I am and it's wild. Definitely makes the game experience even more enjoyable.
Really just want to say I hate Lycans. Like a lot.
I think the part entering the village was one of the most terrifying and bewildering openings in any RE game. Like, I hadn't been that thrown off, confused and terrified like that in a horror game since... I dunno. But
I legit was surrounded and saw that giant fucking werewolf dude appear and I was just running and running and I was getting beaten up bad. No ammo or anything. Just when I was going to give up and let them kill me. The bell rang. It was so perfectly timed, lol.
Like, that opening for the game set the pace of everything perfectly.
The map/artwork or whatever that shows the four families in this village....Shows a symbol in its center that's reminiscent of the Umbrella Corporation logo. I thought I saw that before in the trailer that came with those time-limited demos but up close it's unmistakable.
That's 100% the Spencer family crest. The "Stone and Metal Object" from RE1. We know he came from a distinguished bloodline in Europe... Hell, he ran off to some undisclosed isolated European country as shown in RE5 before he got offed by Wesker.
Are we actually fucking with his extended family or something??? Is Lady Dimetrescu, Hiesenburg and the rest his far removed cousins or something?!
Resident Evil 4 is probably my favourite video game period, and Resident Evil 8 is a wonderful ode to its legacy. From the item management, the combat, the weapon progression, its European aesthetics... I know there are rumors that 4 could be remade, but I really feel that what 8 delivers satiated any curiosity that a 4remake could offer, without encroaching on the space it has carved out in my mind.
In terms of story/writing, I think this falls below 7. 7 is probably the tightest the RE series has ever come to having the full package of narrative+character writing. As much as I love the villains in 8, the Bakers are much more complete characters than The Four Lords, or really anyone else in the series.
That said, every single main boss in Village gives you just enough to leave you wanting so much more. It's probably the facet of the game that's my biggest criticism, but also what's keeping me wanting to play it over again. I want to spend more time in these amazing environments, with the characters we only get a taste of. All of them are incredibly charming villains, with distict motivations that unfortunately never get much of the spotlight. We also only ever see them interact together just the one time.
The boss fights are really not much to write home about, though I've heard hardcore mode corrects some of my issues with the difficulty. I was kind of disappointed that the Dimetrescu daughters were just copy pastes of the same character/boss fight. I would think they'd at least have some distinction in their personalities, or maybe a wildly different environmental tactic to take them down. They may as well have been the same being that revives multiple times.
The actual boss character designs were freaking cool as hell though. I was pleasantly surprised that only 1 of them fell into the glowing orange orb cliché (and even then it wasn't completely derivative of the standard RE fleshblob). The aesthetics of this game are an amazing blend of classic gothic-horror movies/TV/games. The vampire Dimetrescu has a boss design that invokes the first Dark Souls' Gaping Dragon, Donna Beneviento being a giant Saw/Annabelle/creepy doll puzzle house that's a very clear nod to PT/Silent Hill, Moreau being the most RE-esque boss that pays homage to The Island of Dr Moreau/The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Heisenberg being a blend of Breaking Bad, Tetsuo the Iron Man, and mecha kaiju. Visually, this is easily my favourite RE game to date.
Oh, and Mother Miranda is totally a Jenova being filtered through the mind of Guillermo del Toro.
I spoke a lot about the villains in this game, but the stand out of the cast is definitely... Ethan. Ethan is the Frankenstein's monster that ties all the disjointed field of references for this project together. It's surprising to say because he doesnt amount to much more than an audience-insert character in 7. He still is that everyman, but RE8 puts in work to make Ethan the most sympathetic protagonist of the series. This is still Resident Evil ofc, so I don't wanna gas it up too much, but there were points in the game where you could really tell they were taking cues from James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2. Ethan isn't as cool, or may have as many corny one-liners as Chris, Leon, or Jill... but idk who you are if you don't relate to him more than the typical franchise badasses.
The game goes down the sad-dad trajectory that's getting a bit tired in the modern era of video games, but it works fine for a Resident Evil lens into that trope. The plot is still campy as hell and definitely not meant to be taken too seriously. That said, I sure as hell wasn't expecting to be as sad as I was when Ethan said goodbye to Rosemary
Technically, this does still feel like a ps4 game. The haptic triggers really add to the feel of combat if you're using a ps5 control. They are a bit weird to get used to, and lagged my shots more than a few times. I think RE8 is still massively outclassed by The Last of Us 2 on a technical level, but it's so short that I don't feel actively guilty thinking about the amount of labour that would have needed to go into the level of detail it has, cuz TLOU2 is truly something else entirely
The game is by no means perfect, but I really feel they were successful in putting a little bit of everything for anyone who's a fan of Resident Evil, and survivor horror in general.
