Village is a significant departure for Resident Evil in many ways, and one of them is giving us more story and characters than we’re used to. Note major spoilers for RE Village's story follow.
The Weskers and Salazars of the RE universe are fine, but they aren’t built to last. Well, technically they are, but not in a good way.
Mutations mean Wesker keeps popping up in the series as the main villain, but that’s all he’s good for — being a recurring villain.
Salazar, Saddler, and the Las Plagas hint at plenty of deeper story, though RE 4 tells you everything you need to know about it and moves on.
The Plagas don’t factor much into RE5 and certainly not in RE6.
More important, none of them are all that interesting outside of acting as big bosses. Salazar has an intriguing back story, sure.
He’s also insufferable, and it’s a relief when he dies. The Bakers are fascinating, tragic, and disturbing, but RE7 tells us nearly everything we need to know.
A Swampy Precedent
It does do one thing different, though. Capcom gave us a much-needed ending to Zoe’s story in Resident Evil 7 DLC, and the need for it is similar to Village’s need.
The base game leaves a massive hole in the story by making you choose Mia over Zoe, then letting you think Zoe died after risking everything to help you.
End of Zoe doesn’t just give us a conclusion to her story, though.
It resolves the lingering tension between Zoe and her infected family with the Swamp Man fight, finally making Zoe confront her father and even ends with a happier note by giving Zoe her family back.
All that was just for one character. Village gives us four lingering points of tension, four characters with rich stories who remain largely unknown to us.
A Lordly Gap
When Lady Dimitrescu enters her dressing room during Village’s first act, she does more than frighten Ethan and titillate her admirers.
She ushers Resident Evil into a new era of interesting villains with bigger stories worth telling, the kind of story Resident Evil Village DLC could tell.
Castle Dimitrescu teases this deeper story from the moment Ethan steps inside. Alcina’s daughters must have existed before the cadou parasite resurrected them.
The cadou gave them permanent bloodstains on their mouths, yet the portrait in the entrance hall shows three women who look normal.
What happened to them, how Alcina met Mother Miranda, and what she was like before the cadou infection remains tantalizingly out of reach.
We’re left with the barest of teases about any of this and walk away with more questions than we had on entering the castle.
Village almost makes us feel sorry for Alcina and the other Lords. Take Donna Beneviento, for example. Driven mad by loneliness and isolation, she retreats into her creepy-as-all-heck mansion and accepts Mother Miranda’s “gift” — for reasons entirely unknown — until Ethan finally grants her rest.
Moreau is a sad case of misplaced devotion leading to hideous mutation, a twisted parody of the parent-child relationship Miranda craves so much. Heisenberg is… well, Heisenberg.
Resident Evil Village DLC could maybe just skip him, although chronicling his journey from Miranda's obedient "child" to a rebellious figure setting himself up as a rival could be interesting anyway.
Preparing for the Future
Then there’s Mother Miranda herself, not to mention the Duke, who’s somehow above everything happening in the village and has some use for the desiccated remains of its Lords. DLC exploring the village as Miranda found it, showing each Lord falling into her deadly embrace, would add essential context to the rich world Capcom created.
It would also, hopefully, safeguard against some of Capcom’s less constructive tendencies.
Village itself is proof of Capcom’s pattern of erratic changes in style, narrative, and structure.
After expanding the history of Mold so much in Village, a Resident Evil IX without Mold or any reference to what came before aside from Ethan’s death would be too much.
Making it center stage and developing both its lore and the people affected by it might help stabilize the narrative’s trajectory for the next game, whatever they have in store for it.
For now, we'll just have to hope Resident Evil Re:Verse isn't the only Resident Evil Village DLC Capcom has in store.