We check out the scariest game of 2021, Resident Evil Village, and tell you why you should pick up the new PS5 exclusive, Returnal.
Resident Evil Village (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, PS4, XBO)
Thought Resident Evil 7 packed a bit of a fright? Oh boy will you need to have a spare pair of dacks ready if you’re planning to pick up Resident Evil Village. This follow-up to the beloved 2017 game is something special indeed.
Simply put, the game blurs the lines between Resident Evil’s past and present iterations. The modern first-person view remains intact, but elements like Resident Evil 4’s merchant also make their return. What this creates is a wonderful gameplay blend that is consistently satisfying.
Without delving into spoilers, the game starts off with tensions at an absolute high and never truly relents until the credits hit. You’ll meet a fresh cast of terrors designed to make your life hell, so it’s to the game’s credit that you’ll always want to see what is around the next bloodied corner.
The whole adventure is also stupidly pretty – the gothic horror setting a wonderful showcase for the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X if you’re lucky enough to actually own one.
If there’s one weak point, it’s that old mate Ethan Winters is a bit of a blandfest, but to be honest that was the case in Resident Evil 7 as well.
Village is perfect for both Resident Evil veterans and newcomers alike. Just make sure you turn down the lights… if you dare.
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We’re going to say this right off the bat. If you own a PS5, you should absolutely pick up a copy of Returnal. It’s that simple. This futuristic rougelike has unfortunately not received the marketing push it deserves, so even if you’ve never heard of it, know that this is one of the best games of 2021.
The elevator pitch is simple. You play as Selene, who finds herself trapped in the middle of a dastardly loop – her death seeing her crash-land on the same alien planet over and over again. Think Groundhog Day meets Alien.
As a result, in typical roguelike fashion most of your time will be spent going on ‘runs’. What that essentially breaks down to is you exploring Returnal’s world, shooting up a storm, until you die and lose everything. And die you will, many… many times.
It’s worth noting that Returnal is not an easy game. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll find it an absolute punish. Much like Housemarque’s prior games, practice will make perfect and there’s a real satisfaction once you finally make substantial progress in a run. The further you get, the more likely you are to unlock new areas or rare upgrades that can be used for all future adventures.
There’s also an underlying mystery at the heart of Returnal’s narrative, but it’s honestly best if we just shut up and let you experience that one for yourself.
So forget about that original PS5 launch-line up and dig into the beautiful wonder of Returnal. You can thank us later.
You can read more about this topic over at the Gaming Observer.