Jesus, that ending of Castle Dimitrescu. That was one helluva level. Holy shit, did Dimitrescu bring it. She was good, and pretty fucking terrifying. Getting chased by her was nerve racking. Especially given her habit to not always announce when she was attacking or how close she was. If you tried to ignore her... You'd get wrecked
Rose has been dissected and placed in 4 specimen jars held by each of the four noble houses of this village, and Mother Miranda is their leader. What in the actual fuck is up with his daughter?
She looked weird to me when I first saw her, and looking at her weight from the papers in Ethan's house, I knew already there was something abnormal about her.
Which is pretty fucked up and chilling. Upon closer inspecting, her label says she's an "E-Series." That's an "Eveline" type BOW. How the fuck did they not know their baby was a fucking bio-weapon?
Not only that... But the flashbacks now upon entering House Beneviento. Something was seriously wrong with this relationship.
Like, I sorta see where this is going but not really. I've thankfully been spoiler-free except with one thing. But this is certainly shaping up to be intriguing. Something seriously fucked up happened and
Ethan is clearly still infected with Mold. How else can he survive all this shit and reattach his limbs with Chem Fluid again?
Between that and what we found out after Castle Dimitrescu, something is seriously wrong and hasn't been "fixed."
I'm taking my time playing this because the amount of detail and scale they've made with this game is seriously worth appreciating. This village has a lot to examine and...Unfortunately plenty of Lycans waiting to ambush me and make me jump out of my skin But this game is like RE4 where you're incentivized to kill and collect in order to obtain money and further upgrade your gear. So, killing and stuff is rewarding. Albeit somewhat nervewracking.
So some thoughts upon completing House Bienvenido and the Reservoir.
I love the eclectic approach to horror they accomplished so far. It's very apparent that Village's approach to horror shifts depending which domain you visit.
Dimitrescu's Castle is gothic horror and suspense merged with the sensual and the sadistic. Sex. Violence. Blood. Death. All entwined in a gorgeous and horrifying blend of sheer brutal terror. Lady Demitrescu embodies this perfectly with her poise, beauty, and sexiness juxtaposed with sadism, violence, and bloodlust. Her violent claws rip you to pieces while she smiles beautifully and keeps her elegance. It's classic gothic horror. Horror, death, and twisted beauty all merged into one.
House Bienvenido is psychological horror and suspense with a touch of the supernatural.
The fact the horror was turned inward towards Ethan's relationship with Mia and his baby was amazing as it was tragic. We learn just how troubled their paradise really was and that there was definitely something wrong with Rose, if the fact her body canisters were labeled "E-Type" wasn't a big enough clue. The giant monstrous baby that pursued Ethan throughout that place was a perfect representation of the darkness he and his family didn't wish to confront regarding their pasts. Rose is not normal and in fact could be quite dangerous. The fact the killer doll puppet was in fact an illusion along with everything else, controlled by a socially awkward and obsessive person only makes the terror and psychological madness all the more fitting. It was like a combination of Jacob's Ladder and PT. Very well done.
The Moreau Reservoir is classic disgusting body horror and grossness. Very amusing and a call back to RE in general
It's fitting that Chris's first appearance within the Village proper is here, this is where RE Village feels the most like a classic RE game. The giant disgusting monster. The revelation of how bioterrorism connects to this. It definitely felt like the point where Village embraced it's connectedness to the rest of the series thematically and it was well done.
Now I'm about to go into Heisenberg's domain and I know it's gonna get real.
This game definitely feels like a thematic love letter to RE4. The emphasis on exploration, use of currency, finding treasure, wide open spaces and puzzles feels very much like a true callback to RE4. But this does RE4 better because it does not abandon the horror at all. Yeah, you've got RPG elements and the ability to fight but fighting comes at a risk and it uses the elements of combat to further heighten tension and suspense. Fighting these Lycans is nerve-wracking. The optional bosses hidden within the Village are fucking horrifying and deadly. And overcoming them feels rewarding. Ammo and supplies are not too abundant so you have to be careful.
