Game Review: Resident Evil 5: Lost In Nightmares
Release: 17 February (360), 18 February (PS3)
Genre: Third Person Action, Survival Horror
Platforms: PS3, 360
MRSP: 400MSP, £4, $5.99
ERSB Rating: M (Mature)
Website: Resident Evil Portal
The second piece of downloadable content for Resident Evil 5 has been released. It is set in 2006, three years before Resident Evil 5. It follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as the infiltrate Oswell E. Spencer’s Mansion; he previously owned the estate Resident Evil 0 and 1 were set in and was the founder of Umbrella. The scene was previously seen through flashbacks in the story mode of Resident Evil 5, and showed Jill and Wesker jumping out a window into the sea below.
The setting is very reminiscent of the first Resident Evil game, with there being booby trapped rooms, hidden passages and a first person door animation. The eerie mansion has you expecting a zombie to burst out at any time, disappointingly that doesn’t happen, the actual house area of the mansion lacks in enemies on Normal difficulty, but on the harder difficulties you will encounter some enemies before the basement. The content also has you searching for cranks to insert into slots, pieces of slates and passwords. At first I fell in love with it, it brought back the puzzles and corrected where Resident Evil 5 went wrong; the action. It didn’t have any, it was just you and your partner in a mysterious house trying to solve the puzzles and escape traps, but then you get to the basement. A corridor leads down and winds round where you find your first enemy, but not just that, you find the only enemy type, they aren’t hard either, as long as you have ammo you can easily take them down. This process is repeated several times until the next interesting bit is found. The first real challenge of the chapter arises, defeating four of the enemies with a slight twist which you will have to play yourself to find out. This is a refreshing change to the pace and style but the enemy AI is quite poor so this proves to be an annoyance. All of this leads up to a concluding fight with a certain super powerful Albert Wekser. This boss fight is rather disappointing, it’s very similar to the one in the main story of Resident Evil 5. It is very repetitive and a bit bland, they should have been able to think of a more interesting fight to be honest.
Lost In Nightmares isn’t the only thing that comes with the download, a new mode entitled The Mercenaries Reunion is brought into the game, it uses the same stages that are in the normal Mercenaries mode but they have a few tweaks, for example; on The Mines stage there are now mutant dog enemies and on the Experimental Facility the strong enemies (left unnamed for spoiler reasons) come a lot earlier than they usually do. As well as these tweaks old and new characters are brought in, hence Reunion. With Lost In Nightmares pack you can now play as Excella Gione and my personal favorite Resident Evil character, Barry Burton. A costume pack has been released alongside this that lets you play as Warrior Chris and Fairytale Sheva, with more characters to arrive with the next piece of DLC, Desperate Escape, and the costume pack due March 3rd and 4th for 360 and PS3 respectively.
Final say: This DLC was an overall disappointing experience for me, I expected a good, old school Resident Evil throwback and it started off like that, but it was ruined by the single enemy type and a poor balance between survival horror and action. There’s nothing new in the graphics area, it still looks like it did just under a year ago but the new setting brings about some nice new looks with lightening flashing through windows and dimly lit corridors, and the character models look exactly the same despite being three years younger which is a lack of detail in my opinion. The big redeeming feature for this that makes it worth the 400MSP or £4/$6 is The Mercenaries Reunion, it is something you can just pick up and play in short bursts and it’s extremely fun online. It brings a new set of characters to ace the stages on and they have good weapon load outs. If you have this game gathering dust and have a little bit of cash lying about, it’s worth considering, the chapter should take around 30-45 minutes to complete depending on the difficulty and your skill level, but beyond that The Mercenaries Reunion is a fun section and will gain extra characters early next month. If you do not own Resident Evil 5, then I suggest you buy the Gold Edition next month for one of the best games of 2009 and all its downloadable content.
P.S. A small tip for old school Resi fans, as soon as you start, turn around to the door and press ‘Investigate’ three times.