Series: Resident Evil
Genre: Survival horror
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Publishers: Capcom, Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Modes: Single-player video game, Multiplayer video game
Links to Purchase
Resident Evil has had a significant resurgence since the release of Resident Evil VII: Biohazard in 2017 which was both critically acclaimed bringing the series back to it’s survivor horror after the Michael Bay styled explosion and over the top action that was Resident Evil 6 (Which I personally loved but HATE Ada’s campaign) and the subsequent remake from the ground up of Resident Evil 2 which gave a more realistic and gritty feel and did a superb job of making you feel the horror but it stumbled in a few areas with the knife being breakable and with how it removed the A/B scenarios of the original and making Mr. X who originally only appeared in the B scenario appear in both regardless of who you play as first. While that was terrifying it also made the 2 campaigns not feel that much different from one another other than who you run into and certain areas. Now we have the 2nd remake of a classic entry in the Resident Evil series with the remake of Resident Evil 3 Nemesis; does the modern remake of a timeless classic live up to the high bar that Capcom have set with the last two major entries especially last years RE2 or does it fail to live up to the hype and expectations of the fans and falls flat on it’s face? Let’s find out!
RE3 happens both before and after RE2 and focuses on returning RE1 hero Jill Valentine trying to escape the madness that is the Raccoon City Incident of 1998’s viral outbreak. The game kicks off by explaining not only the spread of the virus that Umbrella was working on but also how severe it was which lead to the CDC forcing Raccoon City be put on a quarantine lockdown which is striking given our current global pandemic and quarantine lockdown of the Corona Virus aka COVID-19. Jill eventually is chased relentlessly by the Tyrant variant behemoth known as Nemesis as he stalks her all over Raccoon City.
While there are MANY changes in the story from the original which are complete retcons of established events and some things entirely removed, regardless the story is worth the playthrough.
The gameplay of RE3 is basically the same as last year’s RE2 with some key changes that are worth talking about and that’s the fact that you no longer have a breakable knife like you did in RE2 which is a design choice I’m grateful for because I never understood why they decided to implement that into last year’s entry. You also have the ability to dodge incoming attacks which is a feature that was originally introduced in this entry back in it’s initial 1999 release which is a welcome return ability that I would’ve loved to have had in RE2 as it’s definitely a needed ability in this game as you will encounter a significant amount more of enemies in this entry than you ever would’ve in RE2 as the environments feel like a warzone at times clearly aimed at you having to focus more on fighting back than trying to flee to survive which it does exceptionally well at executing to separate it from the previous entry.
Now let’s talk about Nemesis. Nemesis is both terrifying beyond his original incarnation and also……well scripted and predictable. Now scripted and predictable doesn’t mean bad at all it just means you get to a point where you know when and where he will appear as early in the game when Nemesis appears it always feels incredibly dynamic and fear inducing however you’re a bit better to evade him and his merciless attacks as well as improved camera controls to deal with it.
Nemesis encounters in the original game played out at times giving you options that lead to different outcomes and on top of that you never knew when or where he would show up and when he did show up you were quick to get out of there, in the remake when he shows up it still has that air of dread but at the same time you get to this point where you can practically predict when and were he will show up which is harder to explain and contextualize but it’s definitely something that you will come to understand as you play the game yourself.
Now you may be asking if beyond the RE3 Demo that was released if Nemesis was as scary or more terrifying than he was there in the full game and in my opinion I would say yes…….yes he is, VERY MUCH SO. When you encountered Mr. X in RE2 remake it was a scary experience but at the end of the day became more of an annoyance as he could easily be evaded or stunned if you just shot him in the head to drop him or went to rooms he can’t enter because of how slow he was leading him to ultimately become more of a nuances than scary or threatening; Nemesis on the hand is down right SCARY!. He will not only RUN after you but will also have access to both a rocket launcher from the original release as well as his flamethrower and more with the tentacle projectile to grab you and the new ability to further mutate the zombies that are around making him a much larger threat than the original.
The game still has it’s puzzles akin to the original but given the more action-oriented gameplay, it moves itself away from being as puzzle centric as the previous entry and overall, the series as a whole. While I won’t mention much here, keep in mind that the game does have its roots still in the puzzles that challenged your mind and think outside the box at times.
