Resident Evil Village received a gameplay sample ahead of its release in 2021, showcasing a new scenario that maintains the atmosphere of the dotted house from Resident Evil 7. As a direct sequel, Village would continue Ethan’s storyline and the first-person gameplay it carries horror directly to the players. Their monster-age enemies were also featured on the latest PlayStation live stream, with lycans and (very) tall vampires replacing traditional zombies.
Hosted by Brittany Brombacher, the live show began with a world premiere trailer featuring Ethan and Mia Winters settling down after the events of Baker. They are attracted by the voices of a castle and town like Resident Evil 4; one of the inhabitants includes a tall vampire who reports to a Miranda Mother. In his strange phone call, he suggested that the players have escaped an enemy named Heisenberg and fought his three dark-clad daughters. It is strongly implied that the enemies are also holding Ethan at bay for a sacrificial ceremony involving his daughter or Mia.
Unlike Capcom’s new Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes, Village will use a first-person perspective on the traditional third-person camera. It will also be the first original game since Resident Evil 7 to power the cannon universe. Some connections will also be featured, including Chris Redfield, while new promo art suggests it’s a different take.
The main game demo put Ethan at the castle gates, where he goes on a mission to rescue his kidnapped daughter before the ceremony. Viewers were immediately treated to an improved RE engine on the next-gen consoles. Taken from the experiences of the last two Capcom reboots, the engine added photorealistic textures and motion capture for maximum chills. The ray tracing is lit by Victorian candles, sunlight, and glass lanterns, while its corridors would be contrasted with bloody enemies. The three hooded vampire daughters drag Ethan to meet the tall vampire, who hints that his brother (possibly Heisenberg) is one of the first bosses in the battle. Ethan is thrown into the dungeon, where he uses a pistol and shotgun to defend himself against armed lycans, goblins, and a giant executioner with an ax. Players will be constantly hunted down by the Daughters of Vampires, who can materialize into a swarm of flies and act as a Nemesis-type character with near-invincible health in certain portions.
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Their inventory receives an overhaul, with the inclusion of crafts for players to build their own medicines, herbs, and ammunition. Crafts were already touched on in previous games, while a new menu shows players a list of collected general resources. Players can also buy things from the merchant, a figure called « The Duke » who returns with a variety of classic items that can be purchased with gold. Unfortunately, this is a different merchant who does not wear a hood or a British accent. Across the corridors, players will also need to keep an eye out for key items and loot to solve puzzles. Like Resident Evil 7 and its reboots, the Resident Evil Village level design will be based on inventory. At some point, players will find cordoned off areas that will need a bit of exploring or stumbling to unlock. Certain key items can also be found by defeating mini-bosses, while most items are hard to lose.
Producer Pete Fabiano chimed in to mention that Resident Evil Village would be included on PlayStation 4 with a free update to the PS5 version. An exclusive « Maiden » demo is also available to PS5 users now, while other versions may have it sometime in spring 2021. Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda announced that Resident Evil’s 25th anniversary would mark the world premiere of RE -Verse; a cel-shaded PvP shooter. It is a free play mode for village owners, while they can play as classic characters in deathmatches. Players who die become the Nemesis or other powerful enemies that appear throughout the franchise. A collaboration with The Division 2 is also underway, with which players will be able to unlock RPD gear and participate in special zombie-based missions. Resident Evil Infinite Darkness received an update in the showcase, confirming that the CG movie takes place a few years after the fourth game.
Resident Evil Village opens May 7, 2021 with pre-orders available now. First-time buyers will receive a few key items to aid in their survival while their other physical collector’s editions vary with a Chris Redfield statue, the Samurai Edge in the game, and other consumable resources. The standard edition includes Resident Evil Village, while collectors can get the deluxe digital edition to receive a security device, safe room music, the Albert01 Chris from Resident Evil 7, a Maximum Difficulty art book and special Tragedy of Ethan Winters. The Collector’s Edition comes with a Chris figure, box, art book, steel book, trauma pack, and a real poster with the town map. Players can also purchase a full two-game bundle for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil Village to get the full experience when exiting.