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Resident Evil: Village Village review (Spoilers)

Rain611

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Hi everybody. I didn't see a thread for reviews so I figure I'll start one at least for mine, feel free to post yours too. Spoilers abound.

This is my initial impression after beating the game for the first time in two sittings. I probably missed stuff and am still kind of absorbing what happened, also its 1:30am so bear with me lol.

Overall, the story was all over the place but seemed to work in a lot of stuff from earlier games in subtle ways. Not so subtle was the typewriter of course, which is always nice to see. The story had a creature at the middle of everything, the big baddy if you will, which is ultimately blown up as the heros fly off into the sunrise saying somebody has to pay for this. It brought back Chris pretty much front and center to save the day, ending on a relatively familiar note. There is a much wider variety of enemies and of course the Boulder punching line.

Enemy variance was great. And everything was tanky. One of the streamers I watch said it well when he reflected on the enemies from REmake, how even regular zombies could take at least 10 shots to kill if you don't get a crit. We have flyers, lycans, zombies, vampires, dolls lol, giant fish mutants, mechanical enemies, pursuers and I'm sure I missed something.

Bosses were very WTF to say the least. Little did I know Lady D would be the most normal in the bunch. The doll fight was cool because it played around with the hallucinations idea that was floating around before the game was released and changed pace by forcing you to fight without guns. The whole area was so ridiculous in a memorable way. The 3rd boss was my least favorite but I don't like anything body fluid related.... I really enjoyed Heisenburg though, he was a cool villain and the boulder punching line was great. I thought the final boss fight would never end to be honest; I don't look forward to it on VoS.

I liked the map layout, except for maybe the factory. It was nice to see the Village open up as you acquire new keys like classic locations would in earlier games. I liked the relatively centralized location of it all and how it all came together.

The music was great.

Ethans story ended which I figured would make people happy at least. It made sense that he was molded after RE7 and explains the crazy healing factor. Rose reminded my of the next Jake, having been born with powers and I think it gives a solid way forward for RE9.

And playing as Chris was awesome.

I actually enjoyed this game. Yes, it was wild, but I feel like it did well enough to fit into the story with previous early installments while keeping it faster paced like later games. Initial score upon 1st completion - 7.5/10.
 

bSTAR_182

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I finally completed my first run through of RE8 this weekend and oh boy lol... It took me about 13 hours to complete the game as I was trying to explore as many areas on the map as I could and collect as much as I could.

I really loved the Village map and how everything flowed together in this game. I also enjoyed the changes made to the mechanics of the gameplay and combat against enemies. Unlike RE7, it was nice seeing a bit more variety in the bioweapons used in this game, even when some of the monsters/bosses felt a bit out of place as a proper bioweapon. Despite that, I still really liked all of the boss fights featured in this game as they each brought something unique to the table but still left you feeling like it was indeed an RE game.

As far as the actual story in Village is concerned, I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Ethan and where they went with him. I was one of those who instantly hated the announcement of Ethan’s return and that his story would be the main one we follow in the 8th installment... again. He was bland in RE7 and even fans who were instantly in love with RE7 could agree with that sentiment.
But instead of CAPCOM doing what they always seem to do; scrapping characters and major plot points/twists, they actually carried on with Ethan’s story in the best way and made the necessary changes of making him a more interesting and likable character. I actually felt sad when he was officially killed off but dammit if his death wasn’t heroic.

I also liked some of the tie-ins with previous games and thought they did a decent job of adding more lore within the series. It’s interesting seeing how far back the concept of bioweapons has gone. It sort of justifies the fact of a small old village, dominated in years of god-fearing, folklores, and witchcrafts, utilized a form of bioengineering that replicates the same village’s beliefs.

That all being said, it still keeps up with the rest of the series in having many cheesy, outlandish moments and concepts- this is of course not an entirely bad thing to me as I enjoyed most of the one-liners (“That boulder punching asshole“ lolz). Another thing that should be mentioned is the phenomenal soundtrack used.

