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- “Resident Evil Village” will release on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles on May 7.
- It’s a survival horror game set in a European village stalked by werewolves and demons.
- “Village” is one of the best looking games ever made, mixing atmospheric horror with tense gameplay.
“Resident Evil Village,” the latest game in Capcom’s legendary survival horror franchise, will launch on Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia, and PC on May 7. The game is a direct sequel to “Resident Evil 7,” which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since 2017.
“Village” is also the first “Resident Evil” game made for the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. “Resident Evil” is well known for its striking visuals, and the extra horsepower of the new consoles helps deliver remarkable graphics.
Simply put, “Resident Evil Village” is one of the best looking games ever made, creating a haunting atmosphere that will stick with you long after you’re done playing. Players can look forward to a game that blends cinematic presentation with tense gunplay and puzzle-solving as “Village” explores a series of maze-like destinations hidden in a remote European town.
Though we played the PS5 version for review, whether you’re playing on a next-gen console or an older machine like the PS4, “Resident Evil Village” is a well-built game that should satisfy series veterans and newcomers alike with its stunning presentation and gameplay variety.
‘Resident Evil Village’ is a direct sequel to ‘Resident Evil 7’
“Village” stars “Resident Evil 7” protagonist Ethan Winters, picking up three years after that game’s conclusion. After the Winters family is attacked by original “Resident Evil” hero Chris Redfield, Ethan sets out to find his infant daughter. The journey brings Ethan to a European village stalked by werewolves and demons, all led by a mysterious cult figure named Mother Miranda.
As Ethan’s adventure unfolds, players find hints that explain why Ethan’s family was attacked, Chris’s role, and what Mother Miranda has planned. Players will gradually explore the legends that haunt the village through castles, factories, and swamps as they search for Ethan’s family and work to escape.
For those who haven’t played “Resident Evil 7,” a brief recap video with minimal spoilers is offered in-game. Ethan’s story is not directly connected to the early “Resident Evil” titles, so don’t worry if you don’t know the series’ history.
The ‘Resident Evil’ series defines the survival horror genre
“Resident Evil Village” is a first-person survival horror game; that means bullets are scarce and players won’t be able to shoot themselves out of every situation. Instead, Ethan scavenges the village for resources and key items to make his escape. In many cases, solving puzzles is more important to escaping the maze-like village than actually fighting enemies.
Constant exploration is necessary for progress, and players are encouraged to learn the map and village layout to avoid danger as much as possible. Ethan can craft items using found supplies, and eventually a merchant arrives that makes it easier to resupply and buy or upgrade weapons.
If you just want to enjoy some gunplay, “Resident Evil Village” also has a special mode called Mercenaries that lets you fight endless waves of enemies until you die or the round timer runs out. Capcom has also included an online multiplayer mode called Re:Verse, but it won’t be ready to play until later this summer.
‘Village’ offers unmatched visuals on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
“Resident Evil Village” is one of the most impressive looking games I’ve played to date, offering 4K resolution, HDR color and contrast, and ray tracing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Without getting too deep into the technical specifications, the environments of “Resident Evil Village” are beautifully crafted and life-like, creating an ideal atmosphere for survival horror.
Capcom’s RE Engine continues to create some of the most realistic human faces we’ve seen in video games, adding to the expressive personalities of the game’s characters. The lighting of indoor spaces feels particularly effective too, creating a dark, cramped feeling that stands in stark contrast to the snow and fog that cover the surface of the village.
While “Resident Evil Village” will certainly look best on PC and next-gen consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will still be able to enjoy the game as intended, albeit with a slight visual downgrade.
‘Village’ is terrifying, but not too tough
“Resident Evil Village” delivers atmospheric horror, gruesome monsters, and a fair share of jump scares, but players can control the pace and difficulty to limit the terror.
As a horror game, “Resident Evil Village” is designed to be challenging, but it does offer a casual setting for new players. Veterans will also be able to try the game on harder difficulties, including one that unlocks after completing the game.
Though “Village” does include an option for aim-assist, there aren’t many ways to fine tune the experience. Players can expect to die a few times from unexpected traps or monsters, but luckily “Resident Evil Village” has frequent checkpoints.
“Resident Evil Village” can be completed in about 10 hours, though that time could be cut shorter if you’re more willing than me to run into danger.
‘Resident Evil Village’ is available in deluxe and collector’s editions
“Resident Evil Village” will be released on May 7 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. The standard version of the game costs $60; the $70 deluxe edition includes several in-game rewards like a special gun, max difficulty, and a visual filter.
The $220 collector’s edition comes with a map of the village, a statue of Chris Redfield, an artbook, and all the deluxe edition rewards.
The bottom line
“Resident Evil Village” feels like a must-play for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X owners thanks to its unmatched graphics and tight gameplay. It’s a beautiful, cinematic experience that’s engaging from start to finish, delivering a satisfying story that builds directly from the most popular “Resident Evil” game to date.
Survival horror isn’t a genre for every player, but “Village” does a fantastic job creating a haunting atmosphere that spans castles, factories, snowbanks, and swamps; turning the game’s destinations into an interwoven environment.
While the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are the most impressive, players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can also enter “Village” knowing that they’re getting a complete experience. Extra game modes like Mercenaries and Re:Verse bring even more value to the $60 package.