Just in time for the spooky season, Resident Evil Village players are returning to the gothic Castle Dimitrescu in downloadable story content Shadows of Rose on Friday. It’s part of the Winters’ Expansion, which is available for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC versions of Capcom’s game.
It picks up directly from the main game’s ending, which jumped forward 16 years in the timeline to reveal a teenage Rose Winters. She’s struggling with the powers she inherited from her late father (and main game protagonist) Ethan due to his infection with the mold in Resident Evil 7.
Shadows of Rose is surreal and dark, but a fun return to this corner of the Resident Evil universe and a satisfying capper to the Winters family’s story.
Unlike the 2021 launch version of the main game, Shadows of Rose is playable in the same third-person style as the recent Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes (as well as the Resident Evil 4 remake, coming out next March).
The expansion adds a third-person mode to the main Village campaign too, so you’ll be able to see Ethan’s back as you play. His face remains hidden, since he turns away from the camera when you spin it around, but it offers a cool new way to experience the game.
The update adds villains Lady Dimitrescu and Karl Heisenberg to the Mercenaries time attack mode, along with hero Chris Redfield. If you don’t own Village already, the Winters Expansion is also bundled with a new Gold Edition so you can get the whole lot together. Village will also be available on Nintendo Switch (via cloud streaming) from Friday, with the expansion coming on Dec. 2.
We got to ask Kento Kinoshita, the Winters’ Expansion’s director, about the new content via email, touching on the team’s reason for returning to the Winters family one last time, taking on player feedback, Shadows of Rose’ fantastical elements and just what the heck is going on with those lifeforce-draining enemies.
Shadows of Rose mirrors Resident Evil 7’s Not a Hero DLC in tying up a loose plot thread from the main game (since you fought villain Lucas Baker, who escaped in the main game, in Not a Hero). Why did you use these plot elements for expansions instead of keeping them for sequels?
Kinoshita: Originally, there were no plans to develop additional DLC for Resident Evil Village. Therefore, we took the perspective of “What kind of DLC would make people happy?” We wanted to create DLC that would be of interest to those who had played the main game and desired an episode that concludes the story of the Winters family.
What was the major element of player feedback you took into consideration when crafting Shadows of Rose?
Kinoshita: We received many requests for new scenarios from fans, and a story about the grownup Rose Winters we see at the end of Resident Evil Village was one of those requests. Based on feedback from fans regarding Ethan and the story, we decided to conclude the tale of the Winters family with her as the central character.
Roughly how long will a Shadows of Rose playthrough take?
Kinoshita: Shadows of Rose is around 4 hours long.
Shadows of Rose takes a more paranormal approach to the Resident Evil formula, which tends to have a pseudo-scientific explanation behind the most fantastical elements of the games. Can you talk about this different approach?
Kinoshita: Shadows of Rose takes place in a world of memories stored by Megamycete (the source of the mold from Resident Evil 7 and Village). This setting may seem fantastical in some respects, as you mentioned, because it is a surreal place. However, by looking at the realm of consciousness created within the memory of the Megamycete, it does not deviate from the traditional worldview of Resident Evil.
What can you tell us about the monsters Rose faces?
Kinoshita: Players will mainly face enemies called Face Eaters. These are creatures who pursue Rose and seek to claim her life. They are characterized by their ability to move in and out of the liquid void, so make sure to be on the lookout even when they are not visible!
They attack Rose by sucking out her lifeforce. Can you explain what’s going on here?
Kinoshita: This is an act of sucking out vitality, or life. After consuming her life, Face Eaters will try to pull Rose down into the liquid void.
Preview videos focus on Castle Dimitrescu. What other places, if any, will players be able to explore once again and how have those places changed?
Kinoshita: As a hint…the Megamycete stores memories of the village in a distorted form. Please enjoy the game to see those places!
Since Shadows of Rose takes place 16 years after the main game ends, will we get a sense of the wider Resident Evil universe at this point in the timeline?
Kinoshita: Shadows of Rose is a story that concludes the narrative of Resident Evil Village and the Winters family. It doesn’t focus on what takes place in the intervening 16 years.
Resident Evil Village was strictly first person, what made you add the third-person perspective in Shadows of Rose?
Kinoshita: The most important reason was that “there were so many requests from fans,” and while the first-person mode can certainly convey fear, there is a certain segment of the population who find it too scary or get motion sickness. We decided to create this mode because we wanted those people to be able to experience this game as well.