Justin's Takes - Resident Evil Village
Our resident Resident Evil fan Justin explores his mixed feelings about the latest entry in the series.
Here we are in June with the release of Resident Evil 8 just passing. Earlier in the year, I wrote an article discussing the state of Resident Evil's gaming franchise and how it's gone from survivor-horror to action-like Hollywood motion pictures. Admittedly I was reluctant to purchase RE8, however going in with as much as an unbiased opinion, I made the purchase. Here are my thoughts on RE8 so far.
As a disclaimer, if you are going to play this game I will be talking about potential spoilers, so reader beware.
Let's start by saying one thing. This is a very beautifully crafted game, especially when you have ray tracing active. The lighting, atmosphere, aesthetics, and overall environments are painstakingly crafted. The most minute attention to detail is pretty flabbergasting. Unfortunately, for me at least, that doesn't make up for what RE8 is. I will agree that it is at times somewhat intense, but the game is rather lackluster. Before you start slamming your fingers against the keyboard or mobile device, hear me out.
Resident Evil 8 is a good game for what it is. Capcom has tried reverting to some survivor-horror roots, however from what I have found playing it's rather linear. When you start RE8 you find yourself in your house. If you didn't know, you play as Ethan again, our protagonist from RE7. You're with your crazy wife who tried murdering you with a chainsaw from RE 7 and your baby daughter having a somewhat nice quiet evening together discussing remnants of the past. Fast forward a few minutes and random gunshots are fired from the outside into your home hitting your wife and killing her.
"There's no true sense of danger as enemies once again drop items on death, like some kind of rail shooter."
I know what you're thinking, was I swatted? Nah man, it's just Chris Redfield and his spec-ops from Umbrella breaking in to kidnap your daughter. Gasp! Chris is evil and works for Umbrella? I mean, he kind of works for Umbrella as they were contracted out by them. He still technically works for the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance). Anyway, in the midst of the carnage, you're taken out and thrown into the back of an armored vehicle which then wrecks, leaving you stranded in the middle of the snowy woods of some mountain.
You make your way through said eerie wooded mountains until you find yourself in the village (Oooh, spooky!) Here's where I begin to have issues with the game. These so-called Lycans, or werewolves, are the first enemy you encounter. Admittedly they are pretty tough and give you a run for your money. They lunge, dodge, and bite your jugular on a pretty regular basis if you're not quick enough to throw your hands up to block incoming attacks.
I'm likin' these lycans!
However, that's the toughest enemy you will fight, at least for me it was. I'll touch more on this in a bit. Resident Evil Village as it stands, and I'm pretty sure it's intentionally designed this way, resembles RE 4 on many levels. Like RE 4 you are in a village that hugs a nearby castle as you work your way through mobs trying to kill you until you reach said castle. Like RE 4 you're even chasing after a kidnapped individual. It's essentially a straight shot without any true puzzle solving like in classic RE games. There's no sense of true danger as enemies once again drop items on death, like some arcade rail-shooter.
There are plenty of resources spread throughout the game allowing you to have plenty of ammo and health; as well as with the crafting system there's plenty of scraps to build items to aid in your progression. So with all this taken into consideration, to me, it still doesn't stand as a survivor-horror experience. The abundance of resources takes away that sense of fear and if I'm going to make it or not. Additionally, enemies are in all honesty a bunch of pushovers. As I mentioned above, the lycans are quite literally the most dangerous I have encountered. When I say this I mean I've only used a gun on them, with the exception of flying enemies. Every single enemy forward on, bosses included, I've only used a knife. Granted I am playing on standard difficulty. Enemy movements are predictable, slow, sluggish, fumbling, and just bad overall.
". . . it makes me believe it's a linear style FPS with cheap tactic jump scares put in place to give you a sense of being in danger."
During combat scenarios, I have taken the Dark Souls' way of life (this is the way) and keep circling them as I practice my stabbing in the process. It's not hard . . . at all. Occasionally I might slip up and get bit here and there, but other than that it has been smooth sailings. Even with Lady Dimitrescu, I was able to kill her with only a knife. In her fight, I was pretty much able to exploit her AI and fight her with only being hit two or three times. It was boring.
Along with the ease of enemies I've not sold a single treasure or for that matter even bought any upgrades from the merchant. I honestly just have not had any need to. I did buy blueprints, but that was just to buy them in all honesty. I do not need to upgrade my armory as I don't use my armory. This makes me find RE 8 boring overall. At the point where I am in the game, it makes me believe it's a linear style FPS with cheap jump scares put in place to give you the sense of being in danger.
The Duke is great and all, but I'd rather just use my trusty knife. Like, for the entire game.
There are no puzzle-solving antics like in classic RE games unless you count moving statues to look at other statues (lame). There haven't been any real big “holy crap” moments for me in which I feel I will die or don't have the right resources. The castle is just a bigger version of the RE 4 castle which looks prettier without any puzzles to solve or obstacles to overcome while being “hunted” by vampires. Which again their AI, like their mother's, was extremely easy to exploit.
I honestly am not trying to flame this game even though it doesn't seem that way. I do like this game, I do! It may be hard to believe that, but so far as my thoughts stand it deserves a different IP name. I appreciate what Capcom has done and is trying to do, however, it's not RE. Maybe my opinion will change once I complete the game, but for now, as it stands this is just another horror-style FPS.
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