Review Resident Evil Village: horror with a European accent [análise/vídeo]

Directed by Sato Morimasa and created with RE Engine, Resident Evil Village arrived on consoles and computers, as the latest version of the famous Capcom series. The game continues facts that happened in Resident Evil 7, also the first created by Sato, in an almost direct way, presenting a new approach to the horror already known, now in European territory.

Everything resumes in Resident Evil Village (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC (Windows) and still on Google Stadia, via streaming, Resident Evil Village was announced in 2020 and has been in production for at least three years – that is, since the year in which Resident 7 was released. This has the benefit of having a very similar team working on both, which leads us to some advantages as players.

But Capcom was able to overcome the quality of Resident Evil 7 and still make the experience interesting for those who are arriving now? Check here, in the review of Tecnoblog.

For this analysis the game Resident Evil Village was tested on a PS5, with the PS5 version of the game. I also had access to the PS4 edition, via backward compatibility, for the purpose of graphical comparison. Oh, and this review has no spoilers!

Video review of Resident Evil Village

Ethics Notice

And let’s go to our ethics notice. O Tecnoblog it is an independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our analyzes are not intended for advertising, which is why they highlight the positive and negative points of each product. No company has paid, reviewed or had early access to this content.

O Resident Evil Village was provided by Capcom by donation in version for PS5. The PS5 was provided by Sony on an indefinite loan. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Now arrived? No problem

Resident Evil Village opens with a good optional summary of what happened in Resident Evil 7. Something positive even for those who have already played the previous one, since it has been some good years since its original release. Another good surprise is that this summary already has the unpublished Portuguese dubbing of the series, which I will talk more about, soon.

This summary makes clear at least one thing: Resident Evil Village it is part of something bigger. As if RE 7 had been the beginning of a great new trilogy, while Village it’s your middle chapter. The sense of direct continuation is very strong and everything makes a little bit of sense. This feeling increases if you have played all the extra contents of the seventh game in the saga, which complement your storyline with quality.

In any case, it is always good to see that Capcom is concerned with situating its fans and players, in some way, so that no one says they are lost or without understanding what happened.

Ethan Winters, the comeback

Resident Evil Village brings back the return of Ethan Winters, who tries to settle down with his wife Mia and their newborn daughter, Rose, now in a European region. His life changes, however, when Ethan receives an unfriendly visit from Chris Redfield – yes, one of the original protagonists of Resident Evil, which also appeared in the previous one.

Dying and left after an unexpected attack, Ethan tries to compose himself, find answers, Mia and also his daughter, while, of course, trying to survive new creatures, natural challenges and crazy people who cross his path.

Mia and Rose Winters in Resident Evil Village (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Mia and Rose Winters in Resident Evil Village (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

It’s amazing how Capcom managed to create a new character, apparently with almost no background, and make us fond of him in just two games – or one, for those who haven’t played Village yet, of course. Ethan is an empty shell. He’s the player. He hasn’t passed, he doesn’t have much personality and he doesn’t even have a face, but still, we always clash at each scene as our beloved little sufferer.

And Ethan suffers. Suffer a lot. Who was used to the shocking scenes of Resident 7 you will feel at home here, but maybe you’ll be shocked a little bit more. Who wasn’t … Well, get ready for some unpleasant surprises along the way.

But, about history, it is possible to say that Resident Evil Village it is a resident Evil of the very conservative. For good and for bad. If the game were an Instagram blogger, it would say “who knows me, you know”. There are qualities and problems, but fortunately, the positive balance is what dominates in the end.

Resident Evil Village's story has its surprises, but it follows formula (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Resident Evil Village’s story has its surprises, but it follows formula (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Like every game in the series, Resident Evil Village it is full of surprises. Some happen even sooner than we expected – and will generate questions from fans who were waiting for something more … As things were announced, so to speak. You can’t say much without delivering spoilers, but I can say that Capcom was brave, and even very smart, with some decisions.

Tradition and modernity

What I said for the story also applies to the rest of the game. There is no escape from what is resident Evil in Village. To a certain extent, it is a very traditional game, even too much, starting with linearity.

Some people may disagree, but Resident Evil Village yes, it is very linear. It gives the impression of exploration, some scenarios on the maps give greater freedom to search for items, but there is never a secondary route, even in environments such as mansions and large houses. When you arrive at a place and feel lost, you immediately see that everything makes sense and naturally passes by.

Resident Evil Village gameplay mixes much of what is already successful (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Resident Evil Village gameplay mixes much of what is already successful (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Did you come face to face with a mysterious gate that doesn’t even open for prayers? Soon you will come across a specific key, there is no way to escape it. And it is that gate that will continue your story.

