The fact that we’re even reviewing this DLC shows how big Resident Evil is. There’s that, and also the fact that I’ve been a Resident Evil fan since ’97 and love to talk about the series any chance I get. Besides, the Winters’ Expansion continues the story of the game and who doesn’t want that right?
If you missed my original review of the game, you should really go back to read it first. I even have a guide up on how to survive the Village of Shadows mode. Yeah, I played a ton of the game when it first came out.
So months later…how does it feel to continue the story?
Read on and you’ll find out!
What is Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion?
Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion is DLC for Resident Evil Village. It’s available separately for owners of the original game, or as part of Resident Evil Village Gold Edition, which bundles every piece of DLC.
The Winters’ Expansion DLC adds Shadows of Rose (a separate story that continues after the ending of Resident Evil Village), The Mercenaries: Additional Orders (which adds new characters and stages to The Mercenaries mode) and a new third person mode for the original game’s story mode.
The DLC is developed and published by Capcom, and is available on every platform Resident Evil Village is on.
Our copy was graciously provided by the awesome folks at Capcom!
The main draw of the Winters’ Expansion DLC is of course, Shadows of Rose.
If you’ve finished RE Village, then you know that it ends unsatisfyingly, with a tease that Rose (now all grown up) is viewed as a potential threat despite working with Chris.
You want to know to know what happens after right? Where did Rose go after boarding that car with the agent? You’re hoping that’s what Shadows of Rose will answer the nagging questions, yeah?
I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t answer a damn thing.
You see, Capcom’s ingeniously set Shadows of Rose before that ending scene in RE Village’s final moments. Yes, it’s technically true that the mode continues the story where RE Village left off, but it certainly doesn’t expand on the ending one bit.
In fact, the ending of Shadows of Rose is that graveyard scene from the main game! Shocker!
You see, in Shadows of Rose, Rose is drawn back to remnants of the mutamycete recovered from the village incident by Chris’ crew.
Rose, who resents the powers she gained from the mold, is apparently told that somewhere in the collective memory of the mutamycete remnant (apparently the memories of anybody who dies near the mutamycete is absorbed by the mold) is a way to negate her powers for good.
Rose’s motivation for wanting that? She’s been bullied since she was a kid.
Here’s the part where you’ll want to slap Rose for being such a damn quitter. I have no sympathy at all for Rose.
Millions of kids are bullied regularly, but do you see them trying to find an easy way out? The boatload of good she could do with her powers and all she wants is to get rid of them because nobody likes her.
Boo freaking hoo.
Instead of facing up to her demons, Rose opts to dive into the mutamycete’s consciousness and that’s where all the trouble starts.
In the mold’s memory, Rose is transported to various locations from RE Village. It’s a damn shame that there aren’t new locales, but considering this is a DLC and there’s a logical reason for why that is, I give Capcom a pass in this case.
You’ll run around Castle Dimitrescu, the creepy ass house on the hill and even Chris’ path to the mega mutamycyte core. There’s a heavy feeling of deja vu to it all especially if you’ve just finished the main game. The familiarity also takes away some of the fear because for the locations you run around in are mostly unchanged from the main game apart from the metamycete mold growing everywhere. How can you be afraid of places you’ve been to before right?
The mold also serves as a way of showcasing’s Rose’s ever growing powers.
As she progresses, Rose gets stronger and stronger. At first, all she can do is destroy mold tumors to progress. The more you advance though, the more Rose’s abilities grow. By the end, she’ll be able to freeze enemies in place and even destroy some outright.
You can’t depend too much on her powers sadly, as they’re governed by a new meter that drains as she uses her powers on enemies. You can refill them with consumables, but they’re pretty rare to come by….which means relying on good ol’ fashioned steel.
Despite Rose’s mutamycyte powers, combat in the game is still mostly of the pew pew pew variety. Rose gets a handgun early on and then later, a shotgun and also the ability to craft bullets and healing items from the materials she finds in the game.
Don’t worry though.
While the bullets and crafting materials are scarce, as long as you play smart and don’t waste ammo by missing shots, you’ll have more than enough ammo to last through the game, no problem.
Most of the game is pretty much shooting the mold enemies that were so prevalent in Resident Evil 7, though the second part (in the creepy house on the hill) has terrifying new doll enemies which are the highlight of the DLC.
In fact, the whole section in the house is the best part of the DLC.
The doll enemies are insanely cool because you don’t have your guns with you, only Rose’s powers. It’s much more cerebral, with Rose playing hide and seek with the enemies more often then confronting them outright. There are two different types; a smaller girl dolls that’ll stab you with knives and female mannequins with terrifying glowing eyes called Mother.
