Resident Evil Village - PS5 Review

Resident Evil Village
by developer Capcom and publisher Capcom USASony PlayStation 5 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Following the path set up before it with Capcom's Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Resident Evil Village, aka Resident Evil 8, returns to Ethan Winters' misadventures through a world filled with mutated horrors. Having moved from the United States to a remote European location, it doesn't take long for life to go sideways and once again pick up a gun in order to attempt to save those that he loves.

While I appreciate what RE7 had done by going to a first person view and adding to the horror elements, Village takes those aspects and blends them with elements reminiscent of RE 4-5-6. There's action, there's horror, there's puzzle solving, and there's metroidvania-ness written all over it with some over the top boss fights that you always have to wonder if you have enough ammo to plow through it. Further upping the ante is the change in location as unlike the wet and humid climate of Louisiana's Bayou, this cold Northern European climate will have a whole new set of challenges including a giant castle filled with Vampires.

Now in a sign of good design, once I loaded everything up I had a really hard time putting it down. While maybe not the longest title once you get your final total on a clear data save where I clocked in right under nine hours, this was more a twenty hour adventure but even then it never felt like it. The adventure as a whole like RE7 is in one location that opens up as you push forwards but there's always something a little new in the places already visited once you come back. New weapons, treasures, and even new enemies at times.

The reason that this is more a twenty hour adventure instead of a nine hour one is because of all the trial and errors of what works or what doesn't. Spent too much ammo? Could always reload to the previous save or auto save to try something else. Died? You won't have the choice but to do the same thing. It adds up but it's a part of the adventure. As for the pacing though, when you're in a segment it can feel proper as you're constantly moving forwards and looking for the way out or the way to the boss. Outside these moments some could find it slow and disjointed if they don't like looking for collectibles and loot but for me? I wanted to stick up and found these moments of reprieve something to look forward to.

One thing that I really appreciated with that overall design is that unlike its predecessor and a lot of other more recent titles out there, it doesn't overstay its welcome. It starts, it tells its story in four parts, it ends. The other thing that I appreciated with its design is that unlike RE7 taking place on a family’s estate, Village takes place in an actual Village containing several other surrounding areas such as a gothic castle, a manufacturing factory, a dam and a creepy ass house up on a secluded hill that often had me wanting to “nope” right out of there. Each of these environments both feel different and offer a different set of challenges in order to make your way through it.

To help making your way through these locations is the return of an actual merchant known as the Duke. The Duke will buy, sell, and even cook you food for permanent upgrades to your health and your defense if you bring him some of the local livestock such as chickens, pigs and fish if you dive into the water to catch them. Most weapons will be stuff that you find between the various locations but the Duke will have access to some upgrades to these weapons as well as a way to increase your inventory space if you feel like you’re starting to run short, or, if you have multiple types of pistols and shotguns, well, sell a few off and you can always buy them back later if you need to.

The real interesting part of the implementation of the Duke is that with the already enlarged inventory space, a safebox has been removed from the equation. If it doesn’t fit, you’ll need to get rid of it or save up a bit of cash to buy one of those expansions. I honestly didn’t realize it until halfway through which is when I realized, if done well, you don’t need the safebox at all. The way around this is that key items, keys, cards, cranks, wheels to turn wells, all of these aren’t part of your default inventory but instead are under another tab never having to make you worry about trying to figure out what you do or do not need on hand. After having come straight in from RE7, this was fantastic.

Perhaps one of the two biggest issues that I had with Resident Evil Village are the same that I had with Resident Evil 7. This issue is that unlike the rest of the series' recurring protagonists of Chris, Jill, Claire and Leon, Ethan gets lost with the rest of the powerful personalities on the stage from both returning voices and the new ones presented with the crew acting as the title’s antagonists. A good first person design will work around this with the dialog and perhaps banter, but Ethan both doesn't really say that much and when he actually does, it’s almost campy and out of place belonging more in an actual B-Horror setting. Ethan for lack of a better everything is your vessel into this world without a personality and the overall experience suffers from this especially with the appearance of series veteran Chris Redfield.

I did until nearly the end of the game have a second issue, however, to get into that would not only be potentially a game breaking spoiler, but it would also spoil a fair amount of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. That said, this issue was solved with some key information if you get far enough into the title.

Finally, once you’ve made it to the end, watched the credits, and saved your data, you are given points for having completed objectives over the course of the adventure. These points can be used to buy new weapons, unlock infinite ammo, unlock figures and concept art, and finally, unlock the Mercenaries Mode. Mercenaries was… interesting. Take the scary out of the equation and basically throw Ethan into a Resident Evil 6 Chris Redfield like scenario which is all about the running and gunning down of enemies in a certain amount of time. The faster you do it and the better your score. The closer that you take enemies out one after another, the higher your combos and thus the higher your score. It’s a neat little addition to the overall, but it may not be enough to keep people around for long as it really is a single player affair.


Overall though, Resident Evil Village is a fantastic entry into the realm of Resident Evil. It continues the storyline, it causes more questions than it answers, it allows for future entries to pick up from both the pre and post credits, and it was fun. Do I wish that Ethan Winters had more personality like our once again returning Chris Redfield? Yes. Was it enough to take me away from the gorgeous mountain views and the terrifying creepy haunted mansion on a hill? No, it sadly wasn’t and I really never want to see that house again!

Score: 8.5 / 10



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