But this is most definitely, horror done right. Capcom's been on a roll since RE7, combining true horror with the action and overarching story that's within the RE series. And I'm all for it. I feel like there's definitely something more to this plot.
And I'm pretty sure I've found a reference to Ozwell E. Spencer, because I found a note that made explicit reference to the familiarity of the Umbrella logo and a gentleman who visited the village many, many years ago
so I really can't wait to find out what that is about.
Like, I cannot express how excited this game has made me. The Four Nobles are an interesting bunch of RE villains and I'm extremely interested in who Mother Maranda is. They've done well. Extremely well.
I'm just going to put it out there. I feel like, this is arguably one of, if not the best Resident Evil game. I already sorta felt that way about RE7 but I feel like in terms of story and fear, this game managed to build on and surpass RE7. Like, this new age of RE is pretty incredible.
Regarding Heisenberg's Factory,
it was actually pretty awesome. Loved the industrial aesthetic mixed with the Frankenstein body-horror themes. It didn't drag on too long and the layout wasn't too confusing. I was expecting this stage to be the more action-oriented area of the game and I was right. The Soldat were fucking creepy and powerful ammo sponge enemies. Resource management was the biggest challenge here. And holy shit, that Heisenberg bossfight. It's not Resident Evil without a giant ass kaiju type boss to take down. LOL that was... incredible and badass. I love that stuff. Heisenberg was actually an amusing and somewhat sympathetic villain. Very charismatic and I feel like people sorta sleep on this guy since Lady Dimitrescu made such a strong first impression. The guy's hilarious and amusing.
Best line in the game is, "I'm going to murder that boulder punching asshole..." LOL really gonna miss Heisenberg.
Then the game really threw me for a loop.
Not only do we see Ethan "die", but we find out that he was already dead.... Like, that's fucking wild and saddening. Just when I was really starting to feel depressed about it....
We play as Chris Redfield. Holy shit, did I feel hyped during this part of the game. I'm not sure if the stat bonuses from Ethan passed down to Chris (I maxed out Ethan's defensive blocking power so when he blocks, he takes very little damage) but Chris was a fucking tank. I admit that as I played as Christ I sorta got hyped and underestimated the enemies. I was going in fast and loose and took some damage but to my surprise, he fucking tanked it. That clearly was the intention though, because Chris was almost a one-man army. His gear is incredible. However, I got confused at the targeting part, because I thought I had to clear the hoards of Lycans before I could aim so...I sorta just kept fighting infinite spawning waves of Lycans Thankfully it didn't hurt too bad, but I was fucking confused and getting scared when like 20 Lycans ended up rendering on the map and I was overwhelmed. All in all, that portion of the game was amazing. It felt like RE6 all over again, LOL
However, after that it sorta became apparent the direction the finale was going.
I honestly can say this game definitely made me feel for Ethan. I was legit sad and misty eyed over his fate. This game made Ethan a solid, relatable and loveable character. The story with him is simple, but told quite effectively and was a unique departure than your average RE series game. He stands out as a very strong "everyman" character and just... His end was tragic but heroic.
Mother Miranda made quite the impression. She's part Jenova, part Saddler. The moment I saw the file that says she could change her shape, it came together that she impersonated Mia, hence Chris plugging her in Ethan's house. However, I was somewhat off regarding the Ozwell Spencer connection. I thought she was either a relative or lover. I was sorta close, she was his mentor and inspiration! That's a cool nod to the overarching series.
But yeah, that ending... I gotta say it was emotional. On another note, it sorta calls back to the overarching theme of Chris having to move on past losing friends and comrades that was started in 5. Chris has lost a lot of friends and comrades. And you could tell with his reaction to Ethan's death he took it hard. All in all, the ending was effective in getting me to feel for these characters.
And the epilogue with Rosemary was intriguing. I was glad to see she grew up and had such love for her dad but.... Now that I saw the hidden easter egg in photo mode... I have to wonder...
Is Ethan alive? Or was that an illusion/vision only Rosemary could see thanks to her connection to the Mold? That definitely is a question that's going to be revisited.
Also, the BSAA... The BSAA is now using BOWs?! What the fuck happened?
And finally, just who is The Duke? What are they?
For such a well done ending, it left a lot of questions.