I feel inclined to give this game an 8/10 at the moment. I look forward to replaying it again on harder difficulties and I am curious to see where things go with the whole BSAA storyline. I think it offers a great opportunity for CAPCOM to potentially bring back other major characters into the mix- whether they will actually do this though remains to be seen.
 
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Turo602

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Resident Evil: Village is a very complicated game for me to talk about because I'm not just torn between the tired "it's a great video game but bad Resident Evil game" line of thinking because there's actually a lot of things the game gets right as a Resident Evil game that feels tainted by its first-person gameplay, nonsensical plot and characters, and general handholding nature. So there's definitely a lot to unpack here.

The Village itself is a great setting and I love how it serves as the central area of the game despite being taken through all sorts of varying locations throughout the story, keeping exploration and backtracking alive despite very clearly trying to imitate Resident Evil 4. Even the puzzles, while not the most intricate, are varied enough and present throughout most of the experience and never really devolve into grab item and place item in same room like RE4.

Surprisingly, Village actually feels like a massive improvement over RE4 in many ways rather than a cheap imitation. That's not to say it's a better game or that I enjoyed it more than RE4, but it does incorporate the series' core elements into its more exotic setting far better and is ultimately what the action era of games was lacking to better blend in with the rest of the series.

Resident Evil: Village is first and foremost a survival horror game, which is evident in the game's design, atmosphere, enemy encounters, and slower pace, but it's not without its flaws. Something that I feel has plagued the modern era of Resident Evil games, including the remakes, is just how reliant they are on crafting to replenish your items and this game is easily the worst offender.

Outside of a couple of health items I foolishly crafted at the start of my first playthrough, I haven't crafted a single thing in my 2 runs. It's an unnecessary mechanic that needlessly gives the player an edge to overcome any obstacle, cheapening the entire concept of item management and resource conservation.

Your reward for exploration is ammo and health to get you through the game, but now you're given a bunch of materials that conveniently don't take up any inventory space, so that you always have something to fall back on. The game even purposely doesn't give you many health items because they don't want them cluttering your inventory until you decide to craft one. That is, if you even need to heal at all since your low health always regenerates, allowing you to take a couple of more hits until you're red again.

I've also never liked how easy it is to knife in these first-person games. As much as I liked how essential Resident Evil 4 made the knife to your overall skillset, it was also very easily exploitable due to enemies stalling, feeling pain, and getting knocked on their asses like helpless idiots.

Resident Evil 2 remedied this by making knives disposable and Resident Evil 3 took it further by making zombies more aggressive when downed. Enemies don't really fall over in Village, but it is incredibly easy to get in low on them and expose their idiotic A.I. and just keep knifing around them. I saved tons of ammo doing this and realized towards the end that I could have just unloaded into everyone without worry.

Then there's the Merchant... I know he was extremely popular in RE4, but I've always hated the idea of an in game shop for a Resident Evil game despite how quirky and mysterious he may have been and I still feel the same way about it now. The idea of buying/upgrading your weapons always came off like another cheap advantage for the player because the devs want to "take it easy" on us. It's a mechanic I appreciate in many action adventure games, but Resident Evil? You already find guns and modifications in the game by exploring and that should honestly be enough, not to mention, you unlock special rewards for completing in game challenges.

But on the subject of weapons, it's also bothered me how the sniper has become standard weaponry since RE4 and even though the series has gotten away from it, Village just brings it right back. The sniper as a weapon puts you in control. It gives you power over your targets from far away, where you're safe. This isn't a feeling or a power you should have in a survival horror setting. It's one thing for it to be a special use weapon like how Revelations 2 incorporated it into Alex Wesker's final battle, but there's enough power weapons as it is for us to be given yet another advantage over these poor creatures who never had a chance.

It's a real shame, because I do honestly commend this game for how well it balances horror and action, something I thought Resident Evil 3 did really well too. It has all the right elements but it has so much working against them that the survival horror aspect of the game just really starts to fade away and all that's left is a solid action adventure game, just like Resident Evil 4.

