Resident Evil Village Is the Perfect Mix of What Made RE4 and RE7 Great

by in General | May, 19th 2021

The staple horror series Resident Evil returned last Friday with the release of Resident Evil Village, which takes place three years after the events of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. For fans of the franchise, the game continues the story of an unlikely hero and survivor, Ethan Winters, as he travels through a snowy village attempting to find his daughter, who’s been taken from him. 

Same Gameplay, Old Feel

As RE Village still has the gameplay of RE7, putting you in the shoes of Ethan Winters. But the gameplay and overall focus of it reminds many of RE4. It was a departure from the series, changing the view from fixed camera angles like looking on a security camera to over-the-shoulder third person with more focus on combat and quick-time events. RE Village may not have Ethan being chased by a boulder in the same vein as RE4, but his gameplay certainly resembles Leon Kennedy.

While RE7 has Ethan starting helpless and then working up to the arsenal, he ends within RE7. RE Village immediately hands Ethan a handgun right before his first encounter with the zombie/werewolf hybrids called “Lycans.” Not long after, Ethan finds a shotgun as well. This gives Ethan two weapons in the first 20 minutes of the game they wouldn’t have had in RE7. RE Village has established itself right off the bat as a different overall tone and gameplay style than its predecessor. But the gameplay largely remains the same. Ethan still can block, but he can now push enemies away from him. This means he can also push multiple enemies into one another to create a domino effect which can give him the advantage. 

Crafting is included in this game as well. It’s not exactly like the combining system found in RE4, which was used to permanently make better healing items or max out your health bar. The crafting system in RE Village is more akin to the combination system in the RE2 and RE3 remake. This allows Ethan to create anything from healing items to ammo to even explosives. Granted, Ethan also has to have the right recipe, which can be bought from The Duke.

Fresh Faces in Familiar Roles

RE Village follows a similar structure to the Baker Residence in RE7, with each section of the game giving the player a main bad guy to be chased around by. For RE7, the main house was Jack Baker’s level, with Jack breaking through walls and chasing Ethan down in his car during the first boss fight in the garage. Then you fought against Marguerite Baker in Baker’s Greenhouse and Lucas Baker in another section of the Baker Mansion. For RE Village, The Rouge’s gallery consists of the four lords: Alcina Demitrescu, Donna Beneviento, Salvatore Moreau, and Karl Heisenberg. 

The intro cutscene of the Village of Shadows fairytale references each character. Ethan will have to work his way through Castle Dimitrescu, the same as fighting Jack in RE7. Once that’s completed, and Ethan escapes the castle, the rest of the game will open up. This allows Ethan to take on the rest of the Lords in the Village, just like The Bakers in RE7. Some holdovers from RE4 include the charismatic merchant, which is in RE Village in the form of The Duke. He’s a massive man in a carriage who knows who Ethan is and will sell him items, upgrade his weapons and stats, and purchase treasure he happens to find on his quest. RE Village and RE4 also share similar tonal styles, with a horror tone but settling more on more “out there” scenarios.

The only other reoccurring character in RE Village is Chris Redfield, who appears at the beginning of the game, but returns later in the story as a playable character for a short moment. Chris appeared at the end of RE7 but returned as a DLC story campaign, where he was tasked with finding and capturing Lucas Baker. 

RE Engine Pushed to Its Limits

Resident Evil Village runs on the RE Engine, used in many Capcom games, from DMC 5 to Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection. With RE Village, this game was pushed to its absolute limits. Running a decently powerful PC can net you one of the best-looking games this year. Characters look almost photorealistic and lighting throughout the whole game feels natural, which is a massive upgrade from RE7. The performance of RE Village on my PC (RTX 2060 Super, Ryzen 3600) was above satisfactory, with the game above 60FPS, giving smooth framerates for the majority of the playthrough. While there were one or two hiccups during my playing of the game, I am confident that Capcom will update the game and optimize it further to work on devices of all kinds. For now, it’s the best-looking game the engine has to offer. I believe that the RE Engine can only become more astounding in the future.

It’s no surprise that fans of RE7 will be in for a treat if they decide to pick up RE Village this year. It has everything that made RE7 and RE4 bundled into one amazing package for all to enjoy. With some of the best graphics on the market right now and a solid continuation of the story from the previous title, Capcom knows what they’re doing with the Resident Evil franchise, even if it means giving up the old tank-style controls in the original trilogy of Resident Evil.


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