In terms of game design, this can demonstrate a limited game without innovation, but we are talking about Resident Evil, which is a series of long standing and with its “traditionalisms” that please fans. Not that this is an excuse or a carte blanche for a product of laziness or lack of attention, but the game still manages to become interesting, even with this characteristic.

It doesn’t take long, for example, for Resident Evil Village show who your “common enemies” are, equivalent to zombies that permeated the first games in the series. And they repeat themselves whenever possible, in the same way that the black goo creatures of Resident 7. But there is no problem with that, as it is a common challenge of the game and sets the right tone for the environment we live in.

The controls are still in first person, a gameplay scheme that is here to stay. This also reinforces the question that I raised before, about Ethan Winters being the representation of the player, an illustrious anonymous that we use the body to go through the phases and solve mysteries. The secret here is: who liked the controls Resident 7 will like what we have here.

Those who liked the last Resident Evil will like this one (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Those who liked the last Resident Evil will like this one (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

The menu of items has been slightly redesigned. It is more practical and clearer. Another change is that Ethan’s life is now monitored by a simple energy bar that we see on the screen, which varies in colors to tell whether he is more or less injured. The old Pebble that the character used was retired – not least because, the company itself no longer exists in the real world.

In general, Resident Evil Village it represents few practical changes in controls and brings almost no innovation, but that’s okay. This gives an even greater sense of continuity – and it seems that this was the goal of Capcom producers.

The only thing that really bothered me was the system of rescues and checkpoints. You keep saving on typewriters, but the game also has an “autosave” system, which never works as well as it needs to.

It was common for me to turn off the game and discover, when I started playing again, that I had lost a few minutes of gameplay, since the autosave didn’t catch my progress. In addition, when you die to a monster or boss, Ethan returns a lot in the stage, to the point of retaking almost entire scenarios of the map.

But perhaps all of this is something that is more of a mild nuisance than a defect.

Horror for what I want you

Village it also hits in the horror … To a certain extent. Scares are just right, but soon the action gameplay gives way to what should be the feeling of constant terror.

Yea, Village sounds like one resident Evil even on that. In a few moments I felt the cold in my spine and it was more because of the ambience and combination of soundtrack with the scenarios than anything else. And I say more: it wasn’t even with any boss, it happened against “common” enemies.

Horror tone from Resident Evil Village gets it right, but gets lost easily (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Horror tone from Resident Evil Village gets it right, but gets lost easily (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

It is no longer a secret that Resident Evil, as a series, it has turned to action since past titles and a long time ago, but the seventh game promised a return to the roots, which is maintained here, although not in its entirety.

The gothic and gloomy look of different environments is greatly enhanced. Lady Dimitrescu’s castle and other scenarios that I can’t talk about in order not to deliver spoilers are a show worthy of spending a few hours watching what is around us.

The antagonists contribute to this sensation, of course. Dimitrescu is a show, as Capcom’s entire marketing campaign had already made clear. She steals the show at all times – and I recommend enjoying them very well. The same goes for other monsters, bosses and even figures who seem to be Ethan’s allies on their journey. It is a grotesque poetic and that makes a lot of sense for the current nature of the series.

Debut in the new generation

I played Village on a PS5 and I also saw a little bit of the PS4 version, running via backwards compatibility on the same console. I didn’t notice huge differences except for occasional visual effects in lighting and reflections. The game is quite equivalent to the “beginning of generation” that we are experiencing and the performance did not leave much to be desired.

Overall, Village is a very beautiful game (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

Overall, Village is a very beautiful game (Image: Felipe Vinha / Tecnoblog)

A greater technical analysis is needed here comparing all versions, but Village it is beautiful enough to be used on current and older generation devices, at least in terms of Sony.

One detail I have to complain about is the snow effects. As it takes place in a mountainous region, much of the scenery of Village it’s covered in snow, but we’ve already seen much more beautiful things in this sense in games of the PS4 generation.

In the remainder of the performance, the new resident Evil does well, very well. The same goes for audio! As I mentioned at the beginning of this analysis, now the game has dubbing in Portuguese, for the first time in history, which is just as good. I am rooting for a game of this caliber to encourage other production companies to increasingly dub their products here.

Conclusion

Resident Evil Village is a legitimate game from the Capcom series, in the good and the bad sense. Those who expect some huge innovation will be disappointed, since the game is a legitimate direct continuation of the previous one, but there is room for some surprises and bold decisions by Capcom in terms of narratives. It is not possible to belittle the graphic quality, accurate and balanced gameplay and content relevant to the mythology of the saga. The cast of characters completes the positive package and there is much to explore for future sequels – without delivering any surprises, of course.

Resident Evil Village

Pros

  • Graphically impressive, albeit with reservations
  • Charismatic villains
  • Gameplay plays safe and well
  • It’s a Resident Evil

Cons

  • Snow effects disappoint
  • Few innovations
  • It’s a Resident Evil

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