Does this direct sequel to Resident Evil II manage to bring some new blood to Capcom’s horrific saga? Does the use of the same characters lead to a banal repetition? Could this village just be a change of scenery? The answers to these questions can be found in the rest of this text.
Ethan Winters, the unwilling hero of Resident Evil II is back in Village. Refugees with his wife Mia and their daughter Rose, in Eastern Europe, they try to forget the tragic events of which they were the victims in Louisiana. Everything is fine, until little Rose is kidnapped by a well-known character from the series. Ethan then sets off in search of his child in a remote and strange village in Transylvania. The Romanian region, which became famous thanks to the myth of Dracula, was to be the scene of its grueling ordeal.
The choice of the first person view (introduced in Resident Evil II) here serves the staging in a masterly way. By narrowing our field of vision, Capcom uses the off-field to scare us. And it works ! Suspicious noises, falling objects, monster growls, all exacerbated by a quality sound design, make you jump. We then search the cramped and dark spaces in search of answers.
The decrepit interiors of the rural town convey a palpable feeling of desolation. Dirty tiles, dilapidated plastic patio furniture reinforcing the immersion. As for the Gothic castle which overhangs the borough, its worked and finely decorated interiors are a delight for the eyes. Outside, the Capcom artists have taken care of the panoramas that we take pleasure in contemplating when the title offers us a short moment of respite.
Winters is growing
The unwilling hero Ethan Winters can still use flight to escape a sticky situation, but he now has the ability to defend himself and retaliate. He shoots fuel barrels to ignite enemies or sacks of flour to blind them. Its arsenal remains classic, but it is endowed with good feelings which make the confrontations interesting and nervous at will. He has at his disposal the traditional automatic pistol, the shotgun, the machine gun without forgetting the grenade launcher. Small novelty: the sniper rifle, it is very useful against flying enemies or those posted on the roofs who have not felt your presence.
Apart from the bosses, Ethan will especially have to knock down wolf men, a kind of werewolves equipped with bladed weapons, vampires. More rarely, he will have to deal with mechanical humanoids and a kind of hostile dolls.
Hunting, fishing and transactions
The merchant, the main novelty of Resident Evil 4, is making his comeback in this opus. Instead of the odd hooded guy, we get a good-natured obese who travels in a sleigh. In addition to the sale of consumables (paid in Lei, the Romanian currency that we glean from enemies), it can help you improve weapons and especially cook you small dishes. These give Ethan permanent bonuses (more health, more protection, etc.).
It will be necessary to provide him with the ingredients by hunting birds or black pigs (which defend themselves) or by fishing. The title pushes a lot towards the manufacture of objects: by combining the chemical fluid with a medicinal herb, we obtain a treatment; for ammunition, it suffices to mix scrap metal and black powder. Resources used for manufacturing do not count in inventory, which greatly facilitates inventory management.
The return of clichés
Throughout the ten hours offered by the adventure (depending on the difficulty mode chosen), Resident Evil Village suffers from a certain “heritage”. Thus, we will find the usual sequences where the hero loses all his arsenal and that where he is pursued by an invulnerable boss (Lady Dimitrescu, in this case).
There are also favorite puzzles from the saga based on pieces of medallions. More annoying, this opus plagiarizes the structure than its predecessor. The village serves roughly as a hub whose paths lead to the four main bosses. Likewise, the finale is more like a shooter than anything else. Despite everything, the tower in this horrific roller coaster is enjoyed with pleasure. Once the adventure is complete, a shop offers to buy unlimited ammunition, concept art, models and 3D and unlock the Mercenaries mode.
Beauty and fluidity
If Resident Village is available on 8 consolese generation, it works wonders on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (as well as PCs). The game takes advantage of ray-tracing (without affecting the fluidity) to offer light effects and almost photo-realistic reflections.
The RE Engine displays a very good quality rendering. The textures are very detailed, the quality animation makes the movements natural and the faces expressive. 3D models benefit from careful modeling. Dazzling to the eyes, the title also spoils the ears with a sound design that makes the footsteps in the snow or the cries of lycans more real than life. Beautiful fears in perspective!
- Ethan Winters’ story continues in Resident Evil Village, the 8th installment in the series …
- Discover the “village” in the shade of an old castle
- Use different weapons and items to defeat the many enemies and progress through …