Two years ago, I played Resident Evil Village and generally enjoyed it despite some mixed feelings.
Last year, its story DLC Shadows of Rose came out, and I picked it up… only to forget about it until this year.
But now it’s finally time to talk about Shadows of Rose.
Note: Certain implied spoilers for Resident Evil Village are impossible to avoid while discussing the premise of Shadows of Rose, so keep that in mind if you haven’t finished Village yet.
Shadows of Rose is set 16 years after the events of the main game and follows Rose as she sends her consciousness into the Megamycete in an attempt to rid herself of her powers by finding a Purifying Crystal. This setup for the story allows for a bit more psychological and supernatural horror, although it didn’t lean into it as much as I expect.
For the most part, it feels like a miniature version of Village’s castle and house sections. You explore with a mild amount of backtracking and puzzle-solving, and face enemies both with guns and with Rose’s powers, which you unlock as you progress.
I worried a character with special powers might feel overpowered for a survival horror game, but instead they serve more as a means of stalling enemies to buy yourself some extra time. They also play a role in exploration, which helped the DLC feel a bit more distinct.
Story-wise, Shadows of Rose is fine. It didn’t wow me with anything exceptional, but it was a decent personal story for Rose. The most disappointing thing about the DLC is probably that it takes advantage of its Megamycete concept to just reuse areas from the main game. That makes it feel like a bit of a retread. It would have been much more interesting to see unique places from the Megamycete’s many stored memories. Similarly, it ends with the main game’s epilogue scene instead of adding anything new.
Where the DLC shines the brightest (or darkest), though, is in its scares. Shadows of Rose made me jump a few times, and its take on House Beneviento comes close to the main game’s section in terms of scariness. It might even surpass it. I wanted a scary game for October, and this was a good choice.
I still have concerns that the series could be leaning back toward action-oriented adventures instead of the slower-paced survival horror style that finally made a return, but as far as this DLC goes, I had quite a good, spooky time with Shadows of Rose.---
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