Review by horror_spooky
"Josh and Jill went up the hill..."
The second DLC release for Resident Evil 5 is entitled Desperate Escape, and like Lost in Nightmares, pulls back the curtain on the events that occurred in the main Resident Evil 5 game, and answers some questions. Desperate Escape shows how Josh Stone and Jill meet, explains how they escaped (obviously), and turns out to be a fantastic addition to Resident Evil 5.
If you haven't played Resident Evil 5 for a long time, you may not remember who Josh is. Josh is the black gentleman that occasionally showed up to help Chris and Sheva during their adventure. Desperate Escape's purpose is to show players the events that led up to the end of Resident Evil 5. At the beginning of the DLC, Jill, after passing out from the aftershock of being brainwashed by Wesker, is revived by aforementioned Josh Stone. Josh and Jill then try to figure out a way to provide Chris and Sheva back-up, and provide them with a rescue plan.
It does clear up some questions fans may have about how the hell Jill and Josh met up and everything, and it does add some much-needed character development. No one cared about Josh when he appeared in the main game, but actually playing as him and seeing his potential as a BSAA agent with an expanded personality helped me care about him a lot more. Jill, while being a major part of the storyline in RE5, really wasn't that much of a character in this iteration. She didn't seem like the same Jill Valentine that we've grown to love in the other Resident Evil games she has appeared in because she simply wasn't given enough screen-time. Desperate Escape helps highlight Jill's personality some more, and while her character still doesn't feel quite the same, it's a huge improvement over how she was represented in Resident Evil 5.
In terms of gameplay, Desperate Escape is far less horror-focused than the other DLC offering, Lost in Nightmares, but it's still significantly more challenging than the main game, and does provide a nice amount of thrills. Desperate Escape tends to throw the more powerful enemies at you consistently, with a bunch of chainsaw-wielding maniacs popping up more than once as well as gatling gun-toting behemoths that can drain health rather quickly. Since players can't take advantage of the RPG mechanic found in the main game that makes the game much easier, Desperate Escape is also more challenging, especially on the harder difficulties. The ending of Desperate Escape is nerve-wracking and difficult, but it never evolves into frustration at all. There is a very nice balance to be had here.
To compliment this new chapter in the Resident Evil saga, gamers are also given two new Mercenary characters for their 400 MSP. These characters include Josh, as well as a fan-favorite, Rebecca Chambers. Oh yes, the first-aid spray-wielding, dogtag-wearing, teenage heroine returns for Mercenaries Reunion. To stay in character with Rebecca, she comes equipped with some first-aid sprays.
One thing that I like about Josh, though, that is highlighted especially more in Mercenaries due to the heightened level of action, is his melee move set. The other characters have rather basic attacks at their disposal, but Josh's moves are very reminiscent of one of my favorite things ever, professional wrestling. I love when professional wrestling is directly referenced in video games, and I can now add Resident Evil 5 to the list of the games that make a nod towards my favorite blend of sports-entertainment. Josh can suplex Majini as well as drop an elbow on them to explode their heads. Shawn Michaels would be so proud.
Since there is nowhere else I can review it on GameFAQs, I will now take this time to review another piece of Resident Evil 5 DLC, the Versus Mode. For another 400 Microsoft Points, players can download a Versus Mode. In this new gameplay mode, players take control of the Mercenary characters, except they have to unlock them again by purchasing them with exchange points earned by winning rounds of online multiplayer, playing Mercenaries, beating levels, and what-have-you. This mode is rather limited and a bit on the frustrating side, as the Resident Evil games just aren't built for multiplayer like this. Resident Evil deathmatch? No thank you. Capcom uses a multiplayer lobby system that rarely works for console games effectively, and this is the case here as well. Add to the list of faults the lack of split-screen online multiplayer, and this mode really isn't worth the 400 MSP.
Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape is a must-download DLC pack for fans of the Resident Evil series. It is a bit more challenging, which veterans will love, and it expands on the story even more than Lost in Nightmares did. Desperate Escape is really cheap, and will provide more Resident Evil 5 for players to sink their teeth into, and you can never have too much of a good thing.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/24/11
Game Release: Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape (US, 03/03/10)
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