The first Resident Evil Village gameplay demo went live yesterday on PS4 and PS5, revealing a world soaked in atmospheric horror and some freaky new enemies.
While I felt the RE Village demo was overall lackluster and tantalizingly short, the experience did leave something behind. The gameplay was decent--gunplay is fluid, doors are a bit finicky--but the atmospheric storytelling and grisly new lycans were the star of the demo (Of course Lady Dmitrescu wasn't on the stage in this demo, or she'd immediately steal the show).
The werewolf enemies are pretty unsettling to fight. They roam on all fours like beasts, exhibiting a kind of brutal feline grace. The first encounter is pretty memorable; you're in high snow-covered wheat and you actually hear them before you see them. The wheat shakes, something snarls, and you have a sense of dread. Then the monster pops up and smacks you around a few times.
Their appearance is fearsome, but what really freaked me out was their movement patterns. They walk around like humans when striking, but hop onto all fours and simply vanish into the environment. They move pretty fast on all fours and can close distances quite easily. You're really not meant to kill them, but stun them long enough so you can run away and escape.
During the demo, I let the werewolves kill me just to see what would happen. They stabbed poor Ethan, tore him open, and started feasting on his guts before the camera faded to black.
The enemies owe a lot to their environments, though. The encounter wouldn't be nearly as scary without the high wheat or the snowy areas that punctuated their grotesque appearance. There's a kind of haunted and hallowed feel to the game, and the castle stretching into the clouds overhead brings to mind Castlevania and old Universal Horror movies, but the macabre brutality is something right out of An American Werewolf in London.
The next Resident Evil gameplay demo goes live on April 24 for PS4/PS5 users and will take place in the Castle.
Resident Evil VIIIage releases May 7, 2021 on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, and on Steam. Check below for more info on Resident Evil VIIIage:
Experience survival horror like never before in Resident Evil Village, the eighth major installment in the genre-defining Resident Evil franchise. Set a few years after the horrifying events in the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 7 biohazard, the all-new storyline brings Ethan Winters to a remote snow-capped village filled with a diverse cast of terrifying enemies. After a devastating encounter with Resident Evil series hero Chris Redfield, Ethan pursues him in search of answers but finds himself in an entirely new nightmare.
Modern console technology paired with Capcom's proprietary RE Engine deliver a visceral experience combining pulse-pounding action with signature survival horror gameplay synonymous with the Resident Evil series. Harnessing the newest console technology, Resident Evil Village delivers stunning graphics and advanced technology on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
New gameplay features harken back to fan-favorite elements from previous Resident Evil games while new mechanics offer more depth to the action during combat.
• A New Chapter in the Resident Evil Storyline - This eighth major installment in the flagship Resident Evil series continues the story from the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 7 biohazard. With the return of popular features and introduction of new elements, survival horror has never been so intense.
• Popular Resident Evil Features - Fans might recognize new features in Resident Evil Village that are nods to previous Resident Evil games including a merchant dubbed "The Duke" who allows players to purchase and sell items, buy recipes for crafting consumables, and customize weapons.
• The Mercenaries Are Back - The fan-favorite, battle-the-clock extra game mode, "The Mercenaries," makes its return with new features. Now players have the option to buy and upgrade weapons from The Duke, and acquire abilities that enhance weapons and physical capabilities to offer more depth and replay value.
• Familiar Faces and New Foes - Resident Evil series Chris Redfield returns under a shroud of seemingly sinister motives. Ethan will also encounter a host of new adversaries inhabiting the enigmatic village, all with their own distinctive attacks.
• Evolution of Combat - In addition to engaging and attacking enemies, Ethan can also now guard against incoming attacks, or kick enemies away to buy time for his next move, requiring players to further strategize the best approach for surviving the many challenges ahead.
• 25th Anniversary Celebration Bonus - As a thank you to fans, Resident Evil Village will include access to a free multiplayer experience titled Resident Evil Re:Verse, coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. An all-star cast of fan-favorite Resident Evil characters face off in four to six-player deathmatch battles in iconic series locations.
• Latest Console Technology - RE Engine paired with new technologies available via PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S delivers hyper-detailed graphics, advanced immersive audio and little to no load times, bringing the shadowy village and its evocative residents to life in first person perspective.
• Play Across Generations - Resident Evil Village will be eligible to upgrade free from PlayStation 4 to the digital PlayStation 5 version and will support Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles.