While Ethan Winters may be the new face of the Resident Evil series, we still haven’t seen his actual face. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change when Resident Evil Village launches on May 7.
2017’s Resident Evil 7 Biohazard marked a dramatic change for Capcom’s long-running survival horror franchise. Rather than controlling the main character from a third-person perspective, players jumped right into Ethan’s shoes via first-person gameplay. Resident Evil Village looks to be picking up where its predecessor left off in more ways than one: Capcom is still hiding Ethan’s face from us.
It makes sense on some level that we wouldn’t see much of Ethan in the gameplay trailers. We’re supposed to be Ethan, after all. That’s the whole point of the first-person perspective. That said, I couldn’t help but laugh when I noticed that Capcom has even kept him hidden in promotional assets. It’s almost like Ethan himself is going out of his way to keep his face a secret.
Take this piece of artwork from last year, for instance. Why is Ethan holding his gun like that? Is he smelling it?
And this one, which is part of a new batch released after Capcom’s showcase earlier this week. You’re going to need to see the tall vampire lady to best her in a knife fight, Ethan.
This third and final image wasn’t given to press in the United States but I’ve seen it proliferating across Japanese outlets like 4Gamer. It’s more understandable than the others—Ethan’s face would naturally be obscured while using a scoped rifle—but in context, it’s just another example of the lengths Capcom is going to make sure we never get a good look at our protagonist.
I vaguely remember fans coming up with theories when Resident Evil 7 was still new that Ethan’s face was never shown because he was going to end up being an important character we already knew. Some folks even thought he might be a clone of Chris Redfield or something ridiculous like that. These days, I’m happy just assuming it’s a running gag among the developers. No silly plot lines necessary.