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First Impressions: Resident Evil Village Demos

Over the last week or so, Capcom has released two gameplay demos for Resident Evil Village – here’s my first impressions of each demo.

resident evil village
Credit: Capcom

Firstly, if you never got to play either demo, you’re not alone. Not only were both demos only initially released for PS4 and PS5, but they were only available during a set window – and you only had 30 minutes to play each.

Unlike the first demo for Resident Evil Village that was released back in January (for PS5 only), both of these recent demos featured actual combat. The “Maiden” demo that was released during the Resident Evil January showcase was combat-free and was more about showing off the game’s lush visuals.

The ‘Village’ Demo

The first gameplay demo which was released on April 17th/18th (depending on your region) allowed us to play in an area of the village. We got to see the creepy old lady, meet some of the unfortunate villagers and we even got to fight some Lycan’s a.k.a werewolves.

Witch in RE 8
Credit: Capcom

Both demos were taken from a section of the game and during the village and the castle. The protagonist from Resident Evil 7, Ethan Winters, is in search of his daughter who has been kidnapped (seemingly by Chris Redfield) and taken to the village.

The Village demo gave us a great insight into the tone of the game and while it was short, it wasn’t lacking any tension. There was proper puzzle-solving, and in order to progress from this area of the village, we were tasked with finding two-disc plates to open up a locked door that would take us to the castle.

However, before that not only did we get to meet the creepy old lady, but also the paranoid residents of the village.  To be fair, they have every reason to be paranoid, especially concerning outsiders.

Prior to this demo, we had been led to believe that Mother Miranda is one of the main villains of the game. In a recent gameplay trailer, we even hear Lady Dimitrescu having an intense conversion with the mysterious character over the phone.

Yet throughout this demo, the villagers speak of their surprise at what’s happening in the village, and how up until this point, Mother Miranda has protected them. However, there’s one moment at the end of the demo where it appears that Mother Miranda kills a villager.

The ‘Castle’ Demo

YouTube video

Upon finishing the first “Village” demo, my experience with the game so far had got me even more pumped and excited for the release of the “Castle” demo.

In the Castle demo, while some of the areas were the same as what we encountered in the “Maiden” demo from the January showcase, there were also new areas to briefly explore.

Both demos also gave us a taste of the crafting system which allowed us to create health items and ammo. Yet for me, one of the standout moments from the Castle demo is that we got to meet the Duke. The Duke is the Resident Evil Villages merchant. From him, we can buy ammo, health items, blueprints for crafting new weapons, as well as upgrade our existing weapons, and more.  

the duke resident evil village
Credit: Capcom

Taking further inspiration from Resident Evil 4, each time you kill an enemy they will either drop some currency or items that you can sell to the Duke. You are also able to find treasures throughout the game to sell on at a handy profit.

Going back to the gameplay of the Castle demo, we once more encountered one of the three witch sisters, and during the demo, we may have learned their names. In a portrait discovered in the demo were “Three Daughters” named Bela, Cassandra, and Daniela.

A little later in this demo, we found our way into a dungeon, which you may also remember from the Maiden experience. This time we had hordes of ghouls to dispose of, which were simple enough to kill but much like zombies, I can imagine that you can easily get cornered by these creatures.

As we made our way out of the dungeon we were once again pursued by the witch and assuming our escape during the conclusion of the demo, it appeared that Ethan had been captured.

YouTube video

All in all, the brief demos served their purpose. They visually looked great, they ran smoothly, we got a taste of the combat and the crafting system, and above all else, it left me feeling even more excited for the full game.

I even managed to play the Castle demo on a PlayStation 4 Pro as well as PS5, and it was great! So if you have concerns with the last-gen version of Resident Evil Village, then fear not as it was very impressive, to say the least.

Thankfully if you missed out on playing both the Village and Castle demo, you will get your chance very soon. The third and final demo will be available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia.

Unlike the eight-hour timed window and 30-minute playtime limit that we had with the last two demos, the third demo will include the Village and Castle, and we’ll have a whole week to play the demo and a full hour to play it.

The multi-format demo will be available in North America from May 1st at 5pm PDT to May 9th, and the next day in Europe from May 2nd to May 10th at 2am CEST/1am UK time.

Resident Evil Village will release for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia on May 7th.

If you’ve not pre-ordered a copy of Resident Evil Village yet, you can reserve your copy at the GameByte Shop and you’ll even bag yourself a snazzy Lenticular Sleeve!

Featured Image Credit: Capcom