When I first heard that there would be a new Resident Evil game once again starring the rather-bland leading characters from the previous entry and with a setting partly reminiscent of the fourth title, I wasn’t all that excited. And the little tidbit that the monsters seemed to be supernatural in nature, such as vampires and werewolves, instead of the genetically-engineered monstrosities the franchise is known for had me on the fence as to whether this new title was even worth playing.
I gradually changed my mind and got downright intrigued about Resident Evil Village with each bit of info I gleaned, even though I tried to minimize the number of spoilers I was exposed to. I’m not entirely sure of the order in which I learned things about the game, but I will address the aspects I’m most excited about.
1) Alcina Dimitrescu—There are quite a few Resident Evil fans buzzing online about the formidable main vampiress of the new title ever since photos and video clips of her debuted. Standing at nine feet tall and later revealed to be rocking at least one set of long razor-sharp talons, I’m inclined to think she might be the most terrifying enemy in the game (though I’m sure there is something scarier I don’t know about yet). Alcina and her brethren do answer to a mysterious figure called Mother Miranda, so odds are the later portion\ending of the game may raise the fear factor exponentially. In either case, I look forward to the challenge of trying to survive against the seemingly unstoppable Alcina as she’s stalking me\my character Ethan through the halls of her castle.
2) Longstanding hero Chris Redfield is a villain?—I knew early on that the seventh game’s protagonist, Ethan Winters, would journey to this monster-ridden village to rescue his infant daughter. But the exact details for this story setup, as revealed in the first game preview, presented a mystery that has me eager to witness the overall story. In short, Chris Redfield, a hero of the Resident Evil series who has been around since the very first game, actually instigates the events seen in Village. I can only guess at Chris’ motives for assassinating Ethan’s wife Mia and abducting the couple’s daughter to take to the village. But I am certain as a writer that there has to be some explanation other than Chris having become a straight-up bad guy.
3) Possible origin story for the Umbrella Corporation—It’s widely known amongst fans of the franchise that a corrupt pharmaceutical company and its high-ranking employees were responsible for the science experiments gone wrong that cause one source of conflict after another throughout the series. With Village, iconography seen in some screenshots suggest that Umbrella has ties to this locale; the company’s logo is seen at the center of an altar depicting icons of the four “houses” (Dimitrescu, Heisenberg, Moreau, and Beneviento) around the village. The new game’s lore seems to suggest that the village and its various monsters might pre-date the Umbrella Corporation; one human occupant of the village proclaims that, until several days before the start of the story, “Mother Miranda has always protected us.” Whether Umbrella originated in this locale or had some hand in creating the threats within, I’m eager to find out the story here.
4) Better story/higher stakes than the seventh game—This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I do like that Ethan is much more fleshed out and, from what I’ve seen, actually has a personality. This is a big improvement over his intro in Resident Evil 7 in which he was a completely dull, unrelatable character trying to survive a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque nightmare. In addition, I feel that any story in which a child is separated from his\her parents and placed in peril carries more emotional connotations and gets the reader more invested in seeing the narrative through to its end. Granted, I can think of two other games in the Resident Evil series that contained a plot thread involving someone’s child in peril (RE2 & Revelations 2), but this counts as the first time the child is completely helpless and incapable of fighting back.
5) The Duke\Merchant & backstories—One aspect that was present in Resident Evil 4 makes a comeback in this new title in the form of a merchant from whom you can purchase weapons, upgrades, and other items. In Village, the merchant is a grossly overweight man called The Duke who curiously knows who Ethan is when they first meet. The Duke, despite his obesity, is seemingly capable of moving around as he is rumored to pop up in various locations throughout the game. Being a colorful character aside, I am very curious about this merchant’s familiarity with Ethan. But then, the backgrounds of Ethan and his wife are just plain nonexistent; nothing has been revealed about who they were prior to their adventure in the seventh game. I am quite intrigued to find out Ethan’s history and exactly how The Duke ties into it.
There are other, smaller details that have me hyped to start playing Resident Evil Village when it releases on May 7, 2021, but the five aspects above are what intrigue me the most. Based on what I know and/or have seen so far, I have very strong expectations for this game and a good feeling the overall story will not disappoint. And I really hope that the week following the release date proves me right.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to tune in next month for my full review of the game. 😊