This sounds pretty dumb, but the latest rumors suggest that the working name for Resident Evil 8 is “Resident Evil: Village,” which lines up with previous leaks claiming that the eighth game will take place in a medieval setting – castles and all. The “Village” title was presumably chosen so Capcom can highlight a portion of the title to form the roman numeral “VIII.”
Resident Evil fansite Biohazard Declassified received this information from an anonymous source, so this could all be bollocks, but he or she did have additional information for those who want to play along. The source says that players will be stalked in at least one portion of the game by a witch that attacks with insects (similar to RE7’s grandma, Marguerite), which has a distinctive laugh. Chris Redfield will also be in the game, but he’ll supposedly be doing questionable things.
“According to the leak, Chris will be playing an integral part in 8,” wrote Biohazard Declassified. “He appears in flashbacks surrounding Ethan, Mia, and apparently their baby. What this baby has to do with the narrative is as of yet unclear. That being said, Chris doesn’t seem to be looking very heroic this time around. It appears that in a flashback sequence Chris can be seen shooting one of them while breaking into their home.”
There’s also a rumor about Resident Evil 8 getting a revised inventory system that’s a mix of RE7’s and RE4’s. In Resident Evil 4, items took up even more slots (e.g., the shotgun would require eight tiles in Leon’s briefcase), so it sounds like Capcom is trying to make management a bit more challenging.
Lastly, RE8 may have players question reality. “Another strange element is hallucinations, one of the things that makes 8 feel a bit like 3.5,” said Biohazard Declassified. “These hallucinations will likely make it hard for you to discern what’s real and what isn’t and more importantly… Who to trust.”
Another fansite, Rely on Horror, has spoken to people who were lucky enough to play a demo as part of Capcom’s Resident Evil Ambassador test event back in March. There’s some serious spoilers here, but here’s what’s been reported, which echoes some of the information from above:
- 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.
Resident Evil: Village (please, don’t let that be the title) is reportedly set for release in Q1 2021, but that could change due to the C-Virus – er, COVID-19.