While I was playing the Resident Evil Village demo last week, I realized something. The game is way more action-oriented than Resident Evil 7. It’s got a lot more going on, and there are actual set pieces if you can call them that, which take place in the story beat. All of that should make it less scary. I can tell you now that it doesn’t though. The developers have done a great job of keeping that tension ramped up to eleven whilst adding in a bit more of the bombastic visuals that they’ve clearly wanted for ages. This feels like a nice marriage of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 4.
What I’m talking about is explosions, fire, and people going crazy. It all feels very much like an action game, but you’re never given a decent amount of time to respond. In fact, the game does a great job of making you feel helpless. There’s nothing you can do to get yourself out of a terrifying situation other than hit it head on. That’s the scariest part though. Luckily, the game does give you a way out, but it’s still so incredibly scary when you have to take these things on.
The second way that the tension is kept all the way up to eleven is through a lack of ammo. This sounds cheap, but it’s actually incredibly calculated. I faced off against two werewolves, and I used up all the ammo I had to my name. The enemies sway just as much as they did in 7, causing you to miss a lot, but they’re also a bit harder to take down. I even blasted one with a shotgun, and it got back up. The lack of ammo is a big part of Resident Evil, and that’s what keeps it feeling scary. Entering a new area with nothing but a knife is terrifying, and I hate how regularly we’ll have to do it in the final game.
Hopefully, the next demo features an area where you have to avoid an enemy that’s actively tracking you. I feel like the more we see of that, the more we’ll feel happy that this is a true horror game and not an action game.