Capcom’s 2020 survival horror game, Resident Evil 3 is a remake of the 1999 Playstation classic, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Following on from the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake released last year, Resident Evil 3 certainly looks like a modern day game, but can a 20 year old game with updated visual stand up to its peers? I’m not quite sure.
For those of you who are looking to jump into Resident Evil for the first time, let me fill you in. Resident Evil takes place in the fictional town of Raccoon City, where the big bad of the game, Umbrella Corporation, have released something called the T-Virus which basically turns everyone into zombies. In each of the Resident Evil games, you play as a different character and follow their story as you try to survive this apocalyptic outbreak.
This iteration follows Jill Valentine, a former Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) member who is planning to escape Racoon City and the outbreak within the next few days. This plan is quickly sped up when Jill is attacked by the monster, Nemesis, a semi-intelligent, mutant bioweapon engineered by Umbrella Corp. to eliminate any threat to their organization. And thus the game begins. (Side note, you do also get to play as Carlos “definitely was due for a haircut before the outbreak started” Oliveira, but the main focus of the game is Jill).
If you’ve not played the original Resident Evil 3, one thing you’ll soon notice is the rollercoaster pacing of this game. One moment you’re running away from Nemesis and the next you’re patrolling a police station trying to solve a puzzle while occasionally shooting some zombies. Unlike Resident Evil 2’s Mr X, who is almost always looking for you and chasing you down, Nemesis only ever appears as part of a scripted “run away” section or boss battle. With Nemesis being scripted as such, it really takes away from the horror and fear that Nemesis should instill in players. As mentioned previously, Mr X is always on the prowl, he doesn’t care if you’re in the middle of solving a puzzle, he’s going to swoop in and grab you. No amount of bullets or running away is going to stop that. You always have the “better watch your back” feeling, which obviously is a great feeling to have during a horror game.
Aside from predictable horror story tropes (which I can’t really touch on without giving away spoilers) and a relatively unimpressive big bad, one of my main frustrations with Resident Evil 3 is the forced camera angle. You are locked into looking over Jill’s (or Carlos’) right shoulder. Maybe this was set like this to try and add tension to the game. Due to the specific camera angle, it was nearly impossible to see what was around certain corners, let alone shooting zombies that were clearly in view but the angle prevented you from putting the crosshairs over them. This was made abundantly clear during a section in the police station as Carlos. The narrow corridors and the ever quick Licker enemy made for an extremely frustrating time. (Not to mention you’ve just escaped from an extremely cramped changing room filled with zombies who have probably taken a couple of bites out of you.)
With Resident Evil 3, one thing I think we can all agree on is that the remake looks absolutely fantastic. If you told me that Jennifer Lawrence was motion-captured for Jill Valentine, I would 100% believe you, no questions asked. The zombies and Nemesis look especially gross, and the detail on the zombies when you shoot off a limb is incredible.
While Resident Evil 3 is a visually impressive game, veteran gamers will likely be done with this game in two sittings. The main story campaign concludes in about six hours at a “check all the nooks and crannies” pace. However, the game tasks you with beating it in under two hours if you want to attain the elusive S Rank. As for replayability, unless you are an achievement hunter, there’s really nothing more for you to do. Having said that, Resident Evil 3 is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into the horror genre and anyone new to the Resident Evil franchise. At any rate, I hope Capcom continues this trend of remakes, I’m hoping to see Resident Evil 4 next year.