Resident Evil Village review (PS5)

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Resident Evil Village Key Art

After four long years, we’ve finally gotten the second entry in the first-person horror trilogy, and the 9th main Resident Evil game, Resident Evil Village.

Continuing with the story which began with Resident Evil 7, Village takes on a more action-focused approach while still delivering plenty of horror elements.

But, will it live up to expectations? Let’s find out.

PLEASE NOTE: While I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, there may be some instances that give away some details regarding the story so if you want to know absolutely nothing about the game before you set off on your adventure through the village, this review might not be for you. If you don’t mind minor spoilers then continue reading.

UPDATE: Resident Evil Village VR now available on PSVR2

Almost two years on from its original release, a VR Mode has been released for Resident Evil Village, putting players in the shoes of Ethan Winters.

This new VR mode is exclusive to Sony’s PS VR2, the latest VR headset that is used in conjunction with the PS5.

Although Capcom hasn’t stated that it is exclusive to the PS5, Resident Evil 7‘s VR mode was never released on other platforms outside of the PS VR, so it is likely the same will be the case here.

The Resident Evil Village VR Mode is available as free DLC for players that already own the game. A demo is available for players that have yet to purchase the latest entry in Capcom’s horror franchise.

Check out the trailer for the Resident Evil Village VR Mode below.

NOTE: Original Review Below

Below is the original untouched review for Resident Evil Village, but it has been updated with links for SEO purposes.

The first-person trilogy continues

Resident Evil 7 and Village Key Art
Credit: Capcom

Like the previous entry in the series, Resident Evil Village is a first-person shooter game that continues the story of Ethan and Mia Winters along with their daughter Rose, as evil follows them to Europe.

Resident Evil 7 brought survival horror back to the series, while Resident Evil Village has taken clear inspiration from Resident Evil 4, with it being a much more action-orientated game.

The stark contrast between game styles is honestly very welcomed to keep things fresh. When it comes to first-person, people are going to love or hate it. I’m not the biggest fan of first-person Resident Evil, but a much more action-orientated experience works better with the style compared to the more slow-paced Resident Evil 7.

So far, we have seen Capcom break the series down into trilogies when it comes to the numbered entries, with the original 1-3 featuring the classic fixed camera angles style. 4-6 were over-the-shoulder action-focused experiences. And so far, 7 and Village (8) have been first-person games. It would be fair to assume that the next entry will also be first-person. But, with the popularity of Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remakes, it is possible that the series could revert to the third-person perspective again, and I’d be all for that.

Or, why not give us the option to play Resident Evil Village in the third person, it could work incredibly well.

I don’t think any game has been marketed as well as Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village Lady Dimitrescu And Daughters
Credit: Capcom

You know I couldn’t do an interview on Resident Evil Village without discussing its marketing, and one character in particular.

The main focus of Resident Evil Village‘s marketing has been Lady Dimitrescu, an incredibly tall vampire woman that has gotten many people a bit hot under the collar.

The trailers for the game have largely revolved around a large castle, along with Lady Dimitrescu and her three daughters. This gave a very old-school Resident Evil 1 vibe, which took place in a similar-style building.

Lady Dimitrescu is based on Elizabeth Bathory, often referred to as Countess Dracula, who is said to retain her youth by bathing in the blood of virgin women.

With most of the marketing material being focused on Lady Dimitrescu, many fans expected the family to take on similar roles to the Bakers from Resident Evil 7, with Lady Dimitrescu becoming a Jack Baker-type figure, and the daughters being supporting characters similar to Marguerite and Lucas, with the cast being topped off by Mother Miranda who would be similar to Eveline.

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Instead, the Dimitrescu family plays a small role in the overall story, only being in the game for approximately one hour on my initial playthrough.

Lady Dimitrescu takes on a Mr. X-style role in the game, with her stalking you throughout the castle and being unbeatable until the final encounter.

This was both a positive and negative. With the marketing for Lady Dimitrescu being so strong, I don’t think many of us would have been disappointed if she was the focal point of the game. However, it was great to defeat her approximately an hour or so in and discover there was still much of the village to cover, with more boss characters to take out before the epic conclusion with Mother Miranda.

