Ethan’s Back- Resident Evil Village

Time for more first person super soldier action.

Let me preface this by saying I loved Resident Evil 7. I hate horror/scary games but when I finally cracked and played it, I had a ton of fun. So my expectations for Resident Evil Village were pretty darn high to say the least.

Today’s post is going to be different. I’m going to review the game, but I’m also going to go into detail about how I felt about it story wise. That being said…

there will be spoilers.

Also this has been in the works for awhile. I’ve been holding on to it so I can best explain my thoughts.

What You Need to Know

Resident Evil Village takes place three years after the events of RE7. Ethan and his woman are chilling post horrific southern hospitality and are hoping to start a new life. It’s a Resident Evil game so that new life stuff never works out.

Help Ethan Winters on his quest to survive a frozen European village ravaged by werewolves and big vampire ladies. Hope you’re ready for your trip folks, it’s going to be a rough one.

Gameplay

Resident Evil Village plays exactly like Resident Evil 7. For those of you who haven’t played it, RE7 was a departure from the shooter vibes of Resident Evil 4-6 and went back to a traditional survival horror experience. You play as Ethan Winters, your average Joe, who’s tasked with surviving against hordes of malicious creatures. No biggie.

The core gameplay loot is inventory management in order to survive. You find herbs that you can mix to heal yourself, you scrounge for ammo for your large variety of weapons, and you craft resources. The mixture of Ethan being a random person, not a trained zombie killer, combined with the scrounging of resources makes this gameplay so solid. You don’t have infinite ammo, you don’t regenerate health, and you most certainly don’t punch boulders. You will be spending plenty of time with your hands up to block incoming damage. That being said, your antagonists don’t care who you are. They’ll kill you either way.

The Duke is merciful and helpful.

While you explore the village, you will encounter a few different types of enemies. You face off against Lycans, vampires and flying vampires (I didn’t know how to describe them). The enemies are more numbered this time; some sections will have you facing off against many foes who will get in your face and bite your neck gruesomely. Not to mention the foes are pretty aggressive dodging your bullets then rushing you. Quite the departure from your typical zombie experience we’ve had in the past. There are boss fights, but I don’t want to spoil them for now.

Now, RE8 does introduce a nice change of pace. The game world feels pretty open with plenty of secrets for you to discover. Players can complete objectives at their pace. You can find hidden weapons, treasures and even hunt animals to cook food for. Cooking does have benefits for you so cook it up. Head to the Duke to spend your hard earned coinage and upgrade your arsenal. There are cool little puzzles called Labyrinths that require you to guide a little ball through a replica of locales throughout the game. They start off easy, progressively get harder, but if you can complete them, it’ll grant you a large cash opportunity… so do them.

In conclusion, RE8 is RE7 but in a different locale.

Review (SPOILERS INBOUND)

When I was brainstorming how I wanted to write this up, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this with or without story pieces in it. That being said, I feel like I have to include it in order to capture my feelings towards this game.

I think RE8 does a lot of things right. The world feels a lot more open than recent entries, and it incentivizes you exploring. Head to x spot on the map and you’ll find the Wolfsbane Revolver: a one hit wonder weapon to Lycans. The game still manages to nail the survival/horror aspect pretty well, although if you sit there and think about how much damage Ethan takes, it doesn’t any sense at all.

Back on track, the game is gorgeous. The survival/horror mixture wouldn’t work as well if the world wasn’t hauntingly beautiful. You’ll pass through destroyed huts in the frozen tundra, dark castle hallways haunted by vampires, Ethan’s hands are bloodied and tattered as he puts them up to block damage, guns look well detailed. It all looks so good, and it goes even further when you look off into the distance as you’ll see castles and mountaintops so well detailed. Not to mention when enemies get in your face, you’ll see their nasty razor sharp teeth and bloodied bodies are proceed to pump them full of lead. There is a photo mode, but for some reason it wouldn’t let me take photos of enemies (or maybe I’m just dumb).

It’s cold out there.

The game takes about 10 hours to finish. My play through lasted 9.5 hours, and that’s with me doing as many puzzles and finding as many hidden objects as possible. Once you beat the game, you can try out the Mercenaries mode, go back and find the treasures, kill the mini bosses and tackle the different challenges tasking you to do things out of the norm. While you do all that, go fishing!

If you liked RE7, then RE8 follows the pretty much the same nature. On a gameplay side, I liked it. Now story wise… not so much.

This is where my spoilers start.

I think the biggest confusion point in the newer resident Evil titles is the story/timeline. Resident Evil 7 pretty much created its own story with the “T-Virus” being replaced by a Eveline, a little girl who uses mold to control and infect people. Okay fine.

Resident Evil 8 continues that story, but it just doesn’t feel right this time around. Three years afterwards, Ethan is trying to put the pieces together with his wife and daughter, obviously the peace is gets ruined by Chris Redfield, and your daughter is kidnapped. You meet the new group of baddies, Mother Miranda and her four children, one of the most well known (from trailers) Lady Dimitrescu, who have taken your child. Okay sure.

What follows, in my opinion, is just a non fluent story experience.

You fight Dimitrescu early on and kill her, which when I did that, I thought the game was over just to find out there was still eight more hours of story to go through. For a villain who seemed to be the focal point of marketing and every gamers dream, it was weird to see the marketed villain be run down so quickly.

Following your fight with Lady D, Ethan discovers his daughter is dead and separated into four flasks. She can be “restored” by collecting all of the flasks, which then has Ethan mow through the rest of Miranda’s children for the flasks. This is where I started to get lost.

As you approach the 75% percent completion of the story, you find out a couple of things. Ethan’s daughter has powers similar to Eveline of RE7, so she’s not really dead. You also find out that Ethan is actually dead; Ethan actually died during the events of RE7, but Eveline’s powers brought him back to life and gave him regenerative powers. He’s used too much of his powers, but has just enough time to bring his daughter back.

You find out more about Mother Miranda: her daughter died from the Spanish flu and Miranda spent years trying to bring her back after coming into contact with the Megamycete, ended up creating her children, the Lycan species, Eveline from RE7, and even mentored Oswell Spencer, who used the knowledge to create the T-Virus. Ethan saves the day, dies, and the end.

Now that I spoiled the entire story, I can fairly say that I wasn’t feeling it. I think for me personally, the concept of Ethan being dead but being alive because he gained powers felt like a cop out. It makes sense in the grand scheme of him never dying no matter what happens to him, but it didn’t sit right with me. I think another issue is the fact that RE8 feels like it should’ve came before RE7, and I find it really hard to explain that train of thought, but it just makes sense to me.

Spooky Village.

Would I recommend this game? From a gameplay standpoint, I would. I think Village plays it really safe by not changing the gameplay formula up, but the little things like making a larger open world with plenty of secrets is neat. Oh and fishing/hunting! A man’s gotta provide for himself somehow.

Story wise is where I’d have to say wait a bit for it. The general consensus among my friends was the story wasn’t that good, and in my personal opinion, there’s two different timelines going on, and Capcom hasn’t committed to any of one story line which makes it confusing. I will say that at E3 2021 they did announce that they were working on DLC for the game, which I hope will be story related.

Of course this is all my opinion, and I’d like to know what you think!

 


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