It took me 14 hours to beat this game because I made it a point to explore and try and do everything. I enjoyed the game and didn't want to rush it at all. I'll be replaying it to further complete things because this game is one worth revisiting. I feel like the game's difficulty was perfect. The game wasn't too hard, but it presented a challenge. Resource management was an important aspect that was reflected in how you chose to deal with enemies. I was running out of ammo and explosives due to my desire to kill shit and make money. So I had to be careful, and it sorta bit me in the ass in the final boss. But, I managed it. Bosses were interesting and enjoyable. Really can't wait to try this game out again, maybe on a higher level when I get more gear and get better at combat.
Just... This enjoyment reminds me of when I first played RE4; this game is well rounded with its balance of gameplay fun, actual horrifying portions of the story, and masterful use of tension. I expected to enjoy this game, but it surpassed my expectations.
Only 14 hrs? I would have wasted so much time running away while freaking out from those zombies/lycans/ghouls if I play the game. Good thing I can only enjoy horror games just by watching others play it...
I'm going to go out on a limb to say that this is THE best Resident Evil game so far.
The balance between the constant tension and fear, just enough to not overwhelm the player, before the tension level reaches a plateau that is then shattered with a deftly incorporated action segment ... all before they restart that tension all over again. That was a freaking phenomenal accomplishment of atmosphere, level design and music. Just ... I'm in love with what they have done. VII was a good game, but this is a whole other beast, a marriage of 4 and VII that makes me feel that this is the perfect balance for Resident Evil that they need to retain going forward.
I can't tell you how many times I had a mini heart attack playing this game.
I'm a bit disappointed with the afterthought that is Mercenaries mode, but will give it some more tries later.
Enjoying this a lot. Playing on standard it is pretty easy so far, unless I'm misremembering, while I have died in setpieces by not knowing which piece of wood to break or which path to take to not be swallowed by a monster, haven't died in combat yet, barring the bossfight where I didn't realise that 'a powerful attack' to break open the wall didn't mean a shotgun or dodging out of the way of a vampire and making them attack the wall.
Honestly, I like this change of tone, Ethan is nearly indestructable (due to his molded infection?) so they can't really deal with him. Honestly, I'd prefer if he was a little more cocky and vengeful. Villains appear to be a long lost sister cult to Los Illuminados, but given an umbrella logo I don't feel comfortable with that entirely.
Guaranteed way to piss me off is to kill all the NPCs unnecessarily, I regard it as lazy writing. Resi has always done a very good job of not letting their leads return to the status quo, so hurray for lasting trauma.
I knew there was obviously more to the story of Chris shooting Mia, but I did actually say 'WHAT?' out loud when it happened. When I found the note about shapeshifting, I assumed Mother Miranda had turned into Chris, not Mia.
Immediately irked by the loss of the villagers.
Pacing was pretty good, I was wondering if after Castle Dimitrescu the rest of the game would be thin by comparison, but after the fairly quick middle section we ended up in Heisenberg's factory, which was fantastic again, they're clever enough not to make it a slog by having every boss area be too elaborate, but not have them so short you feel robbed.
Heisenberg's bossfight does feel a little like 'we need to have a bossfight here' though, they don't really have a reason to fight. Heisenberg's plan is a weirdly good deal, the easy counteroffer is 'I will help you kill her in exchange for Rose alive and unharmed'. Make for an interesting dlc alternate timeline.
Ran out of bullets against the two jetpack chainsaw things in the room with the spinny propeller thing and once I put them both down had to use magnum rounds to disable the spinny machine, that's more heart wrenching than character deaths. Pretty frequently had to run out of ammunition across the game, enough to make things tense but not enough to make aggravating, there were always more crates around the corner.
Ethan's reveal is an interesting turn, given what the rest of the Bakers could take it's honestly surprising that a torn out heart would be enough to kill him (eventually).
Gameplaywise, this was fun, a bit easy on Standard. I did die, but generally on foot of misunderstanding what the game wanted me to do rather than death in battle. Exception for the final bossfight, I make a point of not buying more than necessary because I try not to grind or spend my way through games, but only one healing item wasn't enough for the final bossfight, so I had to break my rule.
UPDATE: When the Wesker kids move to New Raccoon City, the secrets they uncover might just be the end of everything. Resident Evil, a new live action series based on Capcom’s legendary survival horror franchise, is coming to Netflix. The 8 x 1 hour episode season will be helmed by Andrew Dabb (Supernatural), Bronwen Hughes (The Walking Dead, The Journey Is the Destination) will direct the first two episodes.