A nod to the good ol' days
Lost in Nightmares lets you play the events when Jill “master of unlocking” Valentine and Chris Redfield encountered Albert Wesker in the Spencer Estate. You may remember this event via flashback in Resident Evil 5's proper campaign. This DLC succeeds with bringing back the horror vibe, but fails in terms of mere gameplay quantity.
The Spencer Estate is basically an homage to the Spencer Mansion from the original Resident Evil. Most of the rooms, hallways, and even the main lobby are practically copy and pasted from the original game. For you old-timers, yes, you will be doing a lot of crank, key, and emblem hunting to unlock doors and progress.
Lost in Nightmares even plays into some nostalgia. I found myself walking down a narrow hallway which perfectly represented an early area of RE1 where the classic “zombie dogs jumping through the windows” event occurred. To my surprise, no dogs tried to kill me. The windows had bars on them to keep the barking dogs outside at bay. This DLC also makes several jokes involving Jill being “the master of unlocking”.
It seems like this DLC package tries to do a lot of throwback to the “good ol' days” of Resident Evil. Instead of the white knuckle action you've come to expect with the recent entries to the franchise, Lost in Nightmares revolves around suspense and horror. The majority of the time, you'll be stalked by a large unbeatable enemy that is virtually everywhere. He's like Jason Voorhees, but this foe is obviously filler for Nemesis. I can't explain too much of how these encounters work, because I'll end up explaining the entire DLC. That's how short this package is!
Aside from some undead grabbing you once in awhile, you never fight any specific creature head-on. This gets me excited for Lost in Nightmares could be testimate for where the franchise will go. A lot of the issues I had with Resident Evil 5 were typically glaring due to facing large amounts of enemies. Due to the slower-paced nature of Lost in Nightmares, most of RE5's mechanical hiccups aren't problematic.
Unfortunately, Lost in Nightmares ends very quickly. It only took me a little less than an hour to get through the entire event on the standard difficulty. I also got lost for a few minutes, so I could imagine someone getting through this in 45 minutes – no problem. It's really disappointing, too. Game generated a lot of great momentum and kinda stopped without warning. I just walked into a room and, oh Wesker, shit...this is over isn't it?
Aside from the flashback, this DLC pack contains an impressive amount of content to Mercenaries. This mode of Mercenaries, titles Mercenaries: Reunion is separate from RE5's. This new iteration of the fanatic mini-game allows you to play as two new characters in addition to being able to unlock six more. You'll be able to play as two different versions of Chris and Sheva, along with a single version of Josh Stone, Excella Gionne, Barry Burton, and Rebecca Chambers.
Lost in Nightmares is great for fans of Resident Evil 5, but yearned for a slower-paced and more methodical experience. However, I wouldn't recommend this pack if you aren't interested in Mercenaries mode, for that is a large part of this DLC. Hopefully we'll see more of this suspenseful style of Resident Evil with more of a focus on atmosphere as opposed to constant Michael Bay action. For five bucks, you could do much worse. I'm sure other games would charge much more for eight new characters in addition to campaign stuff.
You can read my Resident Evil 5 review here.