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Resident Evil Village (Resident Evil 8): Release date, gameplay, story and more

Resident Evil Village
(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil Village, or Resident Evil 8, debuted its first trailer at the PS5 Future of Gaming event, and between Chris Redfield and werewolves, we’re ridiculously excited about the future of Resident Evil.

After two back-to-back remakes, the story of Resident Evil finally continues, as a direct Resident Evil 7 sequel follows Ethan Winters back into yet another first-person survival-horror experience. Ever since its short teaser, there were quite a few things revealed about the upcoming Resident Evil Village.

Here’s everything we know so far about Resident Evil Village.

Resident Evil Village (RE8) release date

We’ll jump into the monster-infested fray with Ethan once again when Resident Evil Village launches on the Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 7, 2021.

Before, there was no official release date apart from sometime in 2021, but we suspected that Resident Evil Village might launch as early as January, since Resident Evil 7 launched January 24, 2017, but we were only a few months off.

The big surprise is that Resident Evil Village is coming to current-gen consoles, despite previous reports. Dusk Golem, a notorious insider that correctly revealed Resident Evil Village details before the announcement even happened, recently Tweeted why the next Resident Evil game wasn't coming to current-gen:

“Okay, I got some clarification on why they made RE8 next-gen only, when it was cross-gen previously. With the updated graphic fidelity overhaul they're doing (still in progress), the way RE8 was designed lead to past-gen consoles having a lot of pop-in/long texture loads/load times because the game has you travelling through most of the Village and had a lot of load zones."

Dusk Golem continued, "Because there's a bigger focus on exploration this would lead to the last-gen console versions having notable issues, and it was holding back how pretty they could make certain scenes. So they decided to drop the last-gen versions of the game to make it so the game had no loading at all (not limited by last gen hardware) and push the graphic overhaul further without the limitations of last-gen tech in mind.”

Of course, this happened to be wrong, but it's unclear if it was a last minute change or if this was the plan all along.

Meanwhile, Capcom is hosted a big Resident Evil Showcase on January 21, 2021. Set to show at 2pm PST/10pm GMT, the special show will took us on a tour of Resident Evil Village, with a new trailer to pick apart, a look at its gameplay, and more Resident Evil-related news.

There's yet another Resident Evil Showcase is happening on April 15 at 3:00pm PT / 6:00pm ET and you can watch it on PlayStation's YouTube channel or PlayStation's Twitch channel.

Resident Evil Village (RE8) gameplay

We did get some brief snippets of gameplay in the launch trailer at the PS5 Future of Gaming event. However, watching Ethan wave a pistol around isn’t really what I’d consider gameplay. In terms of already confirmed gameplay elements, there’s freaking werewolves!

I have a fleeting suspicion that the werewolf depicted in the trailer isn’t actually an enemy, but rather, Ethan himself going full werewolf. This is probably not the case, but given the Van Helsing vibes that this game is giving off, it would make sense.

"The return of a first-person perspective will bring a visceral edge to combat, as well," Kellen Haney, Capcom's associate manager of social media and community writes. "Each encounter is a personal fight for survival against terrifying foes, forcing you to keep a watchful eye on the environment and constantly looking for resources and enemies in unknown territory. With a greater focus on combat and exploration compared to Resident Evil 7, the village itself is just as important a character as any other, a location with a life of its own that will frequently keep you on edge as you discover its secrets."

We don’t imagine it’ll be drastically different from how Resident Evil 7 played, but we are hoping for gameplay improvements regardless. Another big question is whether or not Resident Evil Village will be compatible with PSVR. I played Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, so if I had to play Resident Evil Village like an actual game, the experience will be wildly different.

In a Special Developer Message video about Resident Evil Village, producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Pete Fabiano talk about some of the key aspects in the game. The video shows off the game running in-engine for a bit and even showed off the inventory management system. The inventory seems to be akin to the previous installments, such as Resident Evil 3. The video ended with the team stating that there will be more information coming at the end of this summer.

According to the Biohazardcast, a play-tester went through a part of the game where they controlled a woman who carried a lantern. Apparently, the play-tester had to avoid goatmen creatures wielding swords in a large cave, which sounds like some real trippy crap, even for Resident Evil.

Capcom recently broadcasted a Resident Evil Village showcase, providing us with a slew of juicy details regarding the upcoming game. If you missed the showcase (or are just too impatient to watch it all), here are the important details you need to know.

