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Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares Review Ian's avatar
Please no dogs, please no dogs!
Having not played any Resident Evil 5 since completing it roughly a year ago, I was worried going into this new downloadable pack that the game would have transformed from one I remember liking quite a lot into one that seems dated. I am pleased to report this was not the case, as it looks and plays just as great as ever. This concern of mine came from my playing through the GTA IV Episodes from Liberty City. That game seems to get worse and worse every time I fire it up. Anyway, Lost in Nightmares is one of two extra chapters of the upcoming Gold Edition of Resident Evil 5, and has thankfully been released separately to stop us from having to buy a whole new box just for a couple of extra hours of content.

There is a lot of the original Resident Evil in Lost in Nightmares, in that it has a similar mansion and lots of good references. These unfortunately only last for the first quarter of the mission, and the rest of it will do nothing for your nostalgia. Those of you who played through Resident Evil 5 might remember a crazy cutscene where Chris and Jill fight Wesker in a mansion, this mission is basically the events that lead up to that fight. Within the first few minutes you see a familiar looking mansion, become worried that a dog is about to jump through a window, Jill once again proves herself the master of unlocking, and you are informed that a door needs a crest inserted into it in order to be opened. So it’s Resident Evil, is what I’m saying.

What follows is about about twenty minutes of traditional mansion exploration, progression coming through the use of cranks, crests, playing moonlight sonata to reveal hidden passages, and journal reading. After you progress through this you will find yourself in other areas fighting enemies which behave just like the large melee enemies from Resident Evil 5. It’s a shame that they went this route really, as I feel like there is enough of that sort of thing in the main game, and this would have been better if they had just embraced the throwback whole hog, instead of sort of chickening out with it. The third area is probably the weakest as it’s so gamey that it might as well be set in a pac-man maze. I had a bit of trouble with the final confrontation with Wesker, mostly because I had forgotten how these sort of fights work in this game, and I felt it wasn’t registering my QTE button presses even though I felt like I was hitting them ninja-quick.

All in all, it took about an hour to get through, but I didn’t get 4 of the 5 associated achievements so I still have some stuff to do. A few points to note, this mission does not let you use your inventory from the main game so you have to make do with whatever you can find, which is plenty to be honest, and allows them to get the difficulty balance down better than if you had a rucksack for of automatic rifles with you. You cannot save mid-mission at all so you will have to play it all in one go, but it does have mid-mission checkpoints so it’s not going to send you back an hour if you die, which you probably will do a bunch while fighting Wesker. At the end of the mission you are scored on your perfomance and assigned a rank (I got a B!). There is also leaderboard for those of you who care about leaderboards in games that aren’t Geometry Wars.

So do I recommend this? If you want an hour more RE5 with some neat nostalgia throw in then sure go for it. The production values on the mansion areas are really high, and don’t feel like some throwaway piece of hastily done content. I forgot to mention that each time you open a door, the camera moves through it in first person much like the original door opening animations from the first game which is a neat touch. 400 points is definitely the correct price point for this, but please carefully consider if playing $5/£3.8 for an hour long mission you might only play through once is worth it no matter how high quality it is.

Score of 4

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Ian's avatar

Here's a deleted paragraph from my review that I realised was just a crazy rant that had nothing to do with the review:

I feel like I should mention the controls, as I was mostly worried that these would seem arcane and broken after another year of control standardisation. I think the difference here is that the game just doesn’t play like any other shooter, so it makes sense the controls don’t feel like any other shooter. The combat system to me is largely based around you shooting an enemy in a soft spot and then triggering a melee attack, if you were circle-strafing around an enemy then that whole base concept wouldn’t work. If you want to tell me that the inventory system is a horrible mess, then I am willing to hear you out, but chances are if you are complaining about the controls then you just haven’t figured out how the game wants you to play it yet.