One could be forgiven for thinking Capcom could do no wrong lately. Between Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter: World and more, Capcom really have been in fine form recently with their latest game releases. Resident Evil 2 remake in particular was a masterful remake of a beloved game. The question is, does that fine form extend to the Resident Evil 3 remake? Find out in our review below.
The original Resident Evil 3 launched back in 1999 on the PlayStation, just one year after the release of Resident Evil 2. Originally planned as a spin-off featuring a different protagonist, Resident Evil 3 was designed to have more action-oriented gameplay than previous Resident Evil games. Critics praised the game’s detailed graphics and the Nemesis as an intimidating villain, but some criticised its short length and story. The short length is something we will touch upon later.
Resident Evil 3 follows Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape Raccoon City in the middle of a T-Virus outbreak. Jill is attacked in her apartment by an intelligent bioweapon codenamed Nemesis, who is attempting to kill Jill and all other surviving S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) members. Right from the get-go, Nemesis is on Jill’s trail after she narrowly escapes the monster. One thing’s for sure; Nemesis is not Mr. X. Mr. X is menacing but Nemesis is the far deadlier stalker. Nemesis is faster, stronger, and equipped with an arsenal that includes a flamethrower and rocket-launcher.
Just like the Resident Evil 2 remake before it, the Resident Evil 3 remake ditches the fixed camera angles and has made a switch to a full-fledged third person shooter. Likewise, shooting is nailed once again and feels weighty and punchy. Your arsenal evolves throughout the game as you gain access to an assault rifle, a shotgun and a grenade launcher. The shooting mechanics feel great and putting bullets in a zombie’s head feels as satisfying as you’d hope it to be.
Jill possesses a slicker dodge move than we saw from Leon or Claire in Resident Evil 2. Perfecting the timing of this dodge will provide an additional advantage so it’s worth getting the hang of it. Personally, it felt a little clunky to me to begin with but it’s not too much trouble to get used to. If you’d rather shoot your way through the neon-lit streets of Raccoon City then that’s possible too thanks to a plethora of ammo and crafting possibilities in this more action-oriented Resident Evil game.
Resident Evil 3 is still technically a survival-horror game but there’s far less emphasis on puzzles this time around. Whilst there are a few to work your brain, do not go into Resident Evil 3 expecting anything near the puzzles in Resident Evil 2. Instead, the emphasis is on action. Shortly into the game, Jill crosses path with Carlos Oliveira and his platoon from the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service. In sections of the game, you will play as Carlos who’s even more action-oriented than Jill is.
Ultimately, the biggest threat to Jill is Nemesis-T Type, better known as Nemesis. Jill will have to go toe-to-toe with Nemesis multiple times throughout the game, although most of her time is spent running from the fearsome foe. Fearsome is precisely how one could describe Nemesis, he’s fast, deadly, and ferociously hunting Jill. When he shows up, shit’s going to hit the fan. Whether he’s crushing through walls or leaping from the sky, he induces fear. However, most of your interactions with Nemesis are heavily scripted and some don’t even let you control Jill.
Visually, the RE Engine really has produced another beautiful game. We know from Resident Evil 7, the Resident Evil 2 remake and Devil May Cry 5 that this engine is capable of making beautiful games and Resident Evil 3 is no exception. This is also thanks to the artistic design choices, namely the glowing neon lighting prevalent in the shops and streets of Raccoon City. The colours pop with a lot of vibrancy and in HDR mode especially, it really is rather jaw-dropping. Also, a shout-out to the character designers behind Carlos and his magnificent hair which is probably the best I have ever seen in a video game.
Now, as aforementioned at the beginning of this review, the Resident Evil 3 remake is a rather short experience. My play-through lasted around the 4 hour mark including collectibles and in all honesty it does feel rather brief, especially compared to the Resident Evil 2 remake whilst itself on the short side, offered multiple scenario play-throughs that altered the game. Capcom have removed certain portions from the original game, and completely removed the branching choices in the original game.
All in all, Resident Evil 3 is a more linear, action-oriented game than Resident Evil 2 but it’s a rollercoaster of entertainment. It’s different but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and it kept me hooked during it’s short campaign. Resident Evil 3 is a high-octane affair but I wish some things from the original were kept to help flesh the remake out more. Taking it at face value though, it’s an enjoyable experience, heart-pumping at times and visually gorgeous. $59.99 might seem a bit steep for some considering the length of the game, but fans of the series shouldn’t hesitate.