Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape

Jason Cook

If Nightmares was supposed to be a throwback to what the series used to be -- much more survival oriented, less about gunfights -- then Escape is what it has become.

Resident Evil 5: Desperate Escape

Publisher: Capcom
Format: XBLA (Reviewed), Playstation 3
Price: $5.00
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: Mature
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 2010-03-03

Capcom had me fooled. They made me think they were bad at this whole DLC thing. Lost in Nightmares was a wholly mediocre affair, one that did not feel like Resident Evil 5 in any way, was fairly boring, and worst of all, not very fun.

But the newest DLC for RE5, Desperate Escape, proves Capcom does know what to do with DLC: simply add more of what people loved about the original game.

In Escape, you take the perspectives of a newly-freed-from-Wesker's-spell Jill Valentine and former bit character/Sheva buddy Josh Stone. The two's pairing is more than serendipitous (pretty much, “Oh hey, it's the famous Jill Valentine! Shall we go find Chris and Sheva?”), but it's a Resident Evil title, a franchise not exactly known for plot coherence. This minor deus ex machina is soon forgotten as Escape lives up to it's title, putting the pair in a tension-filled run from the Tricell facility.

I wrote that Nightmares failed because it stripped away everything RE5 had done right, namely swathes of enemies and tense firefights. Well, Escape would fit perfectly as a level in RE5 as you'll face waves of enemies and mini-bosses in tight quarters, solve a few environment based puzzles, and run and gun for your life.

If Nightmares was supposed to be a throwback to what the series used to be -- much more survival oriented, less about gunfights -- then Escape is what it has become. Josh and Jill are armed much better this time around, finding a handful of additional guns along their jaunt to the finale. Right off the bat our familiar friends, the Majini, attack in droves. There are even chainsaw- and chaingun-wielding mini-bosses ready to tear you to pieces.

The chapter takes place mostly along a communication tower, which is dotted with missile turrets. Not only do these make for impediments to your progress (the Majini are snipers with these), but they serve as puzzle solving tools, as you'll have to blow up rocks and doors to further your progress. As Josh and Jill separate -- usually resulting from the “assist jump” found all over RE5 -- one will often have to man the turret to reunite with the other. Just as in RE5, these moments of separation are where the tension comes from. “Does my buddy have my back as this chainsaw maniac bears down on me?” In particular, the last scene, where Josh and Jill must hold down a very confined area for 5 minutes waiting for a helicopter (shades of Left 4 Dead), is quite intense and feels every bit as satisfying as any scene in Resident Evil 4 or 5.

As with Nightmares, you'll get some more add-ons for your $5. There are two more characters for “The Mercenaries Reunion,” Josh and an old Resident Evil favorite, Rebecca Chambers. Just as Excella and Barry were in the other DLC, these two are a blast to play with. Josh brings some awesome wrestling moves to the table with an elbow drop and suplex finisher and Rebecca makes for a great support character with two first aid sprays. But still, there are no new “Mercenaries” maps (Capcom, I and the Mercs community would pay $10 for five more maps, easy), so it's really only for the people who are still playing this mode.

It was debatable whether or not Nightmares was worth your time and money. There is little debate with Escape. The funny thing is that the gameplay length is roughly the same (a little over an hour), and on the surface, it would seem as there is no difference between the two. One chapter and a little bump for the “Mercenaries” roster. But after playing both, Escape is by far the better DLC. It's more tense, fun, and similar to the game that it's expanding. If you've got 400 points burning a hole in your digital pocket, the choice is clear which RE5 DLC is superior.


Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.