After letting it sit on the backburner for a few months, due to other game releases/a desire to complete RE7 again plus its DLC, I’ve finally managed to complete Resident Evil Village, and oh boy, that’s one brilliant game right there. The enhanced action focus during gameplay creates a more fun game as a result (even if you aren’t playing as Joe Baker), while sections like House Bienviento will linger in the memory long after the credits roll.
Did anyone else get Boss Baby vibes from it?
As much as the game itself is a stellar adventure from start to finish, even if it does turn into Wolfenstein towards the end, for me it’s the metagame with the objectives and the Bonus Content Shop that’s the most attractive feature. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too bothered about playing through the game again, but upon seeing the return of the Bonus Content Shop after first completion, I’m already ramping up to return to the accursed village. That’s after I smash Mercenaries Mode, of course.
Purchasable rewards have been in RE games before, with Revelations 2 allowing players to spend BP on new costumes and weapons, along with new modes for the campaign, but curiously, the player still had to complete certain prerequisites in order to then purchase some items. Good luck trying to buy any infinite ammo weapons when you still haven’t finished the game on the hardest difficulty.
The idea of a Shop filled with items you could buy in any order, combined with a series of objectives to complete for currency came from the Resident Evil 3 remake, which gave players credit points for completing certain key objectives within the game. These objectives could range from the simple tasks of completing the game or earning a certain amount of kills with a particular weapon, to the more challenging like completing the game while only using a certain amount of healing items or in a small time limit.
These objectives were often linked to the game’s achievement/trophy list, so for those who like earning 1000G/Platinum trophies, you’d be making your way through these objectives anyway. However, completing these objectives also earned in-game rewards in the form of CP, which could be used to unlock new weapons and items. It was a nice way of creating in-game value from completing achievements/trophies, which is lacking in some games.
By creating an endgame in this manner, Capcom subverts the traditional Resident Evil unlock method of “complete the game on the hardest difficulty with S rank to unlock cool weapon”. Instead, you’re working your way through the game multiple times, completing challenges to unlock better weapons to, in turn, complete the game on harder difficulty levels. Front-loading the best unlocks in this way, allowing them to be tools with which to complete the more hardcore stuff, makes the experience to get to those higher levels more enticing and rewarding.
RE R3make wasn’t exactly the biggest Resident Evil hit when it launched, with many chiding the game’s short length, but I happen to be one of the game’s staunchest supporters. The short length, coupled with this kind of metagame, created an experience that had me complete the game seven times in the space of about two weeks. Nightmare difficulty Nemesis might have shaved years off my life, but it’s fine. I still killed the prick.
Finding out months after launch that Resident Evil Village has the same feature that drew me to completing Resident Evil 3 so many times feels like I’ve stumbled upon a well-kept secret. Those feelings that led me to escape Raccoon City so many times are once again compelling me to take on Village of Shadows, like the Nightmare difficulty before.
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