The Resident Evil series made a pretty decisive comeback when Capcom released Resident Evil 7, as well as the remakes of 2 and 3. However, it seems like Capcom isn’t done just yet with the series with the recent release of another new installment: Resident Evil Village. Today we’re going to talk about the game, also known as Resident Evil 8, and how it fares on release.
What Is Resident Evil 8?
Resident Evil 8, or Village ( also stylized as VIllage), is a first-person shooter survival-horror game created and published by Capcom. The game is the eighth installment in the Resident Evil Series and follows the events of Resident Evil 7.
The game was released on May 7, 2021, for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Stadia.
Resident Evil 8 Review
Now that the game’s released for players to enjoy, let’s talk about how the game is handling itself.
The story of Resident Evil 8 starts right after the events of Resident Evil 7. We still follow Ethan Winters, a normal, ordinary everyman who went through hell in a Louisiana homestead to rescue Mia, his wife. Now that he’s reunited with Mia, he plans to live a peaceful life far away from the usual life a Resident Evil protagonist has. This means no punching boulders, no gunfights, no killing evil bioweapons made to infect the planet.
Unfortunately, he’s once again dragged into the fray due to the surprise attack of his house by a shocking individual. Chris Redfield and his men stormed his house, killed his wife, and kidnapped his infant daughter. Now, with no idea where Chris and his daughter are, he follows a trail towards a village in the mountains. And well, let’s just say that he’s in for yet another wild ride.
Gameplay-wise, Resident Evil 8 is like its predecessor, Resident Evil 7, with the game being in first person. The player once again controls Ethan Winters to explore several distinct locations. Some of these locations (the village itself and Castle Dimitrescu) are reminiscent of the locales in Resident Evil 4, true, but they have their distinct twists.
Along the way, players need to do the usual Resident Evil puzzle-solving, getting key items to progress, among others. The inventory management system from Resident Evil 4 makes a return as well. This allows Ethan to dynamically sort out and place his items in his briefcase. In addition, The game now has a shopkeeper by the name of “The Duke.” The Duke is a big man that Ethan can encounter throughout the game. It’s through him that Ethan gets more ammunition, healing items, weapons, upgrades, and more.
Lastly, there’s also the hunting mechanic that allows players to kill wild game for them to take to the Duke. Once they do so, he can then create meals that increase Ethan’s parameters.
Controls and Combat
Combat-wise, Ethan’s now more experienced when compared with his past self. He now uses a variety of weapons that he either finds or buys from the Duke to combat enemies. Players start with a handgun and a knife. Eventually, they can improve their chances of survival by getting more weapons and improving Ethan’s capabilities.
In terms of controls, there’s merit in both the keyboard+mouse and controller configurations. It’s usually up to personal preference which control scheme a player uses. Do note though that it’s usually best to wait a bit if a player plans to play on PC. This is so that any kinks in the keyboard+mouse configuration can be ironed out.
Graphics, World, and Level Design
Resident Evil 8 in terms of graphics looks great no matter what console you play it on. The locales that Ethan goes to are ominous and have a sense of scale and a bit of majesty. Each of the areas has their little tweak to them that adds to their vibe. For example, the village Ethan goes to at the start of the game—it is located in the middle of the mountains. The houses are run down, there’s no one to be seen for miles, and the huge Castle Dimitrescu overlooks it. The fact that there’s no one around adds to the ominousness of the whole thing. And it doesn’t help that the first person you see when you arrive is—spoiler alert— an old woman that looks like she won’t be out of place in a witch’s coven.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Castle Dimitrescu couldn’t be further from the grungy, ramshackle village. The inside of the castle is opulent and has class. Hallways are always lit with candles like the castles of old, and there are a lot of really valuable artifacts left, right, and center. However, this opulence hides some dark secrets, things that people with keen eyes can see if they’re meticulous enough.
A lot of the game’s locales have their unique twists as well. Of course, we can’t say anything else because of spoilers. However, it seems only Castle Dimitrescu and one other locale have a horror vibe to it. The world and level design of the game is like a 50/50 split. The village and Castle Dimitrescu are incredibly good, with both places having nooks and crannies to explore and get lost in. However, the rest of the game’s levels don’t have the same creepiness except for one area.
Sound Design & Quality
The sound design of Resident Evil 8 can be considered a great standard to be in, at least on consoles. PC players on the release have some difficulty in the audio part of the game. Players stated that the audio of the game tends to not sync with the graphics. As of this article, the bug seems to be fixed, but Capcom may release a patch for it in the future.
