Such A Tease: The New Resident Evil Village Demo

Such A Tease: The New Resident Evil Village Demo

Dying for a sneak peek inside Castle Dimitrescu? You’re in luck. Capcom has released a gameplay demo for Resident Evil Village featuring both the village and castle areas. Originally only going to be available for a measly 24 hours, the demo has now been extended up until May 10th. Playtime is restricted to 60 minutes, though you can stop and start as much as you want as long as you’ve been exploring for less than an hour.

Players have already found a way to reset the timer and there’s also the option to try the demo on an alternate platform or account. But even with these tricks at hand, the whistle-stop tour of Village will, inevitably, not allow for the full slow-burn scary experience. The good news is that it provides a flavour of what we might expect from gameplay. The bad news? It’ll likely leave you wanting more.

A model village to explore

First up: the titular village. It’s a Resident Evil game so perhaps it doesn’t need to be said, but you probably shouldn’t get too attached to any of the villagers you encounter in the demo. This section involves a lot of protagonist Ethan trying to make small talk with the locals. Sometimes said chatter may actually be gunfire and the locals lycanthropes, but that’s a minor detail. 

There’s a basic puzzle requiring you to find a series of stone crests that fit into a gate leading to Castle Dimitrescu. Perhaps the star of the village, though, is the sound design. Every one of Ethan’s soft footfalls on snow can be clearly heard. You can even hear his breathing, which understandably quickens when he runs into some of the less hospitable residents. One of these is an old woman with a skull-laden cane who mentions Ethan’s infant daughter, Rose; it seems that her abduction to the castle has something to do with the village descending into chaos. We’re sure it’s probably just a coincidence.

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Partway through the demo we get a taste of those aforementioned werewolves, too. As Ethan heads into a patch of crops, a group of lycans begin to stalk him, circling quickly before moving in to strike. Luckily, you can collect a shotgun here for some extra firepower and pick up some herbs to craft first-aid medicine. It’s likely an indication of how dangerous areas will be peppered with resources in the full game.

A taste of blood in the castle halls

The jewel in the crown of Village is undoubtedly the castle, which forms the other part of the demo. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, producer Tsuyoshi Kanda wrote that: “When players aren’t running for their lives, we wanted to create a setting that they could enjoy by venturing through and slowly taking in all sights and scenes.” Capcom has created an interior that is as beautiful as it is unsettling, the opulent and claustrophobic castle deliberately contrasting with the snow-covered, moldering village.

This part of the demo is quite similar to the previous Maiden teaser, except this time instead of trying to escape the castle dungeons, you end up hiding there to avoid the appetite of Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters. Don’t worry — the big lady is still in residence, though you only get a short glimpse of her this time around.

The castle part of the demo has arguably more combat, as Ethan has to contend with a series of monsters in the dungeon.  We’re also provided an introduction to Duke, a merchant character who is somehow able to set up shop in the castle without being eaten. He offers Ethan supplies, weapons, and upgrades; all of these will be key to survival, so he’s likely to be an important fixture throughout the game. 

As the strange old lady croaks when bells ring out over the village: “the bells toll for us all!” In just a single hour, our time with the Resident Evil Village demo is up. It’s unclear what led to the locals sprouting fangs and ripping each other apart, but we can be sure that Ethan will inevitably become entangled with this sorry Village’s story. If you’re looking for a way to ring in the latest installment of the Resident Evil franchise, then this demo is a good way to get a taste for the action ahead.

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Article author: Florence Smith Nicholls can be found on Twitter via @florencesn