The horror soap becomes a black tale. The Grimm brothers had been proud.
Capcom’s minimum level has been hysterical in recent years. Resident Evil 2 (and 3), Monster Hunter World (and the expansion Iceborne), Monster Hunter Rise, VR horror Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This summer, I am sure that the triumphal procession will continue to be forgotten Great Ace Attorneythe duo is finally released in the west.
But sooner or later the trend will be broken. Trends always do that.
Of course, it could go downhill already today, with Resident Evil Village. It is a sequel that takes significant risks. Instead of drowning ourselves in the crippling horror of the seven – not least in virtual reality – they turn the knob to the action level. Mold zombies become flocks of werewolves and the dark house in the swamp becomes a remote village in Eastern Europe with damp caves, underground factories and a Gothic castle that towers over everything. Action + village + castle signals Resident Evil 4.
And how daring and / or brave is it not to follow up one of history’s greatest action works?
Also read: Amnesia: Rebirth – review
What is it?
The eighth or fifty-eleventh part (depending on how you count) in Capcom’s eternally young, eternally undead horror series.
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Resident Evil Village may yawn after a lot but it manages to swallow me with holes and werewolf hair. The trend will be broken one day, and it will be sad. However, this day is beautiful.
It’s been a few years since the nightmare in Baker’s horror nest in Louisiana. Ethan and Mia Winters have, on the advice of BSAA with Chris Redfield at the helm, taken refuge in a nook and cranny in Eastern Europe. A lot is good, but not everything. Mia and Ethan sometimes clash as they do not agree on how to proceed from such a trauma they were through. Fortunately, newborn roses occupy much of their focus.
Although we have never seen Ethan’s face, he is human in a way that action heroes Jill, Chris, Leon and Claire never are. He does not care to overthrow Umbrella but just wants to live his life. Like you and me.
Unfortunately, the said Chris Redfield decides for unclear reasons to go from hero to zero. One night, he invades Winter’s everyday life, crushes the family, kidnaps Rose and throws Ethan into a new nightmare. When he opens his eyes he sees only darkness. A black forest with bloody tracks in the snow. One of the most intense chapters in the saga of Resident Evil has begun.
It is, in the true sense of the word, “the story of Resident Evil“. The Grimm brothers had been proud of the black fairytale world that Capcom has carefully built. It all starts in the titular village. In the small hole in the valley, it is as if time has stood still for about 100 years. The cottages are spartanly decorated and it would be almost cozy if it did not look like a monstrous tornado pulled through the village (with emphasis on monstrous). Rolled over furniture, demolished walls, dead horse bodies. Although Village speeds up the pace, Capcom understands the point of nuances and contrasts. There will be blinding chaos when you are chased by one, two and twenty werewolves. You place explosive mines and barricade doors while firing at the furry devils who try to sneak in through nailed windows. You blind them in a blessed moment by chopping the knife into flour bags, escaping through basement doors and zigzagging when fire arrows rain down on you.
Just like in the seventh, everything is from the first person. You’re literally in the eye of the storm.
Village is all this, but dares to be still. You will change hut to castle, and walk through halls with winding decorations where doors either require Resikeys or are sealed with Resi-typical puzzles. The silence is deceptive, however, because at any moment one or more of the vampire Countess Dimetrescus’ three daughters can appear in a cloud of blood-sucking insects. Lady Dimetrescu has become a cult figure even before the release and with her 290 centimeters she delivers a real first impression.
Also read: Resident Evil 2 – Review
- Lycan – Forget about hasty standard zombies. The werewolves are Villages undead blood of blood that rushes, feints and throws itself at you. They come in several grotesque forms, but this variant is the most common, and bad enough.
- Alcina Dimitrescu – With her 290 centimeters (including hat and heels), the PR queen has whipped the hype to filthy fanfiction levels. Whether it is good or not, we leave unsaid, but the Countess is a star.
- Soldier One – Anyone who knows their German numbers understands, of course, that after “ein”, “zwei” awaits. We’re sorry, but Heisenberg’s booth cabinet, on the other hand, is one of the game’s most iconic. And deadly.
Old horror food
I’m not as convinced by the other. Being chased through the castle halls rings in one of the few objections I have against Village. I’ve done this before; chased by Tyrant, Nemesis and Jack Baker. With part eight fills Resident Evil 25 years and therefore we get to see some tributes of iconic moments. The monster in the lake from Resident Evil 4 is one that has been dusted off – albeit with a new twist.
Tributes are nice but every now and then sunbathing Village a little too much in old splendor, and ones that I more or less lost respect for. The horror genre is cunning in that way, and less nostalgic.
Village however, is not content to live on old merits. Far from it. In an early chapter, the game completely sets the bar for my expectations. Psychologically twisted horror is not something Capcom is known for, but here they pull me out of the werewolf chaos and throw me down into a black hole.
I’m vague and you can excuse me for that, as the point is to go in here without expectations. That I even mention it almost feels like a spoiler and I would not be surprised if the internet overturns.
Underground labs belong Resident Evil to but the underground factory signed mechanical genius Heisenberg is something else. It really feels like I’m on a long journey trying to take Ethan from the bottom to the top of the complex. Here are traps that can literally crush you and Terminator-like monsters whose weight makes your nerves vibrate. When the power suddenly goes out and everything goes out, I’m alone in the dark. Or well, as lonely as one can be with an army of biological weapons.
To help you, you have The Duke, which despite its huge body hut can appear a bit everywhere in the village. He is Villages round answers to the Four Merchant, and can sell you weapons, upgrades and recipes so you can craft your own ammo. Treasures you find (everywhere!) He buys willingly. You can even get permanently increased health by catching fish and hunting pigs. However, this particular element is mostly a disturbing moment. The animals are neatly marked on the map and you just have to go there and shoot them.
Ready and paid. And crap.
The arsenal is not the fattest either, but just about every part comes in handy. I’m juggling the gun and the shotgun. With sweaty fingers, I try to get headshots with the pickadoll, but when the werewolves get too close, I switch to the shotgun. As the ammunition – especially at first – is rare, I whine every time a hairy beast shuns my swarm of hail. Mines in narrow corridors are meaty poetry and the sniper rifle lowers winged zombies (!). Yep, there are more than werewolves in this den. The bosses are many and often absurd. That’s the way it should be, I think when the magnum revolver is hauled forward to lower another larger than life boss.
The story is also absurd, which is also exactly as it should be. It is skillfully told throughout the game with several insane twists. However, the air goes out of some of the answers to the big questions. Some are just torn down while others have barely been rebuilt. It’s a shame, even if Ethan’s family story touches and touches all the way. That is, after all, what counts as he is the hub of the abnormal sea.
the tale of Resident Evil continues and this time the fear is not as deep, while the chaos in turn has been screwed up to max. Some tricks feel done (and done) but are trumped by a Capcom in high form who gapes after a lot and wins most things.
Roll a werewolf
with some of these weapon favorites
- Lemi – Your first weapon (apart from the poor knife) may not be a powder keg, but when you reach the end of the road after 12-13 hours, you will realize that the pistol was a dear companion. Not least as a constant backup plan.
- F2 Rifle – The sniper rifle works great against the game’s flying animal, whose official Swedish name should be “wild whistles”. It tickles nicely in the coffin to even blow up werewolf heads at a distance of thirty meters.
- Wolfsbane – That this is the werewolf’s worst enemy is heard in the name. However, the magnum revolver is the game’s most powerful weapon and wasting the silver bullets on smaller werewolves might not have been your best idea…
Less creepy horror, more sweaty action. Resident Evil continues to rule, despite a couple of slips.