“This pandemic has spread faster than any disease in modern history.”
The first line spoken in Resident Evil 3 hits close to home while the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full swing. There is no way Capcom could of planned the release of Resident Evil 3 and the current state of the world but the timing is darkly comedic.
Resident Evil 3, originally released 20 years ago, has received the same remake treatment as last year’s Resident Evil 2. This reimagining of Resident Evil 3 follows Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira as they fight their way out of a zombie infested Raccoon City. At the same time, Jill is trying to survive ambushes as she’s stalked by the ruthless Nemesis monster.
Broken up across five major sections, Resident Evil 3 is remarkably short and can be finished in 6 hours easily. However, the updated graphics have far greater detail, showing the destruction and carnage everywhere, giving a real sense of the panic and horror that was unfolding as the outbreak took hold. But the story feels very condensed and rushed, never really allowing players time to settle in and immerse themselves within this terrified city.
The gameplay itself is solid, offering challenging and satisfying combat, albeit feeling clunky and sluggish at times. This is mainly due to the dodge, since it can be frustrating and difficult to time properly. Although it will save your ass. Dodging has replaced the counter attacks found in Resident Evil 2 and if you get caught by a regular zombie, you will be taking damage even after smashing the button to escape.
That being said, enemies are pretty tough, with even the standard zombie taking several handgun shots to the head to dispatch. They also do quite a bit of damage when they grab and bite you, making playthroughs at higher difficulties even more tense, as ammo and healing items are rarer. Choose your shots wisely, making sure to hit enemy weak points so you use less ammo.
The biggest threat is Nemesis himself. He is fast, very strong and capable of killing you by landing just a couple of attacks. Throughout the game, Nemesis will ambush Jill and a battle usually ensues. Like Resident Evil 2’s Mr. X, Nemesis is almost indestructible, but doesn’t wander around looking for Jill like Mr. X did. Instead, Nemesis encounters are scripted, disrupting, high action encounters, forcing the player to flee while dodging his variety of attacks. Over time Nemesis demonstrates even more lethality, wielding weapons such as a flame thrower and rocket launcher.
Capcom also included Resident Evil Resistance free with all copies of Resident Evil 3. Taking cues from games like Dead By Daylight and Left 4 Dead, Resistance is a 4v1 asymmetric multiplayer game that task 4 players with fighting off various monsters while trying to solve puzzles to escape. Players each choose a survivor that features their own unique skills and abilities and must work as a team to escape, another person is playing as the Mastermind. The Mastermind views the game through a series of cameras and sets traps to prevent the survivors from escaping.
While it is awesome to get a chance to go back and escape from Raccoon City again, Resident Evil 3 is missing some elements that made the Resident Evil 2 remake so great. Puzzles are almost completely absent, with the few that are in the game being extremely simple. The horror isn’t quite there, with creepy moments but with overall more action focused than the previous two game that have been released. Couple that with the game being so short, Resident Evil 3 feels more like a DLC expansion to Resident Evil 2 than its own $60 game. I hoped for more and was disappointed. Hopefully we can get Resident Evil 0 and 1 remakes that are more inline with the style of gameplay Resident Evil 2 offered.