It’s been more than three years since Resident Evil 7 was released, so we’re long overdue a sequel. Luckily, Resident Evil: Village – aka Resident Evil 8 – is on the way this spring, so we don’t have long to wait.
After 2019’s excellent
Resident Evil 2 Remake, Capcom brought 1999 classic Resident Evil 3 up to date with modern consoles
with its own remake, but now it’s finally ready to continue the main story in Resident Evil 8: Village.
Here’s everything we know about Resident Evil: Village so far.
When will Resident Evil 8 be released?
Resident Evil 8 launches on 7 May 2021, though it’s available to pre-order now – and if you play on PS5 there’s also a free demo you can play right now.
What platforms will Resident Evil 8 launch on?
Resident Evil 8 was revealed during Sony’s PS5 game reveal, but it’s also coming to the Xbox Series X, PC (on Steam), and the older PS4 and Xbox One consoles too.
If you buy the game on PS4 or Xbox One, you’ll be eligible for the next-gen version for free too – either a free upgrade on PS5, or access to both games through Xbox Smart Delivery.
Which version should I pre-order?
There are a few versions of Village to pre-order depending on how committed you are – and how much money you’re willing to drop. Here are your options.
Resident Evil: Village
Mr. Raccoon Weapon Charm
Survival Resources Pack
Mini Soundtrack (digital pre-orders on PS5 and PS4 only)
One of the best surprise announcements of January’s Showcase stream was the availability of a free demo for the game.
Resident Evil: Maiden is a free non-combat demo that’s available exclusively on PS5. Like the infamous Kitchen demo from RE7, it’s not actually a slice of the actual game – instead it’s a separate story set within the castle setting that will appear in the main game. Instead of playing as Ethan Winters, you’ll play as an unnamed woman – the ‘maiden’ – trying to escape the castle.
Maiden isn’t expected to launch on any other consoles, but the devs have promised that a different demo will launch on every platform some time in the spring.
Watch the trailer
We have three trailers for the game so far. The first is the official reveal trailer, which takes its sweet time confirming that this even is Resident Evil 8 at all:
The second trailer gives us more spooky scene-setting, and a little gameplay, but also a first look at what appears to be some very sinister Tim Burton-inspired stop-motion-style animation:
The third trailer, dropped during the Resident Evil Showcase, gives us a more detailed look at the castle that appears to be the game’s second main area – along with the now infamous Tall Lady, apparently officially called Lady Dimitrescu.
What about the gameplay and plot?
Leaks before the game’s release suggested that Resident Evil 8 started life as a spin-off in the Revelations sub-franchise, and the slightly wild tone of the trailers suggests that might well be true.
The game picks up with Ethan and Mia from Resident Evil 7, now settled down for a happily ever after until Chris Redfield rocks up again to ruin things. He drags Ethan off to a rural village where things look… weird.
Some fans speculated that Chris’s new design and odd behaviour meant he might be an imposter, but the devs themselves have confirmed that this is the real Chris in an interview with Famitsu,
translated into English by Resident Evil researcher Alex Aniel.
The game is first-person, much like Resident Evil 7, but reportedly features a greater focus on combat and exploration, a bit more in-line with the other mainline games. During a developer diary revealed during Tokyo Game Show 2020 the game’s producers confirmed that it’s intended to feel more open than 7, with larger spaces to explore and more of a sense that players should be able to find their own routes and their own solutions to challenges and puzzles.
The same dev diary confirms that Ethan’s story was really the starting point for the game, which asks what sort of life he would have after the events of 7 – and presumably how well he’ll handle being thrown back into the nightmare.
The later Showcase stream adds a further hint that Ethan is now looking for his missing daughter, while throwing in our best look yet at the game’s combat. Not too much has changed, but the main new addition is a ‘Guard’ action that blocks (some) enemy attacks.
The second trailer doubles down on the creepy Eastern European vibes, especially in a folk tale that draws heavily on creepy stop-motion animation classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas. This storybook is apparently intended to keep the various plot elements clear for players, so it sounds like this might be typically convoluted Resident Evil fare, with the book there to keep things simple enough for newer players to follow, with the game as a whole intended to be easier to get into.
It’s also clearly breaking away from zombies once again, with werewolves and what seem to be witches among the new nasties to deal with. In the Famitsu interview mentioned above the devs confirm that these beasts are smart enough to hunt in packs and use weapons.
Between the new enemies and the village setting we’re getting strong Resident Evil 4 vibes, which can only be a good thing.
That’s right down to the inclusion of a new merchant character – the Duke – along with the return of RE4’s Tetris-y inventory management system, now supplemented by basic crafting to create healing items and ammo.
The basic structure of the game also appears to borrow from RE4, with discrete areas each capped off by a boss fight – the castle and tall woman appear to be the setting and boss of the game’s second area. She mentions that Ethan has already escaped her brother – presumably the chief antagonist of the first area, the village – and speaks on the phone to someone called Mother Miranda, who may well be the game’s big bad.
RE:Verse multiplayer mode
Capcom just won’t give up on multiplayer Resident Evil, no matter how badly it goes every time. So with that, it’s no real surprise that Resident Evil 8 will have a multiplayer mode.
This is really a different title though, called RE:Verse. It’s a multiplayer shooter that lets you play as characters from across the franchise’s history, intended to be a celebration of the Resident Evil 25th anniversary.
It’s a standalone experience, with third-person gameplay and a cel-shaded art style, but it will be available free to anyone who buys Resident Evil: Village. There’s no word yet on whether it will be available to purchase separately from the single-player title.
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Tech Advisor's Deputy Editor, Dom covers everything that runs on electricity, from phones and laptops to wearables, audio, gaming, smart home, and streaming - plus he's a regular fixture on the Tech Advisor YouTube channel.