Resident Evil Village is a Decent Action/Horror Hybrid

After finally getting around to playing Resident Evil 7, I was very much looking forward to seeing what Capcom would do with Resident Evil 8. I absolutely loved the tension-filled corridors of the Baker house in the previous game, so I was initially disappointed when it was announced that Village would be more like Resident Evil 4. I’ve got nothing against RE4, but I was really hoping for more of the horror-oriented RE rather than the actiony, arcade-y stuff that got the series in trouble in its later years. Fortunately, Capcom didn’t abandon the horror-element in Village; they just added more action.

Thankfully, that crazier parts of RE4 aren’t really seen in Village. There’s no button-mashing to escape giant rolling rocks, and the creatures aren’t completely ridiculous. There’s definitely threatening and grotesque monsters running around, but its nowhere near what it was with RE4’s “Las Plagas” infested village. The main villains also manage to remain threatening despite being some level of crazy-looking. No little boy baddies with comedically high-pitched voices here. Even the absolutely nasty-looking Moreau manages to remain more threatening than silly for a time.

Out of them all though, big Lady Dimitrescu is perhaps the most serious for the longest amount of time. She makes here intentions clear from the very beginning and functions as a very effective roaming threat in the game’s opening hours. Some of the others come close, but their effect just isn’t quite the same. Maybe if I didn’t basically become a heavily-armed commando so early, the effect could have lasted. Of course, that would have hampered the actiony part of the game.

In all honesty, I sort of like the extra action and shooting in Village. It made roaming around the otherwise-abandoned areas more tension-filled. Of course, this only lasts so long on the normal difficulty. I almost never was out of ammo, and I could often opt to run past enemies if I wasn’t locked-into an area. Aside from the very beginning of the game, the standard enemies never really posed much of a threat. I didn’t want to run into them if I could help it of course, but that was mostly because I was afraid of wasting ammo on them. Perhaps it’s different on higher difficulties, but on standard it doesn’t really justify the change. It’s fun and functional, but I still feel like a less powerful Ethan Winters v. fewer enemies would have been better.

Again, I’m rather enjoying Resident Evil Village and might actually give it a second playthrough on a higher difficulty. Still, I think its immediate predecessor is the superior game. It did a much better job of making me feel weak and menaced, and the overall tension lasted a lot longer. Random enemies showing up in RE7 was a real scare! Resources were far more limited and the spaces much less friendly to extended fights.

In RE8 though, enemies showing up isn’t all that scary at all (on normal). The bosses aren’t quite as threatening either since they’re more like classic monsters than the Bakers. The Bakers were downright chilling in the first half of RE7, and they remained somewhat scary until the very end. The Four Lords on the other hand were threatening, but that chill factor wasn’t really there after Lady Dimitrescu. In short, Village is a good time for RE fans and its probably a great place to jump in for those who prefer action over scares. For those who really enjoyed RE7 though, it might be just a little bit disappointing at times.

What are your impressions of Resident Evil Village? Do you like it better than RE7?

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