Resident Evil Village - Review

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Lluis Enric Mayans


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Review for Resident evil village. Game for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, will be released in 2021

The Resident Evil trilogies - without counting the numerous and varied spin-offs, more or less successful - are now in the middle of their third incarnation: after the unforgettable glories of the beginnings, with a RE2 and RE3 recently brought back into vogue with their respective - and excellent - Remake, after the revolution most devoted to action in RE4, RE5 and (above all) RE6, everything has changed, evolving and returning to its origins at the same time. Why behind the new Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and its first-person perspective was the true soul of the survival horror conceived by Shinji Mikami, the one that hadn't come out of the closet since the early 90s. With Resident Evil Village, Capcom continues on this path: to illuminate it, the faint light of a torch always too little powerful, which awakens in us the ancestral and never dormant fear of the dark. We shiver, but at the same time we have a bewitched smile on our face: the eighth chapter of Resident Evil has arrived, and it's really scary.

Four gentlemen for four houses

Resident Evil Village picks up where the previous chapter left off: Ethan and Mia are now far from the horrors of the Baker house and, after being rescued by Chris Redfield, have rebuilt a life in Europe, where they had their first daughter , Rosemary. But it is Chris himself, as we already know from the game's trilers already released for some time, who destroys this idyllic family picture, killing Mia and forcibly taking away little Rose.

These events will bring Ethan inside the homes of the "gentlemen", who together with the powerful Mother Miranda reign over the mysterious Village that gives the game its title, immediately putting on the plate one of the most appreciated surprises of Resident Evil Village: the constant search for consistency. in the narrative. No one in their right mind, after Villa Baker, would be thrown into such a nightmare again. But Ethan can't just flee the village because he's looking for his daughter, and then it all makes sense: exploration, fighting, even the lighter elements like the merchant. - which thanks to his dialogues give the latter a real role in the plot - are the obvious consequence of the behavior of a man who would do anything to save what remains of his family. We cannot expose ourselves further on the plot but we guarantee that the latter, once you reach the end credits, while not boasting a memorable writing or incredible twists, will provide you with a more or less coherent explanation for everything: the grotesque and bloody aberrations that you will find in front of you, the remarkable pain threshold of Ethan Winters, the connection to the events of the Baker house and even a reference to the Spencer villa - together with that symbol in the shape of an umbrella that we have all already recognized in the trailer - configure that right component fanservice that always sends us in jujube broth. By dedicating some time also to reading the documents scattered around the game world, when you have finally joined all the dots you will end up with a story worthy of an excellent Resident Evil. Needless to say, in the practice now made tradition by Marvel cinema, there is the inevitable scene after the credits that bodes well for a future DLC or, why not, for a RE9 that closes this third trilogy in the best way. .

Saving you useless and annoying plot spoilers, we leave it to you to discover the real motivations that move Chris Redfield and Mother Miranda, and how these intersect with Umbrella, and the BSAA. But we have to tell you one thing: Resident Evil Village is scary. But a visceral fear, one of those that even the most avid survival horror fan (and whoever writes to you knows something about it -ndr) has found himself jumping on his chair at least on a couple of occasions screaming like a sissy. The village is terrifying but the four houses of its lords are a thousand times more so: know that Lady Dimitrescu's castle, which you have been able to partially explore in the demo, is only the tip of the iceberg. The second house is one of the terrifying PT-style experiences as we have not lived it for years (as well as reviving old concepts from the now forgotten Resident Evil 3.5), and the last part of the game, set in a factory that seems to have come out of nightmares in which Wes Craven's Freddy Krueger slaughters his victims, is the icing on the cake of an experience that in terms of variety and characterization of the characters is decidedly superior to the previous RE7. Wanting to find a mole in all of this, let's admit that in the totality of the experience we would have appreciated spending a little more time in some areas: in fact, to complete the game you will need about 10 hours, 12 at the most considering also the search for treasures and the exploration of some optional areas - which we strongly suggest you visit, since one of these contains one of the most interesting puzzles of all the game - and in the end there remains the feeling that some characters could be treated with broader plots. The second and third gentlemen that you will face, for example, will close their narrative circle much faster than the first and the last, as well as the time needed to unlock all the houses and treasures in the village will not exceed two total hours. , calculating that backtracking is also made very easy by shortcuts that unlock and open roads that can connect the various points of the map very quickly.

If it bleeds you can kill it

Resident Evil Village gameplay is also an improvement on RE7, with that sensation of revolution brought to the times by RE4, to which Resident Evil Village certainly winks on more than one occasion: we find the Tetris inventory, in which to move and combine the various elements to optimize the space available, and the merchant. The Duke, as he introduces himself to Ethan while winking at the player makes clear references to the merchant met by Leon in RE4, is as we said above integrated into the plot, which makes it less strange to find him in the most unthinkable places during the adventure. The Duke sells new weapons and modifications for existing ones, but it doesn't end there: this bizarre character also buys items, treasures dropped by enemies and food (Ethan can hunt fish, poultry and other animals), through which to cook foods that provide permanent perks to the protagonist.

