The Demonic resident The franchise has seen quite a few evolutions in the decades since the first game was released in 1996. Afterwards Resident Evil: Biohazard returned the franchise to its survival horror roots, the first ever demo of Resident Evil: Town brings a nice breath of fresh gothic air. You will continue to scream in fear, but now you will face the lycanthropes, as long as you can navigate the impossibly complicated hours of playing the demo. Spoilers go ahead.

While the first demo, titled “Maiden,” was more of a visual display of how the last Demonic resident could work on next-gen consoles, last weekend’s actual demo gave us our first proper look at the gameplay and story of Town. Although you could only play for a maximum of 30 minutes, I was able to test long enough to know that I am still very convinced of this game. Once again you play Ethan Winters, the protagonist of Biological risk, and now he’s too old for this shit, as he apparently likes to remind the player every two minutes. Rather than a silent protagonist who just reacts to things like the last game, Ethan now comments on his surroundings constantly, has more interactions with suspicious NPCs who instantly shoot him, and he keeps complaining that his life is absolute hell, what which, fair. enough.

Resident Evil Village Screenshot

Image via Capcom

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From the moment the demo starts, which can happen in the blink of an eye when playing on the PS5, it is immediately clear that this is still a Demonic resident game, despite some changes. The snowy, mountainous town Ethan finds himself in looks more Eastern European and Gothic than other games in the franchise, but the rustic setting still gives off the same spooky vibe as the Baker Ranch in Biological risk. But then you see the creepy old lady looking like Baba Yaga with a skull as a staff ornament chanting worship prayers that feels instantly unlike anything we’ve seen before in these games.

Then there is the addition of the werewolves. You only see them briefly in the criminally short demo, but they sure leave an impression. Like velociraptors of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the lycanthropes you come across are hiding in the tall grass of a wheat field, sneaking up on you while making enough noise to make sure your hands are shaking when you approach. This is where Ethan’s experience dealing with creepy and pseudo-supernatural monsters comes into play. Combat doesn’t seem like a huge improvement over Biological risk, not that it is necessary. I was able to try out a pistol and shotgun in the demo, but you can also use mines to attack from a distance, and run away and dig in with heavy objects if that’s your style.

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Town is another title that uses the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the PS5’s DualSense controller to great effect. The controller reacts to the type of environment you are walking in, just like each gun gives you different levels of resistance when you use them, making it harder to pull the trigger on the shotgun made me think twice before deciding to use it , while going all happy with the trigger with the guns. Although the demo doesn’t take a look at hunting mechanics or selling items to The Duke, the little crafting I was able to do felt intuitive and easy to do.

Now the “Maiden” demo was all about showing how cool Town it would be seen on the PS5, so it’s a nice surprise to see that the first gameplay demo doesn’t suddenly show unpolished gameplay or anything. The headline spooky snowy town looks stunning, and the PS5 played the demo at rock-solid 60FPS as long as I turned ray tracing off (didn’t see much of a visual improvement with ray tracing on), otherwise it stays on the high 50s. None of this means anything if the tall vampire lady doesn’t move smoothly at 60 FPS, of course, but it’s a promising start.

Image via Capcom

Now, if there is a great disadvantage of the demo, it is the little real gameplay that there is. Of the advertised 30 minutes, you spent more than half going from one scene to the next, and as good as those scenes look, it would be even better to be able to move around or interact with the world of Village.

We are getting closer to the launch of Resident Evil: Town, and the first gameplay demo does a great job of introducing players to the ways this game propels the franchise forward in terms of character, story, and creepy supernatural creatures. At the very least, I was really excited to navigate the confusing game times once again for part 2 of this weekend!

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