Last week, I talked about how I’m holding off on getting a PlayStation 5 mostly because getting one is impossible unless you’re willing to pay the big bucks to the scalpers. I’m not because they’re partially to blame for Sony’s console becoming very scarce in the first place. Why should I reward them for being part of the problem?
We’re getting off track here but, because I’m not getting a PlayStation 5 in the foreseeable future, this has put a damper on my video game prospects. I want to play Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade but it’s a PlayStation 5 exclusive so no dice there. I was finally intrigued by the Demon’s Souls remake but that’s on Sony latest console as well. There are also games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which are both available on PlayStation 4 and 5 but, even though I can play the PlayStation 4 version, I’m going to wait until I can get a PlayStation 5 before I do so.
One game in particular is getting an exception is Capcom’s Resident Evil Village. That’s because, from what I’ve seen, it’s looks like a lot of fun. It’s an over-the-top adventure where you modify your weapons and take on the undead, giant vampire ladies, werewolves, a giant, unkillable baby and then some.
This is opposition of its predecessor, the 7th entry of the franchise, Resident Evil: Biohazard. This is the game where we’re introduced to the new series protagonist, Ethan Winters, and his quest to save his wife who appears to be trapped in a home owned by the Baker household. I did play Resident Evil 7 and besides not saving the right person, I didn’t really have a good time with Capcom’s pseudo reboot of their flagship franchise.
I didn’t enjoy Resident Evil 7 because I found it too frightening.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because Capcom made the conscious decision to scale back on the scares with Resident Evil Village as the previous entry was just too frightening for a lot of players like me. They decided to balance this out by concentrating on making the game just a little bit more fun for cowards like me.
This might irk a lot of survival horror fans as “horror” is kind of its thing. Watering down the scary elements does seem counterintuitive when that’s part of why it became a hit. Here’s the thing, though: Resident Evil 7 was oppressively terrifying for me. So much so that there were points when I wanted to stop playing. Maybe that’s because I am a big scaredy cat at heart so I do appreciate Capcom for keeping me in mind with Resident Evil Village as there were times when I couldn’t stand playing Resident Evil 7.
Probably the biggest reason why I found that game too frightening is not because of all the body horror of a woman shooting bugs out of her hoohah nor to I find facing the monsters like the molded in combat. Those parts are fine with me as those moments were just too outlandish for me to take too seriously. Sure, horror movies with monsters still scare the beejeezus out of me at times but my fear only lasts for a few moments because I do realize monsters like that aren’t real.
What actually frightened me the most in Resident Evil 7 was the Baker family while they were in their “human” forms. To be more specific, the “dinner” scene after the fight with Mia practically destroyed me.
Right from the get-go, it’s clearly implied the Baker family isn’t your ordinary human family. They’re obviously not eat the kinds of foods regular people consume. I live in the Philippines so eating things like intestines and eyeballs is rather normal out here… but at least we have the decency to cook them! The Bakers seem to like their internal organs served sushi style, if you get my drift. The patriarch of the family even saws off his son’s hand like it was the most ordinary thing to do when he acts up!
The logical side of my brain figured out this wasn’t realistic because of how insane it all was. The more illogical, animalistic side of my brain couldn’t. There was just something about how good the graphics were and how the Bakers acted which made it seem outlandish yet… it was something I could believe to be real. These were insane people who took me hostage and tried to cram food down my gullet by sawing my mouth open with a kitchen knife! This wasn’t some monster with claws trying to do that. This was an insane human being! A human being with freakish strength, for sure… but human enough for me to believe he was human!
Progressing through the game, things did become more and more insane and, because of this, more unrealistic and unbelievable. Jack evolving into a humongous monster. More and more creatures would spawn to try to block Ethan Winters’ path to freedom. Things just started getting weirder and weirder so I was able to get through the game as the logical part of my brain would win the debate regarding if what I was seeing on the screen was real enough to warrant me being scared. By the end, I would say I did start really enjoying myself, especially by the end boss.
However, that’s the problem. I only started to really have fun with Resident Evil 7 by the end and not through the majority of the game. It took me a while to get over my fear of the Bakers and how human they came off. I know it’s irrational, especially for a survival horror game, but when you just want to stop playing because of how afraid you are, I don’t think it’s all that fun.
I do understand why longtime fans may be upset with the game trying to cater to someone like me, a gamer who’s not that into horror in the first place. Here’s the thing, though. Just because something is supposed to be scary, that doesn’t mean it only has to be scary. It’s kind of like food, in a sense. You want some kind of flavor to stand out but you also want something to accompany that flavor to elevate the taste. You don’t just dump a bunch of sugar in a chocolate cake and think it’ll come out great. You have to contrast it with other things, like maybe adding some bitterness with coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. Maybe in the Baker’s case, adding a little more salt to those innards might make it edible.
Yes, Resident Evil 7 was too terrifying for me so I’m glad Capcom kept me in mind when they were making Resident Evil Village. In fact, you might have to thank me because, if it weren’t for me, Capcom wouldn’t have created the voluptuous Lady Dimitrescu for the simps out there!
How did you feel about Resident Evil 7’s fear levels? Was it too scary, not scary enough or just right? Let me know in the comments section below!