In a period with several postponements and a great vacuum of large launches, Resident Evil: Village it is a great ray of sunshine on the distant horizon. Fortunately, the gap is narrowing and soon we will have the new Capcom launch in our hands! But in the meantime, Voxel had access to a preview of the game in an hour-long hands-off (we watched, but didn’t play) and brought our first impressions of the game.
First of all, a few points: the demonstration we saw represents an initial excerpt from Resident Evil: Village (but not the official minutes) and was running on a PlayStation 5. Were you curious to know what to expect from the eighth title in the most famous horror franchise in the world? Come with us!
Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7 merged perfectly
No doubt, resident Evil 4 is one of the most acclaimed games in history, as well as one of the most controversial for fans. Bringing an innovative system for the time, more horizontal exploration, a new inventory mechanic and many elements that gave direction to the franchise, it was a milestone for fans and the industry. However, it was there that the “resident Evil more action ”emerged.
In contrast, Resident Evil 7 was the one who rescued the origins of the series, bringing claustrophobic horror in a new perspective, literally: the first person. Like the fourth game, it also had its share of controversies. Yet, Village plunge headlong into the DNA of each of the titles, highlighting the best of both worlds.
The village implements the tone of RE4 with its inhospitable pale tones, with the arrival of an “outsider” to a world stuck in time. On the opposite side of this spectrum, there is an injection of terror into gambling. At the very beginning we see Ethan sneaking up to reach the village on a frightening trail, arriving at a hut in which many terrifying events happen to the point of leaving us trapped in the chair with so much tension.
Preview: Resident Evil Village mixes RE 4 and 7 with Bloodborne injection
Preview: Resident Evil Village mixes RE 4 and 7 with Bloodborne injection
All of these elements combined create a very rare substance to be seen in games of the genre: daytime terror. The clarity tends to remove the anguish of the unexpected from the shadows and feeds the fearlessness of exploring each corner of the scene with less anguish. However, Capcom was able to take advantage of the atmosphere, which seems to be taken directly from Bloodborne with its gothic ambience full of werewolf enemies.
In a certain section, Ethan has very little ammunition in his inventory and the village seems calm and quiet, but just take a look over the houses to notice several lycans, monsters with canine characteristics, to understand that each alley is not safe: they move and lurking in unexpected places, something that can yield good scares. You can take refuge in some huts and even use barricades with furniture, something familiar to those who like resident Evil 4.
As much as vampires and werewolves are part of the mythology of the eighth title, enemies “infected” with these aspects manage to dose the action well. They are more organized and intelligent than a conventional zombie, but they still bring many elements of the classic undead, with slow movement and a lot of resistance.
I confess that, because it was openly stated that the game is inspired by the fourth game in the series, I expected a more action-oriented experience, something that clearly does not happen. Terror permeates every bit of what I saw and does not leave the player alone for long. This is great news for the franchise, which Resident Evil 3 Remake, it seems to have put a foot back on the formula of “resident Evil of hero ”.
Another nostalgic factor that will catch the memory of fans of resident Evil 4 it is the return of a merchant within the game, called The Duke. You can buy ammunition, healing items, weapons, and even item-building recipes, something we’ll talk about shortly. In addition to, as you can imagine, improvements to your weapons and other equipment.
Dimitrescu Castle brings completely different airs
If the village frightens us with its unfriendly air and full of danger lurking in every plantation and roof of the countryside, the Dimitrescu Castle throws us directly in a familiar environment, with a refined, dark and claustrophobic classic face of a resident Evil, passing sensations of Resident Evil 7 and other titles that use a “mansion” as a theme. Interestingly, the Gothic atmosphere continues to pass energies from Bloodborne.
Despite having sophisticated rooms and foyers, the castle also has its dose of dungeons and torture rooms to distress us during exploration. Here, the lycans leave the scene so that demonic creatures and vampiric ghouls stay under the spotlight, building a darker environment in the molds of Dracula and other works of the genre.
Apparently, Ethan’s passage at the site will be marked by persecutions of Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters, Daniela, Bela and Cassandra, who may have mechanics similar to those of Nemesis and other “stalkers” in the series, creating panic and tension when exploring and solve puzzles in the castle.
Puzzles are back and new mechanics are at play
It may seem a little obvious to point out that the puzzle sequences are within Resident Evil: Village, but due to the lack of this pillar in the last game of the series (Resident Evil 3 Remake), it’s great to know that they’ve returned and will be part of the main campaign experience.
