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Completing the Resident Evil Village demo on PS5 has reminded me why I enjoyed Resident Evil 7 so much.

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Is Resident Evil 8 less Resident Evil because of its theme and first-person view?

Capcom has finally revealed the release date for the long-awaited Resident Evil: Village. It’ll be out on May 7 on PS5, Xbox X|S Series, and PC (via Steam), as well as the older PS4 and Xbox One, which is welcome.

To make the wait more pleasant (or not), the Osaka-based company has released a demo this morning (exclusive to PS5, unfortunately), which serves as a teaser for what awaits us in its adventure… Or at least in part, because we neither control Ethan Winters nor do we have certain basic character moves, apart from an absence of inventory. More limited, in fact, than the fantastic and impressive Beginning Hour demo of the last Resident Evil 7.

Welcome to your new nightmare in town

Welcome to your new nightmare in Taking the role of a mysterious girl, whom the game itself calls Maiden, we appear inside a dungeon with a clear objective: to escape from there. Something simple, if we take into account that our prison is very small and there is a hole in one of the walls through which we can crouch and get out easily.

The scenery is another matter. Everything is spooky, from the latrine of the “neighbor” next door, with worms and feces sticking out of it, to a whole string of medieval torture objects, among which you can still see some corpses…

The setting is one of the darkest in recent memory for a Resident Evil, taking its cue from the previous adventure starring Ethan Winters. Personally, however, I was expecting a huge leap in quality in terms of graphical potential. It feels like a PS4 game, with poorly defined textures compared to other next-gen titles, except for the light and shadow gameplay, as well as for other kinds of flourishes, such as the effect of the intense cold seeping through a broken window on which the wind is roaring. That’s where it’s at.

It can be considered a technical demo, in fact, but without the spectacularity of other kinds of productions, although this small demo does not reflect the final quality of the product. And if it could be played in Virtual Reality, it would be even better, since the aforementioned Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is one of the most rewarding experiences for horror fans, following the model of The Kitchen.

It is, moreover, a more restrained demo in terms of options or variety of situations, with a testimonial use of some objects to advance, where there is no lack of the classic lockpick along with the usual chain cutter. But everything is calmer, with no surprises (the game tries to scare us with no luck), until we enter the mansion and begin to taste the drastic change in the setting, with all the details of great value and the knowledge that someone is watching us.

In this short journey, there is no shortage of documents to read, leaving messages such as “medicines to keep livestock alive”, which does not exactly refer to animals, or reference to the candidates and discards for the mansion run by women and where we can read the document of one, dating from 1958, mind you.

A short preview for Resident Evil Village

The mansions have always had a special role in all Resident Evil and here will not be the exception, although this Resident Evil Village hides all its secrets (and puzzles, which of course there will be) to let us walk through some of its rooms, showing a small brushstroke of the environment.

The main room shows a bonfire with burning clothes that are the same as Maiden’s own, which may mean that she is, in effect, one of the discarded girls. Be that as it may, it is inside the mansion when it is gradually noticed that someone is watching us until suddenly we run into one of the sisters. It’s funny because in my case I saw her walking away, going after her until I “went through” her and she dissipated in the form of insects.

It was a hoax warning for what would come next, of course, right at the end of the demo, with the pressure of escaping the mansion in possession of the key to the courtyard, seeing how poison is inoculated beforehand. And then comes the surprise, of course.

That imposing-sized vamp appears to end with one stroke our dream of escaping from there, seeing how one of her hands turns into a Freddy Krueger claw. An expected ending, on the other hand, although far from the impact of the demo of the previous chapter, in part due to the successful use of the first-person perspective, with which Capcom was right that time.

There were, on the other hand, less careful details regarding that demo, although some may have been intentional, such as not having a reflection in the mirror of some rooms to hide the identity of Maiden; or that there are far fewer objects to use or investigate, except for a certain ring with red-eye.

As an aperitif for Resident Evil Village, it is less sweet than the aforementioned Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but it is still a preview of the new chapter of one of the survival horror sagas par excellence. And that essence of the classic Resident Evil 4 is sure to bring us many surprises and moments of tension.

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