Communities are screaming louder and louder about the poor selection of candidates for the throne. The issue, as always, is highly debatable. Let us remind you that The Game Awards is primarily an event aimed at the American market. Selection is done by voting on the official website, but are the votes actually taken into account? We’ll never find out. Last year’s pandemic edition was dominated by The Last of Us: Part II, outclassing rivals in many categories.
Cyberpunk 2077 did not manage to catch it, as it did not agree with the event on time and was struggling with the players’ post-premiere attack on the technical condition of the game. This year it appears in two categories, which causes modest outrage. I will devote the topic to another post. Today let’s go one more time to Romanian estates touching upon the transylvania jurisdiction of lycanthropy, vampirism and salvation prayers. Capcom is a bit of an unlucky publisher. Not in the literal sense. The company drew strict conclusions from the average success of the seventh generation of consoles. The time has come to get theoretically the most important trophy for any modern game developer. Competition seems to be slightly conducive to it.
A whine of horror
Writing these words, I am reading the officially published, albeit “Unofficial story of Resident Evil” by Alex Angel. The publishing house of the longtime PSX Extreme editor, Marcin Kosman, undertook the task of translating the book into Polish. Intended for the veterans of the series, it reveals the memories and comments of the creators of the brand of its first decade. The personal memories of the author break through with the actual feelings of the authors after many years. It is a great supplement to knowledge for anyone interested not only in the universe, but also in the rich history of this industry and the survival-horror genre. Memories of the first meeting with the lumpy undead (the myth of the scanned eye in the morgue is still alive) come back every time I see a new preview of the next numerical or restored version. Just the same when Resident Evil: Village was announced. In fact, officially confirmed. Industry insiders have long reported about the setting cycle that was completely unusual in the reality of the cycle.
Wading through the first decade of Resident Evil again with this new reading, I am impressed with the publisher’s approach. The company is not afraid of strong experiments, although it does so more conservatively without rejecting the necessary requirements to become a horror movie. Is the village, bathed in the dark aura of the children of the night, terrible? It is true that vampires and other werewolves scared people more in the first half of the twentieth century, and even earlier from folk tales about night creatures. Capcom even refers to Dracula’s three brides in the latest game. Although here they appear as daughters of Dimitrescu, the image star of Resident Evil: Village. Complaints about the airtime of Alcina, the virtual incarnation of Helena Mańkowska, should not take place too much. The appearance of the dominant lady of the scary court quickly caught the attention of players even before the premiere. The number of created memes of a more or less expressive nature speaks for itself. Village is a theater of some interesting spooks. A village created as an abandoned, dilapidated and occult-filled town near Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania itself.
RE Engine still does not disappoint players’ expectations. Thanks to the technology created by Capcom, the series broke out of the technical niche in which it stuck after Resident Evil 5. Although the MT Framework engine worked for a moment. However, we remembered the achievements of graphic designers or animators when Resident Evil (2002) and its fictional precursor, Resident Evil Zero (2003) were reborn. We managed to achieve a similar “Wow” effect when the seventh game, written with the narration of an old VHS cassette, came into our hands. Hence, Village is, after all, a more conservative experience. Is it worse? Rather different. There is more survival than horror here, although the style of presentation, the design of both the characters and the world presented seem to be criminal accuracy, literally. The fairy-tale appearance created by the Tim Burton-inspired intro instantly turns into a realistic blood festival. Ethan Winters should receive his own statuette for the number of body trials he has undergone. The torture of the hero lasts most of the time of the game.
Why is Capcom unlucky after all? I did not accidentally refer to the entire The Game Awards initiative. The return of the king of the 32-bit genre era, Resident Evil 2 (2019) has knocked out everyone waiting. When Shinji Mikami was designing the brand’s debut in the 1990s, his priority was to capture zombies in truly terrible, macabre forms. The same effect was achieved decades after the premiere of the originals. Despite this, the game did not win, although it fully deserved it. Too strong competition in the form of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice or another Death Stranding? As for the last one, no one doubted that Hideo and Geoff are good colleagues. The former even appeared in the game under the code name “Fan Ludens”. However, that was two years ago. 2021 was not so much weak as it started at a slower pace, although it is almost over. Resident Evil: Village was released in May, taking high sales bars by storm. For fans, it turned out to be an excellent return to the conceptual framework of the fourth installment. A village, a castle, a hut? We already know it from the Spanish Pueblo, the setting of Resident Evil 2 (2005).
I have the same impression during each session. Is this some sort of disadvantage? Not for me. The concept of the unity of time and place versus the classical division, the control, although smoother thanks to the perspective of the protagonist, is still deliberately tailored to the challenge. Try to avoid the lycanthropic torturers, you will be surprised at what this feat is without injury. Tradition preserved. Competition, although not big, but very diverse. From Deathloop to Psychonauts 2. It has rarely happened in the history of The Game Awards so far that a sequel will be the winner of a plebiscite. With last year’s exception. Even if Capcom doesn’t win, don’t worry. The acceptance of the game turned out to be fantastic, but we all still expect information about any story expansion. The history of the macabre farm of the possessed Louisiana cannibals has got a powerful add-on package. Partially valid and completely random. The mere fact of being nominated gives the publisher the opportunity to re-release Village with the proud “Game of the Year Edition”.
However, this requires some novelty. There is no need for graphic enhancements, so there is no new content. The eighth part of the legendary epic about the fight between the bad and the worse, although based on the foundations of its predecessor, offers a fresh perspective on a topic that has not been exploited for a long time. When was the last time you feared a clash with the impure blood of a werewolf (except for The Order 1886 or Bloodborne, although these are different species)? When did you visit such a powerfully decorated puppet house like this Beneviento?
Resident Evil: Village doesn’t strike with the same rhythm of horror, it balances it. At the same time, it gives strong layers of intense action. It’s like a compensation for the eternal malcontents who accuse Resident Evil 4 of superficial treatment of horror. Therefore, as a cycle veteran, I would like this title for the game. Fate will decide. The year, although modest, but creative in new publications.