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There's a lot to like with the latest instalment in the beloved and long running series, even if I do have several major nit-picks. Firstly, let me just preface: huge fan of RE, Ive played nearly every game in the franchise including the spinoffs and remakes, and apart from RE6 (imo the series lowest point), ive played, completed and enjoyed them all to differing degrees. After 6 was obviously the hard course correction of RE7, bringing the game back to its survival horror roots. It was a pretty good game, but not one I loved or wanted to replay after it was finished. But I dug the new story direction, and the setting, characters, graphics and atmosphere were all top notch.
Which brings us to RE Village. A sequel to RE7, with shared story and characters, I did enjoy it more than 7, although there are some very worrying aspects of the game that made think it was veering back into RE6 territory.
But good stuff first. The visuals, atmosphere, creature and character designs, top notch. The game looks tremendous. If there is one thing Capcom consistently deliver, its great looking games. The lighting in this game is fantastic, I loved creeping through old castles, dark mines, and dank factories all bathed in darkness, sometimes the only light source being candlelight reflection on a wet cave wall for example. And character designs...well there's a reason the net went thirsty as fuck over Lady Dimitescu. Heisenberg too, looks like someone straight outta Bloodborne. I just wish the story fleshed out these characters more, but instead LD is the first boss you face and she's dead within the first two hours. And so it goes for all the bosses.
And speaking of boss fights, they pretty much uniformly suck ass in RE8. Really really uninspired and boring, your standard shoot, block, run, repeat until dead for every single boss. Oh except the doll boss, which is actually fucking laughable how easy and boring it is. The controls and how ethan moves as well are fucking horrible. No dodge, no strafe, no jump. You can block or you can run (incredibly slowly) in a straight line. That's the only two options you have. Its fucking pathetic, like it brought me back to Playstation era RE tank control feeling, which is ridiculous in this day and age. Even the remakes have a dodge feature!
Ethan is such a bland character, with zero personality or character traits. His dialogue basically consists of "Where's Rose! Give me back my daughter!" Makes Leon look like a well written character. The 4 Lords and Mother Miranda look cool, but the writing is so fucking weak, we really don't get to know much about them at all. And the game feels pretty short, first play I did in under 14 hours, but most could finish it in under 10 id say. There's some replay value I guess, but the actual main story feels a little thin.
So in conclusion, I found myself once again hooked by the good old RE formula (run around, kill things, get items, get a key, backtrack open a previously locked door, get a new gun, fight a boss, rinse repeat). The amazing graphics and atmosphere kept me engaged even when I felt the gameplay was feeling very old and tired. With some thinly drawn characters, fairly tired story, horrible dialogue and writing, I worry the series is veering back towards the shitshow that was RE6. But now that this phase of remakes is over finally (they wouldn't remake 5 surely?) hopefully they turn all their attention to making a new fresh and original RE masterpiece.
Played for about 15 minutes before seriously questioning WTF am I doing with my life.