Like many gamers I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Resident Evil: Village, and after all the excitement, hype and multitude of fan theories it is finally here. And it is definitely scary!
At the time of writing this, I have managed to play for about 4 hours, much of that spent tentatively progressing forward or having to breathe slowly after a jump scare (oh! And meeting Lady D) and the game has, so far, lived up to its hype in my mind. To some degree at least.
Following a well written start that was sort of harrowing (don’t worry, I’m keeping this spoiler free) Ethan finds himself on the outskirts of the titular Village. And from here the game manages to create a brilliant oppressive atmosphere. Everything from the sound design, to environment detailing and colour palette have been seemingly designed to make the player, and by proxy Ethan, feel completed isolated.
This sense of isolation, in the brief section I’ve played so far, is a constant. Even when dealing with Lycans, Zombies and the Ladies of the Castle. And the oppressive atmosphere that is maintained, in part from sound design, helps to build that. Coupled with Ethan’s ‘stellar’ personality, and the talking to himself on occasions, Village has gone to great lengths to populate a game world that is busy, but also completely isolating.
On the subject of Ethan, he does go through the ringer somewhat in the first few hours. However unlike RE7 he seems a bit more aware of himself, the addition of his diary where he keeps an update of the story is a nice feature and allows us to gleam a little more into Ethan’s character (outside of him talking to himself), and seems to be a bit more hardened after his nightmare with the Baker’s (albeit only a little).
So far, for me, I have managed to explore the area’s leading up to and including demo gameplay and a little bit past that and I must admit Capcom have created a really good game so far. The atmosphere is one that feels oppressive, the environment is unsettling, the sound design feels foreboding and the despite the number of enemies at points, the player feels isolated. I can’t wait to continue the play through and find out what else is awaiting Ethan. Be sure to check out the full review when I’ve completed the game.
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