Resident Evil Village Winters Expansion Review – Father like Daughter
Developed and published by Capcom
Available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Capcom has been on a tear recently regarding the Resident Evil games. And when the newest game in the series Village came out in 2021, they had another home run. While it wasn’t without its faults, it was a genuinely fun experience with a compelling story. Say what you will about Ethan, but I enjoyed him and feel bad for his poor mutilated hand.
The one thing that’s bothered me most about Resident Evil Village is more in its naming than anything. Is it still considered Resident Evil 8? Or is it just Resident Evil Village? Either way, I would love some clarification on that.
This brings us to the first part of the Winter’s Expansion, Shadow Of Rose. Set sixteen years after the end of Resident Evil Village, we play as Rose, daughter of Ethan and Mia Winters, whose powers have started to manifest in tangible ways. Rose, wanting to rid herself of them, goes into this weird dreamlike world to find a crystal that is said to be able to take her powers away.
After Rose awakes in castle Dimitresque of all places, she finds it overrun with the molded, who are seemingly under control by the Merchant from Village, who is WAY more evil now, and his sole goal is to get Rose.
Shadows of Rose is split into two separate parts. The combat section, which takes place in Castle Dimetrisque, and the scarier horror section that is more not necessarily stealth-based, but that’s the best way to describe it without spoiling too much. The combat section is mostly okay but doesn’t feel as fleshed out as the main game. This is partly due to the fact that besides a boss fight, there is one enemy with no variations. This also means there is one death animation, and having the tenth Molded grasp toward you gets played out very quickly. In this section, Rose also learns how to use her powers to freeze enemies to give her more time to either take them out or run. And running here is the better option because the molded feel like bullet sponges.
We also get introduced to a mysterious guardian angel who calls themselves Micheal, who can only communicate through this golden floating text. It helps make Rose feel like she isn’t alone most of the time as Micheal occasionally talks to Rose and gives her items. Unfortunately, this section ends up being underwhelming, not much story is given, and the combat feels like a lesser version of the main game’s combat.
The second half of it and the scarier portion of the expansion is great. The best portion of it boils down to going to another location featured in the primary campaign. I really don’t want to spoil anything from this section, but I will say there is some seriously scary shit here and some of the scariest stuff in the Resident Evil franchise is in this second half. This is also where the story wraps for the Winters family. I have gone back and forth on how I feel about it all, and after having a few hours away from it, I come away underwhelmed by it. Without spoiling too much, it does a decent job of realizing Rose as a character but doesn’t add much to the overall story. Not to mention the one big mystery in the story was easily seen a mile away.
Two other things are coming with the Winters expansion, new characters for Mercenaries mode and a Third person mode for the main campaign. Mercenaries here feels like the most thought-out version of the mode we have yet, and playing as Heisenberg and Tall Lady feels great. We get a sense of how giant they really are, and chucking a boudoir at enemies never gets old.
The final addition, the third-person mode, weirdly changes a lot. However, it feels like a great new perspective on the campaign and puts it all in a fresh light. If you had just recently played through it, I would say wait before you try it, but if you like me and haven’t played Village in a while, it really freshens up the experience, even if every cutscene shifts back into first-person mode.
Overall there were parts of the expansion I enjoyed. The latter half of the Shadow of Rose story and gameplay hit better to me than the front half. Still, even as I write this, my thoughts are evolving about the front half, and The Mercenaries mode is better than ever here, and adding in two fan favorites was a great call. Adding in the third-person mode really freshens up the experience of the main campaign. I am a fan of Village, so it’s worth the asking price. With the closure of the Winters family, I’m also excited to see where the series goes from here…
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