The Resident Evil: Village Winters’ Expansion DLC brings a trio of new content to the game. Unfortunately, it’s a mixed bag here. Shadows of Rose, the new story DLC featuring Rosemary Winters, isn’t as strong as we had hoped. However, The Mercenaries: Additional Orders greatly expands that mode with some great new content that adds hours of fun.
Every Rose has its thorn
Shadows of Rose gives a voice to the youngest member of the Winters family. Instead of being a chopped-up baby in a series of glass containers, she’s grown up into a confused 16-year-old outcast who’s fed up with her Mold powers. As a human/Mold hybrid, she has abilities like super strength. Still, she has to deal with noticeable drawbacks like white, slimy sweat, and general teen angst. As a result, she spent her childhood being made fun of and bullied by other kids.
Rosemary gets her chance at a normal life when she’s approached with an offer she can’t refuse. A piece of the Megacycete was recovered from the village years ago and remains living in a secure container. Some of Miranda’s research was recently uncovered that mentions a “Purifying Crystal” that might have the ability to remove Rose’s powers. However, some of the notes were missing, so to find the crystal, Rose needs to mentally link with the Megamycyte and comb its depths to discover the information she needs.
I didn’t hate exploring Rose’s character more; her desire for normalcy was compelling enough. But was this the best story to tell with what will likely be RE: Village’s only DLC? In contrast, Resident Evil 7 had the two Banned Footage volumes that presented four short scenarios that expanded events referenced in the story. Then, within the year, it got Not a Hero, which followed Chris Redfield after he rescued Ethan, and End of Zoe, which closed out the Baker’s story.
I think several scenarios would have been a much better fit for a DLC. For example, a prequel showing the village before Miranda enslaved the four lords would have been exciting and given us some much-needed background. It could have even still reused plenty of assets like Shadow of Rose does.
A Rose by any other name
One of the main criticisms this DLC will likely receive is that all of its environments are recycled from the main game — the two main locations Rose revisits are remixed versions of Castle Dimitrescu and House Beneviento. I really didn’t mind this so much as the puzzles within are entirely original, and I thought Castle D, in particular, was woefully underutilized in the base game.
However, I do think that after a year and a half(ish) in development that we should have gotten something more substantial than this. The premise behind the DLC is that Rose can meet every person and travel to any place the Megamycete has touched. There are so many places the developers could have gone with this, and the entire story is so predictable that I guessed the ending within ten minutes of starting it.
Rose’s powers, which grow as you play through the DLC, add an interesting wrinkle but fail to make a massive difference. She can turn plantlike obstacles to dust, and she learns to use her powers to freeze enemies in place. However, aside from the ending, they never seem that impressive.
A multitude of Mercenaries
The Mercenaries: Additional Orders is also included in the Winters’ Expansion, and it’s great. I loved The Mercenaries in the base game, and this expands it to three new locations and includes three new characters.
All three new characters, Chris Redfield, Heisenberg, and Lady D, are all great additions to the mode, and each offers a unique playstyle to master. Like Ethan, Chris relies primarily on firearms, but he can also deliver the pain with punches. The more you kill, the faster you’ll charge his Onslaught Gauge. When it’s full, he’ll move faster, dish out more damage, and you can use the Target Locator to call in artillery from off-screen.
Heisenberg and Lady D have to be unlocked, and they’re more melee-oriented. These two force you to change your playstyle in Mercenaries entirely and are very challenging to master.
Seeing things from a different angle
The last major addition that comes with the Winters’ Expansion is the ability to play through the base game in the third person. This is a welcome feature, but for most people, it’ll be a novelty more than anything.
I can see this being a decent accessibility option for those who have difficulty playing first-person games. It’s also interesting to see the game from a new, wider perspective.
Resident Evil: Village DLC Review: The Final Verdict
At $19.99, the Resident Evil: Village Winters’ Expansion DLC is worth it for the new Mercenaries content alone. Shadows of Rose is a decent story and worth playing through for fans, and the third-person camera in the base game gives an extra little bump of replayability. But, overall, Resident Evil 7 had better direction with its DLC, and there were more pressing stories to be told than Rose’s romp through familiar territory.