Resident Evil 5 - Lost in Nightmares Review
- Posted February 22nd, 2010 at 10:49 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 25 Comments
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An immersive, cinematic experience that excels in atmosphere, scares and exploration. It might prove a bit of a culture shock for those used to the action-orientated antics of RE4/5, however.
- The scare factor
- The superb mix of puzzle solving, exploration and combat
- The gripping atmosphere
- The short play time
- The fact some narrative elements are not expanded on enough
- The final boss falls rather flat
Resident Evil 5’s Lost in Nightmares sub-chapter is essentially a love letter from Capcom to the most die hard of RE fanatics, signed sealed and delivered with a firm stamp of nostalgic approval. Have no illusions; Lost in Nightmares is a totally disparate beast from the main adventure, replacing the sun-baked, dusty locales and frantic action with the ominous corridors of a secluded European mansion overrun with fiendish traps and elaborate riddles.
Lost in Nightmares is based entirely on the flashback segment at the Spencer Mansion seen in the main game. Set in 2006, the mission has BSAA chums Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine infiltrating the dusty abode in order to apprehend the elusive Umbrella CEO in hopes of extracting info out of him on the whereabouts of blonde-haired antagonist, Albert Wesker. Predictably, Spencer’s crumbling estate is modelled heavily on the mansion from the original 1996 survival horror classic, coating the proceedings in a fine nostalgic glow that is positively oozing atmosphere. Thunder and lightning hammer away at the night sky, illuminating corridors and casting shadows all over the shop, while portraits of Spencer himself – who bares a curious resemblance to Star Wars’ emperor Palpatine – stand proudly amidst the cobwebs and cracks, emitting an almost patriarchal glow. Meanwhile, the underground catacombs play host to some grim discoveries, with corpses and claret sprawled all over the place amidst the unearthly growls of the hideous beasts you’ll find yourself up against.
The gameplay fundamentals remain identical to the main game, though it becomes abundantly clear that ammunition and healing items are nowhere near as prevalent as you’d expect. For the first half of the adventure you’ll mostly be solving riddles and gathering clues, evoking some classic Resident Evil memories of backtracking about the place, rushing from the spot to the other and inserting that vital emblem/key into its rightful place allowing you to access new areas. Scraps of diaries are also dotted throughout the spooky estate rooms and halls, detailing unscrupulous activities that Spencer advocated here prior to your arrival, although while these prove a compelling read, they don’t really get to develop into anything substantial, rather merely hinting at numerous sub-plots. Still, it’s intriguing enough to warrant interest, providing Capcom decides to expand upon them.
Things switch up a gear as Redfield and Valentine proceed in to the underground catacombs, where you’ll find yourself up against legions of hulking monstrosities not too dissimilar from the axe-wielding executioner from RE5’s village. These guys soak up an alarming amount of ammo, and things are exacerbated further by the claustrophobic surroundings you find yourself in while facing off against them. As such, co-op play is particularly useful here, allowing you to formulate an effective strategy for taking the beasts down. Otherwise, your AI partner does an adequate job, though at times we found they got directly in our line of fire due to the restrictive nature of the narrow halls. You’ll also encounter a couple of reanimated corpses, though don’t get your hopes up – these aren’t the classic zombie foes by any stretch of the imagination, given that they don’t actually harm you at all. Instead, they merely grab you in an attempt to slow you down, but are easily dispatched with a swift kick to the chops or knife swipe. The biggest shortcoming, unsurprisingly, is the length of the campaign – RE veterans should be able to breeze through it in an hour or so. Still, you get what you pay for, and at a measly $4.99, you can’t really complain.
