Resident Evil Village DLC TEST: content better than the game?

Before moving to RE9, Capcom is extending the RE Village experience through its Winter’s Expansion. An extension divided into several parts with a solo DLC, Les Ombres de Rose, which must conclude the story begun in Resident Evil 7. Content that keeps its promises? More than the original? Here is our full verdict.

The Winter’s Expansion has been available for a few days through two offers. For owners of the original game, it can be purchased separately for €19.99. But if you have nothing and want to keep it simple, it is included in Resident Evil Village Gold Edition, the most complete version that covers all the content of this episode. Is Shadows of Rose more interesting and scary than the main adventure?

SPOILER WARNING!!!!

The fate of a child

At the end of Resident Evil Village, Rose survives thanks to the sacrifice of her father Ethan Winters, the protagonist of Resident Evil 7. She is recovered in extremis by her mother Mia and raised by her with the help of Chris Redfield. The baby who only twittered has become a 16-year-old young woman with a strong character and supernatural powers like her father. Skills with extraordinary power that made her an outcast with her little classmates throughout her youth.

So when a stranger offers to get rid of this burden, Rose jumps at the chance to resume a normal life. Problem, the solution to being a teenager and a woman like the others involves returning to Lady Dimitrescu’s castle. The lady with the big Geneviève de Fontenay hat who likes to suck the blood of her visitors. A purifying crystal that can remove Mutamycete, the superorganism that altered Rose’s genome, is hidden there.

The Shadows of Rose review

Even if we explore new rooms or places, the sets are identical most of the time. A little disappointing but at least the storyline justifies it. The script is also in line with the base game, a Series Z narrative, with an open-ended conclusion. Well to be honest, that’s not why we come anyway. No, what we came for was a little more fear than with RE Village. Successful bet ? Yes.

More horrifying than all of Resident Evil Village?

If the reuse of assets can be disappointing, we do not sulk our pleasure to return within an environment oh so under-exploited in Resident Evil Village. What is very attractive in this is the new vision of the castle which shows itself in its best light. It is more stuffy and more oppressive because of the mold that has taken hold of the building and wants to devour us alive. The interventionist side of the content, without the open areas that served the original title, helps to refocus the atmosphere. We notice a better balance between the exploration, action and horror passages, which reduces the action side for something that is more in the spirit of the old games.

Resident Evil Village DLC review

In terms of horrifying atmosphere, Les Ombres de Rose also offers a sequence as successful as that of Maison Beneviento. Even more, thanks to some ideas, perhaps not new, but well executed. Granted, a three-hour DLC is easier to process than a nine-hour soft, but we still enjoyed our return to Lady Dimitrescu’s castle more. The only disappointment that persists is the difficulty of the puzzles: it is completely absent once again. There is also a somewhat mystical atmosphere with an entity that accompanies us in the fortress. An invisible spirit that communicates with Rose by making highlighted phrases appear to support her in her quest and that can turn into valuable resources (health vials, various ammunition).

The Rose Ball

Along the way, Rose will be able to defend herself with the traditional pistol and shotgun, but also with her powers. Thanks to them, she is able to freeze enemies for a short time in order to keep them at a distance and shoot them. An ability that is however limited because each action consumes white sage. And to recharge it, you need… sprigs of white sage! We feared that it was too cheat mechanics but ultimately the balance is satisfactory. Anyway, as in Resident Evil Village, we are never short of resources in normal mode. We can if we want to kill everyone, we always find a way to recover equipment.

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In addition to this feature to stop opponents, the content imports a new type of enemies after werewolves, Face Eaters. Beings that look a bit like the Molded from RE7, so not much. It’s clearly not the most inspired character design there is except when they suck our life or that of other occupants of the mansion.

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In the introduction, we mentioned a Winter’s Expansion divided into several parts. Like the DLC, all of RE8 can be (re)played with a third person view. An addition that did not convince us for what we saw for two reasons. The first is that you lose intensity, it’s less suffocating and lessens, for example, the scene in the woods before entering the castle. The second is that the subjective view has not been removed and manifests itself during cutscenes. There is therefore a mismatch in the immersion. Maybe it’s less the case if you go there without having finished the game previously, but this feeling cannot disappear completely.

Resident Evil Village plays it TPS with Mercenaries mode as a bonus

The Winters expansion also brings back the Mercenaries mode, an even more cumbersome scoring-based sidekick to fans, with new characters. Each game starts the same way. We are teleported in front of the Duke, the seller of Resident Evil Village, to collect ammunition and shop to improve our equipment. It’s really like in the initial adventure. Then comes the choice of the character between Ethan Winters, Chris Redfield, Lady Dimitrescu and Karl Heinsenberg, knowing that the last two are blocked at the beginning. You have to complete a succession of levels with an A rank to unlock them. Each of them has archetypes – Ethan is versatile, Chris is brute force with his military training etc. – with some abilities like throwing punches for Mr. Redfield.

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The objective once launched is to eliminate the most enemies, as quickly as possible to regain the exit as quickly as possible, because these two stats count for the final score. To explode the counters, you can grab yellow orbs in order to increase the time limit, or blue orbs for randomly distributed ephemeral skills to reduce the speed of monsters, inflict five times more damage with a knife, etc. You don’t play this franchise for that, but surprisingly, it wasn’t unpleasant. Probably because the action is more assumed here and it’s the heart of the experience. It’s rather nervous with good sensations thanks to the PS5 DualSense controller and its adaptive triggers which allow hard-hitting shots.

Resident Evil Village DLC TEST: content better than the game?