PS5 Review: Resident Evil Village

Bio-hazardous for your trousers?

The next generation of survival horror rises in the form of Resident Evil Village, the eighth major entry in the Resident Evil series. With ultra-realistic graphics powered by the RE Engine, fight for survival as danger lurks around every corner. Years after the tragic events of Resident Evil 7 biohazard, Ethan Winters has started over with his wife Mia, finally living in peace and putting the past behind them. However, Chris Redfield, the legendary hero from previous Resident Evil games, suddenly disrupts their life, throwing a devastated Ethan into a new and twisted nightmare in search of answers.

I was shocked when they switched Resident Evil’s perspective from third to first person and shifted the overall tone of the series to something much darker and more believable as Ethan tried to rescue Mia in RE7. RE7 was one of the scariest games I have ever played and had some serious doubts that Village could recapture that sense of dread I felt in the Baker house, but I can safely hold up my hands and say how wrong I was. Village is in my opinion even scarier than what went down in Louisiana…

The promotion for Village has mostly been focused on the extremely tall vampire Lady Dimitrescu and her 3 daughters, which also appeared in the demos we had the chance to play before the game launched. But what is surprising is that this is only a small section of the game and the rest will pit you against other House leaders with abilities and while I won’t spoil them for you, I’d argue that at least one of them deserved a lot more recognition during promoting the game. If you’ve already beaten the game, then I’m sure you know which one I mean…

Village clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Resident Evil 4 in its appearance, as well as a travelling merchant called “The Duke” who somehow pops up in the right locations when you need some supplies. The inventory menu that is like a Tetris puzzle also returns as you try and manoeuvre your items to fit. Enemies are more varied from RE7 and are a mixture of Lycans, villagers and other grotesque things alongside the Big Bads’ you’ll be fighting.

Combat feels more refined than it did in RE7 and the triggers of the DualSense add a nice feel to shooting and stabbing whatever gets in your way. On the whole, it’s a short game but I took my sweet time with it and in short bursts as doing it first time all the way through may have given me a stroke in some cases. Luckily, I had plenty of Dutch courage to make me power through this superb, yet terrifying game. There’s also a Mercenaries Mode which is challenging in its own right, as well as a brutal difficulty mode and some challenging trophy requirements for you to attempt if you are crazy enough. Plus, there’s the future addition of RE-Verse to look forward to for owners of Village.

This is the first next-gen Resident Evil title and Village looks incredible at 60FPS in 4K. You can get Ray-tracing at 45FPS but it doesn’t seem worth the trade-off overall. Everything from the locations to the character models look breathtaking and the load times are more or less non-existant, even starting up the game and loading a save takes seconds. Voice-acting has always been a mixed bag in the Resi games, for every good line there’s always the reminder of the “Jill Sandwich” moment, but in Village I thought the acting was great. The soundtrack was also very impressive and perhaps the best in the series so far.

The Verdict

Resident Evil Village is one of the scariest games I have played, it’s made me feel dread and fear in a way I haven’t since Resident Evil 7, and yet it’s much more terrifying in certain areas to the Baker house. Capcom have smashed it again with Village and I hope we get to see another game in the first-person perspective.

Score: 9.0