Well played with the thirst trap Capcom, well played.

Nothing overstays its welcome in the game

Resident Evil Village Main Castle Hall In Game
Credit: Capcom

With Lady Dimitrescu not being the main focus of Resident Evil Village, let’s talk about the other cast of characters. In total, there are four bosses to take out in Resident Evil Village before the final battle with Mother Miranda, each having its own unique gameplay sections that set them apart from the rest.

As mentioned earlier, Lady Dimitrescu is a more traditional stalker tyrant enemy, similar to Mr. X and Jack Baker, taking place in an iconic castle setting that fits incredibly well with the series.

Next up is Donna Beneviento, with this section having a strong focus on psychological horror. You don’t use any weapons during this entire section. Instead, this section of the game takes players back to the classic puzzle-solving mechanics, before you are chased by a demon baby. Yes, I did say this was a psychological horror section.

Once you have regained your bearings, things begin to get more action-focused after having been more based around for the first two-fifths of the game.

Salvatore Moreau is a disgusting merman that have you taking part in an obstacle course as you avoid being thrown into the surrounding lake and meet your end. This is an incredibly fun and tense part of the game and something we don’t see often in the series.

Finally, Karl Heisenberg runs a factory that creates a cast of mechanical monsters including a man with a fan blade surgical attached to his body and cyborgs with drills for arms. Lady Dimitrescu carried the game during the pre-release, but Heisenberg will likely become the character that fans are drawn to as he provides a rugged male eye candy character to the game.

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It is worth mentioning that sprinkled between each section are some puzzle-solving segments, such as exploring the village to further expand the map and gather some key items that will help you progress.

Many of the previous entries in the game tend to just go from one location to another, such as Resident Evil 2 going from the police station, straight into the sewer, and then the lab. This did help Village to stand out and feel fresh and made the world just feel more vibrant and important rather than just set dressing.

Will Chris ever leave the franchise?

Credit: Capcom

Chris Redfield has appeared in more Resident Evil games than any other character. So far, he has appeared in Resident Evil 1 + Remake, Code Veronica, Revelations, 5, 6, 7, and Village. At this point, it would be understandable if some players are getting fatigued from seeing Chris so much.

Although his role in Resident Evil 7 was relegated to the ending cutscene and a piece of DLC, he still appeared in the game when it wasn’t necessary to include him.

This time, Chris takes on a larger role in the story, with him being seen right from the start as he “kills” Mia. You later control him for an action-based section where you have to destroy the Megamycete to try and take down Mother Miranda.

It is an incredibly fun section to play and the occasional run-and-gun section is welcomed, there has to be a point where Capcom has Chris retire and we can finally move on to a new character. It did seem like Leon would take on this role, but Chris still keeps coming back. Maybe he won’t feature in Resident Evil 9, but I’m not counting on it.

I miss the enemy variety seen in classic titles

Resident Evil Village Lycan Attack In Game
Credit: Capcom

Classic Resident Evil games had so many different enemies that kept the game exciting and helped to distinguish areas from one another.

The original trilogy saw the likes of Zombies, Cerberus (dogs), multiple variations of the Hunter, Lickers, Ivys, Tyrants, and many other enemies.

When it comes to Resident Evil Village, outside of the factory, the enemy list is…Lycans and a couple of variations of them.

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Lycans are the grunt enemy of the game and almost the only enemy in the game. Outside of bosses, there are only a handful of different enemies, and most are just variations of grunt-like enemies similar to the Lycans, such as the Moroaica found in the Castle.

This does make things feel more forgettable as there is no reference point of where you are in the game, it is just the same enemies whether you’re minutes into the game or hours.

What are you buying?

Resident Evil Village The Duke
Credit: Capcom

Resident Evil Village openly takes a lot of inspiration from Resident Evil 4 and that is also the case when it comes to adding its own variation of an iconic character.

The Merchant has become one of the most popular side characters in Resident Evil, with him showing up in Resident Evil 4 to sell you goods to help you on your adventure.

