Originally released in 1999, Resident Evil 3 left its mark on an entire generation with its iconic antagonist, the Nemesis.
After remaking Resident Evil 2 and winning over players and critics alike, it's not surprising to see the sequel undergo the same process. However, Capcom surprised everyone by announcing its release just one year later.
Whether it's paving the way for future titles or just love letters to fans, this wave of remakes has created a great amount of enthusiasm. But the real question is this: does Resident Evil 3 convince us?
- Genre: Survival horror
- Release date: April 3, 2020
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Price: $59.99
- Played on: PlayStation 4
Please note that we were unable to test the multiplayer mode in Resident Evil 3 — Resident Evil Resistance — as the beta was postponed from its March 27 date due to technical problems.
The beginning of hell
On September 28, 1998, two months after the events of Spencer Manor, Jill Valentine returned to Raccoon City to investigate the actions of the Umbrella Corporation.
Unfortunately, the S.T.A.R.S. agent — who has just been relieved of her duties on this investigation — keeps having strange dreams. Soon, her routine is broken when one of her colleagues, Brad Vickers, warns her of imminent danger. A huge monster will soon hunt her through the streets of the city: The Nemesis.
The action takes place 24 hours before the events of Resident Evil 2. The two remakes remain consistent with each other, and we suggest that you play the second beforehand, to fully experience the third, even if it's not necessary to understand the story.
Nemesis: The real S.T.A.R. of this episode
Resident Evil 3 takes a very different turn from its predecessor, putting pure survival horror to one side and taking a much more dynamic, action-packed approach.
The Nemesis is a real brute who will chase you throughout the adventure, using a variety of methods to destroy you. Capcom said it would be a much bigger threat than Mr. X was in Resident Evil 2, and the Japanese publisher wasn't wrong.
The AI has been greatly improved, and The Nemesis is stronger, more agile and much faster than you. It can use its tentacles to pull you towards him, sprint, jump ahead of you, destroy walls, and even deploy an arsenal of firearms that would fit nicely on a tank.
On top of that, the Nemesis can infect zombies and turn them into minions, similar to the Plagas of Resident Evil 4.
In addition to the well-stocked arsenal and accessories you can find throughout Raccoon City, there are other defensive methods available to you.
Besides direct confrontation — which risks wasting precious ammo — the environment will also be a valuable ally. From electric generators that can paralyze enemies to explosive barrels, observing your surroundings is essential.
On top of that, the new dodging mechanic is very important in fights taking place in cramped areas. With the right timing, it's possible to make a perfect dodge, giving you time to aim with the help of bullet time.
Other enemies, while still scary and sometimes difficult to land headshots on, are only a minor concern compared to the Nemesis. He has several impressive forms, and unfortunately eclipses the rest of the rather small bestiary.
A dark city and a gloomy environment
Let's face it — the RE Engine works wonders once again. Details and light effects have been improved, and the shadows work perfectly to help create a convincingly horrific atmosphere. In addition, the polished OST is worthy of the series, and a real treat for the ears.
A slight downside, however, is that some parts of Resident Evil 2 have been recycled, while some major parts of the original Resident Evil 3 have been sacrificed without any real explanation.
We lament this decision, especially since the adventure can be completed in seven or eight hours. The transition from Jill to Carlos is very linear, and in the continuity of the main story. This deepens the character of Carlos, and changes the tone from fast action to a more survival horror atmosphere.
The map is still effective, and the rooms in which an item has been left will once again appear in red. Beyond that, in the first part of the game finding your way around the streets of Raccoon City won't be very complicated, since this area is very well thought out and quite small.
Knowing that the streets of Raccoon City are surely the biggest part of the game, we'll just have to go back and forth to get everything and solve the puzzles. The more time we take to explore, the more we'll realize how small the place is.
As for the puzzles, there are fewer of them and they are much less inspired. The solutions are often quite obvious. The weapons and different accessories are also pretty easy to get — and it's this overall lack of difficulty that contributes to the short lifespan of the game.
Resident Evil 3 works very well. The adventure will delight action fans without sacrificing what constitutes the soul of the series, the survival horror. The atmosphere is amazing, oppressive and reinforced by the constant pressure of the Nemesis, which benefits from much better AI than Mr. X. The RE Engine is more precise and the music plunges us into a nightmare.
However, the adventure is quite simple in its confrontations, thanks to new gameplay mechanics, and won't put your brain to the test. The few puzzles are very basic and the weapons and accessories aren't really hidden, making the single-player adventure very short.
Still, we had a great time with Jill and Carlos, and Capcom has proved once again the quality of the Resident Evil series.