Resident Evil Village is an awesome entry in the legendary franchise, bringing us up to eight mainline games across various additional spin-offs. If you're familiar with Resident Evil (particularly Resident Evil 4), there isn't anything here particularly new to the franchise (aside from truly stunning next-gen visuals). That being said, there are a few things here and there that I do wish I'd known before diving in, and I thought I'd share those with you to stop you from making the same mistakes I did.
Here are five quick-fire tips on how you can overcome the spooky village, and ultimately save Ethan's family.
1. Combat tips
Combat in Resident Evil Village is somewhat similar to Resident Evil 7 in that it's from a first-person perspective. However, Ethan notes during the opening that he had some combat training from Chris Redfield in between the two games. This manifests with Ethan being able to run faster, and also perform a parry attack that came from the Chris Redfield DLC in Resident Evil 7.
- As you might expect, almost every enemy in the game takes extra damage from being shot in the head. Aim for the head.
- If the enemy doesn't necessarily have a head, the game usually highlights weak spots on bosses quite obviously, with red glowing parts and so on.
- The parry attack is important to learn, especially on higher difficulties. Press the block button (LB on Xbox) to block an incoming attack. Then, you can press it again to shove the attacker. Weaker enemies may even fall down.
- You don't always need to kill everything. Many enemies will give up chasing after a while, allowing you to flee and conserve ammo. This is more important on higher difficulties potentially. On Normal difficulty and below, you'll generally have enough ammo to fight practically anything, though.
- Explosives like mines and pipe bombs are great at clearing out multiple assailants. Gather them up into a group then let those limbs fly.
- The quick turn maneuver (down and B on Xbox) can be useful to quickly pull a 180 and run away from an approaching enemy.
2. Upgrading weapons and stats
This somewhat feeds into the combat tips section, but I arbitrarily decided I wanted to hit five subheadings so this gets its whole own section. Unlike Resident Evil 7, RE: Village has a more granular progression system, allowing Ethan to boost some of his stats slightly, alongside the more traditional weapon upgrade parts system from yesteryear.
- The Duke is a new vendor you meet near the start of the game. He sells some limited ammo, as well as crafting plans. He also sells weapon upgrade parts occasionally. Grabbing these can make your guns more potent and easier to handle.
- Like classic Resident Evil games, some weapon parts are also hidden and will require some exploration to find.
- After completing Castle Dimitrescu, you'll gain access to an expanded Duke inventory. He will start buying meat from you to prepare meals. Meals add permanent upgrades to Ethan's speed, blocking power, and health pool by relatively small amounts. They're still worth getting, though!
- The meat to upgrade your stats can be found all around the map, after completing the Castle Dimitrescu sequence. They may appear on the map as a chicken, or fish symbol, for example.
- Some meals require special "rare" ingredients that appear in some hidden locations, some of which are accessible only after certain story events have transpired.
- Prioritize only a few weapons to fully upgrade. Resident Evil Village has a large array of weapons, but if you manage to unlock every upgrade via the Duke, you will unlock unlimited ammo versions for New Game+ subsequent playthroughs. You can reliably get enough Lei to upgrade three to four weapons fully throughout the game, potentially.
3. Backtrack and explore
Exploration remains a big part of Resident Evil Village, with a relatively large maze of intersecting locations to peruse and loot. After the introduction and Castle Dimitrescu parts of the game, you will gain access to new areas, complete with the ability to backtrack. Upon completing other story areas, the connecting "Village" portion of the game gets updated with new items, and occasionally, new enemies.
- You no longer need to keep your knife equipped to break crates and boxes, as Ethan has learned how pockets work. Smash all the crates for maximum loot.
- While exploring, a room in the color red means there's an item in there you may have missed. Blue means that it has been cleared.
- Towards the middle of the game, the Duke will reveal the locations of special "treasures" he's been hunting in the local vicinity. Heading back to these areas can reward you with all sorts of goodies, although you may have to fight for them.
- Some treasures are not marked on the map. Others are in hidden locations. Be sure to explore off the main path where you can, shoot yellow-taped padlocks to access new areas, climb that random ladder; you never know what you'll find.
4. Farming Lei currency
This riffs a bit on the exploration and backtracking section a bit, but the main currency of Resident Evil Village is "Lei," mostly accrued via exploration. You can't really grind Lei, since there is essentially a set number of enemies and collectibles in the game, but here's how you can maximize what you can get in any given playthrough.
- Lei currency is what you use to buy items from the Duke. You can find it in multiple ways.
- Enemies occasionally drop Lei, but you can also get Lei from looting random cupboards, drawers, boxes, and more.
- In my first playthrough, I often wondered if some "red"-marked unexplored rooms were bugged. Later I realized that gems and other valuables can be hidden on the walls, flashing with a small white glow. Shooting these down gives you items to sell to the Duke.
- Some valuables appear in the "Treasures" tab in your inventory. You can examine them to see their cool models and flavor text, but some can be combined into even more valuable items. I accidentally sold many of these items before realizing I could combine them. Sad face.
- There are a few optional bosses in the game which reward mountains of Lei. It can be expensive on your ammo supplies to kill them, but they're typically in areas that are flooded with extra ammo anyway. Their locations are spoilers, essentially, but be sure to explore all the paths and areas you find in the game. I'll put up a separate article detailing where they are in the near future.
- Do not buy consumables unless it's an absolute emergency! It's a bit of a waste since the game gives you more than enough (at least on Normal) to survive. Keep your Lei for weapon upgrades, prioritizing damage above all else to make your ammo supplies more efficient over time.
5. Replayability and New Game+
Resident Evil Village takes cues from some previous Resident Evil games with robust post-game support. Here's an overview of what you can expect when you complete the game, and the things you can do to maximize your experience on your first playthrough.
- On your first playthrough, Resident Evil Village tracks your progression, similarly to previous games.
- Upon completing the game, you're rewarded with Completion Points based on your performance, and challenges completed throughout the game. These challenges are hidden until the first completion, however.
- Some of the challenges include things like speed-running boss kills, beating the game on certain difficulties, and more.
- The things you can unlock with Completion Points include special weapons, "cheats" like unlimited ammo, 3D models of in-game enemies and characters, concept art, and much more.
- You also unlock Mercenaries mode and a new "Village of Darkness" difficulty setting after the first completion.
- You can use special weapons you've unlocked in a New Game+ mode, even on higher difficulties. I feel like the "Village of Darkness" difficulty mode would be nigh-on impossible without some of these post-game weapons.
- Mercenaries mode is an arcade-style mode that returns from previous Resident Evil games, rewarding players for completing shooting challenges. These runs also come with their own challenges and completion points bonuses.
- To unlock the unlimited ammo weaponry, you need to fully upgrade the specific weapons at the Duke during a playthrough. It might be worth saving your Lei for upgrading more powerful weapons first like the shotgun and the magnum to maximize your effectiveness in this regard.
And that's a wrap!
Resident Evil Village is an incredibly fun game that celebrates 25 years' worth of horror history with multiple gameplay styles in a relatively beefy 10-hour campaign. The post-launch replayability is also impressive, with plenty of unlockable weapons and insane challenge modes that should keep completionists busy until the first real DLCs begin to drop in the future. I'd quite easily call it one of the best Xbox games of the now, and certainly one of the best Xbox horror games.
If there's anything else you'd like to know about Resident Evil Village, drop a comment below and I'll try to answer your questions. One final tip: play in the dark with headphones.
- Resident Evil Village Guide: Where to find all the Goats of Warding
- Resident Evil Village Guide: How to unlock Mercenaries mode
- Resident Evil Village Guide: How to unlock infinite ammo