The Resident Evil franchise is one of the longest running in the world of PC Gaming, dating back to its first title release in 1996. Over the years there have been PC, Console, Mobile and Tabletop variants. The newest release is Resident Evil: Village and I had a chance to look at an early release and wanted to share my thoughts and experience.
Village is designed around Ethan Winters and his story from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The game starts with you, your wife and daughter Grace enjoying a quiet evening. Predictably that is soon disrupted, your wife is killed, and daughter abducted…this is your hook into the game.
The game engine has some solid graphics with the detail level moved along a scale of 0.5 to 2.0. For performance, I ran the game using the SAPPHIRENITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 with a Ryzen 3600 on a 1440P 144hz monitor. At the middle point of 1.0 on the scale, the image quality was very good, and performance was outstanding while frame rates hover from 130 to 144 (vysnc limited) FPS. Ramping up the image quality had the expected hit to performance but during game play, I saw very negligible difference in image quality. Village does support Ray Tracing, and by turning it on with higher detail drops the frame rate from the 130+ range to about 40 FPS. Again, the difference seen in actual game play was just not worth the performance hit in my opinion.
Village’s menu system felt a bit kludgy for my liking. It is a mix of keyboard and mouse functions, often not intuitive and bounces between the two. The game play control is typical of other shooters, however, and it is obvious the game was designed in mind first for console.
The game’s sound is good, with use of ambient noise highly effective at creating a feeling of suspense and raw surprise, even a hint of fear. This is the bread and butter of the Resident Evil series and it does a good job. When combined with the graphics the game does what it intends to do and has you on your toes waiting for what comes next.
The dialog and voice acting are hit and miss. Some of it seems quite good and yet interspersed through the dialog are lines, and even whole dialog trees that feel forced and just out of place quite obviously. Some of the plot twisting follows this same pattern.
The game play experience on the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 was butter smooth and super stable. This is using older drivers, (20.12.1), so an optimized driver will make this experience even better. The graphics engine, as noted above, does not really pop a lot of extra detail as you ramp up settings so this should allow cards like the RX 6700 XT and RX 5700 series to have a great 1440P gaming experience as well.
Resident Evil: Village delivers on the suspense genre. The use of ambient noise, good graphics and smooth game play keep the suspense level at a high simmer. The dialog and story line, while not amazing, are good and help with driving you forward to find your daughter. The game does have a bit of an “on the rails” play style, which fans of sandbox style games might not appreciate.
Resident Evil : Village delivers if you’re after smooth stable game play that is not massively demanding on hardware, and a suspense around every turn. If you’re a fan of the suspense Thriller genre, this is a game worth buying for you.
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