06/06/2021

๐Ÿง›‍♀️ Resident Evil: Village | Review | PS5 | 9.5/10 | "The Perfect Game to Celebrate 25 years of Resident Evil" ๐Ÿง›‍♀️ #ResidentEvilVillage

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Resident Evil: Village was always going to be interesting for me, as I thought six was too action-orientated and I found seven too heavy on the horror.

Now, I will admit that when I played seven, I had lost interest in both horror and gaming so I think that heavily skewed my opinion of the game, though I will say - even though I had issues with seven at the time, I understood that Resident Evil as a franchise needed a new direction in both story and gameplay, such as when four was released which moved to the over-the-shoulder camera with a story that was firmly tongue in cheek, accentuating the B-Movie horror qualities of the series. It was what the franchise needed and after six, it was clear they once again needed a new direction. 

So, enter Resident Evil Village. Was I going to feel it was too heavy on action/horror… or was it going to be like the tale of Goldilocks, and everything was going to be just right?

Now, since the score of the game is in the title, you probably already know… I bloody loved this game. It’s a game that probably shouldn’t work as it is a mixture of the past twenty-five years of Resident Evil as a whole.

The mechanics of seven, the tone of the story and the return of both the merchant and weapon inventory system of four, the thrill of being hunted ร  la Mr X and Nemesis - in 2 and 3… it feels like Resident Evil’s greatest hits.

This could be seen as self-indulgent or repetitive like the series has nothing new to offer but it instead feels like a glorious celebration of Resident Evil, everything I've loved about the series together in one game and fits perfectly without feeling unnaturally shoved together. It all felt just right.

The first-person perspective was something I wasn’t keen on in the seventh entry, I prefer over-the-shoulder or third-person and I was stubbornly against the move to first-person. In this game, however, I was completely sold on it, for years I've heard people say it's scarier because it feels like it's happening to you and it did feel terrifying when enemies grabbed me or jumped out of nowhere, I can now see the benefits of this view, it really did add to and magnify the horror, atmosphere and suspense of the game. Some moments in this game are genuinely frightening.

The combat in this game was a big highlight, I played it on PS5 and for the first time felt the benefit of the haptic feedback in the controller. Heavier, bigger guns like shotguns and sniper rifles when aimed would see the left trigger (which you use to draw the weapon) would tighten, the heavier the weapon - the more it would tighten, whereas handguns felt light and easy to use, it gave the guns a real sense of weight and power.

I played the game with ray tracing turned off as I prefer smoothness to the better lighting and water reflections etc. The game seemed - to my eye  - to run at a very steady 4k/60 fps and the only real technical issue I had was on the roof of the castle where there was some very noticeable texture pop-in, which consistently kept happening.

I'm not going to delve into the story too much, as it's full-on from the start and in order to explain it, I would have to go into spoilers. The only thing you really need to know is that you play Ethan Winters and it continues from the seventh game.

What I will talk about though, is the length of the game. I finished it in eight and a half hours, which in my eyes is the perfect length for a horror game. I'm a big believer that horror games don’t need to be fifteen hours long to feel like I've had my money's worth.

I enjoyed every minute of the eight and a half hours and I never felt like the game was padded, I loved exploring each different area - as they were all given enough time for you to soak in the atmosphere and interact with the terrifying cast of characters – who, weirdly though terrifying, were all interesting and oddly charming in a way.

I could go on and on about why I love this game. It felt like a celebration of Resident Evil on Its 25th anniversary. The game encapsulates everything that’s great about the series but feels like it's also moving forward.



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