Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape

The second of Resident Evil 5’s DLC levels, Desperate Escape, has just come out. And I’m going to go ahead and conclude that it’s not as good as Lost in Nightmares.
There is a distinction between the two I recall at least mentioning in my review for Lost in Nightmares. Whereas LiN had a heavier focus on exploration, horror, and puzzles, Desperate Escape is more action and explosions. Simply put, it’s more of RE5.
In Desperate Escape, you play as Jill and Josh (remember that guy that Sheva’s friendly with?). The game picks up right after Chris and Sheva leave to stop Wesker, leaving Jill to figure out an escape plan. Josh finds her, and together the two begin to work their way towards a comm tower, where they can catch a helicopter and go pick up Chris and Sheva. Of course, there’s a horde of zombies (or “uroboros”, as the game insists on calling them) standing between them and their destination.
Like LiN, Desperate Escape is split into a couple huge areas, culminating in a timed showdown on the roof of the comm tower. It’s surprisingly easy to get far separated from your partner, but it’s essential you stick together. As you progress, you’ll encounter just about every single sub-boss and special infected in the game (and if you’re playing on a higher difficulty, you’ll probably encounter them multiple times). Chainsaw majini, Executioner majini, Reaper bugs, Minigun-toting majini, and even those giant cave spiders return. You even encounter enemies manning mounted grenade launchers. Obviously, the level designers didn’t want you to make it out of this alive very easily, hence the “Desperate” part of the DLC name.
Jamming all those sub-bosses and special infected (alongside a horde of regular zombies) into just a couple areas makes the chapter just as hard you might think. Indeed, tight partner cooperation is once again not optional here, just for the sake of survival. Restorative herbs are rare, so playing with the computer (who burns through them) is simply not an option. I certainly can’t see myself beating this on Professional.
Like Lost in Nightmares, this DLC also adds a couple characters to Mercenaries Reunion, including Josh and Jill and Rebecca Chambers. This might be a boon if you’re real big on Mercenaries.
Even as a I played through Desperate Escape, I couldn’t help missing the gameplay style in Lost in Nightmares, however. The intense feeling of foreboding that chapter was able to generate was quite simply brilliant, and even the adrenaline rush I felt as me and my partner fought off the zombie horde at Desperate Escape’s conclusion could not match it. 7.5/10.

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