With Resident Evil continuing to evolve with its fans expectations and stay relevant in the ever-changing gaming sphere, it should be no surprise that the 8th numbered entry into the infamous survival horror franchise is well on its way and looking quite excellent. In fact, with all the new footage and information that has come out recently, it’s really starting to look like Resident Evil Village may end up being one of the biggest games of the year.
For fans of Resident Evil 7, RE8 is going to be a very familiar experience at least on a surface level. Much like Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil Village will be first-person and feature many of the gameplay elements that made 7 so memorable and fantastic. Resource management, limited inventory slots, exploration, and a nice blend of horror and action that heavily favors the latter will all be present here. So if you enjoyed Resident Evil 7 at all, odds are good Resident Evil Village is going to be up your alley as well. That said, given that the footage released so far seems to show Ethan with a gun and shooting something a lot of the time, Resident Evil Village could be shifting the balance a tad bit toward the action side, but that of course remains to be officially confirmed.
What little changes there will be to the general format of the game, seem to mostly be focused on expanding what Resident Evil 7 brought to the table as opposed to changing it. Where Resident Evil 7 had a nice amount of exploration, it’s looking like Resident Evil Village is going to be much bigger with multiple buildings and open areas to explore every nook and cranny of. Where Resident Evil 7 fell a tad short in its enemy variety, it appears that Resident Evil Village will be mixing things up for more enemy types as well as more characters in general, which will also likely make the story a bit larger in scope as well.
There is a small chance that this could also lead to a bit of a misstep, as one of the main problems with Resident Evil 5 and 6 was that the stories were just getting too complicated and outlandish to even be worth keeping track of, but given that one of the most obvious big things people loved about 7 so much was its new direction and proverbial wiping of the slate, I would be surprised if the team over at Capcom we’re to totally lose sight of that with the very next game. While the scope of Resident Evil Village is looking to be bigger than Resident Evil 7 in almost every measurable way, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get too big or unwieldy for those of us who like the isolated simple setups of 7, 4, and the original.
Among the meaningful improvements to the many things Resident Evil 7 got right, it looks like Resident Evil Village is going to encourage a bit more interactivity with the world than RE7 did. As footage of such things has revealed it can also lead to a few hair-raising jump-scares. Those moments alone won’t be what makes Resident Evil Village one of the biggest games of the year, but knowing that one of those moments might be around any corner at any time is something that very well could.
Also mentioned before is the enemy variety. While RE7 did a good job with mixing things up generally speaking, the enemy variety certainly could have been better. It’s hard to say how much of an improvement on that we’re in for with Village, but given that we have already seen some of these beast men, which some are describing as werewolves, but more so resemble beastly humanoids; hair-covered animalistic human-like entities that take on some of the characteristics of the forests they inhabit, sometimes with branches or roots growing out of them and of course, beasty amounts of body and facial hair. Given that Resident Evil Village is going to return to Europe for its setting, that opens the door to things like this and other interesting artifacts from ancient folklore of the region to be added to the mix.
Another interesting tidbit that you might not know about Resident Evil Village is that it is purportedly an outgrowth of what started as Resident Evil Revelations 3. Given that the Resident Evil Revelations games have been received very well for their back-to-basics approach to making Resident Evil games, the suspicion now is that Resident Evil Village will follow many of those guidelines despite it turning into something much larger than a Resident Evil Revelations game. This mentality mixed with the mentality that they already clearly have that Resident Evil 4 and 7 are clearly the most popular modern games of the series, and thus, will be the ones most heavily influencing this one, is a perfect sign that Resident Evil Village might strike the balance between old and new ideas in a way that could elevate the series even higher in the minds of old and new fans alike. This is best case scenario, but it also seems like the most likely.
Something that Resident Evil Village will also supposedly be taking advantage of is the idea that the main character Ethan, is suffering from hallucinations. Perhaps an artifact of what he went through during the events of the previous game. If this is used effectively, this could bring even more variety to the game on a contextual basis as well as what the player ends up dealing with both in the real world and in Ethan’s mind. It can also lead to certain characters in certain situations turning out to be totally different than what they seem to be at first. Having atmosphere, good action, and solid general gameplay are all things that we should be expecting from this game to have in spades, but if it can make Ethan a more interesting character through whatever mental traumas he’s dealing with, that would really make it the complete package that Resident Evil 7 so nearly was.
Resident Evil Village will also be the first game in the series to have native versions for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. This will give the RE Engine the best opportunity to shine it’s ever had, and that’s saying a lot as the previous several games built on this engine do look amazing despite being played on seven-year-old consoles. Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 are some of the best-looking games you can play on your PS4 and Xbox One, even today. But if you are a graphics hound, always interested to see the latest and greatest, seeing this engine totally Unleashed on current gen consoles is going to be a sight to behold to put it lightly.
With all of this information and plenty more on the way soon, it’s hard to think of Resident Evil Village as anything other than one of the biggest games of 2021. Whether it’s Game of the Year material or not will have to be determined later, and the fact that many of the best games of 2021 that we’ll be enjoying many months from now probably aren’t even announced yet, surely Resident Evil Village will have plenty of competition for our attention and our money. But if things shape up the way they are appearing to, with Resident Evil Village keeping what worked about 7, fixing what didn’t, borrowing some thematic cues from Resident Evil 4, and of course mixing in a handful of its own unique ideas, we should be in for quite an outstanding experience with Resident Evil Village that will almost certainly make it one of the biggest games of the entire year.
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