Final Thoughts : Resident Evil Village

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Final Thoughts : Resident Evil Village - Blogging with Dragons

 

I finished my playthrough of Resident Evil Village last weekend. I’m already working on my second playthrough to get all of the collectibles, so I wanted to share my final thoughts on the game, as promised in my First Impressions post. In my opinion, Resident Evil did not feel like a worthy successor to Resident Evil 7 for many reasons involving both the story and the gameplay.

 

Last Warning: Please do not read this post if you haven’t finished playing the game or do not want to read spoilers.

Confused?

 

I feel like Resident Evil Village couldn’t really decide what it wanted to be! Sure, it had elements of horror, but I really felt it was more of an action based shooter than anything else. It also was really treading the line between bioweapons and the supernatural in this one (though granted, we see this a lot in Resident Evil titles). Sure, technically all of the creatures were a result of experiments and implantation, but this game still seemed much less focused on stopping pharmaceutical warfare than before.

 

Not scary

The only area of the game I found truly scary.

As stated in my First Impressions, I really did not find Resident Evil Village to be very frightening, except in the incredibly short second area, in Lady Benevenito’s house. This part of the game almost felt out of place in comparison to the rest of Resident Evil Village, which was decidedly lacking in the horror aspect. I really wished the entirety of Lady Dimitrescu’s castle was like the second lord’s house. Instead, most of the game is not scary, and all of the fear factor that came with the surprise of the monsters in the other areas is gone almost immediately.

 

 

What’s more, is that the common monsters were not scary to me at all. The lycans were out in broad daylight, and just looked like hideous people who didn’t have much impulse control and had a pesky hunger for flesh.  Other lycans looked like awkward, funny-looking dogs that I even felt bad to kill. The vampiric creatures were a little creepier, but not much. The giants didn’t scare me like the veiled executioners or chainsaw men in other Resident games. Again, the dolls in Lady Beneviento’s house were scarier to me than any of these common mobs. Likewise, I didn’t find any of the four lords, except maybe lady Beneviento, scary either.

 

The Winters family is annoying

 

 

I am sorry to say that I find both Mia and Ethan to be very annoying characters, even if there hearts are in the right place and they’re under a great deal of duress at the time Resident Evil Village takes place. I found them both to be particularly grating in this game, and especially did not care for Ethan’s one liners, that seemed like a cringey and pale attempt at an imitation of Nathan Drake. It just didn’t work for me. And Mia is constantly abrasive, and I couldn’t believe that she didn’t notice that her husband was missing when another man was carrying her baby wrapped on Ethan’s coat! It took her way too long for her to notice he wasn’t there, especially after the man has walker through literal fire for her in two games and sacrificed himself for their daughter.

 

The best Chris yet

 

Perhaps it is only in contrast to the awful Winters family, but I have never liked Chris Redfield more than I did in Resident Evil village. In other games, I found him to be a bit basic for my liking, seeming like the classic strong jock with a typical heart of gold. But in Resident Evil Village not only was I a fan of his new appearance, but I loved that he seemed older, wiser, and jaded. I was so relieved when I got to play as Chris. He seemed so much more capable and in control than Ethan.

The plan?

 

Despite Chris seemingly having it much more together than poor Ethan, I still don’t understand what his supposed plan was at all? Chris’s subordinates mention that Chris should have “told Ethan the plan” but I have no idea what the plan was? Was it just to blow up the creature that only Ethan’s actions made manifest? Was he waiting for Rose to get possessed or whatever by Mother Miranda? It’s very unclear, to the point I’d consider it a plot hole. Long story short, I honestly think Ethan’s  second demise could have been completely avoided if Chris had just taken Ethan under his wing again and worked together, instead of him running around willy-nilly without any idea of what was going on and potentially making things worse.

 

Winters Protection Program =  fail

 

I’m completely perplexed why Chris relocated Ethan, Mia, and their baby so close to a village filled with all these evil lords in the first place. It certainly seemed very much like a hop, skip, and a jump away from where the Winters family lived. But technically, I guess it could’ve been a few hours away in the Redfield kidnapping mobile. Seriously though, if Chris was putting the Winters in a type of witness protection program, one would assume he would have researched and found them a very safe neighborhood. And you know, maybe changed their names.

