Here’s what we thought of Resident Evil Village’s first open demo!
During the last Resident Evil Showcase, Capcom unveiled the arrival of two playable demos of the last title Resident Evil Village for all platforms. However, PlayStation gamers were treated to a clear advantage as one of the two demos, titled “Village,” was available for an eight-hour window from April 18 and playable for 30 minutes. At Le Journal du Geek we were able to test the Village demo on PlayStation 4 and we will share our impressions in this debrief. In it, we were able to wander and explore in the area of the game that gives its name to the eighth installment, namely the village.
A distressing and mysterious story
If, 30 minutes, it may seem short, the demo is actually doable during that time, and even faster for those used to Resident Evil games. You can choose between three difficulty modes: easy, standard or hard. This will determine the ferocity of the enemies to beat, to be chosen according to your combat skills.
The “Village” demo lands you right in the middle of it, with a welcome from the dean of the village who looks insane and, therefore, quite frightening. During the first minutes of the game, it is therefore a matter of familiarizing yourself with the few commands available and finding clues about the mission to accomplish. The clues are given in the form of written notes placed in strategic places and in the form of indications when Ethan interacts with certain objects. So it is quite easy to understand the purpose of the game.
The environment itself is quite complex and it can be difficult to navigate, especially if the area were to be fully open in the full game. However, it is a pleasure to be free in an area without having to escape some terrifying foe from the start of the demo.
Combat system and game mechanics
After this first phase of exploration, the game quickly introduces you to supernatural enemies, called lycans. From what we have seen, they are supposed to represent species of werewolves, even if they are more like slightly furry and more resistant zombies. They also have a fairly wide variety of attacks, these can even use machetes. You will therefore have to aim for the head if you want to save the maximum amount of balls.
Indeed, unlike the first playable demo released on PlayStation 5 in January, we were able to experiment with some weapons and therefore the shooting mechanics. In the inventory are by default a knife and a pistol. You can also find a suitable rifle and ammunition in the village area, which becomes a real asset. Aiming isn’t particularly complicated and at this point it’s pretty easy to get rid of the lycans if you know how to keep your cool and tackle them one by one. In addition, sacks of flour are present at the battle scene in order to shoot them, which has the same effect as a smoke grenade for a short time.
Regarding the interface and the game mechanics, Capcom has not made major changes, these being in the continuity of what had been done in Resident Evil 7, or in Resident Evil 4. Resources are scattered throughout the playable area sparingly, making it look more survival what horror to this demo. In addition, there is a crafting system, which among other things allows you to craft remedies and pistol ammo with relatively few resources. The interface is very easy to understand and we find it easy to navigate.
A successful visual achievement
During narrative sequences, introduced using cutscenes, visual immersion is at its highest since the camera moves automatically following the most important events. One of the best visually successful cutscenes remains the one that takes place in Luiza’s house, which finally catches fire and from which Ethan will have to get out urgently in order to find his daughter and get away from the massacre that stood there. Between the flames, the behavior of the NPCs and the camera games, the immersion is really at its peak in this sequence.
From a graphics point of view, nothing really revolutionary with regard to the outside world, at least on PS4, even if we can still note a graphic improvement between the seventh and the eighth opus. We can still note that the details and textures in the interior environments are really well done. These are richer, colorful, nicely textured, and more in detail. The characters are also very well made, and their emotions can be read on their faces. A real waste when you think that most of them will leave us as quickly as they were presented to us. The external environment is for its part the reflection of the atmosphere desired by Capcom, namely a cold, lifeless and quite scary environment as it is empty and destroyed.
The demo also gives us a little glimpse from afar of the castle of Dimitrescu, which will be the next area of the game to be explored in the second open demo. As a reminder, the second demo will be available from April 25 at 7 p.m. until April 26 at 3 a.m., with the possibility of pre-download from April 16.