Combat has also taken some minor steps forward: the new parry mechanic proves very useful against certain types of enemies, as well as some new weapons, bombs and mines offer interesting variants of approach to combat. At the easiest difficulty you will have no problem getting rid of even the toughest antagonist, while increasing the level of challenge you will have bread for your teeth, although juggling well between crafting ammunition and selling treasures you should always have enough firepower. to get rid of whoever stands in your way. Unfortunately, the bossfight is one of the weaknesses of Resident Evil Village: although a minimum of strategy and reasoning are required to identify the weaknesses to hit, to emerge victorious from the battles it is basically enough to download your arsenal against the boss on duty.. We would certainly have appreciated some more complex mechanics, which would have made the experience more varied and fun.

Finally, the puzzles return: never complex and for the most part attributable to the canonical search for the key or object necessary to unlock the corresponding door, the puzzles and the exploration component are perfectly integrated into the gameplay and perfectly counterbalance the sections in which you take up arms, so as to keep Resident Evil Village in the context of survival horror, avoiding it trespassing into the much hated action and which by its nature would have risked making the experience less scary.

The fear is in the details

Graphically Resident Evil Village is flawless especially as regards the interiors. If the long shots between the snow-covered streets of the village do not impress too much, once you enter the houses of the gentlemen everything changes: the effects of light, the reflections on the wooden surfaces or on the damp bricks of the cellars, the corners stained with blood, … Nothing is left to chance e the more we go into the exploration of the environments, the more we sink into the identification that magnifies the empathic charge that binds us to Ethan Winters. The protagonist is never seen face: the view is always in first person and the mirrors too dirty to reflect the image. Yet, thanks to an impeccable virtual direction, you can identify with Ethan enough to elect him as the main actor of the world of Resident Evil, on a par with historical names such as Leon, Claire, Chris and Jill. The camera, at times limping, is cleverly used to underline the mood of the protagonist in the most terrifying occasions, the same ones in which we too found ourselves bouncing in the chair.

Turning to the enemies, the antagonists of Resident Evil Village do not make you regret the more classic zombies, revealing a middle ground between them and werewolves with a pinch of windigo - but let's call them Lycan, to use the game's terminology - revealing themselves to be fast and deadly . The lords of the four houses are their own, much more detailed and fearful than the normal enemies you will encounter on your way. In the last house, then, you will also face abominations with particular attention to the realization, which in what is yet another tribute to RE4 will be hit in precise weak points to be demolished.

To finish the analysis on the technical sector, we cannot fail to give a big applause to the porting on console: if on PS5, Xbox Seris X / S and PC Resident Evil Village obviously gives its best, we are happy to report how the experience is perfectly enjoyable in all its frightening splendor even on the now old standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Except for the wait of about 45 seconds for the initial loading and obviously the lower resolution, the game proceeds without hesitation for the entire duration of the adventure, also amazing in the incredible speed of saving - to be carried out at the evergreen typewriters - or loading a checkpoint following an untimely departure. The same fluidity is also found in the welcome (and much requested by fans) Return of the historic mercenary mode, which will see you face endless hordes of enemies within a time limit: also in this case the RE Engine proves to be up to expectations and perfectly capable of managing many moving elements at the same time on the screen, a fundamental feature in this mode which, so optimized, will surely make you want to go for a ride again. from time to time in the Village to give you a few hours of additional fun in more action sauce.

Finally, the sound sector is the icing on the cake of the experience, with the implementation of 3D audio that on more than one occasion will make you risk a heart attack: hearing the silence broken by the grunts of an approaching abomination is something. which always and in any case startles, regardless of the weapon possessed and the extent of the danger. In the second house, in particular, the soundtrack combines with ambient noises and graphic effects to give an experience that, we repeat it in case you haven't understood it yet, is really scary., as (and more than) we expected.

Resident Evil confirms itself as the undisputed KING of survival horror: like the previous chapter, Resident Evil Village embodies all that is good in the brand, presenting it with the first-person view characteristic of this trilogy and bringing us back in the role of Ethan Winters , once again victim of the events that will catapult him into a nightmare with many faces. Among these, net of an experience that could at times be deepened for the benefit of longevity and a series of bossfights that do not stand out for originality, there is the most important face: ours, with a terrified expression. Because Resident Evil Village does what every Resident Evil should do: fear. And it does it really well.

► Resident Evil Village is an Adventure-type game developed and published by Capcom for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, it will be released in 2021

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