Resident Evil 5′s newest DLC seeks to flesh out the untold story of just how Jill Valentine escaped the Tricell facility. Of course, she had a little help from her friend, Josh Stone (not to be confused with Joss Stone!).
While Lost in Nightmares served up some old-school survival horror action, Desperate Escape clings to the same intensity of Resident Evil 5, much to the chagrin of slow moving zombie fans. Does Desperate Escape transcend the moniker of “just another typical RE5 mission”? Read on to find out.
As the name implies, Desperate Escape is a non-stop adrenaline filled chase, culminating in a helicopter rescue; action-wise, it delivers. Just about every major facet that makes Resident Evil 5 so fun to play with a friend is present: alternate pathways, team lifts to areas that require covering fire, and a heap of co-op mini-boss fights.
Just about every type of weapon is featured in Desperate Escape, meaning there are myriad strategies to employ against your foes. Take heed, because you’ll definitely need that wide range of weaponry to tackle the mission itself. Desperate Escape is one of the most challenging episodes in Resident Evil 5; your enemies’ onslaught pretty much never lets up, and you almost always have ranged foes trained on your characters. I died numerous times, mostly due to the multiple rocket launcher turrets stringed across the mission.
You’re probably going to want to tackle this one locally or online with a friend as well; Josh’s AI isn’t the smartest, and there are multiple instances where he will have to stay put and wait for Jill, meaning a human would have an easier time dodging the endless wave of enemies. The AI Josh just kind of waits by the gate, hoping you’ll save him, which doesn’t really work out too well for our heroes.
Unfortunately, while it’s not lacking in the action department, Desperate Escape features no new enemies or weapons, and the locales look very familiar. In fact, there is no real boss fight to speak of, which is a bit of a letdown considering Lost in Nightmares not only featured a new enemy, but a final encounter with Wesker as well.
Fans of Left 4 Dead, however, will really enjoy the chapter’s finale, given that it’s almost identical to the ending of the No Mercy campaign. Think of it as a “mini-mercenaries” section that only gets more tense as time passes.
Unlike the previous DLC’s unique Mercenary additions, Desperate Escape’s extra character offerings are pretty dull. Rebecca Chambers’ (of RE1, and RE Zero fame) attacks are not interesting in the slightest (save for one makeshift flamethrower), and Josh is almost identical to the already included Safari Chris in every way – melee attacks and all. If you want to experience the slightly modified Mercenaries Reunion mode, my suggestion would be to buy one of the two costume packs, or the first bit of DLC, Lost in Nightmares, which includes Barry Burton and Excella Gionne.
All in all, Desperate Escape is a pretty fun experience, but brings nothing new to the table. Gamers who were turned off by Resident Evil 5‘s excessive use of force won’t find anything to sway them here, but action fans will love it all the same.
Gamer Limit gives Desperate Escape a 7.0/10.