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Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape

If you found the experience of Lost in Nightmares lacking you’ll be pleased to know the latest downloadable episode Desperate Escape is the complete opposite of LiN’s plodding gameplay experience. Priced at 400 Microsoft Points, the package is overall the same in structure: a few new figurines and achievements, the episode and two more characters for the Mercenaries Reunion. It’s also distanced from the main campaign, as just like Lost in Nightmares it’s in the Extra Content category.

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Desperate Escape takes place just after Chris and Sheva have freed Jill Valentine from mind control. After telling Chris about Wesker’s plans and Uroboros she has a fainting spell and meets up with Josh Stone, taking the role of either the second player or AI partner. The two must slog through a gauntlet of murderous Majini in order to escape and tell Chris a vital bit of plot-crucial info while they’re at it.

For those who are hoping for some kind of deeper plot, or even a few scattered journal entries, just turn back now because you’ll be disappointed. Desperate Escape is the antithesis to the first episode. It’s simply Jill and Josh versus a seemingly never-ending tidal wave of killer zombies that culminates in an exhilarating finale where the two must fend off the hordes while waiting for rescue on a rooftop. To get an idea of how much more intense the experience is there’s an achievement for killing 150 enemies in one play-through, and it’s surprisingly easy to rack up that number. There are easily more enemies to deal with in this one bit of DLC than most of Resident Evil 5’s main campaign and if you’re an action fan then you’ll certainly be happy.

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Unfortunately, a few problems do crop up—for starters the length. Just like Lost in Nightmares before it, Desperate Escape lasts about an hour give-or-take difficulty and how adept your partner is. With the timeframe given there isn’t a whole lot of room for fresh material, so there aren’t any new enemies or bosses—just the Majinis of the executioner, chainsaw and regular variety. Completing Desperate Escape in an afternoon is no sweat.

What is a sweat is if you’re playing by yourself and Josh is controlled by the AI, or if you happen to have a secondary player with slow reflexes. Watching each other’s back is key to survival and you never want to be split up for too long lest your partner not be able to reach you in time.

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With Desperate Escape you get Josh Stone and Rebecca Chambers as playable characters for the Mercenaries Reunion and just like before they’re thrown into remixed levels with slightly different, more numerous enemies. Rebecca isn’t as effective at hand-to-hand techniques but packs a powerful shotgun-rifle combo and has a tendency to insta-kill Majinis with her flame sprays. Josh is essentially Safari Chris except with a handgun that holds one-hundred bullets and a propensity to use some brutally efficient WWE moves.

While Desperate Escape is shorter than Ramon Salazar and doesn’t exactly revolutionize Resident Evil 5, it is a good DLC package for a scant 400 Microsoft Points and provides ample excuse to play more Mercenaries. Unlike the last episode, there are no half-assed puzzles to deal with or keys to be fetched and out of the two Desperate Escape provides the most entertainment value for your virtual dollars. It’s a fun little send-off for Resident Evil 5—nothing more, nothing less.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in March 2010.

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