After numerous leaks, we finally have a Resident Evil 8 trailer. Or rather Resident Evil Village as Capcom is insisting it's called. It's packed full of details that confirm a spate of previous Resident Evil 8 leaks (opens in new tab) were true, and because so much of this rumored information has been validated, we can fill in some huge gaps in the trailer for this PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) game.
First up, some details from Capcom. This is actually called Resident Evil Village. While the developers say it is basically Resident Evil 8, and the ‘VIII’ is styled in the logo, it's not taking the name – the full title is just Resident Evil Village. Capcom also says it's "upping the ante on action" and that this iteration of the franchise will have no load times – a big selling point for PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) so far.
The story that's been revealed officially is that this follows the story of Ethan, the surviving hero of Resident Evil 7 (opens in new tab), who’s gone back to living a normal life. However Chris Redfield, undergoing yet another visual redesign, is somehow responsible for turning Ethan's life upside down (which we will get to) and is referred to as 'dark' this time around.
More importantly, because almost all the leaked info is almost 100% confirmed in the trailer, it lends a lot of credence to all the rumors. It means that we can use the leaked info to read between the lines with a fair degree of certainty. With that in mind, let's work through some of the key parts of the trailer and piece it all together.
It doesn’t sound good for either Ethan or Chris
This ominous phrase opens up the trailer but never confirms who the 'he' is . Events in the trailer suggest Ethan is having a really bad time, but he's a fairly new character to lay such an ominous threat on. Instead, it's likely Chris being referred to here, apparently now corrupted in some way. This key art up there at the top, for example, shows the new 'dark' Chris, apparently sporting a very mold-like splash on his face – that was the fungal super organism in Resident Evil 7 created by the Connections, a bio-weapon dealing crime syndicate.
Ethan and Mia have settled down (maybe)
In the trailer, we hear a woman, who appears to be Mia, Ethan's wife and former operative of The Connections. She's reading this creepy poem out:
"Long ago a young girl went with her mother to pick berries for her father. It was hard work. But the forest greeted them with a dark cold silence, the bushes empty. Yet determined to find the berries the rascal broke free of mother's grasp and vanished into the trees. Mother’s worried cries faded fast and the girl ran on over vine and under branch, and into the forest."
Leaks have suggested that the two have had a child in the intervening years since Resident Evil 7, which could potentially be the baby that features later in the trailer. However, the leaks also talk about hallucinations that make it difficult to distinguish reality, so this might not be real for… reasons. Hold that thought.
The village looks lovely in the creepy fog
The village has been referred to as a character in its own right by Capcom. Here we can see it in all its rustic European charm. Let's go with charm. Later on in the trailer, it looks a lot like we end up in the castle up top, and given Resi's love of underground bases you can bet there's a NEST under there.
This mummified baby thing is important
According to a developer message from Capcom, this symbolic effigy shows so much that the developer "debated whether or not to actually put it in the trailer". However, at this point it's hard to read anything from it. Sticks, bird wings, and some sort of parasite? The creature in the middle isn't a clear match for anything in the Resi universe but does resemble a G-Embryo. However, that would link things to the G-Virus that made William Birkin in Resident Evil 2 (opens in new tab) (big eye in the shoulder, one massive smashy arm) and nothing like that appears in the trailer. Yet.
Gotta love a Spooky symbol
This Symbol appears a few times in the trailer but as yet doesn't mean too much. The weird embryo creature does appear to be the centerpiece though so whatever that is plays a big part in the story.
This is totally a puzzle
This is obviously a puzzle, with those circular indentations clearly made for some sort of missing pieces to be inserted. Interestingly it does has a Ramon Salazar vibe, mirroring the general design vibe of the little guy's castle in Resident Evil 4 (opens in new tab).
Is Ethan's baby a bioweapon?
Resident Evil Village leaks have previously mentioned Ethan's baby playing a part in the game but why isn't clear – a child appears in a couple trailer shots so a baby is definitely involved in some way. Given that both Ethan and his wife were both contaminated by the mold organism in Resident Evil 7, if they had a child it would likely be a human/mold hybrid and likely a new E-type bioweapon like Eveline, the childlike villain behind everything in Resi 7.
