Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares Review

In the first of two planned downloadable episodes to be tacked onto last year’s Resident Evil 5 (which both require the original game disc to run), Capcom has revealed the details of Jill Valentine’s previously unexplained disappearance during a mission with Chris Redfield prior to the events in Africa. Lost in Nightmares tells the story of Chris and Jill’s search for Ozwell Spencer, one of three men who discovered the original Progenitor virus and subsequently founded the infamous Umbrella Corporation. This mission takes the duo back to an abandoned mansion in the woods, and in some ways, back to the franchise’s roots.

Lost in Nightmares abandons the action-heavy gameplay and mob-based combat pioneered by Resident Evil 4, and arguably over-implemented in Resident Evil 5‘s main campaign, and instead opts to draw on the style of earlier entries in the series, leaving players to explore a mostly desolate environment with only a few enemy encounters. Rather than being constantly active, as in the most recent game, the players’ state of alertness in Lost in Nightmares is more of an anticipatory fearfulness that keeps tension high throughout the entire mission. It is less about responding to the inevitable onslaught of virally afflicted hordes of townsfolk, and more about the shock of being ambushed by the occasional, more dangerous foe. The contrast between the temporary safety of exploration through most of the mission and the severely disproportionate danger when a threat finally appears is far more effective with regard to the horror genre.

Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares

The latter portion of the game switches to a weaponless confrontation in a dank sewer with a few of the same, anchor-wielding abominations that exclusively roamed the mansion earlier. There, Jill and Chris must work together to destroy the beasts using little other than a few key environmental mechanisms. Again, because they are not armed to the teeth and must avoid confrontation more than pursue it, the sense of danger and fear is enhanced… initially. In this case, however, the repetition of the same kill strategy a handful of times tempers that feeling, and can leave the player wishing that multiple different tactics on a single, stronger enemy could be applied instead. Still, the tandem effort and ultimate success is quite enjoyable, and a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t hold through the mission’s end, because the final encounter features comparatively weak gameplay.

Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares

Longtime Resident Evil fans will get a little bit more out of the DLC than will other gamers. Numerous references to the original game are sure to delight those players in particular, as will a hidden trick to convert the over-the-shoulder camera of modern Resident Evil games to the static camera system of old. What makes little sense though, is why this was not included as a regular option, and why it was not made available for the entire mission. The old camera style would be a welcome addition; the change from the game’s default perspective gives it a distinctively different feel, and once again serves to re-horrorize the franchise. Instead, players must investigate the mansion’s front door three times to make the switch.

Regardless of shortcomings — some may complain of too little combat, others of too little environmental description, and still others (like myself) of a crummy boss fight — Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares is worthy of a purchase. Playing through this DLC is certainly better than not doing so. And on top of the main mission an updated Mercenaries game, Mercenaries Reunion, is included, giving players the opportunity to provocatively roam through a shanty town as Excella Gionne or make Majini-brain pudding with Barry Burton’s devastating head-butts. All of this costs a mere $5, so longtime and recent RE fans alike should definitely give it a try.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
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.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.