With that being said, this is a fun game with many elements that enrich the overall experience. I know I definitely enjoyed exploring the Village on my first run and finding new areas and opening new doors just like any good Metroidvania. I also really liked the whole hunting and cooking element despite being put off by it at first. But when I discovered they were essentially just collectibles and rewards for backtracking and served the same purpose the coins did in RE7, I was actually okay with it. It's new for the series but it works and further emphasizes the importance of exploring and backtracking as do the optional bosses that put you in a risk/reward situation.

Castle Dimitrescu is easily the highlight of the whole game for me. I found the enemies here to be a lot more fitting than the stupid lycans and actually creepy looking. This entire section, while unfortunately the earliest of the 4 major sequences, is the most like classic Resident Evil and the castle itself actually makes sense and feels lived in as opposed to Salazar's castle which is just a series of challenge rooms. Lady Double D definitely has a stronger presence than the rest of the wacky Addam's Family too. Her boss fight however was unfortunately a little underwhelming, which is something I feel the first-person games have been struggling with.

Marguerite in RE7 was a standout, but I don't think it worked quite well as a Resident Evil boss fight as it was more the shocking and creepy imagery that made that whole sequence unforgettable. However, there are two boss encounters in Village that I thought they absolutely nailed. The first being Moreau who's entire sequence was actually quite solid and even reminded me a bit of Resident Evil 5 and his boss fight definitely had shades of the action era, which easily had the best boss fights in the entire series.

The other standout being the optional hammer bro inside the barn which was a massive improvement over the first one in the grave area who literally doesn't attack you if you're far back enough on the stairs, making the entire fight amount to you bullying the poor bastard from afar. While you can easily bypass the one in the barn and just reap the rewards, the fight itself requires you to be confined with him as you maneuver around, making for a tense encounter not too dissimilar from Bitores Mendez from RE4.

With that being said, there are 2 sections that left me severely underwhelmed. The first being House Beneviento which was just a blatant PT knock off. This section is so out of place and tacked on here for no reason other than to try to be scary, and it honestly wasn't. I went in expecting a similar experience to Castle Dimitrescu but in a big house. I searched every nook and cranny and found nothing, which told me there wasn't going to be any danger to worry about and as soon as they took our weapons away, it became apparent what kind of sequence this was.

While I appreciated the puzzles in this section, as soon as I saw that stupid baby I rolled my eyes. You have no way to defeat it so you might as well just run the opposite direction... It's so straightforward and procedural and it will always play out this way in future playthroughs. It's artificial horror that preys on the easily scared and it gets a no from me. The talking puppet was really stupid too but I did appreciate the nod to Resident Evil 3.5, especially with the whole thing being a hallucination and the blue hue during the anticlimactic hide and seek game.

I also didn't really care for Magneto's factory. I liked how the game started taking a more action oriented approach at the end with the lycans, but then it kept going... and it just kept throwing the same enemy at us over and over again. It was at this point where I felt the game got "too long" and should have wrapped up sooner. Heisenberg was just another Lucas which I found to be extremely cheap, and that whole Magneto-esque thing he got going on really really makes him so overpowered that the fact that he ended up turning into a transformer was ridiculous as ****. He was by far the worst character in this game and why they wanted to put robots in the game is beyond me. The boulder punching asshole line was also extremely stupid.

Then there's the story, which is just a complete pile of garbage for reasons I don't care to touch on at the moment as that's a whole other topic. But I honestly don't understand why this story was necessary or why Ethan even had to return. Last we saw Chris, he was with Blue Umbrella but still working for the BSAA. There's no mention of Blue Umbrella whatsoever and suddenly he's in FOXHOUND and has it out for the BSAA. Do we need another Umbrella Chronicles to fill in the gaps? Now there's a Miranda he's been hunting who by total coincidence has these deep ties to the series' origins and it amounts to nothing more than a pointless information dump at the end of the game just to remind us we're playing a Resident Evil game.

