After being treated to remakes of the second and third games in the seminal survival horror franchise, fans of Resident Evil finally have a release date for the next entry into the main series. This past week, developers Capcom hosted a live stream Showcase, which managed to fit a ton of hype into about twenty minutes. The major takeaway is this: May 7, 2021 will see the new eighth installment, subtitled Village, hit PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, and Steam.
To start off, host Brittney Brombacher welcomes viewers to the stream, before throwing to the world premiere of the new trailer for Resident Evil VIII: Village. In it, we follow Ethan Winters, the protagonist of the previous game RE7: Biohazard, as we see that the game will maintain the first-person perspective that its predecessor did. The towering Lady Dimitrescu appears to be our big bad this time around, and her “daughters” transform into swarms of insects to get around the massive manor that instantly evokes memories of the original game.
Producer Pete Fabiano drops the news of the game’s current-gen release, which will be “day and date” with the next-gen versions. Previously, the game was only announced for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, but now PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players will get the game on May 7, 2021 as well. Any and all pre-orders of the game, be they Village or the special bundle of Village and RE7: Biohazard, will get a Mr. Raccoon weapon charm and a Survival Resource Pack in-game. Digital pre-orders on either PlayStation console will come with a special mini-soundtrack for Village.
The digital deluxe version of the game, available on all announced platforms, includes the “Trauma Pack” with several in-game items that may remind players of RE7, especially the “Found Footage” filter, the tape recorder save device, and instant access to Max difficulty.
A physical Collector’s Edition, available for console players, includes a Chris Redfield statue, a steelbook case, art book, and a cloth map of the titular village, with special artwork printed on the reverse side. This Collector’s Edition also includes everything in the Deluxe Version’s “Trauma Pack.”
All pre-orders are available now through your retailer of choice.
After breaking all of this down, Fabiano returns to give us a few minutes of gameplay, captured on PS5. In it, we learn that Ethan is set to storm the castle to rescue his daughter. The visuals are striking, every little detail coming through in UHD. After Ethan meets Dimitrescu and her daughters, we get a taste of combat. Ethan has a kick attack, used to push enemies back and create an opening to get a quick shot off. The giant troll enemy with the equally giant mallet looks like this game’s answer to the chainsaw goon, and I’m honestly here for it.
Fans of Resident Evil 4 will remember the attaché case system of inventory management, and that returns for this game with the added bonus of a crafting mechanic, allowing players to make items like first aid and ammunition. We also get the return of the merchant, henceforth known as The Duke. There are also extra objectives, as Fabiano explains, but short of the player shooting a little goat avatar and a rainbow shooting out from it, this isn’t explained further.
PlayStation 5 players can get their hands on the exclusive Maiden demo imminently, and in the first look, we learn that the playable character is The Maiden, and there’s no combat or even blocking in this sequence. This visual demo is a PS5 exclusive, but a gameplay demo for all platforms will be available this spring, ahead of the game’s May 7th release date.
We then shift gears to the 25th anniversary of the franchise, with Brombacher reminding us that the first game made its debut in Japan on March 22, 1996. She throws to producer Tsuyoshi Kanda, who introduces viewers to RE:Verse, a new multiplayer experience in the same vein as Resistance, which was released alongside last year’s RE3 remake. Players of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will be able to obtain in-game items and outfits from the original RE trilogy, including an initial log-in outfit based on Leon Kennedy’s Raccoon PD uniform. This event in The Division 2 begins on February 2nd.
We then finish with franchise animation producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi talking about Infinite Darkness, the CG-animated film that was announced last year. While not given a firm release date, it is confirmed that it will hit Netflix sometime this year.
In not even twenty minutes, we got a ton of information about this year, a massive milestone in the Resident Evil franchise. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on everything as it is announced, but in the meantime, see the full Resident Evil Showcase below (showcase begins around 28:50):