Video Games

Resident Evil Village: The Winters’ Expansion Review

After beating Resident Evil Village for the first time, I was very pleased with how the horror story unfolded from start to finish. When Capcom announced the expansion, I thought it would be a difficult thing to follow. Unfortunately, his three parts in the Winters’ Expansion aren’t enough. Its new campaign is very short and rushed, does little to improve Village’s story, and is less scary than the first due to new ways to play the main game. This allows people to get more of what we want: Lady Dimitrescu.

Shadows of Rose is a very short new single-player story campaign included in the Winters’ Expansion, set 16 years after the events of The Village, but does little to advance the Village’s story. It’s a less than three-hour game about Rose, the daughter of Ethan Winters, trying to find a cure to remove the power of mold. It was interesting to see and learn more about Rose’s struggles as she grew up. We could also revisit an abridged version of the Village’s iconic locations (especially Dimitrescu’s Castle), but we felt it was essential to change the context of the Village’s story and Rose. Even the puzzles are easier than the main game. Maybe this expansion will help set the story for the next Resident Evil, but for now it feels like an afterthought at best.

Unlike Resident Evil 7 and Village, Shadows of Rose is played from a third-person perspective, which was refreshing, but the lack of control fluidity was disappointing. Compared to the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, Rose feels sluggish when shooting enemies and interacting with most objects.

Combat suffers as well. Rose wields a pistol, a shotgun, and the ability to shoot magic at enemies to temporarily stun them, or push away certain enemies that get too close. Her guns cannot be upgraded at any time, but her powers can. It also makes for a great tool for conserving ammo and doing campaigns unscathed or stealth-type that you couldn’t in the base game. There aren’t many types of enemies in play either.

Luckily, Shadows of Rose isn’t the only thing in the Winters expansion. It also includes a new setting option that allows you to play the entire village story from start to finish in third person. Great for those who like over-the-shoulder gameplay, but my problem is the same as Shadows of Rose, plus he has two frustrations. Makes it feel like it’s not seamlessly integrated. Second, camera changes have greatly reduced some of the jump scares and scary moments in the Village. For example, seeing the Benevient baby in third person wasn’t all that terrifying, simply because the change in perspective meant that Ethan had a wider view of his surroundings.

Mercenaries feels much more complete than it did at launch.

The third (and final) new piece of content included in Winters’ Expansion is Mercenaries’ Additional Orders. It adds a new stage that increases the difficulty for those of us who pushed through the original batch, as well as three new characters. Play as Chris Redfield, Karl Heisenberg, and everyone’s favorite tall vampire woman. Chris is unlocked from the start, but you’ll need to get one of him on the map to an S rank before you stand up for Lady Dimitrescu. Mercenaries feels much more complete than it did at launch, with each of the four characters having their own unique weapons and abilities that greatly improve the mode. I especially enjoy Chris’ ability to sucker-punch enemies and deal decent damage, making it a good last-minute offensive move that can be used instead of blocking.

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