Resident Evil Village – Four Lords and the Mother

Lycans and gentlemen, we thank you for waiting! Now let the games began!

It’s time for the review you’ve all been waiting for this year, after many dreams, debates about whether to play or not and a signed print from the actor of a character I fell for, it’s time for me to share my thoughts on Resident Evil Village! The game that I was drawn to for some of its iconic characters gaining viral Internet status more than the game’s protagonist, and the game that I had an inner desire to play because I now share a birthday with it. Did I tell you that, this game was released on my birthday? Probably not.

Anyway, I didn’t realize I was that close to the end at first when I sat down to play last Friday night, but once I did, I thought well might as well finish it! The game was amazing: beautifully designed and cinematic with emotional moments, especially towards the end. Many areas are unforgettable: from Lady Dimitrescu’s opulent castle to the village itself in ruins from everyone being turned into Lycans.

So, there’s only one thing left to do and *spoiler warning*…. Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! SHOWTIME!!

Three years after the events of RE7, Ethan and Mia Winters have relocated to Eastern Europe. They got busy with a new house and newborn daughter Rosemary “Rose” Winters, everything seemed perfect until Chris Redfield and his troops busted in, gunned down Mia and took him and Rose away. Like what the hell? That was a real surprise for a prologue! What happened Chris? I thought you were on their side!

Ethan wakes up later at a crash site and makes his way to a mysterious village in a valley to discover it is infested with werewolf-like creatures called Lycans, and is ruled by the deity Mother Miranda and the Four Lords, and each of them possess four flasks containing parts of Rose that Ethan needs to take from them to rescue her.

I love how this game’s story takes a gothic horror/fantasy approach with the village and each of the lords’ homes are unique to their powers and lifestyle and are inspired by classic horror icons. That is also how I wasn’t drawn to RE until this game’s release because it had monsters in it that I like (or at least they are close to those monsters): vampires, werewolves, various cybernetic creatures, giants, and monsters from the sea. It’s all there for me to kill or worship!

With gameplay, massive improvement from RE7. Inventory is much more organized and key items required for puzzles and objectives won’t take up space. However, the game still encourages you to conserve and rearrange it as much as possible, and craft ammo, health packs and other useful things to help you. Instead of the usage of storage boxes to save space, we get the merchant, known as the Duke where we can trade with him for supplies, weapons, weapon customization/upgrades, crafting recipes, and inventory expansion. Enemies killed can be looted for crafting materials, treasures that can be sold to the Duke, and Lei which is the in-game currency.

The game also has a photo mode which can be used any time, even during cutscenes, and all of my shots are taken with it.

I tell you, there are some treasures I found in this game that were of high value, some of them even unusual like I found Lady D’s lipstick near her quarters once! The Duke took them off my hands nonetheless!

The village serves as a home-base area between each of the lords’ turfs where I could recharge and gear up for claiming the next flask. I also feel like each of their places offer a unique challenge in terms of gameplay so I’m not always doing the same repetitive things.

As I found new equipment, I explored more of the village, and some places even had hidden secrets, treasures, and additional boss fights!

I could also hunt animals and bring the fresh meat back to the Duke to cook something that could increase health, reduce damage when blocking, etc.

Puzzles weren’t too difficult, some of them I had to read a riddle in order to solve them. Most of those puzzles were in Lady D’s castle and Donna’s house. In the former, one puzzle took a while which involved rotating statues to drain a pool of blood which I eventually understood the riddle to solve it. In the latter, there was a music box puzzle I got so stuck with that I had to look up the solution!

This game definitely has more action in it than RE7, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of scary moments! Like having to run away from Lady D in the dungeon when I’m injured, or escape a dark basement unarmed while being stalked by a monster. Some of my friends pointed out to me how brave I am for playing this game, well what can I say, I love horror and I enjoy the adrenaline horror games bring!

Onto characters, still can’t talk about Ethan much, the only thing that has changed about him is his determination to save Rose like the loving father that he is, except that he gets so mad all the time and calls everyone names that get in his way and swears a lot, like he’s whining that he needs to get her back. Yeah I get it, everything has gone to shit, but can you cut the language a little? Other than that he’s still a blank slate to me so I try to insert humor when I play to tolerate him! After three years, I’m surprised he still doesn’t know about Mia’s involvement with the Connections, guess he never will now upon the end of this game. I mean, Mia hasn’t changed, but I guess she’s no longer tied with that organization. 

I remember at the beginning of the game, I met some survivors in the village who tried to bunker down. Of course there had to be one drunk idiot among them who’s like fuck everyone and everything we’re all going to die, only one of them had character development and was gone too soon. While that moment in the game was intense, it was easily forgettable due to everyone except Ethan being killed.

Chris Redfield seemed like an asshole when he was reintroduced, but as the game progressed, it showed that he still takes his job seriously.