So I question, why is the central story about Ethan and his boring ass family? Why aren't we following Chris' story? It's the far more interesting and relevant tale, yet it's all treated like background stuff. Even his discovery of the BSAA using bio-weapons feels glossed over as we quickly time skip over those events and are then told "The Father's Story is over" as if it's now the daughter's story... Big f*cking sigh.

Then there's Ethan... The fact that they wanted to make him "more of a character" makes the first-person perspective seem redundant. I personally would have enjoyed this game so much more if it played more like RE2. As much as I disliked first-person in RE7, it made sense with the more claustrophobic environment. It was even designed with VR in mind with all its lame "jump scares." Village however is so much more expansive. The scope, the action, the boss fights, they would just look so much better in third-person and feel so much better to play.

It would have even benefited Ethan as a character more. You still don't get to see his face despite the fact that he's more of a character and because of that and horrible writing, his dialogue comes off laughably bad. They tried so hard to add depth and emotion to him and it falls flat miserably, especially because you can't see Ethan going through those emotions or acting them out outside of hand movements.

I also hated how Chris acts like a total dickhead to Ethan for the sake of shrouding his role in mystery and to make Ethan look like even more of a sad sap just to poorly write it off at the end with him "protecting" Ethan, and then going on to take his death harder than the man's wife like they were besties or something. His Carlos voice also got really irritating too. I can't believe they were honestly that lazy with his voice. I guess Carlos represents the macho military tough guy they keep forcing Chris to be.

Chris acting out of character isn't going to make me feel more sympathetic for Ethan. It's garbage writing from a hubris writer who thinks they can control how the audience will react to their poorly constructed characters and scenarios. I still didn't give a sh*t for Ethan or his bland ass wife and stupid kid. I swear, they're such a boring goddamn family and Ethan and Mia have no chemistry at all.

With that said, I'm still one disappointed but not surprised Resident Evil fan. However, I don't rate games based on my own personal preferences or gripes regarding characters, story, or general series consistency. The game set out to do what it wanted even if it left me as a fan unsatisfied and it's an undeniably great action adventure game packed with content and replay value, which is a definite step up from RE7.

9/10
 
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UniqTeas

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My sweet lord - that was a lot of information to take in from both of these reviews, but I will highlight things said before with more specificity.

I think everyone can agree that the Village itself is one of the major attractions of the game and the map itself is interesting and unique. The first time through the game is something special because the Village seems a little bit intimidating and while you can see it is not THAT big, it feels immense when you can only access specific parts every time you come back to it. That is the beautiful thing about this game. The Village slowly opens up to the player and as you find key items, more of the mysteries and secrets of the Village can be explored. The excitement I felt when I found the secret areas beneath the castle or that area where Chris and Team were set up made me feel like a genius... like I had really conquered the game. Capcom did an amazing job with location and map building.

But I do have to disagree with Turo about House Benevento being too predictable. I accidentally ruined that part of the game for myself by watching a Facebook playthrough for about 10 minutes and saw how to survive the Baby encounter. But when it happened to me.... more than any other place in the game or any point in the series, I was actually scared. I did feel helpless and I did feel lost. Luckily, I did not see all of the House Benevento walkthrough, so I was able to figure out most of the puzzles by myself. But even on a second and third playthrough, I dreaded getting to this part of the game.

Look forward to hearing more comments from people because I love reading analysis on weapons/enemies/bosses/locations!
 

Mr.R

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I'll write a more in-depth review later, although I can say I walked out with a pretty positive feeling. As far as a game go, Van Helsing changed everything I thought it was bad in RE7, with the exception of Ethan, although he's just a little better. That's certainly a plus.

Anyway, what I wanted to say here it's that I agree with both @UniqTeas and @Turo602 about House Beneviento. At the same time. Those types of segments are tense. When they took my weapons, I was genuinely curious about what happened, and although the baby wasn't a particular scary thing...because nothing is really scary in RE, it was...unsettling. The problem with these kind of sequences, it's their replayability factor drops to zero on all of your other playthroughs. You know what's gonna happen. You know where the baby is, and how to hide. You also know the answers to all the puzzle and you breeze the whole section in minutes. It's the same as the RE7 intro. Full of cheap jumpscares that only really work the first time you play. After that, it's just a big long cutscene (although at least it has the Mia boss fight...and that can be quite challenging on Madhouse). Or even the purposedly slow section of Leon & Helena's first chapter, where you're forced to walk through all the motions until the elevator scene. That stuff only works the first time. After that, it feels predictable. And maybe that's the reason I don't enjoy many "horror" games where you can only run and hide.
 

