“Resident Evil Village” or better known as “Resident Evil 8”, is the newest release from CAPCOM.
Resident Evil Village is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. A major installment in the Resident Evil series and a narrative sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the game follows Ethan Winters, who, after a fateful encounter with Chris Redfield, finds himself in a village filled with mutant creatures in an effort to find his kidnapped daughter. While Village maintains the series’ mainstay survival horror elements, the game adopts a more action-oriented gameplay style compared to its predecessor.
Like Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil Village uses a first-person perspective. It is set in an explorable Romanian village. The inventory management system is similar to that of Resident Evil 4, featuring a briefcase. Players can buy weapons and items from a merchant, called the Duke. The players can also hunt certain animals in the village and have them cooked into dishes by the Duke, eating side dishes allows the player to get advantages such as decreasing the damage taken while blocking. Players can manually save the game progress by locating and using typewriters – which replaces the tape recorders seen in the previous game.
Resident Evil Village includes a six-player online multiplayer game.
The Mercenaries Mode also returns in Village. Like previous Resident Evil entries it is an arcade-style game mode.
Resident Evil Village is set three years after the events of Resident Evil 7. Ethan Winters returns as the protagonist. Ethan has been living with his wife Mia and newborn daughter Rosemary when Chris Redfield and his men suddenly appear, murder his wife in cold blood, and kidnap him and his baby daughter, bringing them to a mysterious European village located in Transylvania, Romania, given the currency used and the names of characters. Ethan has to traverse the village to rescue Rosemary. The village is governed by four different mutant lords, each controlling their own forces from strongholds within the village. Lady Alcina Dimitrescu, an extremely tall vampire-like aristocrat, resides with her three daughters and others at Castle Dimitrescu. Karl Heisenberg leads a group of werewolf-like creatures called Lycans from a contemporary factory. Salvatore Moreau operates from a reservoir in close proximity to the village and is described as a “merman”. Donna Beneviento rules from her mansion, House Beneviento, and controls a puppet named Angie. All houses respond to a supreme leader figure called Mother Miranda, the ruler of the village who is a “presence worshipped by the villagers.”
Resident Evil Village had been in development for approximately three and a half years prior to its announcement in June 2020. Capcom had asked the Resident Evil team to start development of the next game on August 8, 2016, while Resident Evil 7 was still about a half a year out from release, according to director Morimasa Sato. Without having RE7‘s release to judge its success, the team kept the initial designs around the core survival horror gameplay roots that had been in Resident Evil 4 (RE4) and had been a return to form in RE7. During this early period they came up with the concept of the titular village as the central theme of the game, inspired by RE4 where its village was also a central location as well as many of the gameplay mechanics established by the title. The team used RE4‘s approach to create “a balance of combat, exploration, and puzzle solving”. Sato said that for the new game, “we’re bringing the essence of Resident Evil 4, while Resident Evil 7 functions as the base for the game”.
RE7 was released in January 2017 and was well-received by critics and players, so then the team decided to make the next game a direct sequel to RE7, keeping its protagonist Ethan Winters as the main character and retaining the same style of gameplay. According to producer Tsuyoshi Kanda, this also helped to complete Ethan’s story that was left open in RE7. The team had become attached to his character, and worked to devise a story for him with the other Resident Evil teams within Capcom.
As they continued to develop the village, Sato said they wanted to give players more freedom toward solving problems, and make it “a horror movie that you can play”. Kanda said that like with RE4, they were able to incorporate a wide variety of different themes of horror within the village, leading Capcom to describe the village as “a theme park of horror”. Further, in contrast to past Resident Evil games that generally have been linear progressions, the team created a more open world-style village, with optional and secret areas to explore, designed to reward the player for exploration. The game’s main story remained in a pre-set order that the team felt best for how the player should experience it. Sato also stated that the village’s snowy weather was inspired by the team’s trip to Europe for research for the game, where they were met by an “unseasonable cold snap, The scenery was covered in snow…This inspired us to implement snowscapes into our game. We use snow not just for visual presentation, but as gameplay elements as well.” While it is recognized by Capcom as the eighth main game in the series, and its logo stylized to include the Roman numeral “VIII” for 8, the producers stylized the title to emphasise on the “village” aspect rather than the “8”. In a Famitsu interview, producers Kanda and Peter Fabiano said that they considered the village a character, and wanted to reflect that in the stylization of the title so that players would remember it.
According to art director Tomonori Takano, the developmental team drew inspiration from Resident Evil 4 as they wanted to have memorable characters populating the titular village in the game. Takano said the developers wanted to continue the same approach that started with Resident Evil 7 in that they wanted to move away from simply using elements like zombies to scare players but created unique situations and characters that would create fear in new ways. Capcom had considered populating the game’s castle and village with hundreds of witches but found this difficult to conceptualize into a video game. The team decided to switch directions from witches to vampires for Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters, albeit avoiding stereotypical tropes of vampires in popular culture.
The other three Houses in the villages drew from other classic gothic horror themes of werewolves, mermen, and ghosts for Heisenberg, Moreau, and Beneviento, respectively. Karl Heisenberg is characterized as an engineer with an extravagant dress sense inspired by men’s fashion from the 1960s; his base of operations is not covered in snow unlike the other lords’, likely due to the lower altitude of its location Salvatore Moreau was conceived as “the most repulsive character on Earth”; his domain was originally inspired by a frozen lake the team sighted during a research trip in Eastern Europe. House Beneviento furthered some of the ideas that the team had used in Resident Evil 7, with Sato noting that the fully veiled Donna Beneviento and her puppet Angie are considered to be the scariest of the four lords by his American colleagues, even though the team approached Angie’s design with an instant impact in mind rather than being purely frightening. For major antagonist Mother Miranda, Takano stated that crows were the primary motif of her design, noting them being symbolic in the game’s village, as well as functioning as an overarching design theme for the game.
Like RE7, Village was developed with the RE Engine.
|Producer(s)||Tsuyoshi KandaPeter FabianoMasachika Kawata|
|Programmer(s)||Tetsuro NodaMasaharu Kamo|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft WindowsPlayStation 4PlayStation 5StadiaXbox OneXbox Series X/S|
|Release||May 7, 2021|