Despite these minor quibbles, Lost in Nightmares is an absolute gem. The amalgamation of substantial puzzle segments, combat and exploration offers cohesive, thrilling ride from start to finish, and proves, unequivocally, that Capcom have the stones to return to the classic RE mould while retaining fresh elements such as over-the-shoulder viewpoint, melee attacks and co-op mechanics. The best of both worlds. Meanwhile, the voice actors from the main game return to reprise their roles once more, and while we would have liked to see a little more banter between Redfield and Valentine, the pair does a convincing job nonetheless, and there’s some amusing ramblings to be heard during the first few minutes. The accompanying music score complements the spooky halls and bloodstained catacombs admirably, creating an inexorable knot of tension in your gut that typically culminates in some grusome beast crashing through a brick wall.
Overall, while horribly short, Lost in Nightmares is a worthy extension to an already meaty experience, and one that long time fans will surely appreciate as you soak up the sumptuous locales and intruiging puzzles. While it's a far cry from the action-orientated antics of the main game, Lost in Nightmares is a gripping adventure from start to finish that is sure to have you reaching for a fresh pair of underwear at every corner. Unmissable.
sony1978a | Aked
- 6:07am EST - February 22nd, 2010
i no longer like RE, they mesed it up,after RE4. i want the old school back.
- 6:37am EST - February 22nd, 2010
the dlc was good but short
- 6:54am EST - February 22nd, 2010
Me and my friend enjoyed this DLC in splitscreen alot. To bad it was so short.
- 8:52am EST - February 22nd, 2010
I did enjoy this, I hope RE6 turns out to be something like this, but LiN was a bit too short for me, and the end was too easy.
- 9:01am EST - February 22nd, 2010
'the short play time' exactly, nathin more is bad
- 9:05am EST - February 22nd, 2010
wow even the darksiders demo lasts longer than this singleplayer lol
- 9:55am EST - February 22nd, 2010
It's all well and good, except there are only TWO "zombies" in the whole thing! Two gray things lying on the ground (essentially the things on the conveyor belt in the military base part of the main pot) does NOT a zombie make! Where were the zombies, Capcom?!
- 11:52am EST - February 22nd, 2010
@1 i feel u man i want the old school back as well.
- 11:56am EST - February 22nd, 2010
My God ,if only RE5 had been all like this ...
- 12:33pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
why so short? if i'm going to be paying 6 bones for something it better be worth it. i don't know though, from what i have heard about the dlc it kinda goes back to the way things were before capcom brutally murdered the series. i'll get it maybe, if i have extra after getting whatever else i plan on getting next time i fill up my wallet. i think that the only RE that can get away with not being totally dark and spooky with zombies is 4. i loved outbreak as well.
- 2:38pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
Well I`ll be getting this and the other for the trophies... nothing else...
But I think I read something somewhere that RE6 would be a reboot instead of a new chapter to this series
- 2:54pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
I never really liked the RE franchise and then when i tried the demo for RE5 i just stopped caring about it
- 3:48pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
The dlc was good but to short...i want more!!!
- 4:18pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
I wish they'd make it more scarier and a bit more over the shoulder. But thats just my opinion.
- 6:06pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
@1 RE4 revolutionized the series. They did more things better than they did worse on RE4 from the originals.
- 7:48pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
I needa get this soon, I love Resident Evil, pre and post RE4. (Though RE4 cemented me to the series, though an L4D style would be like throwing a nuke on me)
- 10:18pm EST - February 22nd, 2010
how are they calling an hour of game at a $5 price reasonable??? I paid $10 for Hustle Kings and have already played that for more than 10 hours! Not that you can really compare the two, but come on guys! There are longer games on the PSN for that price for crying out loud. Aside from my little rant, I'm done with RE. They lost me with RE5 and now it's just about milking that darn cow...
- 4:11am EST - February 23rd, 2010
its bad the dlc only had 5 bosses then the fight with wesker not really a mission and for being spencers estate that is very little protection.
- 8:30am EST - February 23rd, 2010
Capcom got me for five bucks. Kinda give me that classic fix, or resident evil crack I sooo needed. But I still will play my remake of resident evil one on gamcube anyday. picture that game with co op mode, nice lil wifi connetion. ADD MY PSN > Cory2912
- 3:23pm EST - February 23rd, 2010
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!