Resident Evil Village brings this role to life in the form of the Duke, voiced by the terrific Aaron LaPlante. The Duke can be found in various locations in Resident Evil Village, including the Castle, Factory, and located in the center of the map that connects all four main locations together.

Over time he will offer a variety of weapons and items to use, as well as upgrades. You can also sell the treasure you find across the game to him for more money.

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The Duke is an incredibly likable character and he is always a joy to encounter, offering up words of wisdom for Ethan and helping to advance the plot by dropping snippets of knowledge to help you along the way.

And, there is a hilarious Easter Egg during your dialogue with the Duke where he imitates the Merchant’s iconic “What are you buying?” line.

I did expect the Duke to be a secret evil character, flipping the script and revealing himself to be the mastermind behind the events of the game and the kidnapping of Rose. Perhaps this is something Capcom could explore in future DLC.

Replayability

Resident Evil Village Creepy Old Lady
Credit: Capcom

Resident Evil games usually have great replayability and Village is no exception. A Mercenaries mode is included, which sees Ethan try to gain as many points as possible before reaching the end of the level or having the timer expire. It is a fun mode but could lack a long-term reason to go back to it once all of the levels have been played through.

The game features multiple difficulty levels which will give some players a challenge as they work through them. There are also plenty of weapons to unlock to use in-game, as well as other items to look at such as character models and concept art.

Hopefully, any upcoming DLC for Resident Evil Village will extend the value the game offers long-term so it doesn’t just become a one-and-done game like so many in the modern age.

Will there be Resident Evil Village DLC?

Resident Evil Village Heisenberg In Game
Credit: Capcom

Resident Evil 7 featured an incredible amount of DLC, more than we’ve seen in any previous entry in the series. These included multiple canon scenarios that helped to flesh out the story even further, bringing to an end Lucas’ story as well as showing what Chris Redfield was up to and the fate of Zoe Baker.

There was also some non-canon DLC including the very fun Jack’s 55th Birthday where you have to hunt for food for his birthday party.

So, when it comes to Resident Evil Village, there is a lot of potential for DLC. With the game having a Mercenaries mode, more characters and levels could be released to add replayability to the game.

I’m also sure many players wouldn’t complain about the possibility of going back into areas of the game and expanding the story further. This could include DLC relating to events before the game that features the likes of Lady Dimitrescu and Karl Heisenberg.

There could also be a story-based DLC showcasing Mia after the events of the game, or what Chris did after the game ended, or even telling part of Rose’s story before Resident Evil 9.

It isn’t a guarantee that we will see DLC for Resident Evil Village, but with a large amount of extra content released for Resident Evil 7, it will be surprising if Capcom decides to do nothing with the title and just moves on to the next game.

READ MORE: RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE SHADOW OF ROSE ACHIEVEMENTS/TROPHY GUIDE

The future of Resident Evil

Resident Evil Village Baby Rose In Game
Credit: Capcom

Resident Evil Village left us with an obvious continuation of the story, with a grown-up Rose taking the lead role in future titles.

Capcom has been going hard on remakes recently, with Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 receiving the back-to-back remake treatment. I am almost certain that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of older titles being remade, with Code Veronica or Resident Evil 4 being obvious titles to be next in line.

We will likely see the Winters bloodline conclude this trilogy with Resident Evil 9, but it will be interesting to see where Capcom takes the series afterward.

By the time Rose grows up, iconic characters such as Chris Redfield will be in their 60s and 70s which makes them unlikely choices for future titles.

Instead, Capcom will have to create a new cast of characters for players to fall in love with or choose to go back in time and fill out the blanks of the story with spin-off titles such as the Revelations series.

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A review copy for Resident Evil Village was provided by Capcom, but no financial incentive was given. All opinions and scores related to this review are our own with no outside influence.

Resident Evil Village is available now on PC via Steam, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

8.4

Graphics

9.0/10

Gameplay

8.3/10

Features

7.4/10

Audio

8.7/10

Story

8.5/10

Fun Factor

8.2/10