While the latest Resident Evil 3 remake isn’t exactly the worst thing to play while in self-quarantine during a pandemic, New Horizons is the best option.
Before the zombies ever appear, the game opens with live-action footage of a reporter declaring, “This pandemic has spread sooner than any illness in contemporary history.” The film shows burning buildings and commotion in the streets. It’s not a relaxing getaway, to put it mildly.
However, Resident Evil 3 could be perfect for you if you share the same tastes as the many viewers who have helped put things like Contagion in my Netflix recommendations. It’s another smash hit from Capcom’s Resident Evil series, and it should help the rebirth of the series along.
Unfortunately, Resident Evil 3 doesn’t have the staying power of its prequel. The Resident Evil 2 remake from last year was excellent, successfully blending retro and modern elements into what is easily the best installment in the series. Following this formula, Resident Evil 3 manages to seem both too familiar and not familiar enough.
Jill Valentine, the series’ original protagonist, returns in Resident Evil 3, which continues the events of Resident Evil 2 in real-time. Resident Evil 3:
Nemesis is the name given to the PlayStation release because it alludes to the immortal, unstoppable monster that chases Jill as she tries to escape Raccoon City. That is still, in many ways, the central feature of the graph representing the current model.
What Capcom accomplished with Jill in this remake is something I appreciate. Her aesthetic is, for the most part, far fewer ’90s, and her caustic, angry character is cathartic given her situation and our own.
The script for the Resident Evil 3 remake, like that of its predecessor, embraces the campiness of its source material in order to seem more sophisticated and sure of itself than it actually is.
This is clearly demonstrated in the incredible opening sequence, which begins with Nemesis attacking Jill inside her crumbling home and concludes with a stunning flameout.
After that point, Resident Evil 3 doesn’t let up at all. It’s an action-oriented game with less of a focus on puzzles and exploration than Resident Evil 2 and a much faster pace overall.
There is an abundance of ammunition, and the settings aren’t too unsettling. Nemesis’s role is often limited to choreographed jump-scare sequences and boss bouts, but I was hoping it would be more like Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 and be an ever-present threat.
Besides a few tweaks, such as the addition of a dodge transfer, Resident Evil 3 looks and plays very similarly to its predecessor.
Technically speaking, that’s not a bad thing at all; this can be a graphically stunning game, and Capcom continues to make fantastic work with their RE Engine. In contrast, Resident Evil 3’s lightweight design and reduced scope leave a disappointing impression.
Nothing compares to Resident Evil 2’s police station, a satisfyingly large location whose depths you’d uncover a little more with each problem you solved and the item you unearthed.
Resident Evil 3 has you rushing through its short, linear levels. It looks and plays like Resident Evil 2, but it has more of an Uncharted vibe overall.
Some degree of this expectedness existed. After all, the original Resident Evil 3 was also an action-oriented game that put the spotlight on Jill and recycled some of the settings from Resident Evil 2.
The remake accurately reflects Capcom’s new direction in terms of both aesthetics and tone. While some things did make it, others did not. There were multiple outcomes and branching pathways in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis depending on your decisions during cutscenes, but none of that appears here.
Considering how short the lifespan of a remake is, that’s a huge stroke of bad luck. Resident Evil 2, released last year, was not a long game but had a lot of repeat value.
Given the game’s multiple protagonists, branching narratives, and various playable modes, it was necessary to complete the game multiple times to fully experience the plot.
While this may be true in some games, my initial playthrough of Resident Evil 3 took me only about five hours. Another early access player informed me that a later game only took a sixth of the time.
(I should note that unlike many games, the timer in this one does stop once you access the menus, die, and reload. According to Steam, I spent close to eight hours playing Resident Evil 3 before the credits rolled.
For the record, speedrunning is nothing new to the Resident Evil series, a practice that Capcom has long encouraged with high scores and unlocking bonuses.
I wouldn’t hold the game’s short length against it if there were compelling reasons to replay the final chapter more than once. Although, to the best of my knowledge, there kind of isn’t.
There is a distinct asymmetrical 4-on-1 multiplayer game in Resident Evil 3 called RE Resistance, which could extend the life of the package.
But since I haven’t had much of a chance to try it out, I think it’s best to wait and see whether it catches on before using it as a selling point. Games like Evolve demonstrate the potency of transforming this genre into commercial success.
Resident Evil 3 is a fun and competent video game that finally brings one of the series’ underappreciated chapters up to date.
However, nearly all of its strong points also appeared in Resident Evil 2, and many of those elements are now absent.
As a whole, the deal is a lot less exciting. It’s more like an expansion to two players than an entirely new game. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play, but you should know what you’re getting into before you pull the trigger.
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