Resident Evil Village is set to release this Friday, but the review embargo lifted today. That means we can now provide a roundup of the Village reviews to give you a flavor for the game before buying.
Generally, Resident Evil Village has scored very well. IGN gave the game 8 out of 10, labeling it “Great.” They praised the enemy variety, with everything from witches, to werewolves, to gargoyles available to fight. This is a shift from Resident Evil 7:Biohazard, which only featured the slimy Molded as enemies. IGN’s review also highlights the move towards action-based gameplay, with more weapons, less jump scares, and more boss battles. However, these boss fights appear to let players down. They provide little variety in approach, following a structure of running in circles and hitting an enemy’s weak spot.
GameSpot liked Village even more, giving the game 9 out of 10. They agree it’s “very different” from Biohazard, comparing it more to Resident Evil 4. There’s particular praise for Capcom’s decision to keep evolving the franchise, not relying on the survival horror roots of its predecessors for success. Yet crucially, their review focuses on the helplessness that Village creates. From the concept — Ethan Winters searching for his abducted daughter — to the overbearing, werewolf-packed opening, Village stacks the odds against the player. Ammo is more plentiful than in RE7, and increased crafting means there’s more varied combat than before. However, they critique the lack of narrative focus, with not enough development of the story in the wider RE universe.
Elsewhere, Eurogamer label Village “uneven,” praising the first half as “bloody spectacular,” but the second half as lacking the same atmosphere. The Independent picks up on the Transylvanian influences in Village, but agrees that the game’s tone rapidly switches, and some of the horror is lost. PC Gamer praises this shift, though, labeling Village both the scariest RE game, and the most varied.
All signs point to Resident Evil Village offering more of the franchise’s classic horror thrills. With strong reviews, the wait until Friday is only getting harder.
Luke Hinton is a freelance culture journalist living in Cardiff, Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media and Communications, and currently balances his freelancing work with postgraduate studies. He specialises in film, TV and entertainment writing.