Mother is the stuff of nightmares.
The first time you encounter her, she’ll just stare at you blankly.
It’s when you turn away that the terror starts.
Like Dr Who’s Weeping Angels (which can only move when nobody is looking at them), Mother will ONLY move when Rose is looking away from her.
The cramped confines of the creepy house only exacerbates the terror because there’s no way to run around Mother. You’ll be walking backwards most times because Mother dolls will be stalking you around the house.
I really love (and dread) going around corners because you can hear them scuttling right up to the edge and then peaking out at you as you backpedal furiously.
It is truly nail biting suspense, especially when you turn around a corner and discover there’s a NEW Mother doll waiting…which means you need to look back and forth to keep safe. One is trouble enough but then you find out it’s not a boss! It’s a regular enemy! Oh crap!
The chase sequences by Mother dolls are the only times I ever felt fear playing the DLC, which tells you just how incredible those parts are. I died MULTIPLE times and still kept coming back for more!
Whenever Capcom releases Resident Evil 9, I really hope they bring back the Mother dolls or find a way to incorporate the idea into a new enemy because it’s too much of a cool gimmick to waste here.
Speaking of waste, that’s pretty much my opinion of the third person mode.
It’s clearly evident that Resident Evil Village was envisioned as a first person experience because it’s hard as hell to make out the surroundings in some areas with the third person view.
The biggest case for this is right in the beginning, as Ethan is recovering from the vehicle crash.
You can’t see where you’re going…at all. The foliage and the snow and the hilly terrain all combine to block your view. It’s infuriating.
It’s no problem in first person, but third person is hell.
There are other similar locations like this, especially in the cramped confines of the indoor locations. Third person mode is a cool idea, but it just doesn’t work very well in this case.
The Mercenaries part of the DLC is fine I guess…if you’re a fan of the mode.
The two of the new characters (Lady Dimitrescu and Heisenberg) need to be unlocked by playing the original mode, so if you’ve ignored it till now…well, you have some work to do.
Chris Redfield is the only new addition that’s available right off the bat.
One thing I really love is how each of the characters play totally different from one another.
Chris is all out guns blazing and punching stuff real hard, while Lady Dimitrescu is pure power. In fact, I love playing Chris as his combination of guns and punches (his boulder punch is back!) makes the stages feel like a fast paced FPS as you run, gun and melee everything in your path.
I’m honestly sad Capcom abandoned the RPG-esque Raid mode from the Resident Evil Revelations series, which had character levelling, weapon drops and customization! That mode’s much more entertaining than any version of The Mercenaries ever was.
I just wish there were more incentives tied to Shadow of Rose and The Mercenaries: Additional Orders or the Winters’ Expansion in general.
Sure, there are new challenges to net you points for unlocks to use in the in-game shop, but there aren’t new unlocks. No new guns, no new galleries or 3D models. It’s a shame Capcom didn’t add in new guns like RE2’s chain gun or even RE1’s classic Rocket Launcher just for fans.
I’d kill for the ability to unlock infinite ammo or mutamycyte powers for Rose in Shadows of Rose too!
As it stands, once you finish the mode, there’s no incentive to replay it unless you want the trophy for clearing it on the hardest difficulty.
The Bottom Line.
On paper, The Winters’ Expansion DLC adds a ton of new stuff to Resident Evil Village.
You get a whole new epilogue involving Rose, an expanded The Mercenaries mode and a cool third person view for the main game.
However, when you break it down, you realize the DLC only serves to whet your appetite mostly. Rose’s story isn’t concluded by any means of the imagination. So there’s that to look forward to.
The new additions to The Mercenaries are fun, but limited. After all, how many times can you replay the same stages over and over once you have a great ranking?
What about the third person mode?
It’s cool but that’s all there is to it. I don’t foresee it bringing back players who’ve finished the game and unlocked everything because there’s simply no point.
…which brings me to my point of there being no incentives in the form on new unlockables for the in-game shop.
Yes, The Winters’ Expansion is worth it for Shadows of Rose alone, but it could certainly have been better.
Worth it if you’re a hardcore fan or new to RE Village.
- Shadows of Rose is decent.
- The new characters in The Mercenaries: Additional Orders are fun and distinct.
- More CP to unlock stuff!
- Nothing substantially new to unlock.
- Third person mode could be better.
- No incentive to replay Shadows of Rose.
You must be logged in to post a comment.