my favorites which is extending your inventory slots (this is extremely useful in RE games).
Resident Evil Village will likely be loved by those who enjoyed RE7, while others may be on the fence with some of the gameplay decisions found later in the campaign. It’s absolutely a gorgeous title on the PS5, making each creature and boss encounter that much more intense and terrifying. If you are fine with a good mix of horror and action elements, I heavily recommend picking up the latest chapter in one of gaming’s most popular horror-based franchises to date.