It’s time to go back to the village, or at least a portion of it inside the Megamycete. When the Winters Expansion was first announced, I was excited yet skeptical because I was worried if Capcom would give us more content on the Four Lords of the Village, who became fan favourites before the game was even released. When I realized that wasn’t the case, I was upset but I tried not to let it get to me too much because I also knew for a fact, that we would be getting a story that focuses on Rose.
I was curious about Rose because there was all this talk about her unique power which likely came from Ethan since he was basically a walking Mold corpse all along! Before you ask, I did play through the main story one more time before starting this DLC. I stuck to first-person mode though because to me it just didn’t make sense to have it for Ethan. Anyway…
Now at the age of sixteen, Rose struggles to go about her life knowing nothing about her father, and rarely seeing her mother and some files I found while playing suggests that she sees Chris Redfield as a stepfather. Rose is offered a chance to remove her power for good by mentally linking with a fragment of the Megamycete in a sample found in a lab which they describe as being a piece of the Black God. When she does, she must search for a crystal within the Realm of Consciousness which will cure her.
Along the way, she meets a mysterious force who at first only communicates to her with words on the wall and floor. Although she names him Michael, I had a hunch that it was a part of Ethan attempting to reach her.
This DLC is played in third-person mode and I soon realized that Rose’s powers were related to the Mold but also possessed the ability to destroy growing amounts of it. So Rose is basically having to use the very thing she’s trying to get rid of. Now that I see what kind of powers she has, it’s no wonder Karl Heisenberg was hoping to harness that against Miranda! Rose also can’t guard like Ethan but other than that not much has changed in the gameplay.
I already knew this story was going to take us back to Lady Dimitrescu’s castle and there was going to be a masked duplicate of the Duke, not the original Duke and I had myself asking the entire time where all these doppelgangers of Rose were coming from and the creepy face-eating monsters roaming the castle were pretty frightening. It’s almost like Capcom knew fans loved the castle so much so they made us return to it in this very Realm of Consciousness to please us.
What I did not expect was to go to Donna Beneviento’s place again and once again be stuck unarmed with puzzles taunting Rose in every way, just like Ethan. It was stressful to avoid those Mia mannequins and then all of the dolls when Rose shrunk in size! This mode had way more stealth than the base game did and I had to take it slow and be calm just to get through it in one piece. I think dealing with just the mannequins alone was harder, it was like Boos in Bowser’s castle all over again!
It seems that this Realm of Consciousness houses almost everything generated by the Mold, or since it is tied to Miranda in a way, it shows what she’s created like Eveline, but one of the most emotional moments was when Rose learns more about her father in place that takes her to a flashback of her childhood home. That made me cry a little. I may have never liked Ethan, but his interactions with his family still warm my heart.
At this point I knew I was reaching the end of the DLC and knew that this nightmarish world and that even in death, Miranda lives on as archived consciousness within the Megamycete and continues to experiment with it, creating clones of Rose, the Masked Duke and the other monsters. Yet, somehow Eveline still remains inside and Ethan too, it made me almost happy to see him try to save his daughter one more time. I never thought I’d be pleased to see Miranda again because she was a good villain, not as annoying as Eveline that is.
You see Rose, that’s why you shouldn’t rush to get rid of your powers, you never know when you might need them! At least now I know where she got her dad’s ring from now in the main game’s epilogue. So as you can see, this DLC focuses more on a nightmare setting rather than a gothic fantasy like the main story. It’s a decent story, cliche at times but it does still have some heartfelt moments. My only complaint is that the Four Lords don’t make any sort of appearance at all.
Yes, we do get to revisit Castle Dimitrescu and House Beneviento, but no not the reservoir or Heisenberg’s factory. It would have been interesting for Rose to see what those places were like, even in this particular realm to know how one individual is blindly devoted to Miranda while the other knows what she’s really up to and hoped to defeat her with Rose’s power.
But maybe Capcom wasn’t thinking there was any sort of way to implement them because they wanted this story to focus on Rose and what they made occur in the castle and the manor was best fit to suit her story. Although I would still argue there nothing is impossible.
Other than the DLC story, this expansion gave me a reason to pick up Mercenaries Mode. I had no interest in playing as Ethan, so I played as Chris to unlock Karl and Alcina. Chris is pretty OP so it didn’t take me long. Some people even say that Mercenaries Mode with the options to play as Karl and Alcina outshines Shadows of Rose completely. As you know, I love playing as Karl the most when I unlocked him. I love being able to use his hammer, throw metal scraps and sawblades at enemies, summon a Soldat jet, pull enemies towards me, and shield with more metal!
With that being said, Shadows of Rose isn’t the perfect experience, it’s not as memorable as the main game so I’ll give it a fair rating I think it deserves.