Resident Evil 3 – Somehow, I’m Still Alive
Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
Resident Evil was a game that has followed me since my childhood. I wasn’t old enough to play them, much less understand how to survive through them, so I spent a lot of time watching my cousin play it. The one that stuck with me a lot was Resident Evil 3, where a hulking brute would bust out a window and scare me half to death. So when I loaded the main menu for Resident Evil 3 Remake, with the man himself standing among the flames of a destroyed Raccoon City, I thought: could he make me feel that same fear?
Resident Evil 3 Remake, also known as Resident Evil 3, is an action survival horror game developed and published by Capcom, who set out to create a more action-oriented game in comparison to its predecessor, as did the originals back in the late 90’s. It takes what Resident Evil 2 Remake did to reinvigorate the genre, and turns it on its head, still looking like a dream through the continued use of the RE Engine.
Trouble In Raccoon City
Resident Evil 3 takes place over the course of a few days in the metropolitan Raccoon City, where the city’s been hit by a devastating pandemic: a virus that turns the living into the undead. Kept in her apartment by force after being put under house arrest for trying to investigate the mysterious, yet powerful, Umbrella Corporation, Special Tactics and Rescue Service member Jill Valentine is waiting for the day she can finally leave.
Though this will come sooner than she expected, as a towering monster known as Nemesis invades her home, attempting to kill her. Escaping through the many alleys of Raccoon City, she can’t seem to shake him, until Nemesis is downed by a man named Carlos Oliviera, a soldier working for the Umbrella Corporation.
To start off, I think the biggest strength Resident Evil 3 has over the original is the characterization of both Jill and Carlos. Jill shows herself to be this powerhouse of a woman while Carlos becomes more than just what he was meant to be as he discovers the truth behind the company that hired him. And their character is only boosted by the development between them as they try to survive the worst that Umbrella has to throw at them.
And they have a lot to throw at you. Returning enemies like Gammas, Drain Deimos, Hunters and more are given new updated looks and changed mechanics to fill in the gaps that are left between the multitude of shambling zombies and the big man himself.
Nemesis is a force to be reckoned with. While Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 Remake stalks you through the halls of the R.P.D. at a slow but steady gait, Nemesis will run at you full speed ahead, stopping at nothing to make sure you are dead. For the first hour or two of Resident Evil 3, Nemesis will show up to chase you down in segments that allow you to fight back or run, while every other encounter is a boss fight you can’t escape from.
Though he is fast, the player is now given a dodge that, if done at the right moment, will allow time to slow down, giving you space to breathe and a moment to fill him full of lead. It’s mechanics like these that give his boss fights more excitement and engagement than those from Resident Evil 2. Every time you land a perfect dodge and proceed to rain hell upon Nemesis, you feel like you’re actually fighting a boss with your skills.
What amplifies these feelings is the music. Unlike Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3 actually has music that plays throughout the game, and it’s good music. It only serves to emphasize the moment, making these blood-pumping action set-pieces befit that of a movie. It turns you into this straight-up action hero that doesn’t get scared whenever their adversary shows up, but just more pissed off.
What Was Lost
However, it’s outside of these moments that I wish there was more of him chasing you through city streets as you try to survive by using any advantage you have. But there isn’t, as you move from those moments to more scripted sequences that, while exciting, lose their luster after the first time.
And this isn’t to mention what they didn’t bring back from the original. Several fan-favored moments are taken out, like the Clock Tower, in exchange for smaller areas turning into something more expanded upon, like the hospital and lab, as well as more time to play as Carlos. Whether they chose to do this to keep up a rather decent pace, or because of constraints, I don’t know. I think that if they had a little more to go through, like the Clock Tower, then it would feel a little more fulfilling.
So it might be fair to say Resident Evil 3 is a bit lackluster, even short if that weren’t the norm with Resident Evil games, which shine when it comes to replayability. I played through Resident Evil 3 twice to get a taste of its replayability; first on Hardcore (because I’m such a hardcore gamer, ladies) and on Standard second. I found the game to still be fun, especially as I try to make my current run shorter than my last, or discover more items you can collect like weapon parts.
Upon the completion of a Hardcore run, another difficulty unlocks called Nightmare, and after that, Inferno. These difficulties not only change enemy placements but even adds in a new threat to worry about.
What’s To Gain?
What these difficulties don’t do, however, is unlock more things for the next run. That all comes down to the post-game shop, which you use the points you gain from completing challenges to spend on new items that you can use on your next run like Jill’s famous Samurai Edge, or a Flame Knife, or a costume. Yes, a costume. One. There is literally only one other costume besides the pre-order ones and the defaults.
And that’s where we come back to the problem with Resident Evil 3 not being as fulfilling. There are things to buy in the shop, but there’s no incentive to go further. No Mercenaries, no new costumes, no special modes. There isn’t even an S+ rank, which would net you special items. It only goes to S.
This is where my struggle with this review becomes apparent. I like Resident Evil 3, I like it a lot. It’s a great time that feels radically different from its predecessor, giving you feelings of excitement instead of fear. What they do to the characters is by far the best portrayals of those characters I’ve seen. How they handle the boss fights are better than what came before it. So I’m having some trouble figuring this out. So I guess I’ll get right down to what I think.
At times, this feels more like a reimagining than a remake. From the fleeting Clock Tower segment to the usage of an iconic line much earlier than it was supposed to be, I can’t help but think that they weren’t going for a complete remake. And while they’ve improved things, and expanded upon others, it would be weird to call this a remake.
I’ll Give You S.T.A.R.S.
After all that’s been said and done, I don’t think this is a bad game. If anything, this makes the original keep its status, while the remake can stand on its own as a different experience. And honestly, the experience is one that I look forward to replaying again on a higher difficulty.
However, to say Resident Evil 3 is worth the current price tag, that depends a lot on how people feel. Although it is bundled with Project Resistance to give you those fun times with friends, some won’t ever touch the multiplayer experience. So my recommendation comes with an asterisk:
If you are a Resident Evil veteran looking for something different from Resident Evil 2, go ahead.
If you are looking to get into Resident Evil, start with Resident Evil 2 Remake, then get this.
Otherwise? Wait for a sale.
Did you enjoy this review? Check out our reviews of Convoy and of Can Androids Pray: Blue!Do you enjoy what we do? Check out our Ko-Fi, and consider dropping us a coffee! If you want to do what we do, we’re looking for new writers and editors! Fill out the form here if you’re interested. Thanks!
Reviewed by Freelance7 on PC.