Resident Evil Village’s Shadows of Rose DLC Unveils the Series’ Future

Exploring a New Direction for Resident Evil

For the past twenty years, the Resident Evil franchise has been known for its pulp horror themes and commentary on corporate greed. However, in 2017, the series took a thematic turn with the release of Resident Evil 7. This soft reboot returned to the survival horror roots of the franchise, introducing new protagonist Ethan Winters in a terrifying puzzle-filled house. The subsequent game, Resident Evil Village, delved even further into supernatural elements. This left fans like me wondering about the overall direction of the new Resident Evil. What would tie its eccentric story together? The answer lies in Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion and its new Shadows of Rose DLC.

Unveiling Rose’s Powers

Shadows of Rose sheds light on the intriguing epilogue of Resident Evil Village, where we saw Ethan’s daughter, Rose, all grown up and working for a mysterious government organization. How did Rose acquire her special powers, and how did she end up in this position? The DLC provides some answers.

The three-hour story presents Resident Evil’s most outlandish tale yet. Rose is constantly bullied by other children due to her peculiar mold powers, making her feel like an outcast. In a bid to eliminate her abilities and become “normal,” Rose embarks on a journey into Mother Miranda’s consciousness, a disembodied brain, in search of purifying crystals. This psychological adventure takes place in Rose’s subconscious, filled with horror imagery depicting her inner struggles. Doppelganger versions of herself are devoured by monstrous creatures, creating effective and disturbing visuals.

Familiar Locations with a Mutated Twist

Shadows of Rose allows Capcom to reuse locations from Resident Evil Village, albeit with subtle changes. In one section of the DLC, Rose must navigate Castle Dimitrescu, solving puzzles to find three masks and acquire a crystal. This segment offers a condensed Resident Evil experience. Later in the DLC, the surreal horror intensifies, capturing the essence of Village’s most captivating moments. Rose’s angsty attitude, coupled with her newfound powers, serves as a catalyst for thrilling combat encounters. With her ability to freeze enemies in place and break mold barriers, the DLC pushes the boundary of the series’ supernatural elements.

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A Personal Journey of Identity

Although the story may seem absurd by Resident Evil standards, it crystallizes Capcom’s vision for the series’ new iteration. Like Resident Evil 7 and Village, Shadows of Rose centers around a personal tale of family. Rose’s powers serve as a poignant symbol of her deceased father, Ethan Winters. Throughout the DLC, Rose grapples with her identity, coming to terms with the genetic curse (or blessing) inherited from a father she never had the chance to meet. It’s a straightforward narrative about closure, wrapped in over-the-top horror tropes.

This smaller story arc provides insight into Resident Evil’s current trajectory. The franchise has shifted from creating zombie B-movies with social commentary to crafting supernatural soap operas that explore family trauma. This direction is reflected in the recent Netflix adaptation, which delves into Albert Wesker’s relationship with his children.

An Evolving Formula

Whether this new direction is as exciting as the classic Resident Evil games is subjective and up to the fans. However, Shadows of Rose offers a glimpse into the future of the horror franchise. Expect future installments, such as Resident Evil 9, to feature more superpowers, melodrama, and themes of parental relationships.

Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion will be available on October 28 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PS5, and PC.

A monster eats Rose's faces in Resident Evil Village: Shadows of Rose.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Rose uses superpowers to freeze a mold monster in Resident Evil Village: Shadows of Rose.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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