Resident Evil Village – Castle Demo Impressions
If you would have ASKED NICELY I would have given you some blood.
This will contain spoilers, so if you’re planning on playing the demos on May 1st or want to go into Resident Evil Village without playing the demos, proceed with caution.
So last week we had the Castle Demo (you can check out my impressions here) where we got to play the beginning of the game that takes place at, well, the village that Ethan will be going to. While we didn’t see the set up, though we can piece it together based on the trailer footage we already seen, it gave us a look into the Lycans that will no doubt be roaming the area (until perhaps Heisenberg gets defeated), introduced us and then killed off the Village survivors due to Ethan saving someone that was infected and then turned into one, and how they managed to get us invested into Elena only for her to die like 5 minutes later because she was dumb (personally, I don’t think she survived since she engulfed by fire). With the demo ending when you got all of the stone keys and opened the door to Castle Dimitrescu.
With that quick recap, the Castle Demo puts us right into the Castle actually, with only a blurb to give us context on the situation. I really do believe there is going to be a cutscene before this part. Ethan just wakes up inside the Castle, or well, one of the rooms, as he’s waking up from being seemingly knocked out in a bedroom. Why is Ethan in this room? Looking back at footage we were already shown, it looks like this is where one of the Daughters drags you to after you walk into the Castle as you even come out the same door that it looks like Ethan gets dragged into. Though, we won’t know for sure until we get the full game as this doesn’t include any cutscenes, apart from The Duke’s, as this focused more on exploring the Castle and combat.
For I’d say half of the demo you’re left to walk through the Castle parts that you have access to. This shows us that puzzles will be coming back and there will be a lot in the Castle, though the majority is going to be solved later on. It looks like the Castle will be completed in one go as it seems like the exits are locked, with the main entrance Ethan must have came in being locked by a puzzle.. There’s the Angel Bust puzzle, the Labyrinth Ball puzzle by The Duke (which may be one that appears in all 4 areas based on the book beside it), and a Wine Bottle puzzle. In addition, we come across an elevator that doesn’t work, which might give us access to a quick way to go between areas. Seems plausible as we do get doors that we have to unlock on the other side that lets us go to certain areas quicker.
The only ones that you can solve right here right now is the Eye Door and the Fire Puzzle. With the Eye Door being the classic one where you put in a missing piece to the cleverness of the Fire Puzzle where you’re in this beautifully impressive room with only one lit torch hanging from the middle. Though, as you look around and turn around to head back out, you find writing about trusting in light. It wasn’t until I realized that this is the only way you can go that I thought “hey what if it swings to light the other pillars?” and bingo. Hitting it with the knife was a hit or miss in terms of the direction it swung, but running into it worked better.
It seems like we’ll be investigating items pretty often. Like with the screwdriver in the Village demo needing you to find an interactive spot when you find the truck keys, there’s another instance here with the ring where you get an eye for a door (which leads you to the other more dangerous half of this demo). We’ll also be able to examine other items that gives us context clues like a teacup with suspicious red staining. Which we know is blood of course.
We also got an encounter with The Duke, which is this game’s RE4 Merchant. Though, instead of interactions being solely “Hey come here, I’m the Merchant” and “Hey, I have a shooting gallery”, it seems like Ethan will have interactions with The Duke past his introduction. In fact, he even seems to help Ethan out as he suggests that Rose would be in Lady Dimitrescu’s private chambers if Rose is in the Castle. He seems to be quite knowledgeable, which I’m going to side eye as I buy and sell stuff from him (especially since there’s a document mentioning that he went to a business discussion with someone here). Hopefully Ethan tells him his situation as it’ll be beyond creepy if he knows without Ethan mentioning anything. Well, just like in RE4, you’ll be able to sell the treasures you’ll find and maybe anything extra (though you probably won’t unless you’ll be buying a gun that’s an upgrade to something you already have), buy stuff, and upgrade your guns. It looks like you’ll be able to buy ammo, first aid med, guns, more inventory storage, customizable parts for your guns that will at least increase your ammo capacity or rate of fire, and crafting recipes. While upgrading your guns will have the standard upgrades of Power, Rate of Fire, Reload Speed, and Ammo Capacity.
For those that have been worried about The Duke selling ammo and first aid med, stop worrying. I was already suspecting this based on RE4, but you do have a limit on how much you can buy.
