Resident Evil Village Gameplay Details: Combat, Merchant, Puzzles, And More

At long last, Capcom has shown what Resident Evil 8's gameplay looks like and the new features added to it.

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Capcom showed Resident Evil Village gameplay during a digital showcase event and, as expected, it looks a lot like Resident Evil 7. However, as producer Pete Fabiano details, a number of changes and new features have been added to mix up how the game plays.

The gameplay trailer, which you can watch below, begins in a part of the titular village. This area looks to be a snow-covered graveyard and, as expected, it's rather ominous, with a dreary, overcast atmosphere and spindly trees looming overhead. In the distance is the castle, which players will need to venture into as returning protagonist Ethan Winters, who is there to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

Capcom has opted to keep the first-person perspective for Resident Evil Village, which was introduced in Resident Evil 7 and praised for bringing a new, more immersive quality to the franchise. "We think it really draws players into the detailed world we've created," Fabiano explained. "The team put a ton of effort into creating a truly authentic feel. From art design to technology, everything ties in great, and creates some beautiful visuals."

During the demo we get to see the interior of the castle, which looks incredibly upscale to the point of being a bit lurid. At the same time, it also recalls the first game's Spencer Mansion, creating a familiar, distinctly Resident Evil feel.

We're quickly introduced to the denizens of the castle, who are women that look like they're dressed for a funeral. They appear to form out of hundreds of flies and drag Ethan to another room where a very tall woman assesses Ethan. Although there's not a lot revealed about her in this video, the trailer shown at the start of the showcase does offer enough to piece together a little about her and the other three women.

Her name is not yet known, but in the trailer she is on the phone to someone called Mother Miranda. The women are her daughters, though it's not clear whether they are her blood offspring or if they’re daughters in the cult sense.

Returning to combat, Resident Evil Village features more first-person shooting. Like the previous games, it doesn't look to be the traditional shooter style and instead appears to be slower and considered, which is in line with previous games. This time, however, there's more of an emphasis on defensive moves. Ethan is shown putting up his hands to block an enemy, then countering with a punch that pushes his attacker away, which he follows up on with a devastating kick.

According to Fabiano, "Each type of enemy has their own distinct way of fighting, so you will need to change up your strategy to defeat them." One such enemy is a giant with a great big bushy beard. He wields a mammoth hammer that he slams on the ground, knocking away other enemies. This looks like an enemy that will take some serious firepower to bring down, or a well-placed gunshot into an explosive barrel, as shown in the demo.

One gameplay feature that is making a welcome return is the inventory management system from Resident Evil 4, which involved placing items into a briefcase. The limited space forced players to think about what they carried and also engage in a little Tetris-like minigame to make the most of their inventory space. For Resident Evil Village, crafting has been layered on top, as players will be able to create restorative items or ammunition.

Another returning feature is a merchant. While it's not the iconic gravelly-voiced item seller from Resident Evil 4, Capcom has made Village's vendor quirky in his own way. First off, his official name is The Duke. He is shown emerging from the back of a carriage and, somehow, knows exactly who Ethan is. "Anyone who is anyone has heard of the likes of you," he says when asked how he knows who Ethan is. According to Capcom, The Duke will appear in different places in various circumstances. In another scene he's shown sitting on a bed.

Other gameplay tidbits from the showcase include the ability to smash more objects in the environment with a knife--it's not just wooden boxes anymore. There are also collectibles hidden in the environment to destroy. Naturally, puzzles will be plentiful in Resident Evil Village, as will terrifying environmental traps like a wall of blades.

Resident Evil Village's release date has been confirmed as May 7, 2021. A playable demo releases today for PS5, with another to come to other platforms. The game will be available for PS4 and Xbox One, alongside the previously announced PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC versions. Also included alongside the core story mode is a deathmatch-style multiplayer game, Re:Verse. For more, check out our RE Village preorder guide.

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