In classic style, Resident Evil 3 The remake substitutes its predecessor's dependence on survival scares, for a more action-orientated experience. The result resembles the original game's infamous shift toward action.
Sometimes to the detriment of gameplay.
Even so, Resident Evil 3 The remake is a highly polished and faithful reimagining of Capcom's third entry in the cult-classic franchise. A hellish horror boosted ever-further, by Capcom's impressive RE Engine.
In short, fans of the franchise will have a field day with Resident Evil 3 The Remake, despite a lack of its STAR attraction, The Nemesis.
So, The Story Goes
(Image credit: Capcom)
Those of us familiar with the central story are aware of the underlying premise. But I'll reiterate for this review. The story revolves around lead protagonist Jill Valentine, and her heroic efforts to escape Raccoon City, following a vicious viral outbreak.
Interestingly, Jill's backstory relates to the original Resident Evil. As an ex-member of STAR'S, Jill formed part of a highly-skilled division belonging to Racoon City's Police task force. An elite team almost wiped off the map entirely, after the infamous monster invasion of the mansion incident.
In other words, Resident Evil 1. That's just so that you know.
So, it's safe to say. Jill has seen her fair share of horror. But now, she comes face-to-face with an even darker reality. Her most dangerous enemy yet. The Umbrella Corporation's lab-born virus, and the byproduct of its lethal birth. The terrifying and relentless monster, known as Nemesis.
All in all, the core story still holds up well. Especially true, given the fact, it's over 20 years old. That's a long time. Part of that sense of longevity is down to its iconic lead character, and Her strong supporting cast. But also, the horrific nature of Resi 3's vile villain, the Nemesis.
In truth, the Resident Evil series was never going to win any awards for original character scripts. Or screenplay, even. Is C'mon, who are we kidding? With that in mind, there are still tons of cultural clichés, cheesy lines of dialogue, and enough one-liners to give Arnie a run for his Dollar.
Even so, that formula fits the mold beautifully. With the action scaled up to optimum output, the story does a superb job of pacing out the relentless onslaught of zombie-infested carnage, with cleverly crafted cutscenes that mark the end of each section.
Even if they're presence does prevent or impact exploration, on occasion.
(Image credit: Capcom)
Next up, we tackle the main villain of the piece. In what can only be one of the most iconic bosses in all of video game history. So, how does the new depiction fare? Well, on the visual front, Nemesis looks every bit as menacing as the original archetype.
And by comparison, most of the gameplay sections which feature the lab-born brute are equally scary. Some even take the breath away.
In Resi 3, the Remake, Nemesis plays a similar role to Mr. X. So, a quick recap for those that aren't aware. At specific points in the previous remake, Mr. X would appear out of nowhere. Thus, rapidly homing on your position in Raccoon City Police station. Naturally, this gave birth to a series of intense escape scenes, issuing moments of sheer tension in the process, as you desperately attempt to shake off the oncoming invader.
In Resi 3, the presence of Nemesis follows on in a similar vein. However, this time, the stakes couldn't be higher. Unlike Mr. X, Nemesis is much more mobile. At times, he'll even sprint towards you at terrifying speeds. On top of that, Nemesis has a superior intellect and comes armed with the ability to use weapons against you.
Moreover, the A.I is on-point. So much so, Nemesis's actions appear to center around the player's choices and movements alone. As if he's analyzing your every move. He's not just blindly stampeding toward you, with no sense for his surroundings. Instead, he'll alter his strategy accordingly, in line with Jills' missteps.
As you might imagine, this cooks up some thrilling escape scenarios.
Move too far away or out of his field of vision, and the Nemesis will reach out and grab you, pulling you ever closer with his slimy tendrils. On the other hand, run away in one direction, and there's a percentage chance that Nemesis will leap ahead of you and block your exit.
So, so scary. The stuff of nightmares. One might say.
Action Takes Centre Stage
(Image credit: Capcom)
Unlike the previous two Resident Evil games, Resi 3 marked a significant turning point for Capcom, as it tailored its brand toward more action-orientated experiences. The prime example being Resident Evil 4. Now that was a game, marvelous by all accounts. But a far cry from the formula fans of the franchise had grown to love.
That's not to say there aren't still traces of that old magic still lingering around. Yes, in Resident Evil 3 The remake, you'll be much more overpowered than previous entries. And so, ammo and item preservation become far less of a concern. Partly due to the sheer mass of enemies, Jill must attack or avoid.
By that, I mean, there is no escaping the vast volume of zombie hordes at every turn. And that sense of helplessness never ceases for a second.
So expect, much less of a moody, atmospheric experience like that of Resident Evil 1, and 2. Acting in its place is a more no-nonsense, fast, and furious affair—one with the chance of sudden death a grim reality, and vast hordes of zombies commonplace.
Is it as good as the Resi 2 Remake? For me, not quite. But it's still a remarkably stable reboot, that should stand the test of time.
(Image Credit: Capcom)
And now for the moment, you've all been gasping for, the final verdict. All in all, the Resi 3 remake shares a level of intensity, unseen in previous entries. At times, that sadly subtracts some of the slow-burning moments of suspense so popular with the Resi 2 remake.
On the other hand, it leads to some of the most intense and exhilarating action sequences of the current-gen. So, it's a bittersweet affair. But mostly sumptuous, overall.
In terms of polish and presentation, it's every bit as impressive as its remade predecessor. I'm speaking both in terms of gameplay, the story, and vastly reworked cinematics. Even so, the framework won't please all. But those with a stern interest in the celebrated classic will want to revisit Raccoon City one last time.
Of that, I'm sure.
Overall, the Resi 3 Remake acts as a decent swansong for a trilogy both sacred and sorely loved the world over by horror fans and gamers alike. Can you hack the hideous horrors of Raccoon City? Take the plunge, if you dare! But be warned, you may well meet your Nemesis!