When you come to Ethan Winters, when Ethan Winters arrives, you are warmly welcomed – in a nominal village called Resident Evil Village. Not until you are attacked by worms to welcome you.
In a direct follow-up to Resident Evil 7, you are once again thrust on an annoying, frightening, and deadly quest through the European environment for your kidnapped daughter. You play once again from the perspective of the first person, which means that all the monsters looking at you are more terrible than ever.
Even for longtime fans of this series, the threat you face in Resident Evil Village is different for the ghouls, mutants, and beasts in the impressive cast of the franchise. You may have some familiar tools and mechanics, but this latest entry in the long-running horror franchise combines things you never imagined.
There are so many surprises for you in this new setting and most of them are unpleasant. Before you follow Lady D and the other denizens in this gothic village, check out these important tips to get started in Resident Evil Village.
Search every location thoroughly
The Resident Evil franchise has been the pioneer of the survival horror genre basically since its first entry, and Resident Evil Village certainly retains those survival elements. Though more action-focused than Resident Evil 7, for example, the game still forces you to scrounge the environments for every bullet, shell, treasure, and healing item you can get your hands on.
This isn’t a game where you can just run from point to point without stopping to search for supplies and expect to make it through. A lot of items can be hidden quite well, including in the ceiling that you need to shoot down, so don’t just limit yourself to what you see at eye level.
Use your map
If you’ve played either of the recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 or 3 then the map system used in Resident Evil Village will be second nature to you. If not, all you need to know is that your map is your best friend. In survival horror games, not just the Resident Evil series, the map is arguably more valuable than any weapon you get.
This genre, more than any other, makes your map as useful as possible by updating itself as you progress through the game, such as marking locked doors, blocked paths, or points of interest you will revisit later. In Resident Evil Village, the map does just about all of these things, plus it uses a handy color-coding system to let you know when and where you missed an item.
Don’t waste resources
Finally, to tie up this resource-focused segment, don’t go crazy with your items. If you don’t have a clear shot, don’t just unload all your previous ammo, and always do your best to heal only when your health is critically low. While you can purchase more items like bullets from the Duke, the game’s merchant, there are far more useful things you will want to be saving your money for. Play stingy, hoard everything you can, and you might just make it out alive.
Hide from Lady D and her daughters
Lady D has dominated the marketing for Resident Evil Village and acts as this game’s version of Mr. X or Nemesis in that she will eventually be a persistent enemy stalking you in certain locations. Unlike Nemesis, there’s nothing to be gained by attempting to face her or her daughters, who function similarly, during these segments.
You won’t be able to take her down, but she can certainly end your life in a flash or at least waste valuable resources if you attempt to fight her. Save yourself ammo, health, and time by running or hiding if you ever get yourself cornered.
Make use of Duke
Duke is the new merchant for Resident Evil Village, and you’ll be encountering him many times throughout your journey. Of course, his main function will be to buy, sell, and upgrade, but he’s actually useful for more than that. If you’re invested in the story, make sure you chat with him every time you find him in a new location.
Somehow, he will almost always have some important plot or story information that can shed some light on or at least give you some clues as to what is happening with your daughter and Mia.
Upgrade your guns
Your standard weapons will do fine for the early part of the game, but eventually, you’ll feel the need for a bit more punch with your arsenal. Duke allows you to upgrade your favorite weapons to be more powerful, hold more ammo, reload faster, and things of that nature.
Aside from buying inventory upgrades, these weapon upgrades should be your main investment. Just try and narrow down your upgrades to one or two favorite guns you rely on most. There are way too many guns to max them all out in a single playthrough, but if you do upgrade one to the max, you unlock a version of that gun with infinite ammo you can use when starting New Game+.
Hunt often and upgrade yourself
It should come as no surprise that Duke is, let’s say, fond of a good meal. The merchant is so infatuated with food that he will offer permanent stat boosts if you bring him different meats that he can make into special meals for himself.
While that would sound like a complete waste of time in most other games, you should absolutely spend some time hunting the local animals from time to time. Not only is it a nice breather from the more intense action and horror of the main plot, but the upgrades you get on top of it are quite decent.