Resident Evil Village turned out exactly what was expected of it: a larger and improved seventh part in all respects. If that’s all you wanted to know about the game before its release, then we can assure you: Capcom has a competent horror action movie. True, without the slightest claim to be innovative or other revelations. And now – in detail.
Sometimes you involuntarily begin to sympathize with the developers. Have you ever tried to put yourself in the shoes of the team that needs to create the twenty-sixth part of one of the most famous video game franchises? Reboots, remakes, relaunches and other tricks are used to dress up a familiar doll in new dresses. At the same time, it is necessary to somehow preserve identity and recognition.
Capcom has used all the tools at once: the classic parts of the series receive high-quality remakes, and the new ones appear in the form of a new line of “soft relaunches”. In the seventh part, Resident Evil has successfully mastered the first-person perspective. Village reinforces this result, but without the wow effect. Rather, the developers tried to surprise the players with others.
That very famous frame turned out to be not a pre-renderer: it happens on the game engine. And looks amazing
After all, the change of clothes was not limited to only one prospect. The Japanese developers have radically shaken up the foundations of the series, and changed the setting. Now he is not closed on himself, but freely travels through the legacy of the horror genre, which he managed to acquire over the decades of its existence. The wet and dirty swamps of the American hinterland are firmly associated with the slashers to which Resident Evil 7 referred us . The eighth part similarly makes sweeping curtsies in the direction of vampire horror films like “Van Helsing” – a gothic castle on the top of a mountain, an impoverished village under it and near-vampiristic ghouls of all stripes as opponents.
I’m not Resident Evil anymore, I’m Van Helsing!
The reasons for this change in exposure are clear: Resident Evil has never followed such paths . More importantly, it all looks atmospheric and even at least authentic. The writers tried to braid the plot knots on everything that is inherent in the series: sinister corporations are in place, as well as it is not clear what viruses are doing with living organisms. Yes, now these viruses do not make zombies out of people, but ghouls, animals are turned into a kind of werewolves, but … Why not? If you take the monocle out of your eye and relax your facial muscles, you can not only come to terms with this, but even be able to enjoy it. This rule applies to the entire scenario as a whole: here it is strictly functional and fulfills a mandatory program. Don’t wait for revelations from the Village plot: Narrative designers shifted the focus to a completely different direction – to the abundance of curious characters like Lady Dimitrescu and purely gameplay situations.
It’s a real shame for hardworking screenwriters to start tracking Ethan Winters’s reactions to what’s going on. His Vietnamese flashbacks have not yet released him from the scuffle with the Bakers, as the guy again gets into some cheap horror movie. It would seem like the right moment to break through the fourth wall, but no. Ethan swears in very ordinary phrases like unsure “Wh-what the hell?” and laments that everyone around him is dying again. Deal with it, dude. You are in the sequel! And your creators simply did not dare to dilute these serious cabbage soup to absurdity with a drop of self-irony.
The gameplay of Resident Evil Village has remained exactly the same as the “seven” was, but it has become much more ambitious, and the developers are now juggling situations even more dexterously. Game sequences are constantly changing: as soon as a gamer gets tired of rummaging around in search of activated items, a brisk action begins. After a tense episode, methodical exploration will certainly resume, or the player will be thrown some simple puzzle.
The severed limbs Ethan forgot how to be surprised, it seems, for good.
As soon as you think that you have guessed the whole sequence of alternations of these sequences, the developers will suddenly turn 180 degrees: for example, they will take away Ethan’s weapon and arrange a small Layers of Fear in a chamber location . Well, and then in that spirit. Of course, an experienced gamer is unlikely to be able to truly surprise at least some number of this funny attraction, but it works purely on a mechanical level: it doesn’t get tired of playing, and there is always a slight feeling of “undernourishment” – you want to go a little further.
What if you promised the players 12 hours of gameplay, but the game came out shorter? Block off a couple of obvious paths on the map and have the gamer rummage around all corners
Structurally, the game has remained exactly the same as it has been for most of the series’ existence. Ethan arrived in the mysterious village for a reason – he needs (wow) to find his kidnapped daughter, but then Capcom tried to somehow stand out. The girl will have to collect literally in parts, hidden in different regions of the world of Resident Evil Village . These zones differ from each other in mood: the luxurious decoration of the castle is replaced by the vanity and poverty of village life, and that, in turn, by cramped caves or gully frozen swamps. All locations are uneven among themselves in terms of travel time: somewhere you have to spend about three to four hours, others are completed in an hour or two. But one way or another, the environment is constantly changing – and also does not let you get bored.
Each such zone is traversed according to a pattern familiar to all Resident Evil fans : the ancient duck-egg-hare model. You have to carefully examine all the corners in search of various interesting gizmos that can be applied to other gizmos in order to gain access to the third and then fourth order gizmos. The secret of success, as a rule, lies in careful study of locations – every corner of them must be literally sniffed around. There are practically no problems with the logic of using objects. Somewhere between this important activity, the player will shoot back from ghouls, find items for crafting, stock up on a merchant, perform optional tasks to explore the world and solve puzzles.
True, from the puzzles this time, well, just one name remained. You will definitely not find anything that will make at least two convolutions move in your head: most problems are solved already at the stage of a superficial check of possible options. However, it is probably for the better: the boring part of finding a solution is removed, and the positive emotions from the realization of one’s own ingenuity remain in place. The main thing is to remember less that this was the intention of the developers.
If I show a puzzle from Skyrim, would you believe that the puzzle is really too simple here?
But what really pleasantly surprises is the graphics. From Resident Evil Village excellent refutation of the widely accepted among the people turned the view that in recent years the picture in games virtually unchanged. It’s enough just to compare it with Resident Evil 7to make sure: at a distance of four years, all these small changes and improvements merge into one perfectly distinguishable picture. Everything has become noticeably better in visuals: from the environment and effects to art direction. At first, the models and animation of NPCs even delight: absolutely living characters with active facial expressions are rendered on the game engine in real time, they gesticulate animatedly and throw completely human glances at the player. Of course, in some places developers still save resources, and it is better not to pay close attention to individual objects.
30 minutes of Resident Evil Village gameplay. Source: Boss Fight Database
Unfortunately, on the chart, the entire list of things that the Resident Evil Village can surprise a gamer with is exhausted. It delivers familiar, market-tested gameplay with neat enhancements. This is not even a horror, but rather a competently assembled first-person adventure game that can scare the gamer just a few times during the entire playthrough, and truly delight – and even less. But, on the other hand, she also does not get bored. It’s like I’ve come to gawk at a new part of the popcorn blockbuster on duty at the cinema in full awareness of what you’ll get. Even so, however, one cannot shake the feeling that with this approach Capcom will soon need another soft restart.