At the end of this week Capcom gave us details on the new Resident Evil game, Village, which is due out May 7th on previous and next gen consoles. Our Sachin Hingoo did a great write-up on what we can expect from this new instalment in the venerable horror franchise, and you can check it out here.
One thing Sachin mentioned was the new demo of the game that was available on PlayStation 5, titled Maiden. As a longtime lover of Resident Evil, I was eager to step into the latest game, especially after having the hell scared out of me playing Resident Evil Biohazard a few years ago. In fact, as mentioned in that particular review, Biohazard was at the time, and remains the scariest game I’ve ever come across. At the time, I’d actually played using the VR headset on the PS4, the result of which being that one particular jump scare freaked me out so much it knocked me off of the sofa I was sitting on with the Princess. We still talk about that to this day.
I can’t say there’s anything remotely the same happening in Maiden, the new demo, but that’s not really the point. Like Kitchen, the original RE: Biohazard demo people tried out at conventions, this experience is more about showing off the mechanics and environment we’ll be playing in once Village final arrives. The task here is to make your way out of dungeon you’re trapped in. While there’s nothing particularly frightening going on, I definitely felt palpable tension as I moved throughout the map. Sound effects and slight music drops come in at just the right moment to get your heart rate up and your mind wondering what’s going to happen next. Unsurprisingly, just when things are starting to get good and bloody, the demo ends.
For those of you who have visited Niagara Falls, playing through the Maiden demo, I was reminded of the various haunted houses that line Clifton Hill. Truthfully, they always, always have scared me, since I was a child and still today in my forties. When you go inside any given spook house, you’re asking to be scared, even when you know nothing can hurt you. But if the mood is right, thanks to the sounds and the lighting you do start to believe that what’s lurking in the shadows just might get you. And isn’t that what we want from all of our horror experiences.
Maiden is too short to make any real gameplay impressions; it looks and feels good, but I doubt anybody will make their decision as to whether or not they’re going to purchase Resident Evil Village simply based off of playing it. Instead, the demo is the equivalent of a movie trailer, giving you enough to get you excited, just with a little more bite to it.