Even though Resident Evil 5 came out roughly one year ago, it still proves to be a fun game to play. That is why Lost in Nightmares is worth its price. For a measly $5, you'll get at least two extra hours of gameplay, and although there were several annoyances and missed opportunities, Lost in Nightmares is a great way for fans to reminisce about the old days of Resident Evil. Gamers who appreciate classic survival horror will get plenty of late-night thrills with Lost in Nightmares. Action-craving gamers, on the other hand, should stay away for their own good.
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||DLC & Addons
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|Score Meaning: Above average and even teetering on "good." Ambitious ideas along with redeeming qualities outweigh the handfuls of negative, making it worth a look.|
||February 17, 2010||Final Score||3.5|
A Modern Take on an Old Concept
When Resident Evil 5 came out roughly one year ago, it was widely criticized for straying too far away from its roots. Because the game was so action-oriented, many fans were left hungry for the puzzle-solving elements of the early days of the Resident Evil franchise. Capcom apparently paid attention to the feedback and decided to create a new chapter that brings gamers to a familiar place. Lost in Nightmares, the latest expansion in the RE5 universe, is a tribute to the original Resident Evil in various ways.
Lost in Nightmares, set two years before Resident Evil 5, revolves around Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine's investigation of Dr. Ozwold E. Spencer's mansion. Anyone who played RE5 will know that the results of this mission were briefly explained in a cutscene during the course of the game. However, LiN now allows players to experience this mission firsthand. Chris and Jill must traverse a mansion filled with mysteries, traps, and undead things and find Spencer before anyone else does. However, most players will already know that Chris's nemesis, Albert Wesker, has already found Spencer. While nearly everyone buying this DLC knows the story behind this mission, story-telling is not the main focus of LiN. The main focus is to allow gamers to relive the old-school survival horror experience of yesteryear.
So does Lost in Nightmares properly deliver the old-school horror thrills? The answer to that question lies somewhere in the middle. The setting in LiN draws back to the original mansion in the first Resident Evil in every conceivable way. Old-school gamers playing LiN will often be reminded of the events in Raccoon City. Even Chris and Jill admit that this mission feels like deja vu. That is probably the feeling that Capcom was aiming for, but the eerie mansion is not the only thing that brings back memories. The gameplay is very reminiscent of the original RE as well. If you are looking for non-stop action, you had better look elsewhere. LiN is all about survival, investigation, and collection.
Players will spend most of their time in Lost in Nightmares searching the mansion for clues and collecting objects that will advance them into the next area. Backtracking to previous areas further compliments this formula, as players will be forced to return to certain rooms of the mansion in order to advance the mission. LiN's take on this old-school formula is pulled off surprisingly well and does not at all devolve into something utterly pointless. I can wholeheartedly guarantee, though, that certain gamers will not enjoy LiN's return to this old-school fashion of gameplay; however, many old-school gamers like myself can appreciate this tribute to an era of gaming that no longer exists.
Of course, survival also players a major role in Lost in Nightmares. About two-thirds into the mission players will begin fighting giant scythe-wielding baddies that apparently do not enjoy the presence of trespassers. Since players playing on the harder difficulties will not have much ammo, they will often find themselves panicking and running for their lives. At first, I hated the fact that I had to run from these maniacs, but I soon realized that this is how survival horror should be. It was fun to try my best to survive. After all, would it not be boring to simply blow my way through these enemies without even flinching? Gamers playing on the easier difficulties will have enough ammo to burn through LiN, but where is the fun in that? Not everyone will agree, but LiN certainly provides a refreshing change to the run-and-gun formula.
However, I was disappointed that those giant scythe-wielding dudes were the only enemies in Lost in Nightmares. As fun as they were to fight (or should I say, dodge?), they were the only enemies in my way. LiN would no doubt have been a more enjoyable experience if there were classic zombies roaming around the mansion. Sure, technically there are zombies present in LiN, but they serve as nothing more than booby traps waiting to grab players as they pass by. This certainly is a missed opportunity, but that does not keep LiN from being an enjoyable mission.
As expected, the mission's finale is marked by a confrontation with Wesker. Anyone who has beaten Resident Evil 5 should already know what to expect. Obviously, you can not kill Wesker, but you can hurt him enough to make him cry. This confrontation is actually enjoyable, but without using teamwork with your partner, this fight is downright awful. The problem lies with the fact that you can not use teamwork with your A.I. partner. Your partner will simply allow himself to become Wesker's ragdoll and completely ignore you if you somehow find yourself in trouble. However, you should already be playing with someone if you want the most out of LiN and RE5 in general. It simply is not too fun to play alone.
Lost in Nightmares is a good expansion that is meant to be enjoyed at night, with a friend, and on the hardest difficulty setting. As I mentioned earlier, playing on the harder difficulty settings will limit your ammo supply, so surviving does become more challenging. However, this expansion is primarily focused on old-school survivor horror challenge, which means that this mission is clearly not for everyone. It is disappointing that LiN is a short mission, but with the small price tag of $5, this expansion has enough fun thrills to be worth the price.
3.5 / 5
Written by Philip Wednesday, 24 February 2010 09:46