UniqTeas

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I do 100% agree with your sentiment about the replayability factor. I said in my previous post that I was still scared/on edge when doing the puzzles the second time around, but it was HARDLY as effective. By the last time, I was just trying to rush the section to get it over with. I was still a little in a huff because I was not sure if Baby had alternate patterns on VOS difficulty, but in the end, I was just rushing through.

I feel like Moreaus area is less replayable as well for similar reasons. Once you know all of the patterns and tricks for the flooded area, you can just kind of rush through in under 10 minutes. But I do love hearing Moreau yell IM THE BESSSSTTT!
 

bSTAR_182

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I can definitely see how that section of the game would lose its effectiveness after multiple playthroughs. That whole waiting for the elevator bit still has me nervous to play through it again. Hate that feeling of being chased.


I actually loved the boss fight against Moreau. I’d say it’s my favorite and felt the most like RE with a neat setting. After I’d say Lady Double D (love that abbreviation lol) was my second favorite, really loved her final form. Then Mother Miranda.
 

Turo602

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I actually loved the boss fight against Moreau. I’d say it’s my favorite and felt the most like RE with a neat setting. After I’d say Lady Double D (love that abbreviation lol) was my second favorite, really loved her final form. Then Mother Miranda.
I don't know, I think they dropped the ball on Double D. Her whole thing is being tall and having a Freddy Krueger claw. I feel like they turned her into a dragon abomination just to fit their fantasy nonsense. I personally would have preferred if they turned her into a grotesque winged Tyrant-esque vampire rather than a dragon.
 

Mr.R

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To me, both Moreau and Lady D's boss fights were very Resident-Evil like, at least post RE4. They reminded me a little of the plaga based enemies from 4 and 5. I actually found the boss fights to be more engaging than 7, for sure. I even liked Heisenberg's fight. It's better than some bosses of the past, like the stationary fight against the giant in RE5, or the dull Malacoda fight in Revelations. I do wanted that we could had the chance to fight human heisenberg for a bit before he turned into a full monster.

As for Lady D.'s last form...I think it was pretty cool, but I also liked @Turo602 's idea. She could have a mid form where she would grow wings and try to slice you up, and after some damage, she could turn into the dragon like form, a lá Dracula on the Castlevania games. That would be cool.
 

KennedyKiller

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Alrighty, I've already given my review of this in the "Games You've Played and Rate Them" page in the General Discussions tab, but I've now done two playthroughs, and I'm gonna go way more in depth than I did there. I also think I'm gonna be arguably the harshest here than anyone else...So strap in Jill's and Gents. If you didn't think I was a snob before, you will after this...

Let's start with the story, since Resident Evil has always been a story based series to begin with. It was just dumb. I actually figured I wouldn't get this game as soon as I did. I'm moving, getting married, and paying a lawyer for a custody case. Needless to say, funds are tight-ish. But my roommate, who has NEVER played an RE game (Just watched me play them, with interest in the story, but horror games aren't his thing) bought this game both because he was genuinely interested in it, and as kind of a goodbye gift to me. One last game to beat together before I left since we love playing games together. And while I did enjoy it, part of me knows its the emotional factor of playing it with him, not the game itself. And as such, since I didn't realize I'd play it as soon as I did, I replayed REmake like 3 times trophy hunting, and to get pumped for RE8. So the original story was fresh on my mind...

