After hyping myself up so much for Resident Evil Village and even ranking all the Resident Evil games I’d played, it’s finally here! Of course my physical copy was delayed, and I broke and bought a digital copy because I couldn’t wait any longer. Thanks to my impatience, I was able to get several hours of gameplay in over last weekend and am fully able to bring you my First Impressions of Resident Evil today! These First Impressions were written down while I was still inside Castle Dimitrescu and had not progressed further through the game.
Please not that these First Impressions are mostly general thoughts and not major spoilers for the game, but if you don’t want any spoilers whatsoever, no matter how small, turn back. Any major spoilers for the story of the game will be marked and hidden with tags.
1. Showed Monsters too soon
So the first thing I really noticed aboutResident Evil Villagewas how quickly the mobs in the actual village are revealed to players. I really don’t think this helped build up any suspense, because you are very quickly having to fight off multiple lycans. For me the scariest encounter inside the Village was when you are in an area with tall grass, and you cannot really see what’s attacking you. I wish the game had implemented this tactic of hiding the monsters longer to increase the fear factor. I think this is somethingResident Evil 7definitely did better, because though you saw the Baker family members wandering around a bit, players avoided them, because clearly something was very wrong with them, players just didn’t know what.
2. Monsters aren’t scary–yet
As of where I am in the game, I haven’t found the common monsters particularly frightening. The lycans are more grotesque and humanoid than anything and I really don’t find them creepy. In fact, they mainly remind me of The Lord of the Ring’s Uruk-hai. I also still don’t really understand why or how they’re lycans aka werewolves, since there is no full moon and seems to be broad daylight. I found the creatures in Lady Dimitrescu’s castle a little more creepy, especially the wraith-like creatures that can sometimes fly or creep around with swords. I’m going to assume they’re vampires? I particularly hated being down in the distillery with these creatures in the water, which I am guessing is actually. This was the first time in the game I was afraid.
Likewise, I didn’t really find the infamous Tall Lady herself, Lady Dimitrescu that scary. Sure, she gets intimidating after you piss her off, and makes herself a nuisance while you’re trying to travail her mazelike castle, but she’s not as horrifying as say, Mr. X. I think it’s mainly because her and her daughters appear pretty human, despite claws and bugs, and are happy to tell players every step of their plans. “Oh, I have to touch base with so-and-so and then we’ll eat, Ethan. But let him hang out until then, daughters!” That doesn’t really heighten the suspense of what’s going to happen or what they want with us, because it tells us.
3. Too many open or well lit areas
I think another thingResident Evil Villagesuffers from is that it has too many open or big areas. Some of my other favoriteResident Evil games, such asResident Evil 2 RemakeorResident Evil 7,felt way more claustrophobic. The narrow hallways and the small office spaces of the police department in Resident Evil 2 Remakemade it terrifying trying to escape from lickers, Mr. X, and just the plain old zombies. Plus, it was dark and parts of the police department were barricaded off in attempts to protect the survivors inside, which made sense. Likewise,Resident Evil 7had you trapped in a mansion inResident Evil 7with a family of lunatics, who had boarded up their very dark, strange house in weird ways. Trying to evade all of the members of the Baker family in the convulted house was really challenging, and you were often faced with a quick death if you met members of the family.
In contrast, in Resident Evil Village,you are in a well lit village in the very beginning of the game, and though the atmosphere is creepy, there’s always somewhere else to run to escape foes. There’s also bookshelves you can use to barricade doors, and bags of flour to shoot for cover. The few remaining survivors of whatever happened in the village are all pretty happy to help, including a crazed-Mother-Miranda worshiping old lady who spouts her religious beliefs at Ethan and gives players hints of what is to come.
When you get to Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, I was disappointed to find how well lit and ornately decorated it is. It’s not scary in most parts of it all. And it seems that the encounters you have with its occupants are completely random, and mostly don’t require any stealth to avoid them. I’m not a very good gamer, but I didn’t die at all trying to avoid Lady Dimitrescu as she unhurriedly strode through her halls, looking for Ethan. I’m sure this might change on harder difficulties, but it just felt a little underwhelming to me. It was also pretty easy to escape her, as you could simply pivot around her, on Ethan’s right side to avoid her Wolverine-esque claws. Running into her was more annoying than anything and since she was so tall, you could easily see her coming and just avoid her.
I guess what I’m saying is so far, I feel like I have had every situation under control in the game or that Ethan just luckily wormed his way out of events that I couldn’t control, which doesn’t really lend itself to the horror factor. I do definitely find parts of the game stressful more than scary. I have heard that the next house you visit is much more terrifying after the castle, so I am looking forward to that.
4. What military Training?
Supposedly Ethan has gotten military training sinceResident Evil 7.I honestly don’t understand where, unless you count the fact that he magically knows how to make ammunition and first aid salve. Throwing what’s left of your hands up to guard and then struggling to kick a monster off of you doesn’t seem very military training-esque. Ethan doesn’t counterattack like any of his other famous counterparts who have had military or police training, such as Jill, Chris, Leon, Carlos, Sheva, or even Ada, etc.. He doesn’t use finisher moves to stomp on the monsters’ heads to make sure they’re dead or kick their heads off. In fact, Ethan still seems less capable to me than even Chris Redfield’s younger sister, who just got thrown into Racoon City’s zombie apocalypse with zero military or police background.
5. opening storybook was cool
I really liked how the game opened with the storybook telling that we originally saw in the State of Play. It almost reminded me of a Tim Burton tale, and I can’t help but wonder if the storybook foretells any of the events in Resident Evil Village.I am eager to see if it does. I was honestly disappointed when Mia stopped reading the story and wanted to know how it ended, but I have a feeling finishing the game will tell us. I’m curious to see if the ending will cycle back to the beginning and show the storybook again.
Spoilers Ahead! Do not click on spoiler tags unless you are okay with reading major spoilers for the opening of Resident Evil Village!
7. Ethan’s Reaction
Spoilers End here.
I hope you enjoyed reading my very First Impressions ofResident Evil Village.I’m really excited to continue my playthrough. I am especially excited to progress further into the area beyond Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, which is supposedly more scary.
Have you started your playthrough of Resident Evil Village? I would love to know your spoiler free thoughts of the game in the comments below!
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