Resident Evil Village received an early gameplay showcase ahead of its 2021 release date, showing off a brand new setting which keeps the splatter house atmosphere from Resident Evil 7. As a direct sequel, Village would continue Ethan’s storyline and first-person gameplay which brings the horror directly to players. Its classic monsters-era of enemies were also showcased in PlayStation’s latest livestream, with lycans and (very) tall vampires replacing traditional zombies.
Hosted by Brittany Brombacher, the live program kicked off with a world premiere trailer featuring Ethan and Mia Winters settling down after the Baker events. They are drawn by voices from a Resident Evil 4 type castle and village; one of the inhabitants including a tall vampire who reports to a Mother Miranda. In her strange phone call, she suggested players have escaped an enemy called Heisenberg and fought against her three dark-clad daughters. It’s heavily implied the enemies are also keeping Ethan at bay for a sacrificial ceremony involving his daughter or Mia.
Unlike Capcom’s newer Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes, Village will be using a first-person perspective over the traditional third-person camera. It will also be the first original game since Resident Evil 7 to push the canon universe forward. A few connections including Chris Redfield will also be featured while a new promotional art suggested it’s a different version.
The core gameplay demo put Ethan into the doors of the castle, where he goes on a mission to rescue his kidnapped daughter ahead of the ceremony. Viewers were immediately treated to an improved RE Engine over next-gen consoles. Taken from the experiences of Capcom’s last two reboots, the engine would add photorealistic textures and motion capture for maximum chills. Ray tracing is lit by Victorian candles, sunlight and glass lanterns while its halls would be contrasted with bloody enemies. The three cloaked vampire daughters drag Ethan in to meet the tall vampire, who hints at her brother (possible Heisenberg) as an early boss battle. Ethan is thrown into the dungeon, where he uses a pistol and shotgun to fend off armed lycans, goblins and a giant axe-wielding executioner. Players will constantly be chased by the vampire daughters, who can materialize in a swarm of flies and act as a Nemesis-type character with near invincible health in certain portions.
Its inventory receives an overhaul, with crafting being included for players to build their own medicine, herbs and ammo. Crafting was previously touched on by the previous games while a new menu shows players a list of gathered overall resources. Players can also buy things from the merchant, a figure called “The Duke” who returns with a variety of classic items which can be purchased with gold. Unfortunately, this is a different merchant who doesn’t sport a hood or British accent. Across the halls, players will also need to keep their eyes out for key items and loot to solve puzzles. Like Resident Evil 7 and its game reboots, Resident Evil Village‘s level design would be inventory-driven. At some point, players will find cordoned-off areas which take a bit of exploration or stumbling on to unlock. Certain key items can also be found by defeating mini-bosses while a majority of items are hard to miss.
Producer Pete Fabiano stepped in to mention Resident Evil Village would be included on PlayStation 4 with a free upgrade to the PS5 version. An exclusive “Maiden” demo is also available as a timed exclusive for PS5 users now, while other versions can have it sometime in Spring 2021. Producer Tsuyoshi Kanda announced the Resident Evil 25th anniversary would mark the world premiers of RE-Verse; a PvP cel-shaded shooter. It’s a free-to-play mode for Village owners while they can play as classic characters in deathmatches. Players who die become the Nemesis or other powerful enemies features across the franchise. A collaboration is also on the way with The Division 2, with players able to unlock the RPD outfit and participate in special zombie-based missions. Resident Evil Infinite Darkness received an update in the showcase, confirming the CG film takes place a few years after the fourth game.
Resident Evil Village releases on May 7, 2021 with pre-orders available now. Early buyers will be getting a few key items to aid them in their survival while its other physical collector editions vary with a Chris Redfield statue, in-game Samurai Edge and other consumable resources. The standard edition includes Resident Evil Village, while collectors can nab the digital deluxe edition to receive a save device, safe room music, the Albert01 Chris from Resident Evil 7, a Max Difficulty and special Tragedy of Ethan Winters artbook. The collector’s edition comes bundled with a Chris figure, box, artbook, steelbook, Trauma Pack and a real poster with Village‘s map. Players can also purchase a complete two-game bundle for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil Village to get the full experience on release.