In case you didn’t know, Capcom recently revealed a ton of new content and info about Resident Evil Village, including its release date of May 7, 2021. While that’s still a few months away, you can actually get a taste of the upcoming game via a PlayStation 5 exclusive demo called “The Maiden”, which is available to download right now on your respective storefronts. For other platforms, a separate demo will be made available at a later date.
To call The Maiden a demo is both downplaying what I just experienced as well as overplaying the interactive aspect of Resident Evil Village. Much like Beginning Hour, Resident Evil 7‘s teaser, this sneak peek gives you a taste of what to expect atmospherically, but not much in terms of gameplay. It is also pretty short, spanning around 15-20 minutes, less if you know what to do, but it doesn’t take away from giving players a feel of the game.
There’s not much in the way of backstory with the titular character except that you’re trapped in a dungeon and you must escape this stronghold. Similar with the Beginning Hour‘s character, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if you’ve played Beginning Hour, you could expect pretty much the same outcome with this teaser.
Atmospherically, it evokes the same emotion of dread and claustrophobia. The dungeon is especially quite creepy and disgusting. Once you make your way to the upper levels, the dread drops for a bit, but there’s definitely an uneasy feeling that you’re always being watched. Take care not to be too curious in your exploration, you may end up falling victim to the Castle’s denizens…
There’s not much else to discover by way of the game save for the disparate notes scattered across the area, telling you the story of Castle Dimitrescu as well as the many simple puzzles Resident Evil has been known for. The sounds and jump scares tend to be gimmicky after a while, but for the faint of heart, it could definitely give them a bit of a shock.
As a PS5 demo, it would’ve been nice to see and feel how the DualSense works for Resident Evil Village, to give you a bit more creepy vibe than it already has. Maybe in the final release? One thing that does stand out though is the lighting and the audio, which are both done to great detail to evoke a feeling of heightened stress and anxiety, which is especially effective in this first-person setting. As a next-gen game, the visual quality also shines, showing great detail to backgrounds and objects in the game.
Hopefully the demo that comes later would show more of the gameplay, especially the block function that’s been widely talked up. I feel that Beginning Hour did a better job as a teaser as I felt there was more to do, explore, and much of the mystery remains fresh. Nevertheless, fans of the series looking forward to an early glimpse of the game will want to check The Maiden.
Here are some other screenshots from said teaser. They’re a bit dark, as is with the game, so you may have to turn your brightness up!
Resident Evil Village launches on May 7, 2021 on the PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.