Last year, Capcom completely hit it out of the park with not one, but two excellent iterations of some of the most established franchises, one being Devil May Cry 5, and the other of course, Resident Evil 2. Both were received incredibly well, and many fans will licking their lips at the thought of another remake, this time for Resident Evil 3.
it didn’t take long for Capcom to make everyone’s dreams come true, announcing the remake late last year.
Meet your Nemesis
Resident Evil 3 takes place roughly a day before the events that take place in Resident Evil 2, with series favourite Jill Valentine in the lead role. She quickly finds herself in the thick of things as Raccoon City burns and the T-Virus is taking over, with most of the population turned into Zombies. It’s also not long at all before she encounters the Nemisis, a hulking, indestructible bioweapon programmed to irradiate the last remaining members of S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) who are witnesses of the Arklay incident (from the first game in the series).
Nemesis is much more intelligent than the Tyrant from Resident Evil 2, and it even sometimes feels like it can predict your movements. It is truly terrifying!
To be very blunt, the Nemesis is a ruthless and relentless foe that will do anything to take you down, and if you’re not careful he will succeed. If that thing shows up, you have to do everything in your power to get out of there or you won’t last very long. It is much more intelligent than the Tyrant from Resident Evil 2, and it even sometimes feels like it can predict your movements. It is truly terrifying!
Along the way you will meet a a few interesting characters, although they can all feel a lot more generic than what we had from the previous game. All the characters are present from the original 1999 game, and although the game follows a similar narrative, there are some changes made to keep things interesting.
The gameplay and combat are pretty much the same as the previous game with a few more additions. Aside from the Nemesis, you still have your hordes of zombies and other dangerous enemies to deal with, some of them almost as terrifying and deadly as the Nemesis, and Jill is definitely up to the task. Jill feels a little more nimble, and considering she’s a trained elite soldier, she feels a bit more at home than both Leon and Claire. There’s an addition of a dodge mechanic that can be hard to time, but if done right can slow things down enough for you take down a zombie that a moment ago had the upper hand. You will also have to manage your resources very well, and fleeing is not only an option, but often a necessity.
The game goes at a much faster pace than RE 2, but I’m not 100% convinced that it’s a good thing though even if it stays consistent with the original. The puzzle solving elements of last year’s game are almost completely gone with you mostly backtracking through areas to unlock previously inaccessible areas with key items you discovered. I do realise that it’s pretty much what we had for RE2 as well, but in that game, it felt better executed, and a lot more fun to explore the area you’re in. In RE3, it almost feels like the action is pulling you forward all the time. I played through the game a second time to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but the second playthough was pretty much the same, just faster.
Visually stunning, but very short
As is the case with all games developed in the RE Engine, the game looks amazing. It’s not necessarily the graphics that are impressive (although it is) but rather the lighting, with the way neon lights reflect off services, or the way flames cast shadows around the area. Character models still look pretty darn good, although it seems there were a bit less effort put in with lip sync for the English version of the game.
The voice acting is solid but not perfect as it can sometimes feel a bit hollow and forced. While I love Jill as a character, she does feel a bit wooden at times, never really progressing as a character, and simply going from one action set piece to another. Still, there are some moments where good acting comes through, and for that you must give credit.
One thing to keep in mind is the length of Resident Evil 3. The campaign will take you around 6 -7 hours to complete a first time depending on skill, and while it does encourage multiple playthroughs, the overall package does feel a bit less than Resident Evil 2. Sure, speedrunners and completionists will love it, but if you’re somebody who only plays for a story and that’s it, it can be a bit disappointing. RE3 does make up for the single campaign and short length with more variety however, with a lot more areas being explored than just a creepy Police station, a sewer and a secret high-tech lab. Gameplay variety is also peppered in there for good measure.
A solid re-imagining of the original
I feel a little bit conflicted scoring this game. One the one end, I thoroughly enjoyed the seven-hour action romp that doesn’t expect too much of me in terms of emotional and mental involvement. It is the perfect weekend game that you can have a blast with, that encourages you to give it another crack, only better.
One the other hand, I am a bit disappointed that the game doesn’t offer a bit more. I think I’m maybe spoiled by its predecessor, which at least offered multiple characters with multiple playthroughs with some form of variety among them. Yes, I know this is how the original was made, but I was hoping for a bit more of a copy from last year’s game, which offered substantially more in its remake.
Resident Evil 3 is still a great game. There is nothing wrong with it on a technical level, it looks amazing and also no enemy I’ve faced before is as formidable as the Nemesis. The design of the creature is top notch and they absolutely nailed him throughout. If you don’t mind a short campaign and understand the amount of content might fall short of the predecessor, then you are in for a helluva good time with this one, that I am pretty certain of.
Disclaimer: Resident Evil 3 ships with the multiplayer standalone game Resident Evil Resistance. I did try and play it, but due to low numbers before launch, I couldn’t get a match. It was decided to review that game separately at a later date.