It has been a year and a half since our dear Felix Resident was allowed to test Evil Village for Xbox Series X. However, with the cloud version for the Nintendo Switch, fans of the hybrid console can now also lend a hand, provided that the internet connection at home allows it. We plunged back into the adventure with Ethan Winters, and this is how much fun we had.
The game starts very harmoniously with wife Mia and daughter Rose.
Most of you should know by now that the story of Resident Evil Village Cloud flows directly from the seventh part, where we were first introduced to Ethan and his wife Mia. If you can’t remember exactly what happened three years before Resident Evil Village, you’ll get a flashback at the start of the game. Unfortunately, this is still very close and leaves question marks unless you fought your way through the Baker family home. Still, the flashback is a great help to better follow current events.
Right at the start of the game, Resident Evil Village Cloud lets you take on the role of Ethan, who now lives in Europe with his wife Mia and daughter Rose. Just when you dare to take the first steps in the game and put your daughter to bed, all hell breaks out again, Mia dies and Ethan finds himself a short time later in a snowy village looking for his daughter. Parallels with Resident Evil 4 are immediately palpable here, because just like in Leon’s adventure, death lurks around every corner. This includes not only the many remnants of flesh and dead people around you, because your life itself is also being tested. From werewolves to vicious vampires to axe-wielding monsters, a whole host of monstrosities await.
If we wrote in our test at the time that you experience Ethan’s adventure from a first-person perspective, you will soon be spoiled for choice on the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to the upcoming DLC, you can also activate the series-typical third-person view. Gamers’ hearts are happy to have the choice, but overall I personally like the view from Ethan’s eyes better, even though I haven’t been able to get my hands on the new game mode yet. This is mainly because the entire game is much more action-packed than its immediate predecessor. The view over the shoulder would further push the already somewhat missing horror into the background for me. The cohesive gameplay doesn’t hurt either, though, and I’m already looking forward to reliving the adventure from a different perspective.
Graphically, the cloud technology also offers a lot in the handheld.
Resident Evil Village Cloud offers you the usual system of collecting weapons, crafting ammo and healing items, and a more or less free exploration mode. The village introduced at the beginning of the game serves as the hub of the game and you will always be able to explore new areas to open the last locked drawers or find hidden treasures. While this isn’t a completely open game concept, individual areas such as the castle of the landlady Dimitrescu are so vast and have many rooms and locations that the urge to explore is definitely aroused. This is mainly due to the card in the game, which always shows you with a red color whether there are other things hidden in a place.
Like many other aspects of the game, Ethan’s inventory is reminiscent of Resident Evil 4. The good old gun chest makes an appearance again, which can house all of your equippable belongings. Think of classics such as pistols, rifles, mines, herbs or suitable ammunition and you can move and rotate the objects freely in your suitcase. This provides a lot of motivation in the game, because as a player you have to rearrange objects again and again to pack everything as space-saving as possible. This is especially worthwhile if you visit the dealer. He always has interesting offers for you, so space in your pocket makes sense. You can also sell items and treasures to fill your own wallet.
Ethan Winters is very popular with all the horrors.
All this is also urgently needed, because the enemies mentioned at the beginning cannot be brought to their knees without resistance. Targeted shots with the pistol or the spread effect with the shotgun are much needed to escape the hordes of enemies. I didn’t really like the shooting sequences, but I especially liked the Dimitrescu Castle with the lady of the house wandering around looking for Ethan. This created an oppressive feeling, which I wished for much more throughout the entire game. Other areas, like your first visit to the village, are so action-packed that you run from place to place or blast through the pack. It’s all very nice, but for me it doesn’t quite match the strengths of the seventh Resident Evil part.
For many, the technical aspect of the Nintendo Switch is likely to be particularly interesting, and I see this in two ways: the cloud gaming generally works well and lets you experience a firework of great visuals and sequences on the hybrid console. During my testing phase, however, I repeatedly had problems with the connection. Unfortunately, this was not due to the home network, but to the server structure. There were obvious peaks where the gaming experience wasn’t as smooth as one would have liked. This may be overlooked in one game or the other, but when I’m fighting against hordes of enemies and every ammo bullet is valuable, I can’t accept that. The controls snag, the frame rate plummets, and the shots go nowhere. This ends up being extremely annoying and frustrating.
What was especially annoying were the times when I couldn’t even start the game because too many users were playing and I had no choice but to queue up. While the wait wasn’t very long, as a player it frustrates me when I buy a product and I don’t always have access to it. Therefore, I certainly wish that the capabilities here are expanded to allow for a frustration-free experience. Otherwise you won’t just get something in your eyes, because the soundtrack is fantastic and really immerses you in the events. This includes not only the harmonious German dubbing voices, but the entire atmosphere of sounds, images and lights that sell the individual environments perfectly. So if you’re comfortable with cloud gaming, you’ll have a great 10-12 hours with Ethan.