 

Plus, why the heck was Chris’s organization driving *towards* the village in the first place! When the vehicle crashed Ethan was able to just walk what seemed like less than a mile to get there! If Chris knew Mia was actually Mother Miranda why are they driving right near her village, when they don’t even have a decent or secure base there? Shouldn’t they have gone in the opposite direction if they wanted to remove Ethan and Rose from the situation? And why the heck were they taken in the same vehicle as a supposedly dead big bad?

 

Ethan’s True Nature

 

How did Mia (and the Duke) know about Ethan actually being dead and he had no idea? I don’t understand how he didn’t know, but they did? Did Ethan cut his finger off cutting vegetables for dinner in the kitchen one day and just put it back on and think nothing of it only for Mia to be bewildered and afraid to speak up about something so significant? That’s really the only type of scenario I can imagine.

 

Also there was zero build up to Ethan being dead. Yes, he kept surviving tons of near death experiences, but that could simply be chocked up to video game logic. There was no tension, because every time Ethan got sliced, fell from great heights, he was totally fine! I just thought it was poorly done video game drama until the guy literally reattached his whole hand and walked it off. I think Resident Evil Village should have showed his blood getting significantly darker throughout the game due to the mold implantation inside of him, or some other similar ominous effects, to foreshadow it coming.

 

Ethan magically reattaching his hand was so jarring and sudden that it was almost comical. I also felt like Resident Evil Village wanted the fact that he actually died in Resident Evil 7 to be a huge and shocking reveal, almost like Bioshock’s revelations about Jack’s identity. However, as there was almost no foreshadowing to this reveal, no “would you kindly’s”, so to speak, it just lacked the  impact it so obviously wanted to achieve.

 

What’s interesting is glossed over

 

Chris is no longer in the BSAA. I’d love to know why he left and what organization he is a part of now. Is Jill still part of the BSAA or did she leave too? Why is the BSAA running bioweapons? As usual Capcom does not seem to realize that players are interested in these reoccurring staples of the series, minimizing and glossing over these significant events, almost making them into an afterthought.

 

I’d also love to know how the BSAA knew about the Village, if Chris isn’t working with them? And if they knew then, why again did Chris not consider this hugely dangerous situation when he located the Winters family there?

 

Other unanswered Questions

 

I have a lot of questions about the Duke. He was in business dealings with Lady Dimitrescu, knew of Ethan before meeting him, seemingly knows all of the plans of the four lord’s, and also seems to know the merchant from Resident Evil 4. Why is he choosing to help Ethan and how did he know about Ethan’s true nature?

 

 

How was Rose even in four flasks and then just magically put back together again? I know she’s special, but I just don’t really comprehend this whole plot point period. And what was even the point of putting her in these flasks in the first place just to make her whole again after being put in some mold by Mother Miranda?

 

no good villains

 

Despite there being a surplus of villainous characters in this game, I really didn’t feel that any of the antagonistic cast were strong villains, even if they had cool designs. In comparison to other Resident Evil villains, like Wesker, Mr. X, The Baker family, and Nemesis, the Four Lords of Resident Evil were easily dealt with by Ethan. And Mother Miranda wasn’t around enough to make players hate her or to really want revenge. Without a strong villain, there just isn’t the same emotional payoff that the other games in the series had. I also didn’t really care that Resident Evil tried to make Mother Miranda the inspiration behind the formation of Umbrella company. To me, it felt very forced, random, and like a huge stretch. And quite frankly, Mother Miranda didn’t seem capable enough to be a force, inspirational or more, behind Umbrella at all.

 

Mercenaries mode is a letdown

 

I’m honestly not enjoying Mercenaries as much in Village as I have in other games, like Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. In fact, I would go as far as to call it a drag in Resident Evil Village. I really enjoyed the co-op aspect in previous titles, and I also liked the way the time trial worked in those games instead. I also didn’t like that players can’t choose between different characters, who come with different setups, so it is a pretty straightforward experience, without a lot of options. I find it to be more stressful and challenging than fun.

 

In contrast, Resident Evil Village’s Mercenaries mode requires absolute perfection with its combo counter. In order to get a high score, you have to memorize the layouts of the maps, and where enemies spawn, and also not miss any shots as well. There is only one right way to go through the path, if you go down a wrong corner, the mobs do not spawn and you entirely lose your combo in the process. Ugh.

