A year and a half after Capcom brought us Resident Evil Village, they’re now bringing us The Winters’ Expansion. It adds a third-person-mode to the main campaign, three new characters and two new maps to Mercenaries, and a new story scenario called Shadows of Rose starring the now grown-up Rose.

For fans of Mercenaries, this expansion will deliver. The three new characters, Chris Redfield, Heisenberg, and Lady Dimitrescu are all fun to play and add some more variety to the game mode. The same goes for the two new maps, The Bloody Village, and The Bloody River. It should be mentioned though that you won’t have all of this available to you right from the start. With the exception of Chris Redfield, everything else has to be unlocked by completing certain challenges first. Nothing that should be too difficult for Mercenary veterans though.

We finally get to take a good look at Ethan… kind of

The third-person-mode is exactly what it sounds like. For many people, the third-person perspective is how Resident Evil should be experienced, apart from fixed cameras of course, but I think we’ve all accepted that’s no longer happening. If you count yourself as one of those people, the third-person-mode is here for you, and it works perfectly fine. Although I have to say playing Resident Evil Village from a third-person perspective does feel a little weird to me, since the game was clearly designed for the first-person perspective. Even with all the new animations that were added, it doesn’t feel entirely right.

Weirdly, that isn’t true for the new story DLC, Shadows of Rose, which is also played in the third-person perspective. Even though Shadows of Rose largely uses the same environments, the implementation of the third-person perspective feels much more natural here, but maybe part of that is simply that I never had the experience of playing it in any other way to begin with.

And she’s immediately welcomed in lovingly

In Shadows of Rose you play as the titular Rose, daughter of Ethan Winters, now grown as a teenager. She struggles to accept her powers, believing that they make her a monster, and is given the opportunity to get rid of them by entering the consciousness of the megamycete.

Because Shadows of Rose isn’t set in the physical world, but rather in a sort of mindscape that takes shape in a distorted version of the village from the main campaign, it doesn’t have to follow any pre-established rules. Nevertheless, there isn’t a whole lot here that’s strictly new. You will come across familiar characters, in familiar environments, with familiar gameplay.

The enemies look different though

This isn’t to say that Shadows of Rose is entirely derivative of the main campaign. While it largely reuses assets, it does use them very effectively. The second area in particular impressed me with how effectively they were able to tell a new story without creating any new assets, but simply rearranging what was already there.

You also have to keep in mind, that while this all might be familiar to you, it isn’t to Rose. She’s coming across these things for the first time, the same way her father did in the main campaign, and learning about him in the process. Shadows of Rose reminds us that Rose never really got to know her father, Ethan Winters, and this is her chance to do so. Rose is the key element that makes this expansion something new. We get to know her as her own person, rather than just a little baby that serves as the MacGuffin to motivate Ethan.

This jolly fella is suddenly very intimidating

With her powers, Rose also adds a new mechanic to this scenario that wasn’t present in the main game. It’s nothing game changing, but it does add a nice new layer to a familiar concept.

While Shadows of Rose is plenty of fun, by the end of it you do have to wonder what the point of it was. It’s a worthwhile distraction if you’ve been desperate to get a little more from the Winters’ family, but it doesn’t impact the larger story in any meaningful way, and if you decide to skip this, I don’t think you’d really be missing out on all that much.

A quick glimpse at her powers

This is the sentiment I have towards the entire Winters’ Expansion. It’s all well-made content and if you were a fan of Resident Evil Village you will have a good time with this. But if you haven’t felt the need to return to it, I doubt this will be enough to get you back.

Nairon played Resident Evil Village: The Winters’ Expansion on PC with his own copy. Resident Evil Village: The Winters’ Expansion is also available on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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