Contained within the Resident Evil Village: Winters Expansion or Gold Edition, Shadows of Rose has players controlling the titular teen protagonist as she looks to remove her powers that are seemingly plaguing her life. This 3-hour DLC was apparently planned to be a smaller section in the base game but was ultimately cut so it could tie in better with the rest of the expansion pack’s offerings.
A Familiar Setting
Shadows of Rose does reuse a substantial amount of assets and locations from Resident Evil Village, but it mixes up the gameplay and presentation of these elements just enough to be considered unique… Almost. Most of Rose’s adventure is set in Lady Dimitrescu’s mansion and House Beneviento, although the devs have employed some smart tricks in certain locations to make them seem like unique places to explore. For example: shrinking Rose down, Alice in Wonderland style to avoid a patrolling group of dolls and mannequins was a really neat idea. Couple that with a nightmare-inducing segment which I will not spoil… and I hope you like being stalked in the dark. That’s all I can say.
The Lycans are nowhere to be found in this DLC. Instead, Rose has to face off against creatures similar to the Molded in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. In this case, they have a particular penchant for grabbing their prey’s neck and sucking the life force (plus parts of their face) right out of their body, which is honestly quite disturbing to witness. Thankfully, Rose can use her own unique mold abilities to repel their attacks and freeze several targets at once if her aim is on point. Players can then either use Rose’s abilities to make a quick escape, save resources by destroying an obstacle in her path before they reactivate, or simply start unloading bullets into these now-helpless creatures.
Her power does have it’s limits though, since she needs to eat sage to replenish her MP gauge. But overall, this does make for some great balancing of difficulty and tactical options for when Rose’s back is against the wall. While there are some other abilities she’ll learn during the game, these aren’t received until much later on in the DLC. As players will mostly receive boosts to their total MP amount instead. Still, it’s a fun system that’s balanced very well and does make for a clear distinction between the base game and Shadows of Rose.
Gone Too Soon
Due to the short runtime however, the journey of Rose and her character feels severely underdeveloped because there’s not enough time for the big story beats to land. Players won’t receive much closure on Rose’s story either, unfortunately. Since the focus seems to still be on Ethan’s character and what he went through, as opposed to Rose’s arc about overcoming her bullies’ by removing her powers. There is a fair amount of lore to be discovered regarding the Mutamycete and related activity, but it comes across as unnecessary exposition in the grand scheme of things.
Unfortunately, Rose cannot access any of the equipment unlocked by completing challenges or items received from special edition bonuses, as these are tied exclusively to the base game. That being said, the third-person perspective in the Winters Expansion does make the game’s reused areas seem relatively fresh again. It’s also great that each boss encounter is entirely new (besides one that has changed up it’s moveset) and mostly features dynamic arenas where Rose needs to study or use the environment to her advantage. While they aren’t as grand in scale as Ethan’s Lordly quarrels, they do feature some interesting mechanics that are unique to each fight.
The Shadows of Rose DLC is a decent conclusion to the Winters family saga. Since you can finish this expansion in around 3 hours, Capcom packed the experience full of fresh puzzles, tight corridors and monsters that want to eat your face. Quite literally. Rose’s ability to freeze multiple enemies at once and counter their attacks is balanced very well. Making for some tense encounters and puzzle-solving moments where you need to freeze specific objects on the move. However, Rose’s story is quickly over before it ever gets off the ground, and the recycling of several assets and locations from Resident Evil Village may turn off some players. But for the low price this DLC is going for, it still may be worth checking out. Just make sure to play the base game first.
This new DLC features a 3-hour campaign that reuses several assets and locations from Resident Evil Village, but does so in mostly fun and creative ways. Rose’s freeze powers allow her to halt multiple targets and counter enemy grabs, making her playstyle slightly distinct from Ethan. Although the moment-to-moment gameplay and puzzle-solving is still reminiscent of the base game. As a climax to the Winters saga however, Rose’s journey doesn’t do much to conclude the story with a bang, as the short length actively works against this game in more ways than one. Albeit, if you are looking for a quick fix of Resident Evil, Shadows of Rose is certainly worth checking out.
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