Resident Evil Village has completely and utterly sunk its hooks into me. Between PS5 and Xbox Series X, I’m currently preparing for my sixth playthrough of the game and I easily see several more completions on the horizon.
While later Resident Evil titles like Resident Evil 5 through 7 heavily incentivized multiple playthroughs with new weapons and rewarding unlocks, none of them perfected the formula quite like the newest entry. As our resident Resident Evil nerd, I just can’t stop playing. Here’s why Resident Evil Village has the best replayability of the entire series and why it’s on track to be the game I’ve beaten more times than any other.
The history of replayability in Resident Evil
This ingenious balance of fear and fun would be part of the reason why Resident Evil became one of the most beloved horror franchises. Fans like myself adored these silly alternative ways of re-experiencing games that were inherently designed to be stressful and horrifying. it was like the game was rewarding you for getting through the sometimes horrifying main game by adding some fun.
With more eyes and attention on every subsequent release, the team at Capcom seemed hellbent on ramping up the rewards with every sequel. Resident Evil 2 retained the unlimited rocket launcher unlock, but also introduced a suite of additional post-game bonuses like the gatling gun. Then there was the absolutely ridiculous Tofu Scenario, which tasked players with running through the streets of Racoon City as a giant brick of tofu.
With the release of Resident Evil 3, Capcom shifted the focus from weapon unlocks to a host of bonus costumes for Jill Valentine. As this entry drastically ramped up your firepower from the get-go, rad additions like Regina’s outfit from Dino Crisis served as powerful incentives to chase the higher completion rankings. However, with the release of Code Veronica on Dreamcast, fans who completed this entry were treated to the first bonus game mode the series had seen. In Battle Game, players chose from one of five characters and completed a series of timed, arcade-influenced challenges. This post-game content had a unique collection of unlocks, which offered even more replayability for folks who just wanted any excuse to keep playing.
The bonus weapons of Resident Evil 2, the extra costumes of Resident Evil 3, and the bonus game mode from Code Veronica (which was rebranded as The Mercenaries) were all repurposed and re-envisioned with Resident Evil 4. This incredible title essentially served as a tribute to the greatest parts of all the Resident Evil games that came before it.
While this was absolutely a big criticism for some, Resident Evil 5 set the new gold standard for replayability in the series. With fully upgradable weapons, a universal character inventory, amazing co-op, and collectible treasure, Resident Evil 5 quickly became one of my most played games of all time, despite my complaints regarding its genuinely dumb storytelling and character building. Resident Evil 6 doubled-down on RE5’s action-focused double-down and ultimately ending up disappointing many long-time fans, leading to the much-needed refresh that came with Resident Evil 7.
What makes the replayability of Resident Evil Village so incredible?
Challenge Points and The Extra Content Shop
Source: Windows Central
Supplemental playthroughs were now being rewarded in ways the series had never seen before. A massive collection of over 70 Challenges incentivizes weapon experimentation, speed runs, and gathering collectibles. Completing these Challenges provides Challenge Points, which can be used to purchase new weapons, unlimited ammo, and extras like concept art. With tangible rewards for basically every additional playthrough, I found myself obsessed with trying to tackle every Challenge available.
New Game+ and higher difficulties
Source: Windows Central
Resident Evil Village doesn’t shy away from letting the player completely break the game and because of this, it stands firmly as the most fun entry since Resident Evil 5. Even the higher-level difficulties like Hardcore and Village of Shadows allow you to bring over outrageous weapons, making these otherwise grueling achievements more obtainable for the average player. And if you decide you want to experience a truly terrifying challenge, you can simply turn off unlimited ammo in the options or even start a completely fresh run with no existing equipment (which, subsequently, is a Challenge you can complete).
The Mercenaries and its new rogue-like elements
Source: Windows Central
As this mode adds even more challenges that can unlock wild extras like a double-sided lightsaber to the story mode, I found myself playing The Mercenaries far more in Resident Evil Village than I had with previous entries. If you’re someone like me who loves the feeling of perfecting each run, you’ll also spend way too much time with this post-game content.
Why I can’t stop playing Resident Evil Village
While I’ve beaten most Resident Evil titles several times each, I’ve never put this many playthroughs into any other game so close to launch. So once again, I tip my wide-brimmed hat to this team for delivering the best replayability the series has ever seen and realistically, some of the best replayability I’ve ever enjoyed in a video game.
How many times have you finished the game? Sound off in the comments below. Resident Evil Village is now available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Stadia, and PC. And for even more scares, be sure to check out our list of the best Xbox horror games.
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