Get ready, friends — it’s time to spill the beans. For some time now we’ve been gathering information from various sources regarding the upcoming Resident Evil 8, which we’ve been reporting on the more public rumors for some time now. Several people involved in the Resident Evil Ambassador test event back in March stepped forward with information regarding their experience with the demo. Today it seems the flood gates have opened, as multiple other sites seem to have had the same sort of reach-outs. Let’s go over the details we’ve heard, as well as what some of the other sites have heard. It would appear that there have been multiple versions of this demo, either to test reactions or to help zero in on which players leaked the information. I’m also going to note that there is a massive spoiler in the information we were leaked, and for the moment we’ll be side-stepping it for your sakes — that said, I should still issue a SPOILER WARNING: STORY RELATED INFORMATION INCLUDED:
- Resident Evil 8 is working under the title VILLAGE: RESIDENT EVIL, although some reports have that title reversed. The VILL part in the title is, of course, RE7‘d into the Roman numeral VIII.
- The opening of the game will be ‘shocking’ for long-time fans, and involves Chris Redfield. Different demos appear to have different Chris models, some saying he simply looked like an older version of the RE7 Chris, others saying he was completely overhauled. Some tests involved Mia Winters being pregnant, others involved a child already having been born.
- Ethan is, once again, the lead protagonist, but hardened to a degree. Some testers have described him as being quick-witted and short-tempered, an “Ash Williams” type, which fits in with RE7‘s multiple homages to the Evil Dead series. Ethan, as well as the rest of the cast, also seems to have been reprised by their RE7 voice performers.
- Multiple versions of the in-game inventory have been tested, ranging from something very close to RE7‘s more traditional inventory to something along the lines of RE4‘s Attache Case “Tetris” design. The game is also following suit with RE7‘s first-person design.
- The demo was indeed set in a snowy village area, sometime after the opening. Playing as Ethan, we explore some of the houses on the outskirts, attempting to make contact. NPCs occupy the houses however they are reluctant to talk to an outsider (note: they do speak English when they talk).
- The “Wolf-like creatures” reported in earlier leaks have been described as something akin to beast-men, and they attack with massive claws. There is an escape sequence, where some versions of the demo you don’t have access to a weapon and are forced to either just book it for safety or try to sneak your way around them (similar to Revelations 2) — and other you have a pistol, but it’s completely ineffective against these creatures and you’re similarly forced to run or hide.
- You eventually stumble upon a shotgun and are able to barricade a door to slow down your attackers. The shotgun is way more effective than the handgun however the beast-men were very bullet-spongey. In some versions of the demo a bell rings and the beast-men disappear, while others they are called off by something/someone unseen.
- The game is massively inspired by a combination of Resident Evil 4 and the much-beloved Resident Evil 3.5 (a series of demos and trailers from various scrapped versions of RE4). The previously reported “serious departure” relates to this, as the game has an obvious focus on something more supernatural. That said, odds are against things being literally supernatural, and that they only appear that way due to viral-induced hallucinations (which is how it worked in RE3.5). The hallucinations make it difficult who to trust and can trigger flashbacks, with some versions of the demo having that “shocking opening” appear as a flashback hallucination when encountering Chris.
- The leaders of these beast-men appear to be a stalker-type woman that resembles a witch, who “haunts” Ethan during the demo, and a massive, “gorilla-like” monster man with “chains and a staff”. The Witch cannot be killed and melts down into bugs when shot. She apparently has a distinctive laugh that lets you know when she’s near.
- Some versions of the demo appear to have you escape to a castle, while others have you meet up with a group of normal, human villagers and talk your way into their refuge to hide out from the monsters. One of the villagers inside begins to hallucinate, and eventually lashes out and begins to butcher the other villagers. You manage to escape with one of the other villagers, a woman who helped you into the house, as the hallucinating villager sets it ablaze. The demo ends here.
This is all quite a lot to take in, but I for one find it to be exactly what I wanted (my love of RE4 and RE3.5 is well documented) from Resident Evil 8. Again, various reports contain conflicting information, and indeed even the tips we’ve received from play-testers have had differences — however, the core of the experience appears to have remained the same. Resident Evil 8 is currently planned for a Q1/January release date in 2021, although the Covid-19 pandemic may push that back. Odds are good that this information will be paid off with a full reveal in the coming months, most likely during Sony’s State of Play stream, presumably slated around when E3 would’ve happened this year. Of course, it’s recommended that you continue to take all of this information with a grain of salt — although the dead-on similarities between all reports, including one from a leaker who gave us good reason to trust completely, seems to indicate otherwise. And no, that leaker is not DuskGolem.
We wait eagerly for more information, although this is obviously a boat-load. We can look forward to more news regarding Resident Evil 8 in the near future, I’m sure.