Although this key element returns, it seems that Capcom has followed a similar course to the fourth title in the series, as items related to the campaign puzzles will not be in its main inventory. In other words, the artifacts needed to progress are in a separate tab and there is no need to worry about space in your briefcase, similar to what we saw in RE4.
Through the carriage floor, only weapons and consumable items will be in the stylish case Tetris. Even objects that you can sell to Duke, the game’s new merchant, and loot that you’ll pick up on the floor won’t be present there, so there’s no need to worry about space in non-essential items.
Everything that has been talked about so far represents an amalgamation of other games in the franchise, but Village it also has its own cards up its sleeve. In addition to bringing a craft system for the first time, in which you can create your own ammunition and healing items (and buy new recipes at the Duke’s store), Capcom revealed that there are several blocked areas that can be revisited later with the tools certain.
In other words, backtracking will also mark your return. However, it is not yet clear whether this mechanic will be just for the progression of the campaign or if it will work to extend the game on secondary journeys. It would certainly be interesting to see a non-linear progression in the campaign, wouldn’t it?
More NPCs to enrich the plot and striking villains
Throughout the hands-off of Resident Evil: Village, a very interesting thing has unfolded about the story: there are many NPCs who will be present in the campaign to add more value to Ethan Winters’ journey in search of his daughter, Rose. This is clear from the protagonist’s first steps inside the village, when he encounters local residents who are suffering from the events in the same way as him.
This creates a great contrast between the almost solitary plots of resident Evil 4 and 7, offering a possibly more “human” campaign, with characters that add more details to the story.
The scenario repeats itself to the villains of the title, which appear in greater quantity and, apparently, better distributed among the events of the gambling. So far, Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters are Capcom’s marketing highlights, but the hands-off showed us that Heisenberg, Dimitrescu’s “werewolf brother”, Mother Miranda and other creatures will greatly antagonize Ethan’s progress.
The protagonist’s range of opponents is quite diverse and each antagonist has a very distinct personality. It was a great surprise to see more details of Heisenberg’s personality and to notice that there are other “children” of Mother Miranda who reserve surprises in the campaign.
Possible negative points of Resident Evil: Village
Like all players, I’m very excited about the launch of Resident Evil: Village, as practically everything that has been shown so far excites and catches the heart of older fans (as well as arousing a lot of interest in horror game lovers). However, there are some points of attention that are worth mentioning.
It is worth mentioning that all the points mentioned are guesses, since the preview was short and in the hands-off format, without the possibility of playing. Therefore, some of these mentions may prove to be incorrect in the final version, but they are still worth listing.
The first point of attention is in the a la inventory resident Evil 4, which brings only usable items, such as weapons and consumables, leaving the items of puzzles and creative loot out of space. Because of this, the adjective “strategic inventory” may not involve so much strategy, as, to date, there are no confirmed chests (despite the typewriters coming back). In other words, it may be that worrying about space on your journey is not one of the elements of tension.
Also, something that bothered me about watching the game was Lady Dimitrescu’s chase at the castle. While her immortal daughters seem to be enemies that are difficult to avoid and will bring a lot of headaches, the vampire herself does not seem to be much of a threat: besides being very slow, she seems to give up the chase quickly and be very easy to dribble. The franchise has seen slower stalkers before, like Mr. X himself in Resident Evil 2 Remake, but the impression is that it seems too easy to escape the antagonist. We’ll have to wait and see.
Finally, there is one last more general consideration: Capcom excels at showing enviable gameplays and exciting fans with many charming promises. Most of the time, expectations are met and bring delight to the fans. But in other cases (such as Resident Evil 3 Remake), this can be misleading.
My biggest concern at the moment is that all of these highlights are momentary and the sections of the village and castle are too brief. For example: in Resident Evil 3, the preview and demo gave us the impression that the game would follow that tone of chase in the city, with a lot of Nemesis in its wake and many urban environments, something that proved not as a cut out of something greater, but its completeness.
Could it be that everything we’ve seen so far is a taste of something bigger or will we have Resident Evil 3 problems again?
Therefore, I can only hope that the entire section of the village is not short, that there is much more to be explored than what I saw in the hands-off. I hope that the persecutions and exploration of the castle will be lasting, with many rooms and secrets to find in the campaign. Fortunately, Capcom has already said that this is the biggest resident Evil already done on RE Engine, something that can shine a light of hope on our hearts.
For now, we will have to wait, because Resident Evil: Village arrives on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S and PC on May 7, 2021. So, are you excited?