There are plenty of games I would love to play but don't for a number of reasons. Maybe I don't like the genre. Maybe it's just too difficult for me to make any meaningful progress. And maybe, despite the trailers looking incredibly interesting, I just find the actual gameplay boring. The worst reason of all, though, is that a game is scary. I want so badly to be into horror games, but I just can't do it. This has made me feel left out over the years as social media gravitates toward the next big horror thing — whatever it may be — and I've never felt it so much as now that Resident Evil Village is out.
From the moment Lady Dimistrecu was revealed, I knew I was going to have a problem. It's oddly heartwarming to see the gaming community come together and joke around with Tall Vampire Lady memes, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to experience it fully when the game came out. While I continue to retweet memes and videos, it almost feels like I can't participate because I'm merely a bystander watching everyone else have fun.
It's hard for me to explain how I love the idea of horror more than horror itself. The themes and designs are engaging, and there's often a focus on mortality and death that's fascinating. I'm drawn, no pun intended, to macabre art. Halloween is my favorite holiday if you can believe it. The gothic motifs in Resident Evil Village are calling to me. But I can barely make it through a trailer without closing my eyes.
I've been trying to hype myself up, so to speak, in order to play it. I thought I could maybe make it through some of the more action-oriented sections, despite knowing any tense moments would leave me clutching the controller and wanting to pause the game. When I was informed of a section in a dollhouse with a grotesque baby, however, I made the mistake of looking it up on YouTube to see how scary it actually was. I would like to erase my memory of it now and request my coworkers pay for my ensuing therapy.
If there was a way for me to explore the environment in Village, sans all of the monsters, I would. Something similar to Soma's Safe Mode would be preferable. There are so many hidden details about the world that I'll never be able to see, and Capcom exquisitely crafted everything that's been shown off in gameplay trailers and demos. I'd actually like this for most games, if I'm being honest. You can tell a lot about the world and its people from the level design, and being able to spend my time wandering around without the threat of a Lycan mauling my face off sounds really nice.
It's pouring salt on the wound that Village actually has some decent puzzles in it, too, because I'm a sucker for good puzzles, as disturbing as some of them in Resident Evil may be. I know removing the monsters removes much of the tension, and therefore completely changes what the game is, but that's how I'd like to experience it. And for what it's worth, Soma was still plenty scary for me in Safe Mode.
It's like a good chunk of Resident Evil Village was made specifically for me, but my brain is at odds with my heart. Seeing everyone enjoying Resident Evil Village is nice, even if I can't bring myself to join in. Will I ever be able to get over my fears? Probably not. The FOMO is strong, but I know what I can and can't handle. It'll still likely go down as one of the best PS5 games to come out early in its life cycle, regardless of if I end up playing it or not.
Bring the scares
Even if I can't play it, you should
There's so much to love about Resident Evil Village, and it's perfect for horror fans. While it may be a bit too much for my easily scared heart to handle, that shouldn't stop you from picking it up.
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.