Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape Review

Capcom has taken a very interesting route with the two recent downloadable extensions of last year’s Resident Evil 5. While Lost in Nightmares, released two weeks earlier, was essentially a throwback to the slow-paced, suspenseful design philosophy of older RE titles, Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape takes the action-oriented style of the latest game and turns the dial all the way up. Both are appealing for different reasons, while each falls a little flat for its respective omissions.

Desperate Escape fills RE5 players in on the events that occur between Jill Valentine’s rescue from Wesker’s control and her arrival via helicopter with BSAA agent Josh Stone to pick up Chris and Sheva in the main campaign’s final scene. The simple explanation is that they quite literally blast their way out of the Tricell facility in about an hour’s worth of nonstop action.

Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape

The game features no new enemies or weapons, but certainly throws enough of both at players to make this an enjoyable splatter-fest. One fairly easily attainable achievement rewards players for single-handedly stopping 150 non-zombies by the time the mission is over. That’s a lot of shooting… and grenade-tossing… and knifing; Desperate Escape reveals that Jill happens to also be a master of knifing.

One thing that is nice about Desperate Escape, considering its focus on streamlined action, is that Jill and Josh begin with different weapons, and will continue to carry complementary arsenals throughout the mission. This means that there will be very little ammo sharing, and less wasted time managing inventory; whoever has a particular gun picks up that type of ammunition. Simple. On the other hand, because the game steadily hits players with an ocean of ammo, grenades, and herbs, the inventory screen will likely be filled to capacity the majority of the time. Only in the game’s final moments does ammo ever seem to dwindle, which significantly ups the adrenaline for that scene, but also exemplifies the relative lack of tension during the only slightly less-heavily populated earlier portions. Those parts are action-packed, but not white-knuckle style, like the DLC’s climax.

Resident Evil: Desperate Escape

The climax is one of the more hectic parts of all of RE5, playing out much like the title’s Mercenaries minigame, or like a chapter in Valve’s Left 4 Dead. The duo must defend against an onslaught of all manner of antagonists as an on-screen timer counts the minutes until an escape chopper arrives. Here, players will be challenged to bring their A-game against axes, sickles, Molotov cocktails, giant warhammers, chainsaws, chain guns, etc. on a small and very hazardous (and notably explosive) rooftop. It’s pretty intense.

In addition to the lost chapter of the RE5 story, Desperate Escape also includes two new playable characters for the Mercenaries Reunion game mode, newcomer Josh Stone and Rebecca Chambers of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0 fame… and the minigame itself for those who don’t already have it. These two extend players’ Mercenaries options, but are simply not as much fun to play with as the characters unlocked by the previous DLC are.

Desperate Escape is essentially a concentrated dose of Resident Evil 5‘s action-based gameplay, and is quite enjoyable for the short time players will spend with it. If you’re looking for puzzles, start walking the other way, but if you just want some solid, new-era Resident Evil action, you will not regret giving Desperate Escape a whirl.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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