Version tested Xbox 360
Just two weeks on from the release of the excellent Lost In Nightmares DLC, Capcom has seen fit to serve up another delectable portion of episodic content for the five-million-selling Resident Evil 5. How kind.
But while Lost In Nightmares saw a refreshing return to the slow-burn style of panic-stricken survival horror that characterised the series' early days, Desperate Escape sees the gameplay firmly back in bullet-spraying territory as you fight a concerted battle to get out of the Tricell facility alive.
Set midway through the events of Resident Evil 5 - beware! spoilers ahead - we catch up with Jill Valentine just after Chris and Sheva have removed the mind control amulet that turned her into a pirouetting death machine. With Chris and Sheva determined to high-tail it after Albert Wesker, they leave the exhausted BSAA agent to fend for herself. Manners.
Having blacked out from her exertions, Jill comes around to find West African BSAA agent Josh Stone on the hunt for his errant colleagues. Josh having evidently awoken the entire Majini neighbourhood en route to Jill, the seemingly straightforward task of getting back to his waiting helicopter suddenly becomes one of the most death-defying missions encountered in the entire Resident Evil series.
Save for some flirtatious banter between the two, the mood takes a distinct turn for the worse the moment it becomes apparent that they're going to have to fight every step of the way. Desperate Escape certainly lives up to its title.
Unlike in the ammo-light Lost In Nightmares, it's just as well Josh and Jill bothered to pack for the journey ahead, as there's no shortage of targets. For the record, Jill comes equipped with a machine gun, while Josh must settle for the pistol, but, fortunately, any arguments over who gets the "best" character fade once you pick up the additional weapons along the way.
With no puzzle-solving of any note to worry about, the simple goal is to fight your way through the docks and the remainder of the facility, dispatching the unrelenting Majini hordes as they spring forth from every darkened corner, eager to stove their sharpened projectiles into your skull. As with Lost In Nightmares, boosting your points tally with 'score stars' adds an extra element to the killfest, but the bigger ones are notably harder to find this time around.
No sooner have you cleared the path ahead of Majini foes than these nimble adversaries leap down from unseen gantries to keep the pressure on, threatening to grapple you at a moment's notice. Whatever it is they want, you've got it, and they're bringing all their chainsaw-toting and Gatling gun-wielding mates along for the ride. To up the ante considerably, the Desperate Escape designers have devised elaborate ways of heaping on the agony, with numerous rocket turrets criss-crossing intricately constructed environments to provide additional hazards as you dash between the incoming missiles of death.
With a seemingly unending procession of infected stalking you down every corridor and gantry, the only solution is to eventually take out the emplacement operators and try and turn the tables before reinforcements arrive. That's easier said than done, however.