Yes, There's A Reason Resident Evil Village's Ethan Can Shrug Off Dismemberment
Here's a spoiler-free breakdown of why RE8's protagonist can survive such violent encounters and bounce back with simple first-aid.
Resident Evil Village certainly lives up to the franchise's particular pedigree of survival horror, putting you into encounters with horrifying monsters that channel the best of what the genre is all about. Throughout Ethan's harrowing journey to rescue his daughter, he'll face off with feral Lycans and the sadistic pleasures of Lady Dmitrscu and her cabal demented monstrosities. And as you will see in just the first hour of the game, Ethan is going to get hurt... a lot. But the reason for his survival goes beyond just "video games."
The Resident Evil series is no stranger to showing vicious attacks from zombies and other bio-weapons in grisly detail--and how a simple green herb gets you back to full health. However, Resident Evil Village and its direct predecessor go the extra mile by showing just how gnarly these encounters can be, and how much of a lasting impact it has on its protagonist Ethan. For those who skipped out on Resident Evil 7 or have forgotten the specific plot details, it can be confusing and unintentionally humurous to see that Ethan has regenerative abilities. Evidently, some players are already a bit confused about why Ethan can quickly bounce back from getting his hands mauled and legs stabbed, especially for a series that's all about managing your health and dwindling resources.
The answer for this goes all the back to RE7, which saw Ethan make his debut in the series. The game begins with the hapless everyman wandering into the Baker family estate searching for his missing wife Mia. But in the first 30 minutes of the game, he's quickly beaten, stabbed, and even gets his left hand severed by a chainsaw. After that gutwrencing intoduction, Ethan finds himself face to face with the corrupted Baker family, and his hand somehow reattached and in use again--albeit stabled back on.
Throughout RE7, we learn more about how the Baker family turned into horrifying monsters and the source of the mysterious mold growing throughout the backwoods of Louisiana. As it turns out, Ethan and Mia had contracted regenerative powers from their exposure to the spores, which explains why both of them--along with the menacing Jack Baker--can recover from wounds.
In Ethan's case, his regenerative powers are boosted with the use of First Aid, which will seal up his wounds and reattach some missing limbs quickly. During the early portion of your escape from the Baker mansion, players can have an optional encounter with Jack, with the stalking patriarch using his shovel to sever Ethan's leg completely. Once the deed is done, Jack will taunt Ethan with a bottle of First Aid and tell him to fix his leg so that they can continue the chase. Ethan will quite literally put his leg back and use the first aid to heal from the wound. It's a particularly gruesome moment, and unfortunately, many players who finished RE7 missed out on this extra bit of context.
Resident Evil Village's full story may spend some more time diving into the nature of Ethan's unexpected powers. It's certainly odd to see the Resident Evil series feature a hero character with superhuman abilities, which take some cues from Far Cry 2's approach to healing, but it actually works in Resident Evil Village's favor. The final game turned out to be solid mix of new and old elements from classic Resident Evil.
In our full review, GameSpot editor Phil Hornshaw stated: "Resident Evil 7 was an excellent return to the horror underpinnings of the franchise, but cunningly altered with new ideas and a new perspective. Similarly, Village is an intelligent reintroduction of the best action elements of Resident Evil. Though it captures some of the same things that made RE7 such a breath of fresh air (or maybe rancid, stale, mold-filled air, but in a good way), Village evolves to become its own unique creature. It makes you wonder what beautifully twisted fiend Resident Evil might mutate into in the future."