The Resident Evil franchise is hotter right now than it’s ever been before. The remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 were both massive successes and Resident Evil 7 breathed new life (and a new perspective) into the biological horror that fuels the series. Now, Resident Evil 8 (or Resident Evil Village) is coming. First unveiled at the Sony PlayStation 5 reveal earlier this summer, we’ve just gotten a new look at the horrors headed our way, and the project seems to be shaping up pretty well.
The trailer continues to showcase a swerve towards folk horror. This fresh direction brings fairytales and occult terror to the game, with witches and werewolves making their debut in Resident Evil. Series mainstay Chris Redfield is also here to kick some ass (along with Resident Evil 7 hero Ethan Winters), so presumably this will continue the byzantine plot of corrupt pharmaceutical companies and genetic warfare in some fashion.
Of course, longtime fans will know that Resident Evil Village won’t be the first time the franchise has reinvented itself. The all-time classic Resident Evil 4 put an over-the-shoulder action spin on the gameplay, minimizing the item management-heavy survival horror that marked the first few entries. The next major change then came with the shift to first-person in Resident Evil 7, and this new outing is set to follow in that template.
Right now, we know that this is being released in 2021 on PlayStation 5, though the absence of any mention of exclusivity means that it’s almost certainly coming to Xbox Series X/S and PC, too. One factor we don’t know yet, however, is whether it will have a VR mode. Resident Evil 7 on PSVR was one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had in my life, so I’d feel shortchanged if this didn’t get the same treatment. We haven’t heard anything yet about a PSVR 2 (though PSVR will be compatible with PS5), so fingers crossed they clarify this soon.
In the meantime, bring on the horrible monstrosities, crest-based puzzles and increasingly muscular Chris Redfield. After years of remakes, it’s time for Resident Evil Village.