‘Resident Evil Village’ Review: A Thrilling Ride Into the Macabre


Throughout all of its ups and downs, ‘Resident Evil Village’ has always been a franchise that has tried to balance its horror foundations with action-based gameplay. Whether or not that is achieved differs from game to game, but in recent years the series has returned to form in major ways. This upward trend began back in 2017 with “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard,” the main series’ premiere foray into first-person shooter-esque gameplay that garnered tons of critical and commercial success.

With the following games being remakes of the second and third entries, fans were wondering if and when Capcom would attempt a first-person Resident Evil game again. This leads to the eighth entry, ‘Resident Evil Village’ released on April 18. Several details of this game’s plot were kept in secrecy up until the game’s release, causing communities to speculate over what the story and the gameplay would consist of.

Needless to say, ‘Resident Evil Village’ does an incredible job at creating a terrifying experience, even if I wasn’t always scared by the story. With a consistently intense atmosphere, enjoyable gunplay that takes advantage of the PlayStation 5’s new capabilities, and a story that is engaging throughout its entire runtime, ‘Resident Evil Village’ acts as a great follow-up to not just its numbered predecessors, but to the enjoyable remakes that came before it.

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village continues the story of Ethan Winters, the protagonist of “Resident Evil 7.” Three years after he has rescued his wife Mia from the Baker family, he now lives in Europe with her in safety, all while raising his newborn daughter Rose. This all changes when Chris Redfield, who first rescued them at the end of “Biohazard,” raids his home, kills Mia right in front of him and kidnaps Rose.

After a scuffle, Ethan wakes up outside a mysterious village that he ends up being the sole survivor in, and ends up encountering Mother Miranda, the one holding Rose hostage and leader of a crew of mutant lords consisting of Lady Dimitrescu, Donna Beneviento, Moreau, and Heisenberg. As Miranda’s forces close in on Ethan, it is up to him to overcome the odds and face enemies both supernatural and human in order to rescue his daughter.

Resident Evil Village

The game’s story is a simple one, but that does not make it any less enjoyable. All of the characters, from Lady Dimitrescu to Ethan himself, have a role to play and make the most out of their time. Ethan may not have the most fleshed-out character, but he has a lot more agency in “Village” than he did in “Biohazard,” and he feels like a character that you actually want to root for rather than just being an audience surrogate.

Moreover, everyone Ethan meets in the village is unique and cast their own impactful light on the game. Lady Dimitrescu is hands-down the one that most players will be interested in, seeing how, to put it lightly, most attention towards “Village” has been directed towards her. While her time on-screen is shorter than some would hope, she does not overstay her welcome and is easily one of the most memorable aspects of the game.

Resident Evil Village Lady Dimitrescu The Nerdy Basement

All of Dimitrescu’s cohorts get their time to shine too, with Beneviento’s section being a great psychological horror sequence while Moreau’s is equally creepy but in a more grotesque fashion. Heisenberg’s section is longer than expected, which does mean that it will be a mixed bag among fans, but I personally enjoyed how claustrophobic everything felt. Nevertheless, the game has different slices of horror for different types of horror fans, meaning that there will always be at least one section that players will enjoy, regardless of their tastes.

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village’s gameplay is basically the same as it was in “Biohazard,” but it is admittedly more centered on an action-based loop. While that may sound off-putting at first, it mostly feels the same for the most part. Just because there are more guns in Ethan’s arsenal and more ammo is scattered about does not mean the game is no longer scary.

The game has a fair amount of effective jumpscares and a consistently chilling atmosphere is present throughout the game’s 8-hour runtime, and never is there a moment where you won’t feel like something is out to get you. You just have more enemies to fight and more ammo to do so, but that does not make things any less stressful.

Resident Evil Village

The PlayStation 5 version of ‘Resident Evil Village’ stands out in particular, as it does a great job of using DualSense’s new features. Whenever you switch weapons, there are different levels of tension within the trigger buttons in order to aim down your sights and fire. It is easy to press the left trigger to aim with the pistol, but you need to press down hard onto the left trigger when trying to aim with the shotgun or sniper rifle. When you reload, your controller vibrates with every shotgun shell being inserted and every magazine being replaced. It works wonders for immersion, and I felt twice as engaged with the game than I would have had I played any other version.

The game’s lack of repetitiveness is also due in part to the stellar look to everything; the Lycans, which are this game’s version of zombies, are all disgusting to look at (in a good way), making it quite easy to want to stay away from them. All of the villains and locations are impressive as well, with no two people or places feeling the same. The game feels like a cohesive mesh of several different types of games within one project, and it is all the better for it.

Resident Evil Village

Although the game may be a short one (as previously mentioned, my first playthrough only took around 8 hours), every minute of it was a blast. There is a ton of variety to the game, whether it be which weapons you purchase, what upgrades you make to your weapons, and how you approach combat.

In fact, the game’s length allows for multiple playthroughs, and there is even a separate game mode, entitled “The Mercenaries,” that adds an arcade-style twist to the gameplay and adds even more bang for your buck. Getting through the game once does not mean that I have beaten everything, and this is a game that I would love to revisit down the line.

‘Resident Evil Village’ proves that the first-person view can be a consistently suitable means of delivering a terrifying Resident Evil experience. The story is engaging and filled with plenty of memorable characters and moments, the gunplay feels incredibly immersive and strong while maintaining a horrific tension, there is a ton of replay value to the game, and it has some of the most gorgeous set pieces and designs I have seen in recent memory. The future seems to be bright for this dark franchise, and with ‘Resident Evil Village’ being as strong of an entry as it is, I look forward to seeing what future encounters Capcom has in store for the world of Resident Evil.

For more film, gaming, anime, and TV news, trailers, and updates make sure to keep it locked right here at The Nerdy Basement. While you’re here, please consider supporting us on Patreon! It’s an easy way of supporting us so we can keep proving you with your Nerdy News!