I’ve spent the weekend playing Capcom’s latest installment in one of my favorite franchises: Resident Evil Village. And while I was playing, I was also tweeting about it, which led to many questions about the game from people looking to pick it up. The main question I got was: “Can I play this if I’ve never played Resident Evil (RE) before?” This was my favorite question to get because the answer is a whole-hearted yes. In fact, it’s the perfect game to jump into, and while the fact that it’s the eighth installment may be intimidating, I’ve mapped out 4 reasons to play Resident Evil Village right now – especially if you’ve never played an RE game before!
With characters, story, and background info in mind, here are 4 reasons to play Resident Evil Village today:
It’s a dark fantasy with all the horror survival mechanics
One of the reasons I’ve been told that people avoid the RE series is because of the zombies – and just genuinely not being interested in the corporation aspect. While RE has been experimenting with different types of enemies that diverge from simple zombies, Resident Evil Village offers up a world that pathogens and evil corporations; instead, it’s built on a bed of Eastern European folklore that maps out a dark fantasy setting. From the snowy village that looks like it’s stuck in the early 20th century to the werewolves and the vamps, the focus of Resident Evil Village is first and foremost how everything connects back to Mother Miranda – a village legend and god-like being that offers them protection.
In fact, the entire storyline of the game itself is mapped out in the opening when Mia, Ethan’s wife, reads a story animated in a style that would make Tim Burton smile. By using a fairy tale as the narrative guide for your journey in Resident Evil Village, the developers have been able to craft a unique game experience. But even with the dark fantasy, players will get the survival horror mechanics that have become genre mainstays – and they get the very best blend of traditional RE notes with homages to the iconic Resident Evil 4 – with controls that are way more user friendly than others in the franchise.
You get some familiar beasties with some twists
While the largest critique of Resident Evil 7 Biohazard was the lack of enemy type, Resident Evil Village offers players a bevy of beasties to battle. And for those who love a good dark fantasy horror, the inclusion of werewolves, flying gargoyles, vampires, a sea monster, mechanically enhanced zombies, and even some vampire daughters made of bloat flies means that there is a little something for everyone to appreciate.
While some were skeptical about the inclusion of enemy types like this and how it would connect back to the larger narrative of the franchise and Umbrella, the truth is Resident Evil Village’s inventive take on enemies is one reason to pick it up. The number of enemy types and familiarity that players will have with them make this game the perfect entry point. Plus, the werewolves we see here and even the vampires may have a solid base in traditional folklore but man, does Capcom take their origins and designs to a whole other level.
One word: Villains
There are five primary villains in Resident Evil Village. The first is the mysterious and maybe divine Mother Miranda, and the others are the Four Lords, her children if you will. While it would have been easy to make them all similar, each and every one of these baddies is unique from the other. Each housed in their own area. This also allows their designs and narrative elements to impact how the game plays as you confront each one.
First, you have the tall and hot vampire lady Twitter has been thirsting over, Lady Dimitrescu. A 9’6″ vampire with a stunning final form, she and her daughters, are the first that you take on. Clearly inspired by Elizabeth Balvory, her castle is filled with “wine” and maidens who have long lost their lives and humanity. Then you have Donna Beneviento, a character that brings James Wan’s Dead Silence realness with all the dolls and horrifying laughter you can imagine. Her house is about solving puzzles and finding your way out, all while being harassed by cackling dolls. Yikes.
Finally, you have the brothers Moreau and Heisenberg. For Moreau’s part, this evil scientist is not only grotesque himself but brings up pustules to block your way around his zone. A sick villain for pandemic times, he also brings with him a sea monster ready to knock you into the water for dinner as you traverse both land and sea to make it out alive. And finally, you have Heisenberg, who is pretty much the bad guy from Overlord but with an entire factory to transform corpses into his machines of violence. His area
You don’t need any prior knowledge
Sure, Resident Evil Village is the continuation of Ethan Winters’s story from the seventh game. That said, if you haven’t played it, Capcom prepped a quick recap cinematic that allows you to catch up on the big story beats and come into this game prepared to play. On top of that, while the story ties to the origins of the Umbrella Corporation, the story itself stands well on its own. While we get franchise staple Chris Redfield, he could become any other hot and broody operative, and the story still holds weight. Sure, there are elements you can enjoy more if you have played the previous games in the franchise – including the usual Easter Eggs, but that is more like the cherry on top of an already well-made sundae. It’s good to have, but you’re still gonna get the sugar rush without it.
So, jump on into Resident Evil Village. Seriously. If you haven’t loved the franchise before but love dark fairytales, vampires, werewolves, and other monsters, then this is one to pick up.
It has to be said that my 4 reasons to play Resident Evil Village come directly from my own experience with the game and people who have traditionally stayed away from the series. With that said, if you’d like to add more, head on over to our social media and share yours with us! Likewise, if Resident Evil Village is your first RE game, we want to hear from you!
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.