Resident Evil is a franchise I cannot get behind, I don’t do scary. Period. In horror games, there is simply too much going on and even with the previous entry in the franchise (Biohazard), I just about managed to play through. Surviving the heart-shattering sound effects, the sudden bursts of adrenaline, and the suspense at every turn needs a kind of courage that escapes me. With Until Dawn, another horror masterpiece, I needed six of my friends in 2016 to play through; thus, this review is almost three months delayed, because in solitude it takes longer to gather courage.
First things first, this game is a masterpiece, there, I said it. Phew! Everything from the story’s pacing to the gruesome action and the cold, harrowing locales makes you fear for your life and leaves your spine tingling with an uneasy excitement. The soundtrack only accentuates the oncoming terror (as is the norm with all horror experiences) but just when you think the sound effects and the vibrations from your controller have scared the living daylights out of you, you realise ray-tracing adds a new dimension.
The quality of light in this game mimics your predicament, the rooms get brighter and warmer when you are safe and even roaring fires seem cold and uninviting if you are in trouble. This is something I have never experienced in the horror genre before, where the sound, light, haptics and the on-screen gruesome action all come together to overload your senses, you simply can’t gather your wits.
In terms of gameplay, the actions sequences aren’t too novel as the lycanthropes you fight early in the game are just zombies from every other survival game. The combat is smooth but not difficult, the zombies are mindless and predictable and that is my only disappointment with Village. The combat is centred around a scarcity of ammunition and as zombies surround you, you inevitably run out of bullets, out comes a knife and then it becomes a battle of attrition. A better combat mechanism would have elevated the experience significantly. Despite its limitations with combat, this is a game that will make you see red. If horror is your genre of choice, don’t look elsewhere. If I could finish it, I am sure so can you.
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