Our initial thoughts on Resident Evil Village
I was left at the edge of my seat while watching the gameplay videos of Resident Evil Village. I couldn’t help but squirm as I’m reminded of how awful it was to live in the medieval period. There’s nothing else to be seen in the dungeon, but blood, maggots, and a horde of torture devices. What’s even more unnerving are the victims inside the prison cells, which I will not further elaborate. Trust me when I say this, but you wouldn’t want to see it.
And it’s not only in these dark alleyways where the player experiences that heightened sense of fear. Even areas filled with light would make your skin crawl.
In fact this was something missing in the other recent entries. Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 and 3: Remake relied on a chaotic atmosphere to bring dread. Resident Evil Village brought back the series’ traditional roots of mixing chaos and order and at the same time instilling fear to the player.
Such a creepy atmosphere was further enhanced by the game’s graphics. In fact, watching the gameplay videos would make you wish that you had a theatre that houses a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X. The RE Engine which has been a masterpiece introduced by Capcom has now reached a new level. It looked more detailed compared to the 7th installment and given its PS5 and Xbox Series compatibility, it will even be better than the 2nd installment’s remake.
However it’s not just the graphics that left me in awe. The sound design as well needs to be lauded. While watching the Maiden storyline, I was left impressed with how Capcom used the environment to heighten that sense of dread. Inside the dungeon, you can clearly feel the maiden’s horrified state as you’re forced to touch the metal doors of each prison. Even the sound of chains could rattle you as you’re reminded that someone is looking after you inside the dark corridors.
And not even the luxuriousness of the mansion could serve as paradise as the main antagonists are currently stationed in that area. Inside the mansion, you could hear an additional footstep while you walk. You might even ask, where did it came from? Even the sound of the fireplace could creep under your skin.
In fact, the beauty of the Maiden lies on its minimalism which reminded me of those Asian horror films. I will never forget that scene in the film Kairo where the ghost was just staring at his victim. It didn’t have any jumpscares. It was only the music and the environment that enhanced the horror. The same applies with Maiden. The gory atmosphere where blood starts to drool from wine barrels and the sound of acquiring a new item is enough to give me the shivers.
Though the minimalism is commendable, this will not be the main focus of the main game as you’ll have a weapon to defend yourself against an army of werewolves and bugs. The demos are only the icing in the cake as the real action will follow soon. The enemies looked more diversified as compared to the 7th game due to the arrival of the gargantuan monster and a horde of werewolves and I’m hoping that more will come. Even the massive inventory system would further support that claim as you might be forced to purchase more weapons to deal with different enemies.
Though there are positives, there are some concerns that came to my mind.
The main villains have that trickster vibe in them. During the Maiden storyline and I apologize for the spoilers, I felt like my escape was part of their games. I won’t further discuss in detail what happened. It’s up to you to figure out. It reminded me on how the Baker family forced me to be involved in their sadistic games in the previous installment. Is Capcom running out of ideas?
And I could sense this in their gameplay. The first person is now a welcome addition for the series given the success of the 7th installment. The inventory management, the weapon upgrades, and the merchant from the 4th installment, who now goes by the name of Duke, is back. It seems Capcom isn’t afraid to show that they drew heavy inspiration from their previous games. Everyone from the community noted that the game’s cultist and European setting reminds them of the 4th installment. Perhaps Capcom is willing to show that they drew inspiration from their previous games only to surprise us once the final product is released. This might be their way of teasing us that something big is coming.
Overall I could say that based on the gameplay trailers and the demo that the game has a lot of promise and potential. Will it become the greatest Resident Evil game of all time? Trumping the 4th or the 2nd’s Remake is a Herculean task but the tools are already there. The demo is currently out on the PlayStation 5 so you may as well try it out.