First day in the village

Hey I bought Resident Evil Village. Surprise!

Also I recorded my initial play session of the game, which lasted roughly 45 minutes. I stopped upon my first death, both because I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go to avoid said death, and because it was past my bedtime. Damn these video games that launch at 11PM on Thursday nights!

Aaaanyway, first impressions are… I like it. I’m not entirely blown away yet, but it’s very early and there are a few little nuggets here that suggest very good things to come. First of all, it’s clearly a direct sequel to RE7, what with Ethan still being the protagonist, the first person perspective, et cetera, et cetera. But then you get through the prologue and into the real gameplay, and when you open your inventory… it’s more or less Leon’s attaché case from RE4. Yes! The return of the best inventory system ever! Also the first major setpiece traps you in a medium-small area flooding with never-ending monsters until a bell sounds and summons them all away. Sound familiar?

Yes, it looks like RE8 is going to be a fusion of RE4 and RE7. In other words: the perfect game for your good pal, Ryan.

Circling back a bit, RE8 opens in a way completely different from anything ever in this entire franchise: a fairy tale, animated in a cartoon-like style. I almost thought that I had booted up the wrong game, but it was actually a very cool intro, and segued into the actual game very well. Made perfect sense, and gave Capcom a good excuse to do a very pretty animated short. Also, it’s probably foreshadowing for how the game is going to roll out, but whatever. I cannot yet fathom what any of it means, other than there are going to be four major bosses, all under the dominion of some greater beastie.

I honestly wouldn’t mind playing a whole game in the style of that “Village of Shadows” animation.

There’s one potential issue so far: werewolf-zombies are absolute tanks. I should be used to it after having played RE2make so much, but I was still thrown off. The problem with this one is that these guys are both tanky and fast. No more regular-zombie shambling. They barely flinch when shot, and can’t be stunned/knocked down with leg shots. So it looks like it’s going to be a tough road. Gotta turn on those gyro controls so I don’t whiff quite so many shots as I did in the video embedded above.

I guess I don’t really like the traditional Resident Evil combining of items has been revamped into a much more AAA-bland crafting system. It’s mostly just the name that I don’t like. Just call it combining. But I guess that every friggin’ modern game needs to have “crafting” to appeal to the unwashed masses, so here we are. Also, component items don’t take up inventory space any more? It’s convenient, but inventory management is like, RE’s thing.

Oh no, I’m starting to sound like one of those crotchety old guys who get upset when the video games they like change over time. Better nip that in the bud.

Crafting is fine! Long live crafting!

Anyway, it seems like Village will be another really great RE game. I’m a little sad that it’s seemingly shedding the straight-up horror aesthetic of RE7, but you know how it is. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t. I hear that Mercenaries is back, too, which is awesome. Mercenaries is the best bonus game mode that Resident Evil has ever had.

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