After months of hype, Resident Evil Village has finally hot consoles and Steam around the world. And after hours of gameplay, I have finally cleared the entire game. So let us take a look at Capcom’s latest addition to the Resident Evil franchise… including Lady Dimatrescu of course.

The Story

The game itself is a direct sequel from Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, and once again follows poor Ethan Winters. After his nightmarish adventure in the swamps of Louisiana, Ethan makes his way to an Eastern European village to find his missing daughter. Since this is a sequel to the seventh game, we would recommend playing that first to truly understand Village’s story. However, you can go and play Village first if you want to.

We won’t spoil anything, but the story itself has some pretty interesting twists and turns. While on the surface, it’s just a father trying to rescue his daughter, there are a lot more things going on underneath. We also learn a lot more about Ethan in this game, as well as how it’s connected to the other games.

The Bad Guys

Along the way, he encounters several new monsters for the franchise, as well as the Four Lords of the Village. The most common foe, the Lycans, which take inspiration from werewolves, are fast and agile, and tend to (frustratingly) dodge bullets. They can get in your face in no time, so better be ready with Ethan’s block whenever they do. Yes folks, you’re not dealing with slow, shambling zombies in this one. And there are a ton of lycans, so players can tend to find themselves overwhelmed by these aggressive and agile monsters.

As for monster variety, you’re certainly dealing with a lot more monster types than Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. The lycans alone have many different variants, from the ones who just rely on their teeth and claws, to the ones carrying axes. There are even those firing burning arrows at you! There are even some of these monsters that are a bit more feral and beastial than others.

Now, the village has four lords, and each lord rules over a certain domain. Each domain also features some very unique opponents, from the shambling vampire-like zombies in Castle Dimatrescu to the man-machine Soldat monstrosities from the Heisenberg Factory. Each opponent brings their own challenges to poor Ethan.

And speaking of the Four Lords…

The Four Lords

The Village is ruled over by Mother Miranda, who the villagers worship as a god of sorts. However, Mother Miranda has delegated a lord to rule over parts of the village. They are Donna Beneviento and her doll Angie, Moreau, Karl Heisenberg, and of course, the 9-foot-tall vampire lady herself, Alcina Dimatrescu.

Since this is a spoiler-free review, we won’t be discussing them at length. However, we will be talking a bit about who they are. Now, these four lords are tasked with governing the village… as well as doing cruel experiments on the villagers. Mother Miranda, the village’s deity figure with connections to previous Resident Evil villains, rules over all of them. Of course, we are starting with Lady D.

Now, the vampire everyone is simping for acts like a taller and definitely more attractive Mr. X or Nemesis, stalking you throughout her castle. She has regenerative powers, which makes her very hard to kill. In fact, once you see her, don’t even bother shooting, you’re just wasting ammo. The same goes for her three daughters too, but there is a trick to killing the three of them. As for Lady D, it goes without saying that she will transform into an eldritch abomination… because Resident Evil. But none the less, her transforming into a gruesome monster does not seem to faze her fanboys at all.

Next, we talk about the one with perhaps the scariest stage in the game, Donna and Angie. Now, I am not as bothered with dolls like most people, but many would find Angie and her “cute” little friends as pure nightmare fuel. Now, she may be the weakest of the four lords, but she definitely stressed me out the most.

You see, Donna has powers that make her victims hallucinate. And boy did she play with Ethan’s psyche.

And then there’s Moreau. Apparently, the Resident Evil developers took inspiration from a kappa, an aquatic youkai, for him. He is by far the most deformed of the four lords, and also the most grotesque. But while Donna and Angie’s house of horrors was stressful to deal with, Moreau’s dockyards boss fight went a lot more to the action side.

Finally, there’s Heisenberg, who takes inspiration from Frankenstein. He runs the Factory, and also has all sorts of scary monstrosities inside. Many consider him as the strongest of the four lords, with an intense rivalry with lady D.

Old Karl is a tragic character of sorts. However, he is also the most scheming and underhanded. His boss fight is also the most fun of them all.

The Duke

While The Four Lords are quite prominent throughout the game, the real show stealer is the new merchant character, The Duke. He often shows up in an area’s safe room, or just before important boss battles and areas. He is also a throwback to Resident Evil 4’s The Merchant.

The Duke has certainly grown on Resident Evil players, and it’s not just his quips and one-liners. He provides some much-needed help in times of need, and provides much-needed banter when things get heavy… like the Beneviento Mansion. The guy also cooks for you, so need I say more?

Gameplay

Like most Resident Evil games, players have to endure countless horrors, as well as conserve their ammo and resources. However, Resident Evil: Village is a lot more action-packed than Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. While there are certainly a lot more types of opponents, the sheer number of enemies you also have to kill in this one is a whole lot more. In fact, Village serves up a lot more action than the usual sneaking around. However, this is still a horror survival game, so resource management, from bullets to Lei (money) us still very much needed.

As for exploration, there’s a ton of it in the game. Players can still explore the houses, dungeons, and rooms to scrounge for items, from bullets to scraps that players can use to craft items. However, this is still a Resident Evil game, so players would still have to keep an eye out for the potential jump scare or two.

The Village

Let’s talk about the village itself. While Capcom did not specify where this village is, culturally, it looks like Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, it looks like the game’s villains have already turned on their people by the time Ethan arrives, and it’s nothing short of a complete massacre. By the time Ethan arrives, houses are mostly empty, and the villagers are either dead, in hiding, or have turned into lycans or any of the other monstrosities the four lords have been up to.

As expected, the village itself is bleak and dreary, and is reminiscent of an old Eastern European village. Capcom also did a good job of presenting it as such, and added a few more factors to make it extra creepy. But don’t worry, there are a few safe rooms you can hide in throughout the place if you need a break from fighting lycans or running away from Lady D.

Verdict:

This latest installment to the Resident Evil franchise is certainly one huge thrill ride. The action, exploration, resource management, and horror are just superb, and is highly recommended for any fans of the franchise. And if you’re a new player to Resident Evil, you can start with Village, though playing RE7 beforehand would be a big plus.

From over-the-top villains to a very interesting story full of twists and turns, the game really immerses players into the world of Resident Evil.

FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10

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