Resident Evil Village Holds Eerie Similarities with Resident Evil 4

Similarities Between Resident Evil Village and 4 Aren’t a Bad Thing

Resident Evil is one of the most successful zombie franchises of all time. Switching between generic white protagonists from one game to the next (save for Sheva in Resident Evil 5 and Carlos in Resident Evil 3), players shoot and survive hordes of mutations in increasingly cool locations. Resident Evil 8, or officially, Resident Evil Village, will probably continue this trend. It also happens to borrow a lot of elements from its most iconic predecessor: Resident Evil 4. Let’s talk about it.

Creepy European Villages

A grey european village from Resident Evil Village with scarecrows and snow falling onto decrepit wooden rooftops.
A really creepy looking village setting (image credit: Capcom)

In the PS5 launch trailer for Village, we saw a lot of things: Chris Redfield, Resident Evil busting into the protagonist’s house like a hulked up badass, zombie werewolves, and fancy women who can turn into birds. The first comparison we can draw between the two is in the game’s namesake: Resident Evil Village. It’s hard to watch this trailer and not think of the Resident Evil 4 villagers in their rural setting. Village is taking place in spooky rural Europe, which is pretty much where 4 took place without the Spanish twist.  

Merchants and Buying Goodies

One of the new merchants from Resident Evil Village laughing to herself in dark robes.
One of the supposed merchants in Village. (Image Credit: Metro.co.uk)

According to Metro, Merchants are coming back and playing just as big a part as they did in Resident Evil 4. This came as a result of a leaked playtest where players reported much of the game’s opening sequence. That’s a pretty big leak, a big enough leak to reveal that these merchants wear similar garbs and act in a similar fashion to the previous merchants. The visual and thematic similarities between the creepy sales associates are jarring, to say the least, but welcome. Purchasing weapon upgrades and conserving inventory were features in Resident Evil 4 that worked well, and it’s safe to assume they’ll work again in Village.

Castles and Cultists

A stone castle gate with two cutouts in the door meant for puzzle pieces.
This castle gate looks oddly similar to Resident Evil 4’s castle entrance. (Image credit: Capcom)

Another leak from the playtest, cultists and castles will return in Resident Evil Village, particularly cultists with face tattoos. Maybe cultists with face tattoos aren’t eligible for upstanding careers. So we get cultists with face tattoos. That’s alright, this is a safe space. Resident Evil 4 featured similar enemies wielding gardening scythes and Halloween store maces. Capcom should be cool with them by now. 

Castles with accompanying puzzles are also featured in both the trailer and in the images available on the official Resident Evil Village site. There isn’t much to say here. Resident Evil 8 is bleeding Resident Evil 4 of all its essence. It’s like searching for the new Supreme. When one dies, another rises. (That’s an American Horror Story reference.)    

How About that Resident Evil 4 Remake?

Chris Redfield standing in Ethan's house.
Big boy Chris is spooky: Ethan better watch out. (Image credit: Capcom)

After the success of Capcom’s other Resident Evil remakes, Resident Evil 4 has been rumored to receive one. It is weird timing for these rumors to be sprouting up around the same time as Resident Evil Village’s announcement. Is Resident Evil 8 a spiritual successor to 4? Is Capcom lazy and unwilling to create all-new assets in order to push out a game that is undoubtedly going to rake in insurmountable amounts of revenue?  There are even hints of the new game taking ideas from 4’s cut content.

Perhaps the popularity of Resident Evil 4 and its critical acclaim gave Capcom some ideas. Either way, it’s a smart move on Capcom’s part. Emulating greatness isn’t such a bad thing. You know what they say: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. 

Resident Evil Village is expected to be released in 2021 on PS5, PC, and the XBOX Series consoles.

By John Castro

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