Hosted by Brittney Brombacher, the conference began with a teaser for what we can expect from the story. It was also revealed that the game would be coming to PS4 and Xbox One on the same day as PS5 and Xbox Series X. Additionally, you can upgrade to next gen consoles for free. 

In the game's first gameplay trailer, a few new details were revealed. Surprisingly, the game features a remarkable similarity to Resident Evil 4, including many returning systems like the travelling merchant, an inventory management mechanic, and breaking pots with your knife.

You can pre-order the game right now, and on PS5, you can even download the Maiden demo today. You will not be playing Ethan in this demo. Instead, it's meant to be a uniquely crafted experience without any gunplay or action-based combat. Sometime during the spring, other consoles will also receive a demo.

Re: Verse Resident Evil was also announced, which is an upcoming Resident Evil multiplayer mode available for free to anyone who purchases Resident Evil Village. Not much was said about it, but it seems like a comic book-styled player versus player mode featuring returning characters. And in more surprising news, Resident Evil items from the original trilogy will be available for players in The Division 2.

Resident Evil Village (RE8) story

Despite the incredibly cryptic trailer, we have some idea about what’s going on in Resident Evil Village’s story. In the same PlayStation blog post, Haney wrote:

Resident Evil Village

(Image credit: Capcom)

“Taking place a few years after the events of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, in which protagonist Ethan Winters traveled to Louisiana to search for his missing wife, Mia, Resident Evil Village sees the reunited Mia and Ethan living happily together and putting their shared nightmares of the Baker’s plantation house behind them."

It goes on, "Finally able to move on from those horrifying events, Ethan’s world suddenly comes crashing down once again when Chris Redfield, an unexpected yet familiar face makes an appearance, setting off a chain of events that sees a distraught Ethan seeking answers to Chris’s shocking actions… and ultimately finding him in a mysterious village.”

That’s right, Chris Redfield is back, and it looks like he might actually be playing the villain this time around. As a fan, I’m a little disappointed, but I’ll reserve my judgement for when I actually get to play the game. I assume Chris has a damn good reason for doing what he’s doing. It is a little bizarre putting Chris in the crosshairs, however because, when it comes down to it, most fans care a lot more about Chris than Ethan.

Resident Evil Village

(Image credit: Capcom)

In the aforementioned Special Developer Message video, both Kanda and Fabiano show off a piece of key art (located above) that’s supposed to give a major hint about what’s going on in the story of Resident Evil Village. I can only guess that it’s going to have to do something with a baby.

We did another Resident Evil Village trailer, but it is still incredibly cryptic. But, at the very end, we might've gotten a glimpse of who the merchant will be. He might as well have said "whattya buyin?"

In an interview with Famitsu magazine, Resident Evil 8 producers Tsuyoshi Kanda and Peter Fabiano confirmed that Chris Redfield is the one that takes Ethan Winters to the village in the game. Ethan apparently wakes up to find himself there, but it's unclear how much time has passed.

Unfortunately, due to a recent data breach at Capcom, there are leaked plot details of Resident Evil Village floating around the internet, so keep that in mind if you want to stay spoiler-free.

Resident Evil Village (RE8) setting

Going from a mansion to a village is very much like jumping from Resident Evil 1 to Resident Evil 4. When discussing the setting change, Haney wrote:

Resident Evil Village

(Image credit: Capcom)

“Unlike the cramped corridors of the Baker mansion in Resident Evil 7, the fear of dark corners has been replaced with the anxiety of the unknown as Ethan searches for answers within decrepit buildings among snow-covered trees.”

I’m hoping that this means the environment will consist of open, explorable areas, similar to Resident Evil 4. If it’s true that Capcom cut current-gen compatibility so that Resident Evil Village (RE8) could have no loading screens in a relatively open space, then that very well may be the case.

Since Resident Evil Village is specifically designed for next-gen consoles in mind, it’s hard to even think about what kind of hardware this game will need. However, we can glean some specs from games like Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 3, which both run on the RE Engine.

Both Resident Evil 7, which is a bit older, and Resident Evil 3, which is the most recent entry (confusing, I know), had the same requirements. The minimum requirement included an Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD FX-6300 CPU, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R7 260x GPU. The recommended requirements consist of an Intel Core i7 3770 CPU or AMD equivalent, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 GPU or AMD equivalent.

While CPUs and GPUs might need to be bumped up a bit, keep in mind that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X tote around super fast SSDs. It was recently revealed that Resident Evil Village would take up 50.02GB of storage, but if you wanted to cut the multiplayer mode Re:Verse, it would be 35GB.