The latest game in the venerable Resident Evil horror series is the worthy recipient of our award for best horror. For more distinctions, visit the GOTY Pole 2021, which we update during the rest of the month.
Jacob Ridley, Senior Material Editor: Resident Evil Village is a much faster game than you might expect after Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. For that, this is the Resident Evil game that I would recommend to those who have never tried one before, because between all the body horrors there is a lot of running and shooting.
It also mixes so many great horror game staples into one smooth game. Each main “area” on the map feels like a low-key experience, with some focusing on the action and others downright haunting. And each is home to a well-written and well-performed paranormal mafia boss. Resident Evil Village looks like a horror game designed to cater to most horror fans, and while that might sound overkill, Capcom manages to thread the needle exceptionally well.
Harry Shepherd, Guide Editor: I skipped Resident Evil 7, but totally not because I was too scared. And I can prove it: I played Resident Evil Village. But that means my last experience in the series was a bloated, terminally ill action movie Resident Evil 6, and Ethan’s terrifying jaunt through Castle Dimitrescu could hardly be more different. In the best possible way. He also reaffirmed how nice and useful it is to have fully functional hands.
Anyway, where Resident Evil 6 was too long, overkill, and needed the 7 reset to get back to what the series does best – scary – Village takes it one step further: it’s tighter, more focused and, most importantly, bloodcurdling. As Jacob says, each area is distinct. It’s a neat, gruesome series of episodes that feel fresh enough that once Lady D is sent out faster than you expected, you don’t really mind.
Resident Evil Village is full of spooky moments, even when you’re armed to the teeth. In no time after admiring the reveal of the towering Gothic castle, you’re surrounded by werewolves, scrapped to survive on a mix of bullets, red barrels, and sheer stupid luck. I was most scared in those moments, when I was stuck.
For all the rewarding guns, the section they all get carried away will always be remembered the longest. The tall vampire who stole the show before the release may cast a long shadow, but hidden behind it was one of the scariest horror sequences I’ve ever played.
Jody Macgregor, AU / Weekend Editor: As Jacob and Harry said, Village remains exciting because of its distinct sections and their variety. They keep asking different questions: âDo you like gothic horror? Do you like body horror? Do you like subtle metaphors for adult fears? Yes, Resident Evil Village, I played Silent Hill 2. I love the subtle metaphors for adult fears.
It’s like walking through Resident Evil’s biggest hits. Here is the huge spooky building full of puzzles and zombies. This is the village where you climb the windows before being besieged. Here is the lake with a giant fish in it. Here is the factory level which lasts a bit too long. I don’t care about the Frankenstein Factory, but I still enjoyed it, although I preferred Dracula’s dollhouse and castle – even the puzzles, which avoided some pitfalls of the genre. When I found the piano puzzle I thought it would be the usual absurdity that assumes you have perfect keying and recall, but it’s totally doable even if you think the scales aren’t. that things about a snake.
As the other person who skipped RE7, I’m glad I came back to Village. It’s a true âanyone can eatâ experience, with room for thrilling monster fighting backdrops as well as stealth sequences and chases and the occasional stroll through decaying grandeur for pacing fun. . He even brought back the reigning Mercenaries mode. (If you also skipped RE7, I recommend reading a summary first, because once you reach Lore Town there are things that won’t make sense otherwise.)