It is no great secret that we here at GamerSushi are a bit in love with last year’s Resident Evil 5, even to the chagrin of some in our community. We voted the game as one of our tops of 2009 and have sung its praises on many occasions. And while no, we don’t love Resident Evil 5 enough to go out and marry it, we do feel a great desire to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant. You heard me right.
So it should come as no great surprise or shock that a few of us were hungrily clamoring for the first bit of DLC that Capcom sent hurling our way. Lost in Nightmares hit the Webs just last week, ready for gamers all around to savor its tasty flavors. This is the first of a few downloadable co-op chapters that will all eventually be packaged in the RE5 Gold Edition hitting sometime in the near future.
The burning question, though: how is Lost in Nightmares? Let’s find out.
Since I’m going to assume some familiarity here with the game proper, I’m going to avoid talking about the way Resident Evil 5 handles or plays. The core mechanics are in tact here for Lost in Nightmares, so not much there has changed. Co-op is still a blast to play, and the gameplay is centered around this tandem duo of ownage. So, what does Lost in Nightmares bring to the table, exactly? The answer to that, my friends, is fear.
Resident Evil 5, while a great action game, received some criticism for losing some of that survival horror flare that the old school series was always known for. Over the course of RE5, you become bazooka wielding maniacs slaughtering impoverished African nations, but Lost in Nightmares takes us back to a more humble origin, both in setting and style.
The game, if you didn’t know, takes place in a mansion strikingly similar to the Resident Evil mansion, complete with dogs barking outside of those creepy hallway windows, as well as cranks and crests to dish around in the upper floors. From the very beginning of the chapter, you will notice the much slower pace, the striking lightning and thunder outside, the haunted feel of the mansion as both you and your partner navigate through it. As Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, the two of you will solve mysteries together and hear pianos playing from rooms that were previously empty. It’s a blast to be back in this kind of feel again for this series, and it hits a totally different tone than the actual game. And then suddenly, part of the way through, things change.
Without spoiling much of the DLC, I will say that Lost in Nightmares is ridiculously intense. Which is remarkable considering you kill maybe only 8 or 9 enemies total. And even then, those don’t even show up until about halfway through. The scariness comes from the way you have to take these enemies down, how much ammo it takes, and when the hell they decide to show up. I honestly don’t want to say much more than that, but there will be sections where you are running for your life with only a couple of ways to defend yourself, hoping you don’t get struck down. And while you’re hoping to avoid death, you are also frantically trying to solve a puzzle.
Playing through for the first time was crazy, because my co-op buddy (Nick) and myself were running around shouting and trying to co-ordinate our movements while also not getting our brains bludgeoned. It was hilarious and frightening and fun all at once, in a way that I haven’t experienced in co-op since the first time a Berserker showed up in the original Gears of War.
What’s even better than the game actually having that fear factor, is that it doesn’t only last for one playthrough. On my second playthrough of the DLC (this time with unsquare), I pretty much expected a walk in the park. I knew when the enemies were going to show up, what puzzles to do, and how we were going to tackle every situation. Except I was dead wrong. You see, Lost in Nightmares will actually change the frequency and location of the enemies for your additional playthroughs. These were so different that an enemy showed up in a place that I totally wasn’t ready for, and resulted in me playing just as terrified for the second time as I was for the first.
So, all in all, I would have to say that if you were a fan of the first games, or of Resident Evil 5, this DLC is more than worth your extra bucks. For anyone that wished for more scares in 2009’s co-op fun, then I would highly recommend that you check this out. The only thing I wanted to do when I finished was fire it up again. And buy the next one.
How many of you have played the DLC? What did you think?
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