We’re only a few weeks away from the return of Capcom’s survival horror series. Launching May 7 on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, Resident Evil Village thrusts RE 7’s everyman protagonist Ethan Winters into a new, horrifying scenario. Torn from a blissful family life by events beyond his control, the once settled husband and father now finds himself lost and alone in a remote region of Eastern Europe, driven by a single goal: find his kidnapped infant daughter.
With the sweltering heat and horrors of the claustrophobic Baker family estate behind him, the snow-laden sprawl of an isolated village and its surrounding areas present new dangers and fresh mysteries for Ethan. Ever since its initial announcement last June, Capcom has slowly teased what those are. Four months ago, the publisher gave PS5 players a first-hand taste of one of the game’s locales and its ruthless inhabitants with the Maiden demo.
Last week, three reveals. First was a new Showcase with fresh gameplay details (including confirmation that bonus game mode The Mercenaries was making a return). Within that was the announcement of a new demo for PS5 and PS4 players (with another on the way April 24). Lastly, we had the opportunity to watch a longer slice of PS5 gameplay taken from across the game’s opening hours. It shows how the franchise’s first-person strand’s mechanics are built upon in both new and series-familiar ways. How exploration is handled. A closer look at the new threats you’ll face. And a surprising hint at, of all things, interfamily politics between the region’s ruling powers.
Here’s what we found out.
Stay healthy, keep saving
Two franchise pillars get tweaked yet again. Your health bar will now fade in and back out at the bottom left of your screen come any change (for better or worse), and be viewable in the inventory menus (like Resident Evil 4, the weapons sub-menu features a briefcase-like, limited space overlay). Village favours ink over analogue saving: RE7’s tape recorders are out, the classic typewriter is back in. No need for ink ribbons though: save as often as you like.
Ethan Winters must have wide pockets. Resident Evil Village collects maps and discovered files in a book kept upon your person. Also contained in its own tab is an evolving diary penned by Ethan (with sketches!), tracking his progress. Great as a story recap and quick guide for your next objective when you jump back into the game.
Things of note: your map is split into three tabs. The first covers exteriors, the third for buildings. The middle tab is listed as ‘Underground’.
MartinNebelong crafted a beautiful moonlit scene from scratch in Dreams.
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