The Duke is a cheerful fellow, always offering a warm welcome to me when I need a breather from being chased around the castle or getting lost in the factory! Ethan doesn’t trust him at first, but I find him to be quite the relief to see.

But, the real stars of this game are the Four Lords themselves. They all have powerful and unique abilities and mutations that can be controlled but that depends on other characteristics present. What makes them loved by us fans is their personalities and designs, which are great.

The best part of the game was meeting them all, I remember I had to go to the castle first cause Ethan has this thought that Rose is most certainly in there, then just as I was following the corridor, my heart started beating fast, and I began to wonder why, I had my answer once I tried to pull the lever, there came Karl Heisenberg, boom instant fangirling as he abducts me. There we are introduced to the lords, yay!

Alcina Dimitrescu whom we all love, once I got to know her in the game, I noticed how she thinks of herself as superior than the others, but she also is the most conceited due to her views of society and the other three lords, and insecure about why she isn’t Miranda’s favorite. I also love her motherly side she has for her three daughters who all love to get playful with intruders.

Donna Beneviento, it’s hard to talk about her because it’s her doll Angie that communicates for her, and she keeps to herself while living with an unknown mental illness. Anyone who gets too close to her property is sure to start hallucinating. Then there’s Salvatore Moreau who looks like he came from Innsmouth and he was willing to follow Miranda to the ends of the Earth.

Then of course, my favourite Karl Heisenberg, is the most headstrong and egocentric out of the four. He hates the other lords just as much, but no more than he hates Miranda for what she did to him that he secretly plans a rebellion against her. There’s no explanation why he argues with Lady D a lot, but it could be due to their different approaches to responsibility. He’s got a rather unique sense of humor which is what made me start to like him on the inside other than his hypnotizing eyes and smile, ability to manipulate metal, and wonderful laugh. My taste in fictional characters has always been unorthodox but when it comes to Karl, I’m not alone.

Moments now, starting with Lady D’s castle! Her castle is beautiful, every corridor is full of magnificent decor, from paintings to statues showing her expensive taste and how far back her story goes. That would explain her caste-like view of society! Of course, my main concern was being stalked by her, but she was surprisingly easy to elude, since there were certain parts of the castle that she did not venture into like, the dungeons (duh), and rooftops. My primary fallback spot was the Duke’s room to plan my next move. I was worried she was going to see me when I crawled through the tunnels and found her in the tasting room but thankfully, she left as I slowly eased my way out.

The part where I met her and her daughters was epic, and when she slammed me through several floors, that was where I started to get suspicious about Ethan’s durability that his body has to survive such injuries. Then that was when the real fun began! As soon as I heard her yell over what happened to Bela, I realized it wouldn’t be much longer before she would start hunting me. I did try to sneak around her in the vicinity of whatever room she was in, but she spotted me most of the time and I ran quickly. I swear I could always hear her footsteps even if she wasn’t around the corner. It turns out I had nothing to worry about, I wasn’t scared, it got my adrenaline pumping to run and work my way around her to get where I needed to go, even if both she and Cassandra were after me.

Of course, her boss fight is no longer a scarred image in my brain but something that I accepted as being the first, and I only needed my sniper rifle to take her out. It still sucks in a way that her part in the game is so short-lived given her popularity. Unless, you let her chase you longer and loot everything, because her castle not only has a gorgeous design, but it also does have a lot of lore. There was one puzzle room with a large portrait of her before the Cadou and I found several files indicating what happened to the servants in the castle, as well as Lady D’s diary where she vents out her frustration and hatred for the other lords. She’s probably the character with the most history and is my second favourite lord because of that and she’s empowering.

Donna and Moreau’s turfs just flew by for me, but the former’s was the most stressful! No enemies to fight and I was getting suspicious after hallucinating Mia, and then all of a sudden, I lost all my weapons and had to solve all these puzzles with a mannequin of her while the room was getting darker every time I completed one piece.

I started to get really scared because I knew what was coming up: it was also leaked to me, unfortunately. I had to take a quick breather, brush my teeth, and wash my face because I was playing, at that time, on a late Saturday night and just wanted to get it over with. Then I was stalked by this horrid distorted fetus monster with an umbilical cord the size of a fire hose and a huge gaping mouth like I did NOT want to be eaten by that thing! Even Ethan was genuinely terrified like Donna’s making him see what could happen to Rose if he fails to save her. That part of the game: Scariest. Shit. Ever. Thank God, I managed to get through it without being devoured once. The boss fight was definitely sad too like I feel sorry for Donna, it seems all she wanted was to be left alone.

Moreau on the other hand, his place is full of Lovecraft references with the green slime which makes me remember the first part of Call of Cthulhu. He was so devoted to Miranda more than anyone else, and I didn’t realize he could talk. Why did I get the feeling I was going to deal with another monster that was going to eat me? It was swimming down there all along and Moreau just merged with it! Could you smell it all through the screen because I could! The way he wailed out to Miranda just before exploding was just heartbreaking to watch, so loyal, so lost in that that he never knew what he was truly being used for.

