In my Resident Evil Village review, I said that the scares were a little light for an installment in the popular survival horror franchise. I stand by that critique, but I’d be remiss to ignore one of the game’s best jump scares. That it’s provided by a pig is neither here nor there.
I’ll take a moment here to point out that this might be construed as a spoiler for some folks, so continue reading at your own peril.
At various points in Resident Evil Village, you have a chance to return to the eponymous settlement to explore new areas, either because the game has inexplicably removed previous environmental barriers or you finally have the key to that weird door you saw hours ago. It’s during one of these return visits that you come upon a house with two distinct sections: the previous occupants’ living quarters and a smaller building that appears to be some sort of barn or sty.
As I was scouring the former, looting cabinets and drawers for precious crafting materials, I heard a strange noise. A sort of wet chewing or grazing that sounded non-human. Up to this point, the only things I could imagine making those sounds were the lycans, animalistic former villagers that serve the same grunt role as zombies did in previous games. So, naturally, I assumed a lycan was waiting for me in the barn. I pulled my shotgun and took care in entering the building, keeping a close eye on the shadowy figure at the end of the long enclosure.
The deadly encounter plays out in its entirety in the video below.
I approached. The creature charged me, screaming. I panicked and pulled the trigger. After the shock wore off, muscle memory pushed me forward to see what it dropped.
“Meat?” I thought. “Why would a lycan drop… oh my god.”
It was a pig. I had shot a pig. A gentle swine. A beautiful hog. I felt sick.
Resident Evil Village is full of animals. Random black birds, for example, can be sniped for small bundles of cash à la Resident Evil 4. After leaving Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, you’ll come upon a small pond of fish that you can slice up and harvest, but you can’t eat them immediately. For a few hours, you’ll probably find yourself gathering a ton of different meats, from poultry to pork, wondering what the heck you’re supposed to do with them. The Duke, Village’s resident merchant, will eventually offer to cook up this tasty flesh into a variety of stat-boosting meals. There are even special animals that provide special meat for even better recipes.
That’s all to say that the pig I obliterated didn’t die in vain. The pork the little dude provided me went into making a “Bird and Beast Pilaf” that decreased the amount of damage I took from enemy attacks while blocking. It was apparently pretty good, too, going by the sloppy noises Ethan and The Duke made while chowing down on the dish. I only wish I had been able to acquire the meat under more humane circumstances, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers while running from terrifying bioweapons.