Saturday 17th April was the first phase for the deployment of the various Resident Evil Village Demonstration stages, as announced in the Resident Evil Showcase.
Releasing exclusively for Sony‘s PS4 and PS5 platforms, the 30-minute one-time-only demo (which totally gives off the same vibes as the RE2 one-shot demo) allowed you to take control as Ethan Winters once again, interacting with various puzzles and an introduction to the Resident Evil Village lore. Here are a few things I took away from my experience in the latest entry to the Resident Evil Franchise. For clarity, my experience is based on the Base PS4 version of the Resident Evil Village Demo. If you want to see my full thoughts on the Demo, please check out the video below:
BE WARNED, MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
LAST GEN, HOW DID IT HOLD UP?
Booting up the demo and seeing the spooky, vacant Village, I was extremely impressed at how the Base PS4 coped with the RE Engine. Although this should come as no shock, the flashbacks of CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 was definitely fresh in all of our mind’s when Capcom announced in a previous showcase it would be catering toward last generation. Well have no fear, Resident Evil Village runs great on the 2013 system.
Coming in at 900p, Village achieves around 45 FPS with no noticeable frame drops. Again, this shouldn’t be a shock, considering the rock-solid performance of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Okay, it doesn’t have all the gubbins that the next-gen port of the game will have, like Ray Tracing, fast loading times amongst other things, but be sure that the experience you will have on PS4 will come at a minimum sacrifice to quality.
IT IS INTENDED TO BE A SEQUEL TO 7.
I appreciate this is a pretty obvious statement to make, but Resident Evil Village borrows a lot from the previous entry in the Resident Evil Series. Many key elements have returned. Firstly, the RE Engine makes a return, which was debuted in Resident Evil 7. A lot of key items have made a return, for example, Lock picks, bottled first aid, the crafting system, and gun powder, and let’s not forget the main characters, Ethan and Mia Winters. Resident Evil Village was developed with ensuring continuity with Resident Evil 7 and it is patently obvious.
THE GAME IS HUGELY INFLUENCED BY RE4
The evidence is there. The Occultism, the Village vibe, the ‘Merchant’. Hell, even the inventory has the same attache case-esque design! Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the RE4 vibes are definitely present in the new game, and with the constant rumors of an RE4 Remake, it is making me think there’s no smoke without fire.
THE WEIRDEST DEMO PHASING IN GAMING HISTORY?
A minor frustration with the 30 minutes only demo is that I felt everything passed too quickly, and I didn’t have enough time to just take in the views and atmosphere. I understand why Capcom made the choice to built hype for the May 7 release of Resident Evil Village. However, making it exclusive to Sony, as well as different release schedules for different regions within an 8 hour window, This also doesn’t include the multiple phases of demos in the future. It all seems a bit convoluted to me. What happened to good old shareware? Those were the days.
ETHAN IS FINALLY HUMANISED
Without going too much into the demo’s plot (as it really should be experienced first hand) one thing I absolutely loved was they finally made Ethan ‘Human’. Resident Evil 7 Ethan always felt somewhat robotic to me. This is all summed up in a phrase (which will not be said) late into the demo which finally gives Ethan that human touch he so desperately needed in my opinion.
These were only scratching the surface of some of the things included in the first Demo for Resident Evil Village. with the next one being the ‘Castle’ stage this weekend. I did enjoy the demo and feel it’s the next logical step in survival horror. The demo kept me on edge the entire time and I can’t wait to see the next steps in this intriguing game. Whatever port of the game you intend to pick Village up on, you’ll be sure to have a pleasant experience.