Resident Evil 8: Village was just released on May 7th! The series has always been popular, but Resident Evil 7: Biohazard as well as the recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 have been particularly successful, so expectations for Village were incredibly high. I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Capcom’s latest addition to their legendary survival-horror franchise so I could face the latest bio-threat.
Now, I’ve finished the campaign and taken some time to ruminate on the changes Capcom is implementing in the series.
- What is Resident Evil 8: Village? It’s the latest iteration of Capcom’s acclaimed survival-horror franchise. Reassume control of Ethan Winters as he prepares for a terrifying new experience unlike any he’s faced before.
- Reviewed On: PC
- Price: $59.99
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: May 7, 2021
- Website: View on Steam
Resident Evil 8: Village Video Review
Here’s a video from our game reviewer Cody Campbell:
Ethan Wants his Baby Back
The story follows Ethan Winters, the protagonist from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. He and his wife, Mia, have moved to Europe in order to start a new life and put as much distance as possible between them and the events which took place in Louisiana. They even had a baby together named Rose. Their new family life is disrupted when Chris, protagonist of Resident Evil 1, 5, and part of 6, kills Mia before kidnapping Rose and Ethan.
Ethan wakes up in a crashed truck just outside a small village and begins his search for his daughter, only to discover the village is inhabited with monstrous creatures.
It’s a decent enough story by Resident Evil standards. There are a few twists and bends, tying the game to previous events in the franchise in creative and unexpected ways. Ethan is still the least interesting protagonist in the series (and the only one without a face for some reason). He is constantly baffled by everything going on around him and never fails to make a stupid decision or fall for an obvious trap.
One of the biggest changes Village makes is in its location. Resident Evil has made its name as a series of zombie games. They tend toward more urban settings and generally revolve around swarms of undead and massive, biologically engineered monsters.
Resident Evil 8 is set in a small, Eastern European village (like the title suggests.) It features werewolves, giants, vampires and various other classical monsters, but they still feel like Resident Evil enemies. Capcom has masterfully blended these familiar tropes with their own unique brand of mindless gore-monsters to create creatures that feel like they belong in the Resident Evil universe.
The most popular of these new additions is Countess Alcina Dimitrescu, a 9-foot-tall vampire with three daughters and five retractable claws that put Wolverine to shame, but she is only one of several bosses you’ll have to face. Each of them has their own unique design and guards their own territory. You’ll have to fight your way through a medieval castle, a haunted mansion, a boggy swamp, and a run-down factory – each with its own unique puzzles and enemies.
Best Hits of Recent Resident Evil Gameplay
Resident Evil: Village walks that fine line between beautiful and grotesque. Its environments and character design are some of the best in the series and the monsters are some of the most detailed. I found the enemies to be much more artfully designed than the Akira blob monsters that populate most other games in the series. The graphics are stunning throughout.
It also combines a lot of what was successful in Biohazard with what fans loved from the remakes. You fight a “family” of monsters like you did in Biohazard, while Dimitrescu acts as the stalking Mr. X/Nemesis character from 2R and 3R. The weapons feel as amazing as always and there never seems to be enough bullets.
The one problem I encountered seemed to be triggered by certain cutscenes. There were three times in the game where a cutscene would begin to play and the audio would play like normal – only the video would play incredibly slowly (roughly 1/8th speed.) Pausing and unpausing the scene would cause the audio to back up and re-synch to the point where it had been paused, but then the problem would persist. The gameplay speed after these scenes would also change dramatically until I eventually restarted the game.
I thought it might have been something wrong with my graphics card, except I’m far from the only person to have this problem. Most of the game ran fine, but this bug was game-breaking when it happened.
Resident Evil 8: Village combines a lot of the best elements from the series’ most popular games in a collection of new environments with interesting enemies. The combat is fun and the graphics are top notch. It can turn a little more toward the campy side than serious horror in places, but that never hampered my ability to enjoy the game.
The bigger issues were the bland, perpetually confused protagonist and the game’s lack of stability. I’m sure this bug will be fixed in time, but I doubt they will patch in a personality for Ethan.
Even so, it’s a great game that lives up to the Resident Evil name and which survival horror fans are sure to love.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Audiovisuals - 9/10
Mechanics - 10/10
Narrative and Atmosphere - 7/10
Stability - 7/10
Summary: Resident Evil 8: Village is an excellent survival horror game with good graphics, unnerving sound design and fun mechanics/puzzles. It’s worth playing for any survival horror fan, but it might be worth waiting for a patch to fix glitchy cutscenes and gameplay.
- Fun boss fights
- Creepy sound design
- Some of the best graphics and gameplay in the series
- Bland protagonist
- Glitchy cutscenes
- More campy than scary at times