Great moments in PC gaming: Surviving the village attack in Resident Evil 8

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(Image credit: Capcom)

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Resident Evil Village

(Image credit: Capcom)

Year: 2021
Developer: Capcom

Honestly, I don't know why I play Resident Evil games. They often demand a combination of skill and speed: two things I struggle with in isolation, let alone at the same time. The most recent example is the baptism of fire that is Resident Evil Village's "Survive the attack" sequence, which bears more than a few similarities with a series classic that came before it.

Both Resident Evil 4 and Village start in similar ways: a slow, tension-building opening with plenty of fiends skulking about in the undergrowth, before the chainsaws and werewolves properly hit the fan. With few enemies to fight before these combat-heavy moments, the shock of the onslaught to come feels all the more potent. 

Shortly after the jaw-dropping mountaintop reveal of Castle Dimitrescu and its surroundings, you're taught how to shoot a lycan with a gun, and it feels like an entire clip needs to hit its hairy flesh before it's felled. That makes the prospect of fighting a few at once intimidating. An army? Insurmountable. Then the tidal wave strikes.

Village veterans will know that you only need to "Survive the Attack" for about four minutes. If you go into it with the mechanics it teaches you in mind—barricading the doorways with shelving, shooting bags of flour to stun lycans, and so on—it's pretty easy. First time through, especially if you're quick to panic like me, it's not. 

Like the village attack in Resi 4, the encounter is essentially a puzzle, but with a ravenous horde functioning as a timer. You've got to balance searching for gear and supplies with managing your ammo and making sure you're heading in a sensible direction. You're making multiple micro-decisions on the fly, and I inevitably get the majority of those wrong as I flail. In Village it's flour bags, moveable furniture, and red barrels. In Resi 4 it's ladders, grenades, and a rather persistent man with power tools.

For the duration you're on the edge of death. One baddie dispatched is replaced with three more. Then four, then five. It feels impossible, because it is: both sections end with the enemy effectively overwhelming you, leaving you reflecting on the horror of the journey ahead. When I eventually survived the attack in Resident Evil Village, the mechanics the tutorial taught me were indelibly marked in my mind. I've never been more glad to see an interactable cabinet in my life.

Harry Shepherd

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.