Resident Evil Village is an essential horror experience that shows off what Capcom is capable of when it doesn’t compromise its vision in any way. The developer uses subgenres like puzzle pieces, clicking them into place on a grid to reveal the bigger picture: a survival horror collage, realised with remarkable production values and a deep love for its extensive roots. Resident Evil Village will be held high by Lady Dimitrescu and her peers for years to come, to rest head and shoulders above its genre rivals.
It’s a shame, then, that some of the level design choices don’t really pair up with the engine Toys for Bob has built this love-letter to 90s platforming games in. Loose and floaty physics, an abundance of different mechanics that often feel part-baked, and some design choices that feel sadistic – rather than simply difficult – leave this approach to Crash Bandicoot feeling less like a true sequel, and more like a licensed spin-off.
If you can break through the more sluggish and unenjoyable moments of the game, you’ll find an absolute gem of an action-RPG shining at the core, a promise of what Square Enix can do with role-playing games in this generation and generations to come.