Resident Evil Village DLC Ends the Winters Family Story & That’s Good

On October 28th, Resident Evil Village will receive a substantial story expansion with its Shadows of Rose DLC. This new adventure, starring a teenage Rose Winters, will not only expand on the storylines introduced by her father Ethan’s exploits in the main game but also, according to Capcom, end the narrative of the Winters family within Resident Evil‘s ongoing lore. Recently, at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, director Kento Kinoshita put to rest any hopes that Ethan or Rose Winters would appear in any Resident Evil game down the line, stating that Capcom was “creating the Shadows of Rose story to conclude the WInters family saga.”

Although Ethan Winters will go down as a Resident Evil protagonist that only briefly starred in the series, his introduction and impact are monumental to the ongoing success of the franchise as a whole. Shadows of Rose may say its goodbyes to both Ethan and his supernaturally empowered progeny, but even so, their effect on the series will be admired for years to come because of how these characters helped to not only resurrect the series but put it in a great place for the future to come. It’s time to move on from the Winters family, and that’s a good thing.

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When Capcom first introduced Ethan as the new main character of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the series had a lot to prove to fans. After years of disappointment, and the disaster that was Resident Evil 6, Capcom had a lot riding on the success of the sequel. So, instead of retreading the same ground and focusing on the over-the-top action that had led the series astray in RE6, it gave the series a reboot of sorts. Not only would Resident Evil 7 introduce a new protagonist, but this would be the first game to feature a first-person perspective.

These drastic changes not only reintroduced the series to its fans but were part of a brilliant reimagining of the roots of survival horror as a genre. The success of Resident Evil 7 helped to, in turn, pave the way for Capcom to put the entire franchise back on course with remakes of Resident Evil 2 duck RE3. These games only further served to bring the series back to the prestige it once held in the eyes of its fans, and Ethan Winters’ story was the beginning of this success.

By introducing an everyman character like Ethan, a seemingly normal guy on a quest to save his kidnapped wife from a deranged family, the series was able to step away from some of its more outlandish storylines and simplify things. This soft reboot then allowed Capcom to, over the course of two games, slowly reintroduce its classic characters and bring Ethan’s story full circle. Therein, he eventually sacrificed himself to save an infant Rose and uncover the roots of the evil Umbrella Corporation.

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Now, with Shadows of Rose, his daughter is a super-powered teenager on her own quest against those who wronged her. Although not much is known about the storyline of the upcoming DLC, the fact that it will put a bow on the exploits of the Winters family is a brilliant way for Capcom to definitively move the series into a new direction, and one that will most likely bring back the classic cast of characters that fans know and love.

The past two games already reintroduced series regular Chris Redfield as the leader of the Hound Wolf Unit, an elite squadron of soldiers charged with hunting down the remnants of Umbrella. After the events of Resident Evil Village, Chris would even go on to mentor Rose as she rapidly aged due to her mutations, guiding her as she discovered her powerful abilities. His presence, along with the definitive ending that Shadows of Rose will provide for the Winters family, seems to be a not-too-subtle hint to fans that he might just be the focus of whatever kind of game Resident Evil 9 turns out to be.

With the massive success of the past two entries, coupled with the adoration from fans for the remakes, Resident Evil is as popular as ever. If Capcom can nail the send-off of the Winters’ family with this upcoming DLC, it will open the series up to a new horizon, in which all the best parts of the old series can be merged with its new direction. Time will tell what the future of Resident Evil may bring, but whatever direction it takes, it has the Winters family to thank for it.

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