Resident Evil 5 came out last March to widely positive reviews, with critics praising your ability to unleash deadly haymakers on zombies, alligators, and even boulders. Nearly a year later, Capcom is still at it with a pair of upcoming downloadable episodes that seek to shed some light on the events that were only alluded to in Resident Evil 5's main narrative. (In other words: Those alligators can finally rest easy.) Dubbed Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape, these episodes will be released first as downloadable content, then bundled with the original game shortly after that when Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition arrives in stores. We recently played through select chapters from both, and though you'll have to wait a bit for our impressions of Desperate Escape, here's what you can expect from Lost in Nightmares.
If you played Resident Evil 5, you may recall the flashback sequence when Chris Redfield tells Sheva about the fight he had with Albert Wesker back in the Spencer Mansion. This fight is memorable for two things: the mighty choke slam Wesker delivers to Chris, and the fact that it ends with Jill Valentine and Wesker crashing through a window into almost certain doom. Lost in Nightmares will tell the story of the events leading up to that pivotal choke slam (and the subsequent potential deaths of two primary characters) as you assume control of Chris and Jill through the treacherous Spencer Mansion.
I played through a chapter that had me and my teammate working our way through a prison--what mansion is complete without one?--while occasionally dealing with anchor-wielding maniacs popping out of jail cells and crumbling walls. While not as massive as, say, the executioner you meet early on in RE5, these guys were every bit as intimidating due to the fact that their anchors could kill us with a single hit. It was a tense scene made even tenser by the relatively scarce amount of ammo and green herbs scattered around.
Lost in Nightmares is meant to look and play like Resident Evils of old, back when you had to maneuver your way through dank indoor corridors rather than brightly lit African villages. This prison sequence had that vintage Resident Evil feel to it, with narrow, curving hallways leading you toward suspicious groaning sounds and doorways that could only be opened after finding the requisite puzzle pieces. There was also an element of isolation, too, because those anchor guys were the only enemies we encountered--it was mostly atmospheric tension, dimly lit pathways, and an overwhelming sense of dread over what might be around the next corner. This, combined with RE5's cooperative mechanics (assist jumps, sharing items, and the like), made for a pretty interesting experience.
At $4.99 on the PlayStation Network and 400 Microsoft points on Xbox Live Marketplace, Lost in Nightmares is fairly cheap by DLC standards. According to Capcom, you can expect to get about an hour and a half to two hours' worth of play time from each episode depending on your skill level and playing style. The DLC will arrive February 17 on the Xbox 360 and a day later on the PlayStation 3, while Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (which won't be impacted by the delay of a similar package in Japan) will hit a bit later on March 9.