The story just doesn't feel like Resident Evil. People talk about how it is a love letter to 4, and yeah, aesthetically that's true, but that's honestly where the similarities end. At least in 4 they make it VERY clear pretty early on this is a virus/bio-weapon. Here. Not until you play as Chris, which is what, the last 90% of the game? I mean yeah, we all knew that would be the case being Resident Evil fans, but for the average gamer who just wants to play this game because "Dommy Mommy has some nice seedless watermelons, also shooting things is cool" this was a horrible way to, story wise, portray it as a virus/bio-weapon. Also, the connection to Umbrella feels so beyond forced just to connect it to older games, that it would have made me groan with the annoyance of a Pro Life prostitute the has her 3 year old asking for cereal at 8 in the morning when she never wanted kids to begin with, but her religion kept her from aborting the annoyance to begin with.

On top of that, I called Mia being the bad guy from the beginning, and Mother Miranda being Mia since before the halfway point. This is arguably the most predictable RE game to date. And yeah, I've been playing RE since the beginning, and get its a fine line to walk between honoring long time fans and creating a new story, but I feel like anyone who's taken a junior in high school level class on writing could see this "twist" coming. Look when you're doing horror, predictable just won't cut it. How can you be scared if you know what's gonna happen? I haven't actually felt on edge and scared in an RE game SINCE 4, and that only because it was so easy by comparison I kept expecting it to take a sharp difficulty turn that would f*ck me over. Granted, that never happened, by my own expectations at least kept me on edge playing it based on 1, 2, 3, and CODE: Veronica X.

Chris's character also makes no god damn sense. Dude is being an @$$hole, not because it's in character, but to keep the player guessing. If this was a one off story, sure, that would work. But this is the 11th main game in the series counting Revelations, 6 of which starred Chris if you count RE7's DLC. 7 if you count the new scenarios in Umbrella Chronicles, and 8 if you count the Vendetta movie, since it is canon to the games. So we know Chris's character. Having him act like a douche when he's always been a rather altruistic "I'll protect everyone and be a good person doing it" character was solely for the shock/suspense factor of this game. And I fell for it hook line and sinker. Problem is...we get no resolution to it. Like @Turo602 mentioned, it feels like a side story. Glossed over. Narritively it makes no sense given how we've seen Chris in the past. It's classic MCU style writing makes it super annoying, or worse, boring, to long time fans of the source material.

Lets talk about the bosses and their motivations in the story. Lady Double D, as Turo so aptly put it, was honestly the high light boss character wise (Notice how I didn't say fight wise). Were I in charge of development, I would have put her second to last of the four lords, and had the doll chick first. This is where I'll start moving into talking about the gameplay while still keeping it to the story...

Majority of the beginning is the same, but after Chris makes sure "Mia" is below snakes, Ethan freaks and starts to question him. Chris, like the good dude he's been in all other previous games, begins to explain, one of the lords shows up and he holds them off for Ethan to get way. He runs, and gets to a house in the woods...

Start with the Doll b*tch first. Like so many have said, it's SUPER predictable and on a pattern. But if they placed that near the very beginning before you obtained any weapons, it would make more sense. Then you could have your PT rip off section as a way to teach you to avoid enemies rather than fighting, with the baby. chasing you. It also gets you accustomed to the easy puzzle solving. Find your first gun in the house after avoiding the baby, and do your first boss fight with Dolly Part-On (Damn. Not as catchy as Lady Double D's), giving you just enough ammo to defeat her, and have a knife from the get go in case you f*ck up. Have him acquire a Rose body part there. Think his daughter is dead, and while he's escaping the house, an emotional mess, have Heisenberg call him on a phone. Give him the cryptic yet semi-helpful dialogue similar to Zoe that makes him keep going. Even if it's just on the slimmest of hopes.

From there you go to the village and things play our as usual, but rather than ending up in the castle, you end up in the swamp. Again, maybe Heisenberg guiding you there with some cryptic method. You've now seen Dolls, Lychans, and swamp monsters. Most of Moroeu goes as the game plays out (despite the fact that he's the LEAST threatening lord, and I'm IRL afraid of water. This should be the most terrifying part for me), and only after you've defeated him, do you get by captured Miranda's remaining entourage. You go through an alternate version of Heisenberg's challenge, making it more difficult since you're far further in the game, and it ends with you succeeding and ending up in the castle. Also, when you're kidnapped by her entourage, they take the two pieces of the kids body you've found.

