Resident Evil Village Review
By: Justin Hopkins
Resident Evil 8 Village has finally arrived and I was all kinds of excited for it. Follow up to the fantastic Resident Evil: Biohazard and the stellar work they did with the remakes, I couldn’t wait for this game. Plus, it was getting to dodge all of the promotional and advertisement for it. Which I was nearly spot on doing, although, not completely. Lady Dimitrescu certainly made the rounds online. Some good, with some great cosplays and fanart and some very wrong ways, but the game is here and now that I have played my way through, lets discuss shall we.
Game kicks off with an animated Fairy Tale, which turns out is being read by Mia to her baby Rose, much to Ethan’s chagrin. Still hung up on the events if what happened 3 years prior in Louisiana. After we put the kid to bed, we get into an argument with Mia, who just wants to move on. Which is interrupted by her being riddled with bullets and special ops rush in, being led by Chris. Whop take Ethan and baby rose. After a quick flashback, of another argument between Ethan and Mia, where she is about to tell us something, only he is interrupted by a call from work. When we come to, the car we were being taken in has been flipped, agent is dead and Rose is gone. So, down the trail we go. Coming out over a rampaged village, with a castle looming overhead. Finding a knife and a villager lives long enough to give us a pistol, before being killed by a Lycans. Managing to take him and another down, which sets off a siege. Despite, finding a shotgun, I elect to run around like a lunatic, to preserve ammo, not needing a Resident Evil 5 situation again. Using the ammo when needed and burning the clock to them leaving and enter The Hag. Who was kind enough to lock us in where we needed to be. After a bit of stumbling around, we find some Villagers, who are killed during a cutscene when the one turns, but lucky for us, we get a screwdriver and the crest we need out if the whole situation. Which allows us to gain access to the castle, only to be kidnapped by a guy who can manipulate metal with his mind. Taking us down with easy and dragging us off to the family. Who are arguing over who gets to kill Ethan Heisenberg won, but we escape his little track and manage to backtrack to where we were grabbed. Starting off to the main castle where we were greeted by The Duke, this games merchant. A jolly guy who knows more than what he says, but as long as he sells me ammo, he can take his time. Finally getting into the castle and started destroying the valuable, till we are yet again, whisked away by the three sisters, who stab us with sickles, and drag us to their Mother, Lady Dimitrescu. Who hang us on the walls and goes to inform Mother Miranda. Leaving us time to mangle Ethan’s hands that much more to escape. Starting to explore, loot and try to find the Bedroom Chambers. Where Rose might be held. Along the way, we learn that the sister’s are made vulnerable to the cold, and manage to take one of them out. When we learn that Rose isn’t here. Our objective changes and we are now looking for masks to escape. Dealing with the two remaining sisters, staying one step ahead of the roaming Lady Dimitrescu. Once we manage to get the doors open, it’s boss fight time, with the mutated version of Lady Dimitrescu. In a fight that felt like should have been harder. Regardless we get a treasure and a dirty flask. Moving back toward the village, The Duke informs us that we have indeed found Rose, a part of her anyways, her head to be exact, inside the flask. After finding a part to add to the key, he tells us the score. That Rose can be saved, but we must collect the three remining flasks, from the three remining Lords; Beneviento, Moreau. and Heisenberg, and that is where I will leave this for now.
This game is absolutely stunning. Right from the start, you get a really fun and pretty animation style for The Village of Shadows. When you stumble onto the Village. The scenery shot of the looming castle overlooking the small village was breathtaking. From the Rustic down trodden design of the village. The décor and architecture of the castle was stellar. The light and shadows blended through and glistening gold trim that was around the rooms. With the dank, claustrophobic sensation when you were running around the dungeon and basements. Quaint, beauty and unnerving feeling that lingered over Beneviento’s Dollhouse. Along with the swamp and the factory. They delivered on the graphics and arty department throughout and deserve the highest of praises for their work.
