Don’t take the scenic route.
We have finally arrived at the final piece of downloadable content for Resident Evil 5, and it couldn’t be more chaotic. Desperate Escape begins where the final leg of the main Resident Evil 5 left off. Chris has just saved Jill from Wesker’s mind control grip and has left her with his BSAA pal, Josh. The only problem is, Jill and Josh are knee-deep into enemy territory, and their only course of action is to escape… or die, but dying isn’t really an option, right?
[image1]Desperate Escape, unlike the previous downloadable content pack, Lost in Nightmares, preserves the action-oriented nature of Resident Evil 5 by setting up even more ludicrous scenarios for you to blast your way through. There’s nothing particularly new to see in terms of enemies, environments, or weapons. The sole purpose of this DLC is to give you more sections to fight through, and in that regard, it succeeds with flying colors. Every part of Desperate Escape is a tense fight, and the game doesn’t pull any punches, throwing all the worst enemies from Resident Evil 5‘s main story into the fray.
Sadly for RE5 purists and completionists, all the unlocked items and weapons from the main campaign are tucked away out of Desperate Escape’s reach. You begin with a measly selection of guns, but that is quickly remedied by a bevy of weapons hidden away. Ammo ceases to be a commodity as well and can be easily stocked up. In short, Desperate Escape has you focusing on only two things – killing as many enemies as possible while getting the hell out of whatever jam Jill and Josh have gotten themselves into.
While Desperate Escape fits in better into the Resident Evil 5 continuum than Lost in Nightmares, I did enjoy the latter much more due to its different setting and unique gameplay style. Both DLC are about the same length and much more fun when playing through with a buddy. Like in the main Resident Evil 5 campaign, your A.I. controlled pal is as dumb as a doorknob and will often get killed when you least expect it. In Desperate Escape this is made worse by how many split-up sections there are, making you keep constant watch over your partner in peril.
[image2]There’s a bit of character development thrown in between action sequences in the form of radio conversations between Josh and his pilot friend. Even though it’s short-lived, this sub-plot is an interesting addition to the overall story and comes to a satisfying, albeit tragic, conclusion.
It’s worth mentioning how well some of the Achievements/Trophies are implemented this time around. Some require a lot of skill and patience and won’t come easy. Due to the frenetic pacing of this DLC, the aptly named "professional" difficulty setting is a tough nut to crack and goes well beyond any of RE5‘s challenges from the past.
While not nearly as atmospheric as Lost in Nightmares, Desperate Escape is a very tense but short trip that’s worthy of a playthrough for Resident Evil 5 veterans and those looking for an extra challenge that does not stray from the original campaign.
Note: There are three separate ways of buying this DLC. It’s part of the Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, along with the previous downloadable contents. On XBLA and PSN, it can be acquired in two ways: a lone download for five dollars and a pack that includes all previous DLC, for twelve dollars.