Now you're in the castle. You've found some weapons. You're doing what RE does best key based claustrophobic exploration. Lady D and her daughters stalking you. This plays out like normal but more difficult since you're further in the game. You eventually get through it. Lady D goes down like a Lady B (Minus the [email protected]$$ dragon form), and you get the two pieces of the body, plus a third that she was holding, back. Now it's Time for Nicholas Cage. I mean Heisenberg.

This plays out also as normal but with a FAR less confusing map layout. Look RE has always been about puzzles, but the files and exploration have always been key (get it...key...) in getting you through them. This map is just a maze for the sake of being confusing. It's not scary. Instead you make them far more sparse. You forget after a bit you're playing a horror game, just to have sh*t come after you. You pass Daddy Magneto's test. He tries to recruit you. You refuse. You're thrown immediately into the boss fight with Strum. You beat him. Rage Cage gets ****y. You fight him in a FAR more interesting fight than just junkyard Michael Bay reject, you get the final piece of your daughter, and you are face to face with Chris. First time you've seen him. He explains everything. And you go to take mother Miranda together. She murder f*cks Ethan then bounces out. Ethan gives Chris the pieces of his daughter and says so save save her as his dying wish as a father. Chris makes chase, you have your Chris gameplay.

You rescue the real Mia. Ethan is legit dead. None of that mold retcon nonsense. You finish her off with an ACTUAL f*cking rocket launcher. Like God intended. And you move on. Daughter grows up. Business as usual. Ethan is dead. Yada yada.

Notice how I didn't mention the Duke? It's because he isn't there. Do I love me some RE4? Hell yeah. Id sell my daughter to the bad guys from Taken to experience that game again for the first time. Do I also think the Duke is immersion breaking and upgrades should be found throughout the game? Most definitely. As much as I think REmake2 is a downgrade over the original RE2, it got upgrades right (Or maybe I'm thinking RE3. At this point it doesn't matter. It's all the same). The Duke just doesn't make narrative sense just like item boxes don't. At least there's a way to play REmake with them realistically. Put him in Mercs as a reference to the Merchant from 4? Perfect. That's right where he belongs. A fun easter egg for fans.

That brings me to Mercs. Finally. A positive. Mercs is done the best it'd done since RE4 (3DS game not withstanding as I haven't played it). RE5 has better levels, but worse item placement and characters, RE6 had potential but the gameplay drags it down. This is the best Mercs since RE4. It's close enough to the original but makes enough changes to feel fresh.

Ethan may suck and be boring as a character, sure, but the atmosphere doesn't. The sound design is arguably the best in RE history. The only contenders are REmake and RE4. And even then I think this is the best. The gameplay. as much as I'm not on board with first person RE, is more refined than RE7. The dialogue is heatwarmingly cheesey (Although, that brings me to another gripe. When Lady Double D's cut's off Ethan's hand, you get through it, put some Gwyneth Paltrow branded goop on it and says "good," they missed a PRIMO opportunity to say "Groovy." A reference to Evil Dead 2, the KING of cheesy comedy horror. If you're gonna be cheesy, at least go all the way).

The village itself is a fantastic setting, and while I think in the overall RE setting lychans don't fit and should never have been attempted, at least in this setting it aesthetically fits. Aside from Lady Double D's castle, is the most Resident Evil feeling setting in the game. The swamp, the forge, and the factory just don't feel like RE.

The game holds your hand WAY to much. Especially when it comes to the treasures. I don't want you to tell me it's combinable. Let me figure out if it is or isn't myself.

All in all, I'll be GENEROUS and give it a 6.5/10. It's arguably the best modern RE game aside from REmake2 (Modern being RE5 and on), and even then that's debatable), but I'll always be happy withe the sound design, the mercs mode, and the fact that it was the last game I played with my oldest friend before running off to get hitched.
 
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