The game does have a difficulty sliding metric where if you continue to die repeatedly where it will offer you the ability to adjust the difficulty lower which I think is good as it won’t lock you into a difficulty that you can’t overcome.
Graphically this game looks BEAUTIFUL. Like honestly everything looks incredibly and animates with such a life like motion in the RE Engine that it can be hard to tell if you are playing a game or watching real life especially if you are playing this on PC with maxed out settings. The detail in Jill and Carlos, the Umbrella Mercs, and nemesis all look fantastic from the skin designs to the facial animations to the clothing all the way down to the details in the hair; It all looks superbly well done. When I saw the detail in Carlos’ hair I was in disbelief and yes I know that may seem silly to talk about the details in hair and facial hair of characters but none the less the detail is there and I’m here to talk about it!
Jill’s character has been redesigned and I am not….happy about that even though her current outfit is functional also isn’t as iconic as her classic tube top blue outfit that she had before similar to what they ended up doing with Claire in the remake of 2. The biggest change which grew on me that I initially didn’t like was the design of Nemesis; I was NOT a fan of his redesign not so much for his outfit change which I do enjoy the new look or even his nose but for me it was his strangely straight white picket fence style teeth which are just bizarre. No matter how terrifying he is, those teeth just make me stop playing and laugh for a bit honestly. Aside from that I’ve got no complaints.
The lighting and bloom effects and HDR all look beyond what you would expect a game would be able to do and on consoles it looks exceptionally good on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X running at 4K at 60FPS and on PC you can make it look even better than that with the range of options that you have at your disposal. On base consoles the game looks good even on the base Xbox One and One S however you will experience some occasional frame drops on both and the base PS4.
Everything from the explosions to the OST to the environments and the voice acting is all expertly done to the T. I can’t find a bad thing to say about any of this as all the weapons have that realistic meaty crunch to them and the environments make it sound like you’re in a warzone during a zombie apocalypse. The voice direction of this game is significantly better than the original even if the original wasn’t terrible at all save for cheesy Carlos; in the new one they make every line of dialogue feel completely organic to the situations the characters are involved in and the delivery is cinema perfect.
The zombies all have the expected moans and yet their moans sound as if they are in severe pain which if you’re using surround sound can get into your head an unnerve you. Nemesis footsteps sounds meaty and weighty and lets you know that you need to book it to get out of dodge.
Now the game comes bundled with Resident Evil Resistance, aside from the tutorial level; I was unable to play it online as it wasn’t available at the time of review. I will update this section when I am able to get more hands-on time.
The only downsides are honestly………well……I can’t think of any as there are no real problems with this game barring Nemesis’ teeth.
HOTTAKE - CAUTION IT'S SPICY
I've noticed a string of complaints from journalists and Youtube reviewers all parroting the same talking points and bashing the game for it's lentgh and story which makes me feel like I've stepped into a time warp back to 1999 when journalists did the same thing with the original release and I'll say this: Resident Evil 3 will ALWAYS be in the shadows of Resident Evil 2 no matter what, however, that DOES NOT make this a bad game or a bad thing. The game gives us everything we wanted in RE2 Remake as well as what we wanted in this remake and per usual when you give people what they want you get these "professionals" that whine about it. In my time as a reviewer I've always wondered why journalists and reviewers all have the same talking points and the reviews of this game are showing that to be a real issue in not only gaming journalism but also journalism as a whole. Even with this review, I urge you all to try this and other games for yourself as you may or may not like something but ultimately the CHOICE is YOURS as its your money and your decision in the end so think for yourself.
End Hot Take.
2020 has seen the release of the superb Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Doom Eternal, and Nioh 2, and now it’s got it’s 4th Game of The Year contender in a remake of a game that came out during the console generation transition of the millennium that has a story that still stands the test of time and continues to impress every time I pick up the controller. From the sound, the graphics, gameplay, and more; Resident Evil 3 is a certified MUST OWN and a true showcase of how not only amazing Capcom is but a showcase of the reality that Capcom is BACK with it’s simply amazing pedigree of titles that keep amazing one after another. If you buy one game this year, make sure its RESIDENT EVIL 3 as it’s a game YOU NEED!