Source: Windows Central
Since 2017, Capcom has been on a hot streak with the Resident Evil franchise, getting back to the roots that horror fans first fell in love with, long before any boulders were punched. Resident Evil 3 continues this trend in spades, placing players back in the boots of Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape from Raccoon City while being pursued by one of Umbrella’s most dreaded creations, Nemesis.
Building on the incredible foundation provided by last year’s Resident Evil 2, Capcom delivers another successful horror remake, with the earlier portions, in particular, being among the very best the series has to offer. The ending drags a bit, and a couple of removals from the original game are odd choices. That said, when you combine the tense gameplay that balances horror with action, the immersive sound design and the gorgeous visuals we’ve come to expect from the RE engine, it all adds up into a great remake and a phenomenal survival horror title.
Bottom line: While a couple of things could’ve been tweaked to provide a longer experience, Capcom provides a fantastic survival horror remake that carefully balances the action with the terror. You will fear Nemesis.
- Stellar visuals
- Immersive audio design
- Nemesis provides a horrifying, unrelenting threat
- Combat that balances tension with action
- Some disappointing omissions from the original game
What I loved about Resident Evil 3
Source: Windows Central
Since this is a remake, I don’t want to say too much about the story or what has and hasn’t changed. Suffice to say that this presentation of Jill Valentine is easily my favorite of the character, and I’m hoping we get to see more of her in the future. She’s competent, tough, and no-nonsense, capable of handling herself against far more zombies than rookies Leon or Claire in Resident Evil 2.
The opening to this game is simply incredible and is probably my favorite opening of any Resident Evil game ever. Straight off the bat, Resident Evil 3 makes it clear that even if you’re a veteran, you may not be prepared for what’s coming. The tone is immediately set, with the action blending into widescale horror remarkably well. Did you think a zombie or three in the cramped halls of the Racoon Police Department was scary? Try a horde on the streets of the city. The footsteps of Mr. X were anxiety-inducing? Those footsteps are a lot faster and heavier with Nemesis on the prowl.
…probably my favorite opening of any Resident Evil game ever.
Speaking of Nemesis, he’s the highlight here and for a good reason. Trying to escape him at long range? It’s rocket launcher time. Suddenly veered off to escape him? Cool, now watch as he jumps over you and slides down a wall to greet you. Not only is Nemesis such an ever-present threat, but there’s incredible attention to detail in just how Nemesis stalks you down. There’s an uncanny intelligence and predatory nature, so I never felt safe, no matter how many times I briefly got Nemesis to stop chasing me or blocked him off.
Every foe looks disgustingly detailed, with a greater overall enemy variety than Resident Evil 2, which helped keep me on my toes until the very end of the game. The HDR is also much-improved since Resident Evil 2, with that weird gray filter gone and the highlights popping appropriately against the shadowed environments. The city, much of which is set aflame or wreathed in neon lights, always looked brilliant.
|Players||Single-player campaign, 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer|
|Xbox Play Anywhere||No|
All in all, the RE engine provided stunningly detailed environments while also aiming for a smooth 60 FPS. While there were some occasional drops during particularly busy scenes, such as when an entire group of zombies was being blown apart or set aflame, it was solid for the most part.
The incredible audio design is a massive part of the overall atmosphere and has to be commended. It’s one thing worrying about Nemesis lurking around the corner; it’s another altogether to hear that iconic “Staaarrrrsss” growl and KNOW Nemesis is right around the corner. Whether it’s the thumping heavy footsteps, hisses, growls, and moans of different afflicted foes or the creaks and groans of sewer machinery, the sounds of Resident Evil 3 are always perfect for putting you on edge. The notable exception, of course, is the music that plays in the safe rooms, instantly allowing a wave of calm to wash over you.
I finished it on Normal in about seven and a half hours…
In the original Resident Evil 3, there was a decision mechanic that led to different results depending on what the player did. That mechanic has been removed, and there’s only one set path here, with only one outcome. While this could be disappointing to some, the removal of these branching paths means the game can focus on some setpiece moments, with a couple of boss battles being particularly stunning with just how many options and details are crammed in.
Overall, it’s perhaps slightly longer than Resident Evil 2. I finished it on Normal in about seven and a half hours, a time that I am sure will be embarrassed by the hyper-competent speedrunners of the Resident Evil community. There are several different difficulty modes to explore and plenty of collectibles to find, so there’s certainly numerous reasons to go back and replay, even if there aren’t separate A-B routes like in Resident Evil 2.
What I disliked about Resident Evil 3
Source: Windows Central
…veterans of the original game may be surprised or disappointed at what ends up being cut here.
On a related topic, Capcom again continues the pattern of a Resident Evil game’s ending, not being quite as strong as the rest of the game. With that in mind, keeping in some of the portions that have been cut might’ve helped the final section not feel as samey and could’ve been used to break up the gameplay in some more interesting ways.
I did not get a chance to play Resident Evil Resistance for this review, so I’m not including it in this summary. Just be aware that it is included with the purchase of Resident Evil 3.
Should you buy Resident Evil 3?
Source: Windows Central
If you enjoy horror games, it doesn’t matter if you’re a longtime Resident Evil fan or someone looking for a scary experience, grabbing this is simply a no-brainer. The combat feels great, and the balance between action and fear feels incredibly well handled, while at this point, it just goes without saying that a game built with the RE engine will look great and run smoothly. Capcom is now three for three with Resident Evil games since 2017, and I’m looking forward to wherever the series goes next, be it a new mainline game or another remake.
Get out of the city
Resident Evil 3 takes Jill Valentine’s escape from Raccoon City and brings it up to modern standards, with tight gunplay and action merged with tense survival horror.
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