Review: Resident Evil 5 DLC Special

April 1, 2010, Author: Ray Willmott

It seems strange to release downloadable content for a game nearly a year old, yet Capcom have decided to release two. The plan is to bundle them together as part of a Gold Edition with Versus mode and the main game later on in March to celebrate the game’s one year anniversary. Capcom also see it as an opportunity to extend the current story arc that was set out in Africa with the Majini. However, the DLC being released is not going to follow on from the events of RE5 but rather take place before and during the events of the game. The content also won’t be focusing on Chris and Sheva as a team, but rather Chris and Jill in Lost in Nightmares and Jill and Josh in Desperate Escape.

Having played through both pieces of content, I decided to write up my experiences. Please bear in mind, this review assumes that you have played through and completed the main campaign of Resident Evil 5 and will contain spoilers.

Lost in Nightmares takes place prior to the events in Resident Evil 5 and has you playing either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, who are working together again on a BSAA mission. For reference, this is the last mission that they both worked on as part of a team. The story has both Chris and Jill entering the Spencer Mansion, which is eerily reminiscent of the mansion in the first game, to find Umbrella’s founder Ozwell E. Spencer. However, if you’ve played RE5 before then you’ll know what happened next.

What I like about LIN is the chemistry between Chris and Jill. It’s easy to believe that they are partners. Whereas some of the interaction between Chris and Sheva in RE5 was more like barking orders, directives, following a strict timetable and getting from A to B, you can tell the relationship with Chris and Jill is more familiar, as if both of them trust the other implicitly and would go to the ends of the earth for one another. Capcom clearly wanted to ensure the relationship differences between both pairs was evident and that is as prominent in this DLC as it is in any other pairing of protagonists in other games out there. This works in a very positive way as it helps to give deeper meaning to the events in the main campaign of RE5.

Hearing Chris and Jill talk to one another kind of gives players an assurance of compliance between the two. The Resident Evil games have never been a convincing set of games with their voice acting, with some lines completely over-acted and others utterly under-acted. However, I like LIN, as it seems to strike a happy balance. The confidence and experience comes across in Jill’s tone, as if she has seen so much from all of her travels and that she knows how to fight it. As for Chris, he makes quick quips as pertains to the situation, and his more humorous side is on display much more than his anxious, bravado act.

The voice acting isn’t the only thing that is improved in LIN; the music is also very dramatic and is properly suited to every situation it is implemented in. Even though you know the foe you’re up against is quite a demon in of itself, the music really adds the dramatic flair and gives your opposition an added presence. Of course, the style of music works both ways, and while there are melodies that will send a shiver down your spine, there is also one section where music contributes to solving a puzzle within the game.

Also, with the new content comes a new enemy and especially on higher difficulty settings, he is definitely fierce and not to be taken lightly. Known as the Guardian of Insanity, this abomination is not going to take prisoners and uses a crude anchor as a weapon to ensure that remains the case. Physically, its body shows signs of decay, not unlike a Zombie. Furthermore, its face appears to be dissolved into boils, and its back has increased size from muscle growth to the extent of needing a harness. This growth also has a yellow eye as seen from behind. The creature also has superior strength, based on the fact that the anchor is far larger than itself, and it can lift its enemies off the ground with one hand. When shot, it also releases a vat of acid that burns Chris or Jill if they get to close. In comparison, the enemy’s fighting style is reminiscent of the Executioner Majini in Resident Evil 5.

For however limited the actual enemy encounters are in this game, they are certainly tense and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Without giving too much away about the content of the game, there is a section where you’ll be in a maze and find yourself without a way to defend yourself against one of these creatures. Figuring out how to survive while running for your life certainly elicits an adrenaline rush.

However, as is always the problem with DLC, the content is very short. You can blaze your way through the story in around about thirty to forty five minutes, or if you’re looking to rack up your trophies/achievements, it will take no more than three hours, depending on your own individual organisation and skill levels. You’ll need at least two playthroughs to get all the accomplishments possible in this DLC, one to unlock LIN professional mode and the other to collect all the stars and obtain an S ranking on the level. The DLC is good enough for multiple playthroughs, however, and it didn’t feel like a chore making my way through the DLC the second or even third time.

Lost In Nightmares is an excellent addition to Resident Evil 5. From start to finish, it is a piece of content that understands the direction and purpose of the series and contributes to it intelligently. The story is good, the character interaction is spot-on, the new enemy is a worthy addition to the RE franchise and the addition of Mercenaries Reunion with two new characters provides a warm, welcome return to a fun, familiar multiplayer mode. Lost in Nightmares is a fine piece of DLC with a cheap, affordable price point and bears a true affiliation to the main game it is supporting.

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