Other than that, the game sounds fantastic. The growls of the werewolves are appropriately terrifying, and the player can hear everything that wants to kill them. The game’s in the first-person perspective; thus, you need to have keen ears to hear enemies coming. Hear rustling somewhere? Instant alert, bring out your gun, watch every corner warily. That’s the feeling that the game has on you. What about hearing Lady Dimitrescu’s voice in a distant corner of her castle? Also possible; you can even know where in the castle she is. That’s how good the sound design is in this game.
Resident Evil Village is made with next-gen consoles in mind. This is because the PS4 and Xbox One versions suffer from a few frame drops. However, other than those minor things, the game runs surprisingly well on all platforms. Of course, the PS5, Xbox Series X, and a lot of high-end PCs will have the advantage. But even PCs that only have Intel Core i5-7500 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 CPUs can start the game. Granted, you’ll also need a decent video card of 1050 Ti or a Radeon RX 560. However, that’s a sacrifice willingly made for the sake of playing this game.
At minimum requirements, the game suffers from frame drops, dropping from its traditional 60 to 36 fps. Don’t even get us started on max settings, which would turn older PCs into ovens. To play the game smoothly, players need to have 16 GB of RAM, as well as an i7-8700, or a Ryzen 5 3600. They’ll also need to have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or an AMD Radeon RX 5700 for their Video Cards.
Game Modes and Replayability
In terms of replayability, Resident Evil 8 is one that you should play once for the story, and once for Village of Shadows. Going for more is a bit wasteful, as the game shows the completion of Ethan Winter’s story. There is Mercenaries Mode, though, but as of right now only Ethan is available for players. However, it’s generally expected that there would be more characters to be added to Mercenaries Mode eventually. Here’s hoping for some series favorites like Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong.
Other than this, there are also collectible hunting and challenge point collecting. Getting challenge points is one that we recommend doing the most. This is because getting CP, as the game calls it, allows players to buy things from the Extra Content Shop. The Extra Content Shop is where you unlock Mercenaries Mode, several new weapons, and Infinite Ammo for each weapon in the game. This is also the place where you can get more collectibles like Figurines and Concept Art for characters and areas.
If you’re playing on PC, however, you can use various mods to spice up your gaming experience. It hasn’t been long since the game came out and already mods are appearing left, right and center. These can range from replacing guns with others from the series to straight-up putting Minnie Mouse instead of Mia. All these mods add to the replayability of the game, even if it’s for the amusement of it.
How Does Village Compare to Older Resident Evil Games?
Now that we’ve talked about Resident Evil Village, we need to see how it compares to the modern Resident Evil games. We’ll start with the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, then move to Resident Evil 4 and 7.
Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remakes
The Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes are set in the burning ashes of Raccoon City and follow established characters. In Resident Evil 2, You follow Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they try to get out of Raccoon City. Along the way, the player fights super bio mutants, helps a child, and gets shot by a mercenary secret agent. Meanwhile, R follows the story of Jill Valentine and her escape from Raccoon City, as well as finding vaccines for the T-Virus.
Both games are from a third-person perspective and are thus fundamentally different from Resident Evil Village in that regard. However, they still have the same core gameplay loop of killing zombies, solving puzzles, alongside some sprinkling of horror added in. This gameplay loop’s been successful for a long time now, and it’s safe to say that people are clamoring for more.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is indeed an older game compared to the other games in the series here. However, it’s still one of the best games in the series because it trod new ground during its release. This is because Capcom moved the series from horror-centric into something more action-oriented with some slices of horror. At the time this trend worked, but later installments would sour the game’s legacy due to those games flopping.
However, there’s no denying that Resident Evil 4 managed to make a great case for itself in its sales and gameplay. The game was just that good, from the gunplay to the secrets, and a myriad of other factors. Well, except for the glorified escort mission that is the latter part of the game, which can go right out.
Resident Evil 7
Lastly, we have Resident Evil 7, the game that revived the Resident Evil series for a lot of people.
Resident Evil 7 is seen as a return to form for the series. It moved the game’s perspective to first-person, sure. However, the game being first-person made the horror and action more intimate and personal. The game’s horror would work from a third-person perspective, yes. However, there’s a lot more impact to it when seen in first-person due to players projecting themselves in Ethan’s eyes. Combine that with genuinely terrifying sequences and nail-biting boss fights, and you have a game that scared the pants out of unaware players.
Overall, Resident Evil 7 is a great way to return the series to a wider audience. Especially those that don’t want to know the baggage of the other games.
Is Resident Evil Village a Great Game?
Resident Evil Village is a good sequel to Resident Evil 7, and one that brings closure to the story of Ethan Winters. The game tells the story of how love can surpass limits (yes, this is a thing), the insanities that people would go for something they want, and those that they affect negatively along the way. It’s action-packed, terrifying at points, and a bit poignant and bittersweet at times. There are some scary moments here and there, but the game feels more action-packed when compared to its prequel.