They really hit it out of the park when it came to the cast of characters in this game. Heisenberg oozed charisma, to the point I was upset that Ethan didn’t agree to team up with him. Moreau was both grotesque and sad. Seriously, felt bad when he was screaming out for Mother throughout the fight. That carried over to the sisters, Bela, Cassandra and Daniela. Besides just being fun little side bosses. When they were in trouble and started begging felt genuinely sad. Lady Dimitrescu got a loot of attention going in, for good reason. She was an awesome villain. An imposing figure to say the least and although her A.I didn’t feel like it was on the same level of Mr. X, but if she did catch up, her attack was devastating. Really wish she had more screen time, but for my money, Donna Beneviento was the best of the bunch. Her area was staged perfectly. Ramping up to the suspense and building on the psychological aspects was done to perfection and stole the show and I haven’t even talked about Mother Miranda yet. Who made for an intense final boss, who was a nightmare to everyone beneath her. Heisenberg saying that everyone, from him and the Lords to the people in the village have all been subjected to her terrible experiments, all to bring back her long deceased Daughter. Showing just how cruel and dark this desperate women would take things. Them you throw on characters like The Duke, a returning Chris Redfield, the Hag, and the constant mix-up of “Cannon Fodder” Monsters, made for a terrific ensemble.
All of this was made possible by the strong performances from the Voice Cast. Maggie Robertson was excellent as Lady Dimitrescu. Speaking with Class and sophistication that Lady Dimitrescu carries herself with. Nicole Tompkins, Jeanette Maus and Bekka Prewitt were great fun as the Sisters. Paula Rhodes was terrifying as Angie the Doll. Neil Newborn gave so much swagger and character to Heisenberg. Aaron LaPlante made Duke feel like the larger than life character that he is. Andi Norris may have had only one line as Beneviento, but I have so much love for that part of the game, I am shouting her out anyways, and so many many more. They put together a great cast who pumped so much love into each of their characters.
Spoiler time, Adding the bit that Spencer had been to the village, and Mother Miranda’s work with the Mold is what inspired him to create Umbrella and the T-Virus is an interesting choice that works for me. I appreciate the end they had so much they created and it actually caught me off guard. We have seen characters take a beating, but to have the twist with Ethan being dead. Dying at the hands of Jack at the start of Resident Evil 7, and this whole time, the mold has been keeping him alive was not only well done, but a needed one that took the story and elevated it to another level.
They needed that Jolt, because Ethan was a terrible Protagonist to have here. He worked so well in Seven, because they made it with VR in mind. Kept his personality next to none, because you were getting into the game and becoming Ethan. Something they did not have here. One step forward, even if you didn’t play VR. He was a new character, stuck in a house and dealing with all of this from new eyes and everything was shocking and could play to naivety. That doesn’t work here. He just says dumb things and started annoying me right from the start when he was complaining about the Village of Shadows story. They were aiming for a sad ending, but I was happy when he died and we got the play as Chris. Would have been happy to have ended the story with Chris, but as long as this is the end of Ethan’s road. Glad to move on from him. He isn’t the worst character, still better than Steve, but not mourning his loss. To be honest, think they could have kept everything with his sacrifice the same, but made Mia the main character at the end to fight Miranda may have worked better or just had Mia be the main character throughout.
A much smaller negative. they could have cut back on the number of puzzles. I know puzzles are a mainstay and should keep some, but when you have a Piano Puzzle, where all you have to do is slap buttons till you hit the right ones. That is not a puzzle. Just put the key on one of the Sisters, it’s fine and not just spam piano keys.
Despite the lackluster protagonists and tiny bits of negativity that really aren’t worth mentioning. The Pros far outweigh the cons. Resident Evil Village is still a great game. With gorgeous graphics and art design. A pretty decent blend of horror and action. Along with some great characters, I would strongly suggest picking up Resident Evil Village. Can’t wait for RE:Verse and where the series goes from here. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.