 

Post Credits Scene

 

I am intrigued by Rose and her powers for future installments, but I also have concerns that Capcom will make her annoying, based on her parents’ characters and some of the other female characters in the series, like Ashley. However, she seems sassy and capable, as well as feared, so I am cautiously optimistic for her character’s story.

 

Though I must admit, I would much prefer seeing Chris and Jill, Leon and Claire, and Ada again, then getting more new characters, which Capcom never seems to realize. I’m concerned that Rose has aged normally, making all of these classic characters that I know and love much older, and therefore, less involved in future installments.

 

lack of puzzles

 

Though Resident Evil Village offered a few puzzles, like the Duke’s labyrinths, the statue puzzles in Dimitrescu’s bathroom, etc., they weren’t challenging like other games in the Resident Evil series. I still remember Resident Evil 2 Remake’s insane chess pieces puzzles, which players had to solve while being attacked by countless monsters, all while having limited ammo, and nowhere to run. There was absolutely nothing that challenging or panic inducing in Resident Evil Village. 

 

Before the battle with Moreau when I was trying to drain the water, I took a picture of the piece of paper in the game that was clearly going to be a puzzle for me to figure out in a tense situation. I needn’t have bothered, when push come to shove, the paper was right there for me to reference, just turned sideways. Likewise, the writing is literally on the wall for the statues in Lady’s Dimitrescu’s bloody bathroom–players can simply read the instructions to solve the puzzle. Just felt a bit like Capcom didn’t think I was smart enough to figure out more challenging puzzles.

 

Too short

 

Even with taking my time and making sure most of the rooms on the map were blue, signifying I got all of the items, the entirety of Resident Evil Village only took me a little over eleven hours on my very first playthrough. It feels very short. I was shocked that the speed run for the game would only take 3 hours! That is way shorter than other entries in the series. And its disappointing that Mercenaries seems so bare bones in comparison to the other entries in the series, which also feature campaigns that feel longer and bigger.

 

Too Easy

 

Now, to be fair, I haven’t yet played through the game on harder difficulty levels, but even on standard, I did not struggle at all. I might have died like three times in the whole game, and most of them occurred during the water fight with Mordeau, which almost seemed glitchy and like it was forcing me to drown and get eaten. I never really ran out of ammo, and always had room in my inventory for more weapons and more bombs, med kits, and mines. One of my guns always had ammo, or I always had money to purchase more from the Duke. There were no tough choices about discarding precious ammo due to lack of inventory space or choosing to carry ammo for a gun I might acquire soon. I never had to run away from mobs to spare my remaining ammunition. I felt like I was always in control of the situation, which goes against the entire Resident Evil way.

 

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Resident Evil Village was at least fun, but in all honesty, the game felt like the beach read of books–light, fluffy, and without a lot of substance. I do plan to platinum the game, not because I loved it so much, but out of loyalty to one of my favorite game franchises. If only the game had knuckled down and decided what it wanted to be, an origin story for Rose, a horror story about a man separated from his family in a horrific village, a story about a man who isn’t what he at all appears to be, or an operative’s fight against another iteration of the Umbrella company. It is truly a shame that Resident Evil couldn’t seem to make up its mind about the main plot or message of the game, and that its confusion became even more obvious due to such a short time frame of its story.

 

Sadly, the many underused and poorly implemented plot lines made for a bit of a convoluted mess, which doesn’t give the game a lot of replay value. The game is very linear and there aren’t side quests or anything missable to keep it interesting. All you have driving the game is the story, without many memorable puzzles or boss fights, and the story is extremely messy. And with only one truly scary part of the game, which takes less than an hour to get through, I just don’t see myself wanting to revisit this game after I acquire the platinum.

 

Though I was happy to see Chris again, and am intrigued by what role Rose will play in future entries of the series, I wish Capcom would realize what fans love the most about the series–the familiar iconic characters, bioweapons, Umbrella company, limited ammo, hoards of terrifying monsters, and horrifying situations where players can barely scrape by, or at least have to struggle to surivive.

 

If I were updating my Ranking of Resident Evil Games, Village would be at the bottom, or at least near it, of the mediocre rank.

 

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Did you play Resident Evil Village? What did you think of the game?

 

 

 

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Final Thoughts : Resident Evil Village - Blogging with Dragons

Posted May 21, 2021 in Games

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