Horror Review

Resident Evil 8: Village – Winters’ Expansion – DLC Review

Resident Evil 8: Village was for a lot of people, one of the best titles of 2021, and Capcom said that more would follow. After a fair wait, Winter has come in the form of the Winters’ Expansion. Is this DLC Ice with a slice or will it meet a frosty reception?

Winter is Coming

Winters’ Expansion clocks in at about $20 USD/£16 GBP. Anyone who bought the Resident Evil 8: Village Gold edition will already have it. 

This package is split into 3 distinct offerings though the main focus of this review will be going over the Shadow of Rose portion of the content. The other 2 sections are a third-person mode for the main story, and additional characters for the Mercenaries mode to flesh out Village’s rather weak original offering.

Winters' Expansion - Third Person View

Third-Person Mode

The Third Person Mode for Resident Evil 8: Village gives you a way of experiencing the main game in the third-person. This brings it closer to the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, instead of in first-person as the game originally released. Don’t consider this a solid replacement by any means. It comes with a few quirks as you can expect from switching, considering that the game was designed as a first-person shooter.

First of all, you can’t see Ethan’s face at any point in the game. Anytime you try and get a glimpse, he will turn around. I have no idea why Capcom are so insistent on him not having a face, but that’s still the case here. Secondly, the cutscenes are still in first-person. When you encounter one, it switches from first-person, to third-person and then back again. It can be quite jarring, to say the least.

Finally, the controls in the third-person are worth comment and this is something that seeps into Shadow of Rose too. While it controls well in, the movement feels quite sluggish and tanky at times. It’s quite different than the frighteningly responsive controls from the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3. It’s not a huge issue, but considering they are the current standard for third-person controls in the series, it’s bizarre they took a step backward here.

Mercenaries Additional Orders

The Mercenaries mode has now had its roster bolstered by three. Chris Redfield, Lady Dimitrescu, and Heisenberg are all now fully playable and offer unique ways to attack the hi-score table. While I didn’t spend too much time here as I’m one of those rare people who don’t enjoy the mode too much, the quirky nature of the giant Lady D throwing her dresser at the Lycans did cause a grin to appear. 

Now the main event of the Winters’ Expansion: Shadow of Rose. I’ll stick the warning here: This includes spoilers for the end of Resident Evil 8: Village.

Shadow of Rose

Shadow of Rose is a tale about the teenage Rose Winters who is fed up of feeling like a freak because she’s a walking bio-weapon. One of Chris Redfield’s team suggests a way she can rid herself of her “curse”; essentially entering the memory of the Mutamycete to find a crystal that can purify her.

Rose takes this advice. She quickly finds herself running through the familiar halls of Castle Dimitrescu, being chased by mold monsters and hounded by The Duke wearing a rabbit’s mask.

A Hint of Fromage

The story is suitably cheesy but almost swings too far that way with the whole setup. This is especially the case with the payoff that suspends belief even for a game that had werewolves, vampires, and a Magneto knockoff!

You do find out more about Rose and her struggles as you work through the roughly 3-hour adventure, one of the high points being her relationship with her guardian angel Michael. Aside from the glimpse into her life as a child, ultimately the story feels a little throwaway. 

Sadly, I came out of Shadow of Rose only slightly more enlightened about the Village story. It doesn’t really impact it in any meaningful way and sadly doesn’t even have a hook or hint at where Resident Evil 9 will take us.

Winters' Expansion - Rose's Powers


In terms of gameplay, Shadow of Rose uses the third-person mode and controls exactly as it does in the main story of Resident Evil 8: Village. The only addition is Rose’s powers, which are woefully underwhelming and come off as nothing more than a new but cheap mechanic.

Rose can use her “power” to freeze enemies in place and destroy mold flowers that block progress. It isn’t until the final boss fight that her powers see any meaningful progression — you just point at stuff and watch as it either freezes or dissolves. 

Familiar Realms

The DLC takes you through Castle Dimitrescu and two other areas seen before in Resident Evil 8: Village. The main difference is that here they’re condensed and slightly more streamlined.

The castle feels considerably safer due to the lack of Lady D patrolling its halls. The fact you only have two enemy types to deal with also dampers the fear factor.

The other areas offer a little more variation in how you tackle them, but for the sake of spoilers, I’ll refrain from talking about them. If you enjoyed the main game of Resident Evil 8: Village, you’ll be pleasantly looked after in the Winters’ Expansion.


While I live by the motto “more Resident Evil is good Resident Evil”, I felt a little let down after the credits scrolled across my screen.

Shadow of Rose was a brief, enjoyable but otherwise throwaway story. The addition of third-person and additional content for the Mercenaries mode are fine bonuses that help justify the asking price, but the Winters’ Expansion pack felt like a damp party popper rather than a final hurrah to one of the best titles of 2021.


Platforms: Steam (PC), PlayStation 4|5, XBox

If you would like to see more horror games, you may be interested in our review of The Persistence.

Many thanks go to Capcom for a PlayStation 5 review code for this title.

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