An honor rarely bestowed on a remake, Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 received numerous Game of the Year nominations (and a few wins) last year. As a result, everyone was eagerly anticipating the release of Resident Evil 3, a reimagined version of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis from the days of the original PlayStation console.
Obviously, a game about an outbreak of a deadly virus couldn’t have been timed better (and no, I’m not running with any kind of conspiracy theory here), because as we self-isolate it’s all the more eerie to walk the streets of Raccoon City as its hit by a similar (albeit far more severe) situation. What helps, in this regard, is that Capcom has once again added an incredible amount of polish to the game’s visuals – perhaps raising the bar even higher than Resident Evil 2 did. The lighting, the character models, the environments, everything look gorgeous almost to the point of giving it a pre-rendered feel.
The game keeps up this level of quality throughout the entire campaign as well, which is noteworthy because Resident Evil 3 is more diverse than Resident Evil 2 in terms of the nature and scale of its locations. While last year’s game mostly stuck to narrow streets and alleys, this new remake features a lot more open areas and expanses – much like the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis did.
This isn’t a straight up port or rework of that game though, because the changes that have been applied are far greater than they were for the Resident Evil 2 remake. Memorable locations and enemies have been eliminated from the game, even though it does still follow the same narrative for the most part. But things like the park and the iconic clock tower are gone, as is that giant worm creature you had to fight. That may sound like Resident Evil 3 was severely trimmed down, but it’s more of a reimagining with new locations and confrontations instead.
While some elements of the game will be missed because of that, especially by fans, the changes do benefit the pacing of the campaign, which is improved from the original. You, as Jill Valentine, still get stalked by the seemingly unstoppable mutant Nemesis, although he’s not as impressive an antagonist as Resident Evil’s Mr. X is. Once you master the dodge controls, a lot of danger that surrounds him passes, which is a shame in terms of the level of suspense.
It makes sense in terms of the type of game that Resident Evil 3 always was though – a halfway point between the survival horror roots of the first two games and the more action-oriented Resident Evil 4. Less reliant on careful ammo conservation and slowly approaching the next corner, Resident Evil 3 is more about action and set pieces. From that perspective – if you’re a fan of the movie adaptations, then you’ll probably prefer Resident Evil 3 over last year’s game. It’s on the short side though, and a less tense experience means it leaves less of a lasting impression – though that may be personal preference.
The campaign isn’t all you get though – Resident Evil 3 comes with an asymmetrical multiplayer mode called Resident Evil: Resistance. We didn’t play around with this mode too much yet, but the concept is fun – especially when you’re in control of the level design and get to set traps for the other players. We’ll see if it catches on with the player base, but it’s a nice freebie worth checking out after you complete the single player campaign – which in itself is more than worth the price of admission as the best equivalent to the Hollywood movies in the franchise so far.