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Resident Evil Maiden demo is a PS5 exclusive that tells a standalone story

Resident evil maiden
(Image credit: Capcom)

The Resident Evil Maiden demo has been revealed during the Resident Evil Showcase alongside the news that it will be a PS5 exclusive. The standalone experience will launch later today, January 21, and it's uniquely tailored to demonstrate the game's graphical and audio horsepower. As such, the demo includes raytraced visuals and supports the PS5's 3D audio, making for a scarily immersive experience. 

Rather than protagonist Ethan Winters, this PS5 demo stars a new character dubbed the Maiden. The demo's story is also separate from Resident Evil Village, though it's set in the same world.

"The Maiden demo doesn't take place during the main story of Resident Evil Village," Producer Peter Fabiano explains. "Maiden was originally designed as a visual demo that would allow you to explore the inside of Dimitrescu Castle, but it evolved to include a short story and puzzle solving."

Unlike the main game, there's no combat in the demo – no blocking, shooting, nothing. Instead, as Fabiano says, the demo was designed to "have players get a real feel for the visuals and audio as they take the Maiden on a journey to find a way out of the castle." 

While pacifistic compared to Resident Evil games, the demo doesn't seem to be lacking in impact. Beyond the mystery of the Maiden and the castle she finds herself in, there are some obvious dangers lurking around, most notably swarms of no-doubt carnivorous flies. This is to say nothing of that flashing image of a corpse-like woman who could give Nicole from Dead Space a run for her money. That said, I suspect the real draw will be inspecting every nook and cranny of the castle's interior, if only to take in the graphics of the first next-gen Resident Evil game. 

The Maiden demo is exclusive to PS5, but a normal demo will be released on all platforms later this spring. Capcom didn't give a hard release date for this demo, but with the Resident Evil 8 release date now confirmed for May 7, it shouldn't be too far out. 

In more surprising news, there's going to be a Resident Evil and The Division 2 crossover.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.