That is an Umbrella symbol, which is bad news
Again there are some strong puzzle vibes here and you'll probably have to collect each of those medallions at some point to unlock something. However, the interesting part is the Umbrella symbol in the center. There's a lot to unpack here. Firstly the logo of the company behind the initial Raccoon City incident that kick-started the entire Resident City originated from the coat of arms of one of its key founders, Oswell E. Spencer. He was English and there is a lack of obvious accents in the trailer. Is the Village in the title in the UK ? The other thing to note is that the logo is blue-ish. Blue Umbrella is a sort of counter Umbrella that was stared to clean up the original organisation's mess and fight bioterrorism. However, they're not well trusted and generally, the logo is bad news whatever the color.
This looks like the witch with Marguerite Baker's bug powers
One of the leaked characters was referred to as a witch with bug like powers like Resident Evil 7's Marguerite – specifically the ability to disappear in a cloud of insects and reform elsewhere. This looks a lot like here. Her role or purpose isn't clear, but it doesn't look good. She also seems to have some sort of inner circle that look somewhere between Resident Evil 4's Las Plagas and Ramon Salazar's Verdugos bodyguards. Either way they have minor boss battle written all over them.
Is that Executioner Majini?!
It's brief but this character looks like Executioner Majini, the hammer-wielding heavy in Resident Evil 5. Given some of the other Resident Evil 4 hints that seem to be scattered around it looks like Village could be dipping back into older Resi lore after the complete reboot of number 7.
Is that Luis Sera from Resident Evil 4?
It's a stretch, but a lot of fans are already speculating that this is Luis Sera – the flamboyant doctor from Resident Evil 4. He technically died during that game, but this is a series where people are notoriously bad at dying when they are supposed to. There's no proof here beyond having the same hair and a passing resemblance, but it would be a cool character to bring back. The other option is Daniel Fabron, a Mastermind character from the recent multiplayer Resident Evil Resistance. However, that character has literally no history beyond that game and the only similarity is the glasses.
Is that Blue Umbrella?
Resident Evil 7 ended with Chris Redfield saving the day with a Blue Umbrella taskforce, and we know that's him looking moody in the doorway of Ethan's house. However, while the organisation is seen as shady as all hell, it has been operating on the right side of the law. So could this be a new group formed by a newly evil Chris?
Did Ethan lose the hand AGAIN?!
In Resident Evil 7, Ethan had his hand cut off by his possessed wife, only to have it reattached moments later. Some people think that's because he was infected by mold and gained a healing factor. However, here he seems to have possibly lost the hand again. There's definitely a thumb there, but witch lady looks like she's drinking his blood from what? A cut? A stump? And is it to get at the tasty E-type infection inside?
These are clearly one of the main monsters in Resident Evil Village. They look a lot like werewolves, but given the series scrapbook approach to monsters they could be anything underneath from virus powered, parasitic derived, generically mutated or fungal (again). The comment that 'they're coming' earlier in the trailer suggest there's a few of these around. Sure, why not.
Meet the new look, super evil Chris Redfield (or is he?)
At this point we've had original Resident Evil 1 Chris, the melon-armed giganto Chris of Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 6's big but not huge combat Chris, and Resident Evil 7's normal Chris Version two point oh. He's never appeared the same from game to game so why start now with Village introducing a stockier, gruff version of the character. He's also apparently evil now, seemingly killing Ethan's already shot wife with a frankly excessive five bullets to the face. HOWEVER, given the leaks about hallucinations that are meant to make you unsure of what is real, could this all be a nightmare sequence? Although that said, there are also rumors that Chris has gone bad following the death of [spoilers] and the game is all about his eventual end. Which brings us neatly to the "His story comes to a close" quote that started this whole breakdown off.
Either way, it's great to see Resident Evil back and as mysterious ever. We will, of course, be following this one closely in the coming weeks and months, and if you've spotted any details that we've missed be sure to put them in the comments below.