Resident Evil Village is all Kotaku’s staff has been talking about since it came out. Between the plot twist, hand gore, and Tall Lady Thirst, there was much to discuss, so staff editor Lisa Marie Segarra, weekend editor Zack Zweizen, and staff writer Ian Walker got together for a spoiler-heavy chat.
Zack Zweizen: Hello, Ian and Lisa Marie! We all have played and finished Resident Evil Village and have gathered together to talk about it. And for folks reading this, be aware we are going to be chatting about everything. So consider this a massive spoiler warning. If you haven’t completed the game yet and care about that stuff, stop reading...NOW!
Zack: Ian you reviewed it for us! And I think we are all longtime fans of the series? Correct?
Lisa Marie Segarra: Correct!
Ian Walker: Oh yes, definitely. I’m pretty sure I reviewed it.
Zack: It’s hard to remember these things. But yes, we are all fans of the franchise, so why not discuss how we feel about this game in the context of the rest of the series. Personally, I’m a fan of this new era of Resident Evil. The First Person Era, if you will. But I know some folks aren’t as hot on it.
Ian: Same! I really loved both Resident Evil 7 and Village. I like that Capcom shakes things up every few installments giving fans these weird little arcs of development cohesion before springing new ideas on us.
Lisa Marie: I really love how fresh it’s made the series feel. It’s easy for franchises to feel done to death by now.
Zack: Yeah. I agree with both of you. The FPS games feel so...different! But impressively, I still feel like I’m playing a Resident Evil game.
I think Village also improves on a lot on the foundation that 7 laid down. More enemies. More weapons. A big world to explore. A cool merchant to talk to and stuff. All good.
Ian: I mean, they’re going for different feelings, right? Resident Evil 7 was very much about getting back to its roots, giving you this one complex area to explore and toning things down in terms of enemy variety and whatnot. It had a very cohesive atmosphere from beginning to end, which I really enjoyed. Resident Evil Village was like Capcom said, “Okay, now how can we take that and add the twists and turns of Resident Evil 4?” for better or worse.
Lisa Marie: I loved the world in Village though. It felt so fun to explore, especially piecing together the history of the area.
Zack: Yeah. It had a great vibe. And as a big fan of RE4, this game felt like a lot like a modern remake of that classic game. But now without having to escort someone the whole time.
Ian: Oh man, Resident Evil 4. I know we’re talking about Village but Resident Evil 4. Whew.
Zack: Okay so, and to be clear we did mention spoilers would be a part of this, I’m happy Ethan is dead. He wasn’t adding much to this series.
Ian: Wow, we’re just diving right in, huh.
Lisa Marie: Ethan is so dreadfully boring.
Ian: I like Ethan!
Lisa Marie: Why?
To be clear, not Ethan who writes for us, right?
Ian: Him too!
Lisa Marie: You like Ethan the character? Really?
Zack: I don’t hate him, he just doesn’t stand out to me. I do like how much of a normie he is.
Lisa Marie: Same.
Ian: I talked about this a bit in my review, but I like having an everyman protagonist again. Every other hero from previous Resident Evil games has been built up into these mythical, almost super-powered figures. I feel like Ethan’s malaise with the whole process of fighting monsters is very relatable and funny. Like, when you’re going through Heisenberg’s factory in Village, there are multiple moments where he was like, “Oh my god, there’s more?!” when I was thinking the exact same thing.
And he’s a good dad! I know games have too many dads these days, but good dad!
Zack: That’s a totally valid point!
Lisa Marie: He had some fun commentary! Like every time the game gave us lore about the family and he would just be like, “I really don’t care, just shut up and give me my daughter.”
Zack: It’s also nice to have a character who isn’t a cop or random soldier. You know what, I’m turning a corner on Ethan. He’s alright. Shame he died at the end.
Ian: Well that was easy!
Zack: Also, about that ending...do we think his daughter is going to be a protag in a future Resident Evil game? It seems to be hinting towards that. Or maybe the enemy!?
Lisa Marie: But what do you guys think he looks like?
Zack: A nice, boring dude.
Ian: Griffin McElroy.
Lisa Marie: I kept picturing him as the dad from Heavy Rain.
Ian: Oh no. Press X to Rosemary.
Zack: They both suffer some hand trauma
Lisa Marie: They do actually!
Zack: Is it weird that I miss all the character cameos and silly Umbrella stuff? This game had more of it, but I’m ready for Ada or Leon to show up again! I understand that, to Ian’s point, Capcom was using these new games to move away from that stuff. But I miss it
Lisa Marie: My guess is we’ll see them next time around, especially with the heavy-handed Resident Evil 4 callbacks.
Ian: I’m bummed Ada wasn’t in it after seeing her concepts in the art book, yeah, but I don’t feel it was lacking because of it. It seems like the next game is gonna be the big conclusion to the current storyline, so maybe we’ll see more familiar faces in Resident Evil 10?
Zack: Or maybe they’ll finally listen to all the emails I send them about making a Revelations 3 that stars Sheva. But I think that’s the likely way this plays out. This FPS Era being a contained trilogy.
Ian: Sheva! Yes!
Lisa Marie: I was hoping they would do some timeline bending. We see Rose grown up, and she comes across former characters.
Zack: I wonder if that was the future at the end of Village or if that was her aging faster than normal. Seemed unclear.
Ian: I don’t know. I’m not sold on the whole “playing as Rose” angle. She seems super strong! I don’t want that, personally.
