*Minor Story Spoilers ahead*
Last week, Capcom released Resident Evil 3, a remake of the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis that came out back in 1999. Coming off the high success of the RE2 Remake, a lot of eyes were on how this game would fare. As we go back to the beautifully remade streets of Raccoon City, we find out if this game can continue the trend set by the 2 most recent Resident Evil games (RE7 and RE2 Remake) and raise the bar once again.
I will say though that, as a fan of the RE Franchise since way back in the PlayStation 1 days (even though I was scared as hell when I played the older RE games), I have been eagerly awaiting for this specific release so I have high hopes.
A Tale of Two Remakes
Much like the original game, the RE3 Remake follows Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira as they attempt to survive and leave the zombie-infested Raccoon City. We get to see the remade city we saw last game once again but it does beg the question of what is new with this remake and how does it compare to what we saw during RE2.
Starting off with visual appeal, this game is still quite pretty much like RE2. The time you spend in the streets of the city are a real highlight to how good the game’s visuals are. I did notice however that RE3 Remake has quite a bit more light in its levels. In the RE2 Remake for instance, the game maintained a dark and scary look for its environment where zombies can jump out from almost anywhere. Here, you won’t need to always rely on your flashlight to see the surroundings as places usually have fairly decent lighting.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an RE game without Zombies and/or Bioweapons, and Resident Evil 3 Remake features a whole slew of these. RE3 introduces new enemy varieties including the drain deimos, hunter gammas, and of course, Nemesis. The nature of these enemies do contribute to the whole action-oriented feel the game has combat-wise as these opponents do require some firepower to take down. Make no mistake though, this doesn’t mean you should just plow through all zombie encounters head on. Much like in RE2, sometimes the best way to to about it is to just sneak away or run as some enemies are still incredibly tough to kill.
When it comes to weaponry, RE2 and RE3 are more or less at par with each other. You’ll still need to find the good weapons to use, and it’s still quite difficult to get them early on in the game, which adds a certain layer of tension. Possibly one of the biggest changes in weaponry comes in the form of the knife having no durability meter anymore. While on its own, it doesn’t nothing more than save a bunch of ammo, combining that indestructibility with Jill’s Quick Step function, this DOES become a potential game changer. The Quick Step function lets you dodge enemy attacks or move past them really quick. Now, if timed correctly, it triggers a slow-mo mode that can transition into a quick attack with your weapons. This means that for skilled players (although the timing windows are quite strict), the knife is very much an ammo-less way to deal with foes.
As for puzzles, RE3 noticeably has way fewer puzzles and some of that few were quite tedious to get through especially when it’s something like going back and forth just to open a certain chest. Combined with the short overall game length, there just aren’t that many puzzles to experience.
The Remade Fear Factor
One question fans may have is — how scary is the Resident Evil 3 Remake? Personally, I easily get scared of even the tiniest scary thing. I scream my lungs out during jump scares, or even when I hear scary sound effects. That said, to my standards, RE3 was still definitely up there in terms of fear factor and is indeed a nerve-wracking experience. I especially hated the moments where I needed to use the flashlight because what you see is limited to that small circle of light, making for intense situations where zombies can jump out at you from the sides.
As you progress through the game, there are parts that have the classic jump scares where a zombie just immediately jumps at your back. Though what’s really intense is when Nemesis pops out. You would know when the fearsome bioweapon is coming when you hear his music in the background, so be prepared as he’s an incredibly tenacious foe. It is worth noting however, that there is one thing noticeable about Nemesis. He really only does actively hunt you around the first parts of the game. At a certain point, Nemesis stops becoming that ever-stalking presence and just appears in boss battles and scripted game moments. This may have been something that the Remake could’ve capitalized more of as Nemesis does bring a level of tension to the game
Overall, even though I was scared throughout most of my playthrough, I have to admit that I think the RE2 remake offers a bit more in the scare department. Sure, zombies in RE3 are still tough to take down, but Jill being equipped with an indestructible knife plus the quick step does make the issue of ammo scarcity and mobility less of an problem than it was in RE2. During the big points of the game when zombies are attacking, you may get shocked and scared but you will usually have more than enough weapons and ammo to manage.
A Story Held True
What I can say about the storyline of RE3 Remake is that they stayed true to the major parts of the story as it originally was from the OG game RE3: Nemesis. Though the beginning of the game is quite different from the original, things will get more and more familiar as get further into the game.
Important parts that they didn’t change up for the Remake include why Nemesis is hunting down Jill Valentine, or any survivors that are on the S.T.A.R.S forces, and event Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.) mercenary like Carlos Oliveria that are helping to find survivors and taking them to safety so they can leave Racoon City. Characters are still mostly the same, minus one character from the original RE3: Nemesis, Barry which was a significant character that can alter the ending of the game.
While a lot of story details remain the same, one of the biggest differences of the remake compared to the original is the lack of Live Selection system. The Live Selection System is a feature exclusive for RE3: Nemesis, which a player can select an action or multiple actions that can have a great effect to the progression of the story. The storyline would change depending on the actions you have chosen during the cutscene/s. This means the game now only has one ending compared to RE3: Nemesis’ three possible outcomes. Another big change is that Carlos Oliveira is now given a bigger role in this game compared to the original. In fact, you’ll get to play Carlos for a significant period of time.
Even with the lack of multiple endings, I still found that Resident Evil 3’s story to be quite satisfying overall.
[P.S. Don’t skip the end credits as there’s an interesting scene]
Too Fast. Too Furious.
One of the most prevalent criticisms for this game is about its length. While RE2 Remake isn’t exactly a long game, it did have lots of replay value given there are two characters and multiple endings. Resident Evil 3, on the other hands, falls way short in this department.
Given the game’s fast pace, you can finish Resident Evil 3 in around 5 to 6 hours of game time, depending on how you play it of course. It’ll also depend on what difficulty you play on as it’ll probably take a bit longer to finish when you plain the Intense Mode. Quick note though, the game’s time count stops when you pause the game, meaning actual play time counting pauses may be around 7-8 hours.
While it’s a tense and exciting 6 hours, there’s just not a lot of replay value; one of the main reasons being the lack of an alternate ending. With RE2 for example, you can play the game four times to get all endings, with two playthroughs each using Claire and Leon. With RE3, there’s just not much reason to play it again immediately and this makes the 60 USD price tag of the game a bit hard to rationalize.
Verdict – 7/10
Personally, the Resident Evil 3 Remake is an enjoyable and scary game, and it continues Capcom’s great run of Resident Evil titles starting from RE7. If you liked RE2, there’s definitely a lot to love with RE3.
The only problem though is the lack of replay value, which definitely hurts given that the game’s campaign is fairly short. Still though, if you love all things RE, you won’t be disappointed with Resident Evil 3… aside from its price.