Monday, February 22, 2010

Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares

A couple chapters into Resident Evil 5, main character Chris Redfield's BSAA partner Sheva asks him what happened to his last partner, Jill Valentine. Chris answers with a flashback. The two were investigating Ozwell E. Spencer's mansion together on Rockfort Island, hoping to find some leads on where to find a man named Albert Wesker. They run not into Spencer, but Wesker himself. After one of the most intense fight scenes in the game, Chris finds himself held up by the neck by Wesker as lightning flashes outside. Before Wesker can finish him off though, Jill tackles him, sending them both crashing straight out of a window and into the abyss. Chris still laments that night even to this day. Now, with the new Lost in Nightmares DLC, you get to play through the mission that led to that fateful scene. Players follow Chris and Jill as they explore Spencer's mansion in search of clues.

Now let me go ahead and get this on the table. Lost in Nightmares is radically different from the rest of RE5. It's probably more co-op oriented than the rest of the game combined, for one thing. It's also focused much less on action, and more on the survival horror elements the series became loved for. In fact, it's generally smart to flee from what few enemies you encounter, rather than fight them, since ammo is scarce and your foes are tough. Basically, this is old-school Resident Evil gameplay, with beefed up graphics and co-op play. If that sounds good to you, I don't think you need this post to decide whether or not it's worth the $5.

In truth, the game is composed of only 3 major parts. The mansion, and two different underground parts, then a brief battle with Wesker. The mansion is littered with throwbacks to older RE games, from the way you open doors, to the minor scares and eery atmosphere. You can even try out the old school camera angle by trying to leave through the front door.

As you delve deeper, you encounter several sub-bosses. While it's no doubt possible to take them down, the mazelike nature of the pathways that you need to navigate to outmaneuver them to hit them from behind (where their weakspot is) makes attempting it a bit foolhardy. So you'll almost never fire a weapon in the game, except to hit score pieces (which replace the BSAA emblems). But whether you choose to make a stand or flee, tight coordination is necessary to survive this DLC. Even the Wesker battle is tougher, with there being no place to hide, and many of his more crippling moves being avoidable only with a partner to help you out.

If you loved the more action oriented nature of RE5, this DLC may not be for you. Instead, stay tuned for the next piece of content, Desperate Escape (which judging by its name and trophies, will be much more of an adrenaline fest) due out in a few weeks. But if you were disappointed with how different the game was from the rest of the series, you're in luck, because this DLC was made just for you. While I loved RE5 for what it was, having not played any previous Resident Evil games, I was thoroughly impressed by this new style of gameplay. And at $5, it's really not a bad value. Here's hoping RE6 is more like this. 8.5/10.

2 comments:

Denys Walser said...

Oh yes, Lost in Nightmares definitely depends on the "survival horror" side of the first half of the Resident Evil "canon"! Actually I enjoyed playing it even more than the RE5 game for that reason! Nice review! :)

solo said...

Thanks!