Not to mention that The Duke says “We meet again” which proves that he is stationed at the front of the Castle when you first open the gate like we already seen. It’s certainly weird having him at the entrance and then inside if there isn’t anything intended in between, so I wonder if that meeting with all 4 House Heads will take place sometime after you open the gates. As we know it can’t be after we kill Lady Dimitrescu or her Daughters or even anger Lady Dimitrescu. Maybe we’ll have to escape where Heisenberg jails us and it leads us to the Castle somehow (hence Dimitrescu mentioning that he escaped Heisenberg)? I don’t know man. Maybe this is why so we’d all be theorizing on what happened between the Village Demo and this one.
Considering we just come in with a handgun, there’s a possibility that shotgun placement in the Village Demo was demo only or something happens where everything is taken away and the only thing you’ll be able to recover is your handgun.
One you go through the door where you’ll use that Eye on, one of the Daughters appears with her bugs. With the scene that will no doubt make you feel like bugs are under your skin happening right here presumably on your first encounter with one of them. Yeah, I’d rather not. You actually encounter 2 of them, one right after the Eye Door and one in their dungeon. They’re both pretty creepy. With their signal being their bugs that will appear a few seconds before them and they’ll start to form. Not to mention the first one you encounter continuing on about how she would love to string you up, drink your blood, and mount your head. And of course, they shift forward as their bugs fly forward. They have the capacity to just swing themselves at your neck to bite or hook you up with their weapon.
Their bugs will also continue to bug (hehe) Ethan, just like Marguerite’s until you either get away from that area or until you dispel them. If you shoot them enough, they’ll return to their bug swarm state and buzz off for about what seems like 15 seconds before they form back up. It seems like you really should be avoiding them as they take up a lot of handgun bullets (though they one take 1-2 shotgun shots).
It was a really good choice having The Daughters here in the Castle and it really wouldn’t have been the same if they were in an open area pursuing you. Compared to the Lycans where the open area fits them as it makes you paranoid with where they could be at and gives packs an advantage to flank you, the Daughters are just one or two with their bugs. This Castle environment really makes it claustrophobic when they’re pursuing you and gives the perfect environment for players to panic (which I certainly did) as they try to find a way to escape them. As shooting them doesn’t really deter them for long. The first encounter you have after the Eye Door had you finding a little hidden place where you have to tear off planks from a door (which I can imagine killed a lot of people as I even almost died here). Which this brings you down into what I’d guess is the Dungeons where Lady Dimitrescu kept people locked up and experimented on them (?).
Other than The Daughters, we also encounter the other enemy type we saw in the trailers that were described as zombie-like when the trailers first dropped down here in the dungeons that gave off an obvious feel that everyone that was put here and locked were tortured and possibly experimented on, which probably determined the rejects and candidates list. With the candidates possibly being the ones that didn’t turn into whatever these enemies are and having robust appetite (an appetite for what though? Blood?). This can even be further confirmed as if you pause right as one of these are close up and about to attack you, you can notice that they have fangs (as well as scars that they received here) and will bite your neck and wipe their mouth just like the Daughters. These guys do seem bullet spongy with a regular handgun that hasn’t been upgraded, but they do react to being shoot or sliced.
Once you get out of this area and towards the entrance to the ground floor, another Daughter appears mentioning one of her sisters named Cassandra (which may or may not be the one that attacked you when you open the Eye Door). And it seems like not even bars will deter them, since they can just use their bug swarm to go through it. This one seems a bit more reserved and cold as she doesn’t fangirl over your blood as much as her sister, but instead being a looming presence wondering if you gave up yet so she can drown in your blood. And even asking what you want to be drained/killed with. This encounter was maze like so you can find another entrance that’s been boarded up. However this time, you’re caught by this Daughter and the demo stops right before she bites you.
Sadly, Lady Dimitrescu only made a quick appearance as she’s getting some wine to tease the player and make them wonder (well, if they somehow haven’t seen any trailers or the internet going crazy over her). I’m not the vast majority that’s just lusting over her (which the high levels of over-sexualization regarding her makes me uncomfy and annoyed), as I just really like her design and the aura she has (and she’s just cool), but I just love how she has to bend down to get through doors. I just had to say this somewhere.
I think I enjoyed this demo more than last week’s Village demo. I really enjoyed going through the Castle, well apart from having to rush through the unnecessary time limit, and look forward to playing the full game. I can already tell that I’m going to be so anxious and stressed throughout. I also can’t be more floored at how beautiful this game is, while running like a dream on the PS4.
The demos will be returning on May 1st, where it’ll be availably to all the platforms Resident Evil Village will be releasing on, with it being available for 24 hours.