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Resident Evil 8 release date, characters, PS5 rumors, leaks and more

resident evil 8
(Image credit: Capcom)

Now that we’ve gotten superb remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, it’s time to look to the future of Capcom’s survival horror franchise with Resident Evil 8. Rumors of the next mainline Resident Evil game have been popping up for years, and have really started to pick up in 2020 now that the series’ recent remakes are in the can.

Resident Evil 8 is expected to follow the events of Resident Evil 7, which was a major departure for the franchise that brought the action to first-person while focusing on a largely new set of characters in an eerie Louisiana swamp house. The next Resident Evil game may build on this story with new gameplay elements and freakish new enemies, while also bringing more classic characters into the fold.

Here’s everything we know about Resident Evil 8, including its potential release date, characters, story and whether it will hit new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Resident Evil 7.

Resident Evil 8 release date 

Resident Evil 8

(Image credit: Biohazard Declassified)

Resident Evil fansite Biohazard Declassified was recently sent what alleges to be information about the next Resident Evil game. The new title will reportedly be called Resident Evil VIII: Village, and may arrive by early 2021. As Biohazard Cast shows in a mock-up image, the “Village” subtitle would allow for some clever wordplay that signifies the roman numeral 8. 

According to Twitter user and alleged leaker @AestheticGamer1, the next Resident Evil game began as a new entry in spin-off series Resident Evil Revelations, but was later converted into Resident Evil 8. The leaker says the game should be revealed “within the next few months,” and will likely have some major departures from previous titles. 

Resident Evil 8 characters 

Resident Evil 8

Chris Redfield may make a comeback in Resident Evil 8 (Image credit: Capcom)

Based on recent rumors and speculation, it looks like Ethan Winters, the protagonist of Resident Evil 7, will once again play a key role in Resident Evil 8. Series mainstay Chris Redfield, who made a surprise appearance at the end of Resident Evil 7 as part of a reformed Umbrella Corporation, is also expected to return in a bigger capacity. 

According to the leaked information sent to Biohazard Cast, Chris will appear in flashbacks that feature Ethan, his wife Mia (who served as an antagonist of Resident Evil 7 before being cured), and their child. The report notes that Chris’ role in the game is ambiguous, and that he could end up making a villainous turn. AestheticGamer1 notes that Chris has been “changed,” which could suggest that Capcom is reworking his controversial RE7 appearance into something more recognizable. 

Resident Evil 8

Will Leon Kennedy return in Resident Evil 8? (Image credit: Capcom)

Beyond Ethan and Chris, there’s plenty of speculation over which classic Resident Evil characters could make a comeback. Since Resident Evil 7 brought Chris back into the fold, perhaps Resident Evil 8 will see a comeback for Leon Kennedy or Jill Valentine, who recently starred in the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, respectively. Leon’s last main role was as a special agent protecting the president in Resident Evil 6, while Jill was last seen recovering from Albert Wesker’s mind control at the end of Resident Evil 5. 

Resident Evil 8 plot and setting 

Resident Evil 8

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 7 ended with Ethan defeating Eveline, a bioweapon that infected the entire Baker family and turned them into crazed murderers, with the help of Chris Redfield. We then saw Redfield, who is now a part of a reformed version of the once-villainous Umbrella Corporation, rescue Ethan and Mia and take them away from the Louisiana Baker compound via helicopter. So what now? 

According to a series of leaks gathered by Biohazard Declassified, Resident Evil 8 will once again star Ethan, and will bring things to a snowy rural village location that may be based in Europe and will lead up to some sort of castle. These leaks suggest that traditional zombies will make a return, with other enemies that include werewolf-like beasts, a ghost-like female specter that follows you throughout the game and possibly even the infamous Hook Man from early Resident Evil 4 prototypes.  

Resident Evil 8 VR and gameplay: Will it be first person? 

Resident Evil 7

(Image credit: Capcom)

The above Biohazard Declassified report suggests that Resident Evil 8 will be first-person, which seems like a logical fit if it’s a true sequel to Resident Evil 7. With that in mind, it’s not a complete stretch to assume that Resident Evil 8 may once again support PlayStation VR, as RE7 was one of the standout titles for Sony’s VR headset (which we already know will work with PS5). Here’s hoping that RE8 also features VR support for PC-based VR headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. 

Biohazard Declassified also notes that Resident Evil 8 may sport a Resident Evil 4-style inventory management system, which forces you to arrange your items Tetris-style in order to get everything to fit. This seems a bit suspect given the wonderfully intuitive UI featured in Resident Evil 7 as well as in the remakes of RE2 and RE3, but perhaps Capcom is looking to add a little nostalgia to the mix. 

Resident Evil 8 PS5: Which platforms will it come to? 

Given that Resident Evil 8 is rumored to launch in early 2021, it’s possible that we’ll see versions of the game for both PS5 and Xbox Series X as well as previous-gen versions for PS4 and Xbox One. Given that most recent Resident Evil games have come to PC, a Windows release seems like a safe bet as well. 

We wouldn’t expect Resident Evil 8 to hit Nintendo Switch anytime soon, as Nintendo’s portable console tends to only get ports of older Resident Evil titles, such as Resident Evil 4 and the Resident Evil 1 remake. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored and was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.