Resident Evil Village is a first-person survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. The sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017), players control Ethan Winters, who is searching for his kidnapped daughter; after a fateful encounter with Chris Redfield, he finds himself in a village filled with mutant creatures. While Village maintains the Resident Evil series’ survival horror elements, the game adopts a more action-oriented gameplay style compared to its predecessor.
Resident Evil Village also includes an online multiplayer mode. The game was announced at the PlayStation 5 reveal event in June 2020 and was released on May 7, 2021, for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia. Resident Evil Village received generally favorable reviews, being praised for its gameplay, setting, and variety, although it received criticism for its puzzles and boss battles as well as performance issues on the Windows version. The game’s increased focus on action over its predecessor received more mixed opinions.
Like its predecessor, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Resident Evil Village uses a first-person perspective. It is set in a snowy explorable Eastern European village, described as “pulled straight from the Victorian era” and much larger and immersive than its predecessor. Structures and buildings in the central village can be climbed and used to fight enemies. Compared to Biohazard, the game is more action-focused, with protagonist Ethan Winters now equipped with more combat skills due to military training. The game’s primary enemies, the werewolf-like Lycans, are not only agile and intelligent, but can wield weapons and attack in packs, forcing the player to rethink their strategy on whether to utilize sparse ammunition, use melee combat, or simply run away. Similar to Resident Evil 4, makeshift barricades can be used to fend off against enemies.
The inventory management mechanic is similar to that of Resident Evil 4, featuring a briefcase and the ability to move and rotate items for better storage space. Players can buy supplies, weapons, upgrades, and items from a merchant, called the Duke. The players can also hunt animals in the village and have them cooked into dishes by the Duke. Eating side dishes allows the player to gain certain advantages such as decreasing the damage taken while blocking. Treasures and collectibles can be found around the village, and sold to the Duke for currency.
Players can manually save the game progress by locating and using typewriters, which replaces the tape recorders seen in Resident Evil 7 and marks their first appearance in a mainline game since Resident Evil 4. A map of the village can be accessed from the pause menu, as well as a diary with sketches recapping the player’s progress in the story so far. Two new features added to the game were photo mode, which gave players the opportunity to screenshot in-game moments, and a button to skip cutscenes.
Similar to Resident Evil 3 (2020), Resident Evil Village will include a six-player online multiplayer game, Resident Evil RE:Verse, which was delayed until summer 2021, and was later further delayed until 2022. The Mercenaries Mode also makes a returning appearance in Village. Like its previous Resident Evil entries, it is an arcade-style game mode.
Resident Evil Village is set three years after the events of Resident Evil 7, largely on the day of February 9, 2021. Ethan Winters returns as the protagonist. Ethan has been living with his wife Mia and 6-month-old daughter Rosemary when Chris Redfield – the protagonist of previous Resident Evil entries – and his men suddenly appear, murder his wife in cold blood, and kidnap him and his baby daughter, bringing them to a mysterious European village. Ethan has to traverse the village to rescue Rosemary. The village is invaded by werewolf-like mutants called Lycans and governed by four different mutant lords, each controlling their own forces from strongholds within the village. Lady Alcina Dimitrescu,[b] an unusually tall vampiric aristocrat, resides at Castle Dimitrescu with her three daughters Bela, Cassandra, and Daniela, and mutated female attendants. The hallucination-inducing and ghost-like Donna Beneviento rules from her mansion, House Beneviento, and acts through her puppet Angie. The grotesque Salvatore Moreau operates from a reservoir in close proximity to the village and is described as a “merman“. Karl Heisenberg, who can manipulate magnetic fields, leads a group of Soldat simulacra from a contemporary factory. All houses respond to a supreme leader figure called Mother Miranda, the ruler of the village who is a “presence worshipped by the villagers.”
Three years after the events in Dulvey, Ethan and Mia have been relocated to Europe by Chris Redfield to start a new life with their newborn daughter Rosemary. One night, Chris and his Hound Wolf squad raid the house, assassinate Mia, and abduct Ethan and Rosemary. Ethan awakens next to the crashed transport truck they were riding in and reaches a nearby village terrorized by werewolf-like creatures known as Lycans. Ethan is unable to save the remaining villagers and is captured and brought before the village priest Mother Miranda and her lords: Alcina Dimitrescu, Donna Beneviento, Salvatore Moreau, and Karl Heisenberg. Ethan escapes a death trap made by Heisenberg and ventures into Dimitrescu’s castle to find Rosemary, with the support of a mysterious local merchant known as the Duke. Ethan eliminates Dimitrescu and her daughters, finding a flask containing Rosemary’s head. The Duke explains that Miranda placed Rosemary’s body parts in four different flasks for a special ritual and that she can be restored if Ethan recovers the other flasks held by the remaining lords.
While killing Beneviento and Moreau for their flasks, Ethan learns Hound Wolf is also in the village. Ethan passes a test from Heisenberg for the fourth flask and is invited to the lord’s factory where Heisenberg offers a proposal to defeat Miranda together. Ethan refuses once he learns Heisenberg intends to weaponize Rosemary and escapes. Ethan encounters and confronts Chris over Mia’s death, learning the “Mia” Chris killed was Miranda in disguise. Chris reveals that Miranda possesses the power of mimicry and was attempting to abduct Rosemary, succeeding when she crashed the transport truck. Chris destroys Heisenberg’s factory while Ethan uses a makeshift tank to defeat Heisenberg. Miranda confronts Ethan and kills him after she reveals her plans to take Rosemary as her own.
Witnessing Ethan’s death, Chris leads Hound Wolf to extract Rosemary while a Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) assault force distracts Miranda. Chris enters a cave beneath the village and discovers a Megamycete (called the “fungal root” (菌根, kin kon) and the “Black God” (黒き神, kuroki kami) in the Japanese game), the source of the mold. He plants a bomb on the Megamycete and finds Miranda’s lab, learning that she has lived a century since coming into contact with the Megamycete and was a mentor to the Umbrella Corporation‘s founder Oswell E. Spencer; Oswell used her knowledge to eventually develop the t-Virus. Miranda experimented with the fungus in an attempt to revive her daughter, Eva, who had succumbed to the Spanish flu, the four lords, Lycans, and Eveline being failed experiments. Miranda found a suitable host with Rosemary due to her special abilities inherited from Ethan and Mia. Chris also rescues the imprisoned Mia, learning that Ethan is still alive when Mia reveals her husband’s powers.
Ethan revives after encountering Eveline in limbo who reveals that he was killed in his first encounter with Jack Baker in Dulvey, but was revived by her mold which gave him regenerative powers. The Duke brings Ethan to the ritual site where Miranda is attempting to revive Eva, but only succeeds in reviving Rosemary. An enraged Miranda battles Ethan, who kills her, before the Megamycete emerges from the ground. Ethan, his body deteriorating from his regenerative powers having reached their limit, sacrifices himself to detonate the bomb planted on the Megamycete, while Chris transports Mia and Rosemary to safety. As Mia mourns the loss of Ethan, Chris discovers that the BSAA soldiers sent to the village were organic bioweapons and orders his squad to head for the BSAA’s European headquarters.
In a post-credits scene, a teenage Rosemary visits Ethan’s grave before being called away for a mission on behalf of an undisclosed organization. As she and her escort drive off into the distance, an unknown figure is seen approaching their vehicle.