And now for something different.
Since I’ve been lucky enough to have gathered a somewhat sizable audience by now (at least one that’s bigger than I ever thought it’d be), I feel like we should be honest with each other. I usually do not play horror games and the reason is quite simple: I scare easily. There, I said it! I, the Pretend Gamer, am a scaredy-cat. I think the technical term is pussy but I’m not sure. As a consequence, the entirety of the Resident Evil series has been off-limits to me. At least until now.
This will blow many of you away (although it shouldn’t given what I just said) but Resident Evil Village is not only the first Resident Evil game I have ever finished but it is also the first one I have ever personally played. I have fond memories of watching one of my friends play through Resident Evil 4 but it never made me jump into the series. Again, I don’t like to be scared so the series was not on the menu.
So, what changed? Well, to put it simply, I was intrigued by the medieval European setting of Village. I’m a sucker for castles, Resident Evil Village has a nice-looking castle, and so I made the decision to put my big boy pants on and give the game a go. More than likely the medieval-like setting of Village reminded me of 4 and the time I used to spend with my friends playing and watching them play video games. Whatever the reason, however, I have now played through and finished Resident Evil Village and I’m here today to talk about it.
You’ve probably gathered by now, from your superb reading skills, that Resident Evil Village is a horror game. For only the second time in the series’ history, Village is played from a first-person perspective which I thought would make it scarier. There were a few areas of the game which had me on the edge of my seat (I’m looking at you House Beneviento) but, for the most part, it wasn’t as scary as I had feared it’d be. I would say that if you’re like me and you’re at least a little teensy bit interested in the game then you should try it out. Just know that I’m not responsible if you have a heart attack. Seriously though, fuck that House Beneviento.
I guess I should give you all the setup of the story before I go on, shouldn’t I? Resident Evil Village stars one Ethan Winters who was the protagonist of Resident Evil VII as well. Long story short, he and his family moved to Europe following the events of VII, someone has kidnapped his wife and daughter, and now he has to navigate his way through an unnamed village (seriously, they never say what the name of the place is) in order to save them.
The story was fine for the most part but I have to be honest and say that I only really enjoyed it when it fully embraced absurdity and not when it tried to be serious. I just couldn’t take it seriously whenever it tried to be emotional. Luckily for me, the main cast of villains is absurdity personified so there was plenty of that to go around.
There are four main villains (with one big bad over all of them) in Village. From the moment they’re first introduced, you just know that you’re in for one hell of a ride. They’re all introduced at the same time and the sparks start flying immediately. They each have their own personalities and bring their own quirks to the table. Lady Dimitrescu is probably the most famous of the villains due to the game’s marketing campaign but the other three are formidable in their own right. They’re certainly not all created equal but they get the job done.
Each of the four big bads control their own portion of the map and you have to take each of them down in order to save Rose, Ethan’s daughter. Although you can travel freely across the hub sections of the map, you cannot choose which villain you go after first because, in what I understand to be true Resident Evil fashion, you’ll need to collect certain keys to unlock certain doors in a certain order. This keeps the game from being a true open world experience which is fine in my book since I’m kind of burned out on open world games at the moment.
Before we move on, I would like to commend the developers specifically for the in-game map. The map in the menu is pretty awesome because it is both color-coded and shows which key works with what door. The colors indicate whether or not you’ve found every object within a building or room and it is easily one of the best features I’ve seen in a video game. I’m always worried that I’ve missed something in video games and boy am I glad that Resident Evil Village tells me if I’m still missing something in a particular room. I’m also glad that it marked the required keys for each door on the map so I didn’t waste my time travelling to the wrong door once I had gotten a new key. Anyways, back to the villains!
As I said, each of the four villains have their own section of the map. Village not only changes it up by providing a new antagonist for each section but it also changes the gameplay to a certain degree as well. There’s the hide and seek dynamic of facing off against Lady Dimitrescu, the horror elements of House Beneviento, and the more action-oriented feel to the later levels. All of this kept the game from feeling monotonous which is greatly appreciated.
Oh, and how could I not mention Duke the Merchant. He was one of my favorite characters since he always had something to say about the goings-on in the village and, more importantly, because he sold some sorely needed items. He always seemed to pop up whenever I needed him the most which made me an even bigger fan of his than I already was. He reminded me a lot of the merchant from RE 4 who also always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
I was mostly happy to see Duke because I was always in need of ammunition. Why is that, you ask? Well, as I said, Resident Evil Village is a survival horror game which means you’re supposed to use your ammo wisely. I, however, was on edge the whole time so let’s just say I used more ammunition than is probably advised. In my defense, most enemies required way too many bullets to kill. Seriously, some of these guys would take so many damn bullets. I would get lucky sometimes and shoot an enemy in the head and even then they still wouldn’t die! Now, how fair is that? I enjoyed the shooting for the most part but I think we can all agree that a few enemies took way too many shots to kill.
I do have to mention a few technical issues I had with the game before I go, however. They weren’t serious game-breaking type issues but I still have to mention them here. I am not one of the lucky ones who have a PS5 or an Xbox Series X so I had to settle for playing it on my lowly PS4 Pro. Which is fine! It still looked pretty to my peasant eyes. The only thing that bothered me about the experience was that textures would sometimes load in late or improperly.
Additionally, the menu would sometimes take a few seconds to load. This is a nitpick of mine and I’ve noticed that that’s become more of an issue in newer games. Why does the menu need time to load? Can anyone answer that question for me? I seriously don’t know why this is a thing in games nowadays.
Now, I would like to conclude this here discussion about Resident Evil Village by bringing the conversation back around to the protagonist Ethan. I was not a big fan of his when I started playing the game. He says some real whiny shit during the opening hours of Village. After a few of his more annoying lines, I thought to myself, “You know, Ethan is a real punk ass bitch.” I didn’t think I could stand listening to anymore of his dialogue and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish the game.
But, as I continued playing, I saw Ethan get stabbed, cut, thrown, and have all manner of crazy things happen to him. I started to think that Ethan was an alright guy after all. Then I thought about how I was scared to simply open a door because I was worried about what was going to happen. And then it hit me: maybe it was I who was the punk ass bitch all along.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! Have you played Resident Evil Village? Did you like it? Hate it? No opinion one way or another? Let me know down below!