Resident Evil Village Winters Expansion review — the future of the series?


EIGHTEEN months after Resident Evil Village’s release we are once again asked to tread the halls of Castle Dimitrescu.

Only this time there is a new protagonist on the scene, in the form of Ethan’s daughter Rose Winters.

Things are familiar but also fresh.

The ending to Village seemed final. Without giving too much away, it very much ends with a bang.

In Shadows of Rose DLC baby Rose is now a teenager and is looking for answers to her strange powers that make her sweat white.

Searching desperately for a chance of normalcy, she dives deep into her mind, the origins of her abilities, and the path to curing her problems. 

She shares clear memories with her dad about everything he undertook in order to save her.

She recreates Castle Dimitrescu in her mind, and it is now filled with the monsters Resident Evil is known for.

It sets Rose up to be the protagonist of her own game in the future, though the gameplay — while entirely in third-person — plays similarly to the base game.

Usually, Resident Evil DLC is short and story-focused, but Shadows of Rose is a new experience, more like its own short campaign.

While the castle is the one you’ll remember, it feels fresh. The main hall acts as a safe zone, while puzzles and beasts lurk around the rooms.

The aim is to find three masks, and as you explore you’ll pick up weapons and upgrades along the way.

Despite this, Rose never arms herself as well as Ethan making the DLC a tenser experience.

The creatures are tough targets, move erratically, and can take a few shots to take down. The focus for her stealth rather than fighting.

Corpses of Rose’s clones can be found everywhere in the castle, and seem to represent Roses that have been killed or caught while attempting to perform the same task.

The DLC provides both tense action and slow horror sequences that all round off in an explosive finale.

It’s a promising look to the future of the Resident Evil series, and the DLC also brings a third-person perspective as an option for the base game.

While the view tries to mimic the highly acclaimed remakes, it still handles like a first-person view, not allowing you to look behind you as you run.

The Mercenaries and Additional Orders adding have also had new missions added, giving more to fans who have squeezed everything out of the game.

Despite any other added extras, Shadows of Rose is clearly the star of the Winters expansion, though it feels more like a return than a unique experience.

Those who haven’t played the original can pick up Resident Evil 8 Gold Edition, which includes the Winters’ Expansion, for a fresh taste of horror in time for Halloween.

Written by Dave Aubrey and Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.