Capcom just released the Maiden demo for Resident Evil: Village on PS5 systems, and as someone who’s really looking forward to the game’s May release, I had to check it out. I played through the short demo fairly quickly, and if its tone and background information are anything to go by, Village should be a spookily delightful title.
The Maiden demo has you play as the titular maiden instead of recent series protagonist Ethan Winters. As the maiden, you awaken in a dungeon cell accompanied only by a sense of fear and a hastily-scrawled note. As I ascertained how to escape the cell into the next room, a creeping sense of macabre curiosity came over me. As I checked each room in the dungeon, the set dressing became increasingly more haunting. Medieval torture devices, bloodstains, bones, a woman with bolt clippers in her back, and even a limbless hanged man are all scattered throughout the dungeon, establishing the freaky atmosphere that Maiden is drenched in.
“Blood-stained teacups and a door with a porcelain face both felt perfectly at home in the Resident Evil series, as the castle itself feels like the next Spencer Mansion or Baker Estate.“
The dungeon has a few puzzles that are quite similar to those of Resident Evil 7, requiring bolt cutters and lockpicks to enter new cells and to escape to the main castle. This is where the demo really takes off, as you’re stalked by an unseen voice while you desperately try to escape the estate. There are various notes to be found in the castle, which give some background info on the vampire ladies that live in the castle from the perspective of a butler as well as their “wine-making” practices. The way these notes are written, in particular the butler note, really nails that sense of dread that I mentioned earlier, as you know this poor character’s story didn’t end well.
As I solved puzzles to find my way out of the foyer, I got to see more of the gorgeous locale. There’s a dinginess to the pristine surroundings that I can appreciate, as the contrast feels parallel to that between the castle and its vampiric owners. Blood-stained teacups and a door with a porcelain face both felt perfectly at home in the Resident Evil series, as the castle itself feels like the next Spencer Mansion or Baker Estate. I look forward to exploring it in Village, as this taster made me hungry for more.
I’m really looking forward to Village, as the Maiden demo expertly set-up the unique premise of the full game while telling its own small story. I like this type of demo, which creates its own story to prepare you for the full game. It’s a great way to build on the world of Village before it comes out, and though there wasn’t any action in the demo, I feel that it prepared me for the game rather well. Resident Evil: Village releases on May 7th for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.