Resident Evil 3 Remake

A year after the remake of the second game, the reimagining of Resident Evil 3 had a tough act to follow. Fans were salivating at what Capcom produced with trailers demonstrating a lot of positives. The main attraction being Nemesis, a monster that is infamous in the survival horror genre. This relentless abomination stalked gamers during the late 1990s, leaving a horrifying imprint still felt to this day.

The Resident Evil series has endured an identity crisis. Fans criticising they've lost direction in producing what they crave. That began to change with the seventh instalment, an accomplishment that scared the bejeebus out of gamers. Then came the remake of Resident Evil 2 in 2019, a grotesquely atmospheric masterpiece. A faithful reproduction that stayed true to the original concept, with logical improvements added into the story and design.

A year later, Resident Evil 3 is launched on April 3rd. Released on: Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. The story follows Jill Valentine, a member of the police group 'S.T.A.R.S', who uncovered hideous biological experiments conducted in a laboratory outside of Raccoon City. Those experiments leading to a zombie outbreak that has now gone out of control. This is the story of Jill's escape from a city that has gone to absolute hell. All thanks to the laboratory operated by the pharmaceutical organisation called Umbrella.

All the above is faithful to the original game's narrative. Unfortunately, the plot shows its shallowness from the get-go. It's one's own opinion that a different beginning would be a better option, just not in this direction. Jill has a nightmare sequence where she believes to wake up and see that she has become infected. That offered a nice layer of depth to the character, making her react as a real person would, still suffering from the traumatic events she witnessed.

Capcom delivered the classic dream sequence swerve that is ruined as Nemesis bursts into Jill's apartment looking to extract its mission. To eliminate all S.T.A.R.S members. You notice straight away there are opportunities for Nemesis to easily succeed that which it is hell-bent on doing. A series of restricted sequences lead to arguably the most ridiculous scenes that take Resident Evil 3 from being a potential survival horror into becoming an action-packed thriller. One cut scene shows Jill, driving a car into Nemesis and the pair fall off a multi-story car park. Jill is vulnerable but not significantly wounded and is saved by Carlos, the other lead protagonist who is a member of Umbrella's mercenary group sent in to save civilians.

Jill is saved in a way that has permanently ended prior bosses throughout the series. All of this happens in the first five or ten minutes, accelerating the plot to an unrecognisable start. It doesn't feel redesigned with improvement in mind, for the most part, this feels rushed by Capcom. A new direction that eliminates numerous scenes that occurred in the original game.

Disappointingly, Nemesis enters the game at scripted events, all the time. In the previous remake, we had, Mr X, a creature that stalked the player throughout a significant portion of the experience. Where he'd show up could come at a complete surprise. His haunting footsteps lingering in the background audio. A tense & chilling game of cat and mouse. This was expected of Nemesis, in fact, his character suited that concept down to the ground.

While being chased by Nemesis, avoiding flesh-eating zombies, I soon noticed that it would land in the exact same places while travelling through safe locations. It always stands outside safe locations in the same position. The latter makes a certain sense if it has already seen where you went. That isn't the real case, this feels lazy in comparison to what we saw in the Resident Evil 2 remake.

The purpose of Nemesis is really a string of boss battles. That's not said in a condescending way, they're certainly memorable and offer a decent challenge. Each iteration of Nemesis becomes ever more dangerous and eventually transforms into a creature with characteristics to the Xenomorphs in the Aliens franchise. There are also other Easter eggs that point to these classic sci-fi movies.

A positive in the story has to be the inclusion of Carlos as a playable character. Without spoiling too much for long time fans that haven't played, these do not disappoint and adds more detail that relates to the previous instalment.

Identical to the previous game, Resident Evil 3 is in the third person. Combat is done via the over shoulder camera angle. The weapons are responsive, sound great and fun to utilise. There are environmental targets to assist with surviving the undead that tries to outflank and disembowel you.

It's hard to not give credit how well these enemies look and behave. Despite being heavier on the action, they're still frightening. A single zombie still demands respect, as their movements can suddenly change slightly. This is detrimental at times, as aiming requires time to focus the reticle exactly where you need the shot to land. Moving your expands that reticle, only giving an estimated target.

The visual and audible in Resident Evil 3 is nothing short of outstanding. In these regards it's almost impossible to ask for anything more. Character models have immense attention to detail factored in. Capcom never falters in creating works of art that look and sound remarkable. Zombies are a terrifying fictional threat. How Capcom portrays them, appears closer to reality than ever before.

Story-wise, this is a short campaign, ranging between 7-9 hours I'd estimate. For those who played the original version, there's a lot cut from this re-imagining. That would be forgivable if the plot, narrative and pacing were better. It comes across as a rushed story concept thrown together at times, not much thought put into the events that unfold. What should be noticeably more petrifying, such as Nemesis itself and its role, fails to achieve what it should. It doesn't stand out, because of a hastened story and action emphasis work against it.

Resident Evil 3 could never be accused of being a bad game. There's a tonne of quality, to a level not seen by other developers in recent memory. The faults surround its design drifting from what brought that idea to the table and scripting the horror elements too heavily. What causes a player to be fearful is having complete control in situations and feeling powerless being in control. If you look back on Resident Evil 2 remake, you're fully involved during the most frightening parts. It is slower, methodical and atmospheric in tight environments.

What Resident Evil 3 potentially could have offered were larger and more relentless hordes, stalking you in larger environments. With a behemoth known as Nemesis making those grizzly odds even lower, as you're forced to take drastic actions and survive through the story progression.

At the end of the story, there's nothing else single-player wise that awaits. You're given points as currency for unlocking features on a second play-through. Which I've done and had better enjoyment by dismissing the plot entirely. To any expecting mercenary mode as a feature, I am sorry to report that isn't included here.

This is a single-player review only. The multiplayer aspect to be uploaded in the near future.

I hate to say, there are comments made that, Resident Evil 3 comes across as an expansion of the second remake. An overall good showing, though one not deserving of the full asking price on release and needs to be taken with a grain of salt for gamers familiar with the whole series.

Daniel Barker