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Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares Review


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On 02/28/2010 at 03:07 PM by Nick DiMola

A return to the series' roots, or a short distraction?
RECOMMENDATION:

For hardcore fans only.

The first of the upcoming DLC packs for Resident Evil 5 is Lost in Nightmares; a short episode starring Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. The duo find themselves in a mansion eerily similar to the one found in their very first adventure over a decade ago.

In this mission, players have the option of going solo or tackling the mansion with another person - a nice option for those who want to experience the cooperative gameplay with a friend. Outside of this short mission, players will have access to the Mercenaries Reunion, which gives players control of either Barry from S.T.A.R.S. or Excella from the mainline quest in Resident Evil 5.

Players should not expect much in terms of longevity from Lost in Nightmares as the side quest tallies in at no-longer-than an hour-and-a-half of gameplay. Additionally, the majority of the time is spent solving puzzles rather than conquering enemies, as players have come to expect from the series since the release of 4.

The mission features two distinct halves, the first of which has players learning about the president of the Umbrella Corporation and collecting the proper materials needed to enter the basement of the mansion. In the second half, players will both square-off against giant axe wielding foes, and outsmart them in the biggest puzzle of the game.

Admittedly, this mission was a bit of a letdown, given the absense of true action. This becomes worse during times when there is action because players are constantly running to avoid the massive foes. The puzzles can be frustrating and tedious due to death being completely unavoidable at times. Because only a single character must die to end the game, a misstep by either party involved (assuming you are playing co-operatively) means that you must continue from a recent checkpoint.

This becomes worse when players grapple with some of the game's odd design choices. For instance, each player must open a door individually. The small clip played while opening the door is nostalgic, but ultimately annoying when your partner opens the door and you must wait to open the door yourself directly after. When players reach the last door in a particular section, both players must touch it in order to leave, which in many cases can lead to death if one player did not realize this fact.

Of course without having to replay these many frustrating parts, the mission would've likely been even shorter. The quest ends quite as frustrating as it starts. The final battle is tedious and annoying and comes complete with quicktime events that have oddly unresponsive controls.

The pack as a whole is simply underwhelming and frustrating. With a $5 price tag you can't really expect much, but what you get should be polished and enjoyable, which this quest is not.

Those who are hungry for more Resident Evil should undoubtedly invest in this partial return to the series' roots. However, most are better off skipping the content as it is short, not very interesting, and downright frustrating at times.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

02/28/2010 at 07:02 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

Well this seems very disappointing. It seems like Capcom is simply trying to channel in some nostalgic moments into RE5. Since I don't have RE5 yet, I guess I'll just wait for the RE5 Gold Edition to drop a little and have the game plus all the downloadable content.

Our Take

Sam Wakefield Contributing Writer

02/28/2010 at 09:23 PM Reply | Permalink | Report

I'll tell you: I played this with a friend, and in time, we were screaming and bickering at each other in frustration, before we figured out how the "puzzle" worked. And I agree: a super anti-climatic experience, not helped at all by the end (topped off by stock footage you already see in the normal game, how fun!). Definitely if you have reservations about picking it up: don't bother.

THAT SAID: while the expansion fails with, well, expanding, I think it succeeds in actually creating a more horror-like atmosphere, particularly in the first part. People who complained at the lack of horror-element in RE5 would probably appreciate this expansion for creating a far more tense atmosphere than the main game proper. And, of course, the nostalgia element should appeal to the longtime Resident Evil fans.

Super solid? No. God, I wish that the final fight was something more than what it was, as it would have dramatically improved the expansion immensely. But I think the expansion overall was to appease the fanbase that's been around for awhile.

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