Zack: Same. But maybe she could be the baddie of a game?
Lisa Marie: Maybe she’s strong in the way Ethan is, like her hands can take a beating—but maybe also her legs. But imagine going through all that to save your kid, and they grow up to be the next Big Bad.
Zack: Yeah, her thing is feet.
Ian: So you’re saying RE9 is a VR game?
Zack: Yeah. That seems like a fun plot twist!
Ian: Okay, we’re kinda all over the place here, but have you folks heard the theory that Ethan might not be dead.
Zack: Excuse me!
Lisa Marie: Yes! I hate it, if so.
Zack: How’s that work?
Ian: <clears throat>
Zack: Oh no. While he types, I’m guessing the Mold is involved. Always that damn mold.
Lisa Marie: He needs some Clorox, for sure.
Zack: Right! Clean that shit up, dude.
Ian: So, at the end of the game, when Rose and her handler are driving away, there’s a weird, hitchhiker-like figure in the distance walking towards them. And the car seems to stop when it gets close to him. Apparently, if you zoom the camera over there with a mod, the model they used for the random dude is Ethan.
Zack: Ohhhh! I wondered who that was!
Ian: It might just be a cut corner, might be something else. I don’t know. I don’t really get how that would work considering what we know about the Mold. It’s gone, right? Like, they blew it all up? Unless there’s another epicenter somewhere.
Zack: Is she part mold?
Ian: No, I mean Ethan. I have no idea what to make of Rose.
Zack: Speaking of the Mmold, how did you feel about the way it was, as far as I can tell, retconned into being tied into early Umbrella/Spencer stuff? There’s all that info you find with Mia towards the end of the game that seems to imply some connections.
Ian: Oh god, that was so silly, but it really just rolled off my back. “Umbrella? Okay yeah sure.”
Lisa Marie: I liked it! I love a good tie-in.
Zack: It felt very much like a plot point you would get in the Revelations series, w. Which isn’t a bad thing! Just an odd moment that the game quickly ignores and doesn’t comment on again. It was like, “Here’s one for you wiki editors out there!”
We’ve been talking for a bit and we haven’t even mentioned the best character in the game...The Duke! Take that, Tall Lady. The Duke is the best character in Village.
Ian: I mean, I guess? I liked the part in Heisenberg’s factory where you had to move him up and down the elevator a bunch. And he’s just chilling. It’s interesting that they made him a larger part of the story compared to RE4's Merchant.
Lisa Marie: The Duke is sus.
Zack: I enjoyed that twist to the formula. The Duke also saved my ass a few times. I’d run in there and let the big baddies chill and leave. Good guy. His maze puzzles werewas weird, but I could hang with him. He also saves Ethan, which I wasn’t expecting. I can see my Duke love is not fully shared here. Understood. Did any moment or section stand out to you? I felt like the castle with Lady D was really cool. But I think my favorite bit was the lake section. Got some serious RE4 vibes during that.
Lisa Marie: Listen, how does he know so much about how to save Rose? But he also won’t say everything upfront? Sus.
Zack: My theory is he is just making it up as he goes, and it worked out. #TeamDuke
Lisa Marie: Wasn’t he supposed to be a villain initially? I think this was in the early concept stuff.
Ian: I’m not sure about him being a villain, but he was the fifth Lord at some point.
Lisa Marie: Ah, right.
Zack: Not canon. Be kind to the shopkeeper. He made me some tasty food, even though I threw a pipe bomb at him.
Lisa Marie: What happens if you throw a pipe bomb at him?
Zack: Nothing. Sort of disappointing.
Lisa Marie: I like him, but I don’t trust him.
Zack: I think that’s a fair way to feel about The Duke.
Ian: Sorry, Zack.
Zack: I understand.
Ian: Okay, I think we’re winding down, so this might be fun: Somehow you get trapped in an elevator with a Capcom exec. What’s your pitch for Resident Evil 9?
Lisa Marie: I like my earlier idea: Rose is an adult, and she teams with the best of the best. We’ve got Leon, Jill, Sheva.
Ian: See, I feel like the Rose stuff is best saved for the next iteration or a spin-off. I think the next game is all about Chris, heavy action, taking down Blue Umbrella or whoever it was using those zombie soldiers. Like, it takes place right after Village. No time skip.
Zack: Yeah, that’s my pitch. Chris versus the BSAA.
Ian: Yes, BSAA, that’s the org. Too many to keep track of.
Lisa Marie: God, I can’t stand Chris.
Ian: I really don’t like him either!
Zack: He’s fine. He doesn’t have to be the lead though. Here’s my pitch:
Chris and his team track down the BSAA, and something bad happens. He goes off the radar. Is he dead? Nobody knows. So they call in an old partner of his to find Chris and solve the BSAA mystery. Sheva. She then has to track down Rose and get her help, but Rose is not down to help and it’s a whole thing. Maybe Ada stops by. Big adventure.
Ian: Okay, yeah, you both win for mentioning Sheva. I was being too pragmatic.
Zack: I can dream! Anyway, I think we can end this here. Overall, I’m super happy that Resident Evil is good again. It feels right. We had some dark times.
Lisa Marie: Same. It was a good time. Giant mutant babies and all.
Zack: Oh god. The baby.
Ian: Resident Evil Village: It’s good. I don’t have a good joke. Take us out on a joke.
Resident Evil 6 is scared of 7 because it 8 Village.
Ian: Good enough.
Zack: Sorry. Cracked under pressure.