Initial release date: April 18, 2021
Series: Resident Evil
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows
Publishers: Capcom, Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Capcom has been UNSTOPABLE since 2017’s release of Resident Evil VII – biohazard which saw not only the franchise coming back into being a heavy hitter but also a full resurgence of Capcom as a whole as we saw the release of Monster Hunter World that same year and the return of Mega Man the following year with Mega Man 11 and then the juggernauts that were Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry V. Resident Evil VII took the series back into the first person perspective and gave us a brand new protagonist in Ethan Winters in what felt initially like a reboot of the series and a return to horror vs the Michael Bay bombastic natures of Resident evil 4,5, and 6. RE VII was one of the best games in the franchise and a great return to form for Capcom yet one very common complaint is that the game was too scary and especially in VR (which I absolutely loved) and because of this many fans of the franchise refused to play the game. Here we are 4 years after that entry with its follow-up in Resident Evil Village which returns us to the first person perspective and attempts to give us all of the best parts of RE VII without the negatives that bogged down that game for the mainstream; does it succeed? Let’s find out!
Resident Evil: Village picks up 3 years following the horrific events in Louisiana following the Baker family in Resident Evil: Biohazard. Ethan and Mia Winters have moved to Europe and have a daughter named Rosemary and are dealing with the trauma that they experienced with the Eve incident. Ethan and Mia are constantly arguing and have not been able to truly move forward in their relationship and effectively their lives as a whole. Shortly after Ethan puts Rose to sleep in her crib, a special ops group shoots up their house hitting Mia several times and then Chris Redfield, the man who ended Albert Wesker and the old Umbrella corporation, ruthlessly murders Mia in front of Ethan and takes Rose away with his team referring to her as the “subject” and capturing Ethan in the process. When Ethan awakens, he is left stranded in a snowy area with no where to go except towards an abandoned village and a terrifying castle.
The story of having a father who’s willing to go to any length to get his daughter back is honestly the second time I’ve experienced such a dynamic in a game since NieR Gestalt with papa Nier. The duality of the goals of the main character Ethan Winters and Mother Miranda being effectively the same is actually quite incredible and some of the best story telling that Capcom have done in a game, let alone a RE game, ever.
If you’ve played Resident Evil VII then you’ll be right at home here as the gameplay is almost entirely lifted and placed into Village with a few exceptions of bringing back a merchant with almost the exact same functionality as the merchant from Resident Evil 4 with a few alterations here and there. What sets Village apart from all other entries (including RE VII to an extent) is it’s semi-OpenWorld design that actually begs for you to explore every nook and cranny that you see even though the game is technically on rails of where it wants you to go and how you complete the 4 houses; it still gives you many many side sections for you to dive into as you see fit and how you want with numerous rewards for exploring and puzzle solving.