Going to Heisenberg’s factory was like a point of no return for me, which I didn’t realize until after I defeated him. First, he plays games with me to go get the flask in the Lycan-infested stronghold and then I go to his factory. Of course, Ethan wouldn’t take his deal since he doesn’t want his daughter to be weaponized, which I totally get. Karl is just way too egotistical that he would certainly betray Ethan in the end. If it were me instead of Ethan there, I would have accepted his offer! I think the tipping point that made me admit my attraction to him, was when I saw his smile, and eyes together once he removed his sunglasses!

At least I got to listen to his voice as I explored his factory. Also, hearing all the sounds of machinery, was quite relaxing, even if there were bodies on the conveyors. I got lost in there several times which is funny because before I played the game, I imagined just getting lost in his factory and then it actually happened when I started playing! Be careful what you wish for!

His Sturm startled me a few times, and I just ran away until I could lose it behind something it couldn’t bust through and fighting it later was just me launching explosives at it and avoiding its charges.

Karl was building an army to overthrow Miranda and his Soldats are all human and Lycan bodies being experimented on and mechanically modified, like cyborgs. So Karl is like the metal-controlling junkyard-mad scientist version of Frankenstein!

Well, I got through his boss fight without crying at the end when he exploded, even though part of me was still sad. It was my first time fighting a fictional character in a game that I’m in love with, but to be honest, the fight was actually fun! He turned into a huge cybernetic creature fused with the metal apparatus he encompassed himself in, just like what I saw in my dreams! Not to mention it reminds me of Devastator from Revenge of the Fallen. I still got a thing for metal monsters!

He definitely deserved better though, all he wanted was freedom.

Alright, final stretch, I’m sorry if this review got so damn wordy, this is just how I write, and most of my followers are likely never going to play this game, or already have.

Mother Miranda is the real antagonist of this game, the Four Lords were her pawns just like the Bakers and it does make me sad that killing them was the only way to free them from Miranda’s rule. It was like they were at a point beyond saving unless someone’s got those serums lying around somewhere. Miranda herself used to be a scientist and lost her only daughter Eva to the Spanish flu decades ago.

Heavily grieving, Miranda lost all hope and nearly committed suicide until she came to the village and discovered the Fungal Root – a Mold super colony and became infected with it and believed she could use it to resurrect Eva. This eventually led to her infecting all the other villagers who then abandoned their own religion and began to worship her instead. Eventually, her experiments led to her creating her own parasite out of it, known as the Cadou, once again, everyone was subjected to it. Most of them either died or turned into Lycans. Then the most promising candidates were the Four Lords themselves, and before Miranda’s arrival, they were the descendants of four kings who ruled over the region. Miranda realized they weren’t suitable vessels from the experiments, but they had gained their power and mutations and their ongoing feuds made her use them for a council.

It also turns out that Miranda also worked with the Connections to create Eveline in the 1950s before the Dulvey incident and it wasn’t until recently did she see Rose as the best vessel for Eva. I learned towards the end that Miranda kidnapped Mia as well and posed as her in Ethan’s home which would explain Chris’s infiltration and Miranda faked death so that she could escape with Rose later, but where was the real Mia the whole time? Being experimented on? Did she get infected again? We may never know unless she and Rose return in the next game. She also unleashed the Lycans on everyone else in the village, so I think it’s safe to say she was planning to kill everyone once she got what she wanted, including the Lords.

At least Ethan eventually found out the truth from Chris when the latter had no other option to stop him from interfering, but then I realized I was right about one thing, Ethan had been infected with the Mold the whole time. I think Karl was the only one of the Lords who suspected that.

Well, that certainly explains why he could reattach his hands with minimal effort and survive falling through more than two floors! Unlike the others, the Mold never drove him insane, it just gave him the regenerative ability. Facing Miranda wasn’t too hard but what happens afterward, just shows that eventually, it can reach its limit. I almost cried when he, barely alive, retrieved Rose and begged Chris to take her so that he could finish the job and gave her his coat.

Despite these reveals, Miranda is cool but definitely not as interesting as the Four Lords. Sure, you get this final room that puts all the pieces of the puzzle together, but her backstory isn’t nearly as interesting to me and she gets almost no screen time, most of the time she’s just in disguise since she’s a shape-shifter after all.

Anyway, I rambled long enough, this game was a great experience. 100% re-playable whether you want to complete additional challenges or just to see your favourite character(s) again! Did I talk and reveal too much? Well too damn bad! I really hope we get a DLC featuring the Four Lords, it could make up for how short some of their parts were, but then again RE games are not meant to be long RPG-like games.

Maybe the next game will be about Rose and we’ll learn more about her.

Totally, worth it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


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