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Resident Evil Village: Shadows Of Rose Review

Winter(s) is coming

Outside of her tallness, Resident Evil Village was a successful sequel that delivered plenty of creepy moments (the less said about that dollhouse the better) amongst the usual, outlandish storytelling tropes the series is known for. It did achieve our Game of the Year 2021 after all, and for good reason. Whether its success really did catch Capcom off guard or not will remain a mystery, but the fact that their original plans didn’t include any notion of extra, story-driven content seemed unusual at first. Thankfully they came to their senses and now we have Shadows of Rose, a short but interesting addition to the Winters’ story.

Set well after the events of Village, Ethan’s daughter Rose is all grown up but remains haunted by her past and the mould-like abilities passed down to her from birth. Given the possibility of ridding herself of her strange powers and living a normal life, Rose enters the remains of the Megamycete, a living database that stores the DNA of all infected by it, in the hopes it might hold the key to her future. Of course, things go pear shaped and Rose must fight her way through familiar locations and new, icky monsters to recover what she believes will free her from the mould for good.

Despite their being plenty of reused locations and largely the same gameplay mechanics of the existing main story, Shadows of Rose does introduce a few key differences. For one, the entire story is in third person, matching the added option of playing the main game from the same perspective but forgoing a first-person mode in the process. This makes controlling Rose feel far closer to a traditional Resident Evil title than the past two iterations, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Bad Wolf

Secondly, Rose’s mouldy abilities allow her to essentially shoot beams of light from her hands to remove obstacles from her path and slow enemies down, with further abilities unlocked further into the story. There’s still the usual assortment of weapons, health items and the like strewn around the locations, but at least some thought was put in to explore what it’s like to be a character with a little something special about them. You’re not going to go around blasting moulded like an action hero though, as this is very much a Resident Evil game with horror and suspense at the forefront.

Coming in at around four hours long all told, Shadows of Rose is here for a good time and not a long one, and that’s to its benefits. Every location is tightly designed and just long enough to not become a drawn-out, back-and-forth routine of finding one item to unlock another door, then back again to another item. There’s still a little of that of course, it wouldn’t be a Resi title without some puzzles to solve, but they’re not going to be leaving you scratching your head in confusion. Thankfully a mysterious character comes around every once in a while to point you in the right direction, but the twist as to who or what it is isn’t exactly a surprise.

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Without spoiling it, the opening location isn’t the standout part of Rose’s quest, though it’s serviceable enough to get the tale rolling on. It’s interesting to replay existing locations that have been ever so slightly tweaked from what we remember, but it’s what happens halfway through the DLC where Capcom really turned up the creativity levels with some suitably creepy moments, arguably some of the best in the series to date. I’ll put it this way, if you enjoyed the Dollhouse, you’re going to adore it, but everything else before and after plays out similarly enough to existing RE titles and doesn’t really break any new ground in the process.

It’s a fair reaction, if you know the context

It’s a shame though that the story on offer eventually devolves into the usual Resident Evil tropes and doesn’t spend enough time exploring Rose’s true capability. It’s certainly fun while it lasts and there’s a sense of closure here (at least partly), but the opportunity to really delve into her potential never really comes to light. Rose herself feels like a character going through the motions, there’s certainly not enough time within the DLC to really delve into her psyche or provide enough character growth outside of a simple tale of wanting to remove something that’s haunted her entire life. What we get instead may be a hint at things to come, an introduction to a character that will hopefully have legs across future instalments if Capcom are willing. Given Village’s success, that’s probably a given.

Final Thoughts

The eventual addition of new story content to a story that served as one of last year’s best does a decent enough job of continuing the story of Rose and her battle to be just a normal human being. What we get is long enough to be worth the wait but still feels a little underdone in places, with one standout location and set piece amongst an otherwise familiar Resident Evil journey. Hopefully Rose will get another chance to shine in the future, it certainly seems that way, but if this is how the tale ends it’s not a bad way to go.

Reviewed on PS5 // Review code supplied by publisher

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Resident Evil Village: Shadows Of Rose Review
A rose by any other name
Rose is a fascinating character that deserves her own, full-blown sequel, but for now Shadows of Rose is a worthwhile adventure for those looking for a little more from an already brilliant Resident Evil tale.
The Good
A serviceable story with a likeable lead character
Rose's abilities are unique and refreshing for the series
Third person perspective is a welcome choice
Some truly creepy, standout moments for the franchise
The Bad
Too short an experience to really delve into Rose's story
Narrative twists are far too obvious
The reuse of locations is disappointing when compared to the more creative additions
Falls back into the trap of requiring action sequences and guns to push Rose forward
7
Good
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  • Capcom
  • Capcom
  • PS5/ PS4 / Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One / PC
  • October 27, 2022

Resident Evil Village: Shadows Of Rose Review
A rose by any other name
Rose is a fascinating character that deserves her own, full-blown sequel, but for now Shadows of Rose is a worthwhile adventure for those looking for a little more from an already brilliant Resident Evil tale.
The Good
A serviceable story with a likeable lead character
Rose’s abilities are unique and refreshing for the series
Third person perspective is a welcome choice
Some truly creepy, standout moments for the franchise
The Bad
Too short an experience to really delve into Rose’s story
Narrative twists are far too obvious
The reuse of locations is disappointing when compared to the more creative additions
Falls back into the trap of requiring action sequences and guns to push Rose forward
7
Good
Written By Mark Isaacson

Known on the internet as Kartanym, Mark has been in and out of the gaming scene since what feels like forever, growing up on Nintendo and evolving through the advent of PC first person shooters, PlayStation and virtual reality. He'll try anything at least once and considers himself the one true king of Tetris by politely ignoring the world records.

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