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Resident Evil Village Maiden demo hits PS5 today

To borrow a line from Barry Burton in the original Resident Evil, “Wow, what a showcase!” To all the old-school fans and those who were welcomed to the family with Resident Evil 7 biohazard, we hope you enjoyed today’s presentation.

Now that the Resident Evil Showcase is a wrap, there’s quite a lot to talk about. We’ve revealed the launch date of Resident Evil Village as May 7, 2021 on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, presented gameplay footage of a timeworn castle and its deranged denizens, put the spotlight on a new trailer that sheds a bit of light on the world of Resident Evil Village, revealed the rotund merchant known only as The Duke, and hinted at another malevolent person that Ethan Winters will have to contend with. And, of course, for the 25th anniversary of Resident Evil, we unveiled Resident Evil Re:Verse, an online multiplayer game featuring fan-favorite characters that will be available for free to those that buy Resident Evil Village. We’ll have more on that soon.

Watch the full Resident Evil Showcase.

For those of you wondering about that tall, mysterious woman that’s been featured in various RE Village trailers so far… don’t worry, we see you. She’s the highlight of the latest trailer, literally standing head and shoulders above a trio of other women that also seem to call the gothic castle their home. The identities of all four remain shrouded in mystery, but for now, one thing we can give you is a name for everyone’s favorite towering mistress: Lady Dimitrescu. One thing we can’t give you: How she can find a hat in her size.

The imposing Lady Dimitrescu towers over protagonist Ethan Winters.

Of course, we had one more major drop to share with you all: a stand-alone demo for Resident Evil Village, known as Maiden, that’s available for download only on PlayStation 5 starting today. As Resident Evil Village Producer Peter Fabiano mentioned in the Resident Evil Showcase, you don’t play as Ethan Winters in this demo. Rather, you’ll be playing as a character known only as “the maiden.” Unable to fight or even block, you’ll be in control of this character as she attempts to escape from Dimitrescu Castle. This is a stand-alone separate experience from the main game that is a kind of short story set within the world of RE Village.

Because of this unique take on a demo, we asked Peter why the team decided to create a demo separate from the main game, and how they used the power of PS5 to make it happen. So, without further ado….

The maiden

We asked Peter about who the protagonist of this demo is, as she’s only known as “the maiden.” As Peter explains it, “Maiden is not the name of any person, but instead it symbolizes the protagonist, a girl who’s trapped in Dimitrescu Castle.” Rather than playing as Ethan and seeing a part of his story, the character in this demo is separate from the main story of Resident Evil Village. According to Peter, both the maiden’s story and Ethan’s story take place at different times.

“The Maiden demo doesn’t take place during the main story of Resident Evil Village. Maiden was originally designed as a visual demo that would allow you to explore the inside of Dimitrescu Castle, but it evolved to include a short story and puzzle solving.” Long-time fans of Resident Evil are familiar with various castles that have appeared throughout the series, so they should feel right at home in this one, too. With RE Village and Maiden taking place in the same place but not the same time, it left us wondering if the two would be tied together somehow.

The experience

There might be a few things that eagle-eyed players should look out for as they wander the castle in search of an exit, so we asked Peter if there was anything the team wanted them to notice as they explore. “Maiden is a demo that’s separate from Resident Evil Village,” he explained. “However, it does take place in the same world as RE Village does.” He even suggests that there are a few nods between the demo and the full game, ones that you’ll only be able to catch if you play both. “When you play Resident Evil Village, or, perhaps, you come back to Maiden after playing the main game, you might discover the connections they have to each other.”

We won’t spoil the fun of figuring out the links between the two games, of course, but we do hope you have fun exploring both the demo for now, and then come back to it with fresh eyes once the full game is released so you can find out for yourself what those links are!

Resident Evil Village’s inventory shares some similarities with RE4’s.

The technology

Finally, we asked about the Maiden demo being on PlayStation 5, and how the team took advantage of the technology that the PS5 offers. Simply put, “you’ll be able to enjoy the ray tracing and 3D Audio that PS5 offers,” according to Pete. The demo is designed to take full advantage of tech that will also be included in RE Village, so Maiden also functions as a sneak peek at the next-gen leap for survival horror. Of course, we also had to press Peter a bit about his comments during the RE Showcase about how art design and technology come together to create such a hauntingly beautiful and detailed environment.

“For Maiden, or rather, for Resident Evil Village, we wanted to create a game with beautiful graphics, high frame rate, and short loading times that don’t spoil people’s immersive experience of the game. The technology we mentioned in the showcase aided the director in realizing his vision of how the game is played, and the art director’s vision of how he wanted the game to look.” You’ll see this reflected in both the full game and the demo in the environments, objects, and character models, right down to the smallest details.

Buy, sell, and upgrade weapons with RE Village’s enigmatic merchant, The Duke.

That about wraps it up for now; as a reminder, the Maiden demo for Resident Evil Village will be available starting today on PS5. You can also pre-order the game on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 via PS Store to secure a bonus exclusive mini soundtrack. Don’t have a PS5 yet? Don’t worry; PS4 purchases of Resident Evil Village will be entitled to a digital upgrade to the PS5 version at no additional cost.* A Deluxe Edition is also available for both platforms, which will include various in-game perks reminiscent of Resident Evil 7 biohazard. This includes swapping save room music, changing the device you save on from a typewriter to a tape recorder, a “found footage” visual filter, and other fun bonuses.

For those looking for the ultimate conversation starter, a Collector’s Edition is available for both platforms from select retailers that includes all of the above, plus a Chris Redfield figure, art book, reversible cloth map, a special Collector’s Edition box and SteelBook case. Keep an eye out for the Maiden demo, and don’t forget – Resident Evil Village will launch on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on May 7, 2021. Purchase of the game also includes access to the online multiplayer game Resident Evil Re:Verse.

*Offers may differ per region. Please check with your local retailer for details.

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