Resident Evil 3 is a survival horror game which came out on 3rd April 2020, developed by Capcom. It is a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis which came out in 1999. It follows Jill and Carlos as they navigate through Raccoon City in a pandemic world while being chased by a bioweapon specifically targeting Jill. This takes place at the same time as (or a little earlier than) Resident Evil 2.
Last year, Capcom released the remake of Resident Evil 2 which was one of the best games that came out in 2019. And thus, the expectations were high for the sequel.
What worked for Resident Evil 3 Remake
Resident Evil games have some of the best graphics and character designs we have seen lately. This game had tiny audio and visual details added to it which enhanced the experience of the game play. Details such as the movement of liquids in the vials, the smudged surface of walls in the facilities, the sound of crunching grass while our character walks, and the lighting that plays with the shadows added to the atmospheric setting of Raccoon City.
There were ample resources for our characters- Guns, bullets, other weapons, grenades, acid rounds, health restoring agents & the red barrels/electricity bursts we could use against our enemies to kill/slow them down along with the powerful end weapon Jill finds to kill Nemesis, the bioweapon: the big bad guy of this game. With these many resources, and the frequency with which the game provides them to us with, the players hardly need to worry about losing a battle and are more focused on the constant action which runs the game.
The design of Nemesis is scarier than that of its predecessor, Mr. X. And there are dramatic mutations which the Nemesis goes through in the game. But we will talk later about why they weren't enough to make the character induce enough panic in the players.
It was quick paced, there was always something happening. So as long as you played it, it kept you engaged in the game. The familiar settings of navigation through Raccoon City was delightful, especially for the players returning from the Resident Evil 2 Remake. Going through the Police Station and the Gun Store was refreshing. The overlaps were just enough to remind you of the familiar settings without going too far and indulging too much into what happens in the other game in regards to the items, puzzles and kills.
The end of Raccoon City was stirring to watch.
What did not work for Resident Evil 3 Remake
The thing that makes me feel aloof from the game was the fact that I wasn't much involved with the characters themselves. Jill and Carlos were amazing characters with good dialogues that made you laugh sometimes, and it was warm to see them care about each other. But because of the pace of the game, it left no room for the story itself to build up and the character familiarization couldn't fully mature, feeling like it was no longer a priority. Unlike the Resident Evil 2 Remake, where I was playing along Leon, Claire and Ada who I felt for so deeply, I couldn't make such warm connections with Jill and Carlos.
The comparison I made of Nemesis with Mr. X is because as fun as Nemesis is with his new strength and the mutations, he no where delivers terror as well as Mr. X did in Resident Evil 2 Remake. The entry and exits of Nemesis felt like they were scripted for the entirety of the game and the suspense of the chase was absent. Although, I must say that in the first part of the game, he did manage to creep us out in the chase through Raccoon City until the Boss Fight on the roof top with the generators and the cool fire effects.
The abundance of resources we find with ammo and the different guns for both Jill and Carlos (for which they have to do very little hard work) and health received makes you feel very secured throughout the game. You are loaded to the point that you don't have to care about running out of them while fighting the zombies. And if you do, there is more than enough lying around for you to find. This security adds to the absence of fear in the game. This combined with the lack of terror by Nemesis removes the thrill from the game. He even runs around in the arena, without attacking you to give you time *face palm*.
The gameplay is short as well. Shorter than I had expected. Even after making sure you collect all the resources such as herbs and ammo from every area, you can easily finish the game within 6 hours. The lack of puzzles and opportunity to explore the area of Raccoon City was a let down.
However, the biggest complaint I have is with the animations. The new dodges and punches Jill and Carlos are equipped with come with annoying after-act animations which slow them down if you make a wrong move (unlike RE2 Remake where you could shove a grenade into the mouth of zombies and blast them), and it can get very repetitive very quickly.
It was also very sad to see that most Boss Fights with Nemesis end with animations, and not the player actually fighting him to death. These also allowed for poor design to leak in for example the battle in front of the clock tower. My character was not carrying the grenade launcher at that time. But the animation included the grenade launcher and she magically appeared to have one. A lot of other people have also noticed this. It takes you out of the frame and reminds you that this is just a game.
It is a linear game, with no multiple endings or options to sway away from the main path for a while. And if you do, you are not rewarded generously. There is next to no horror, especially after playing RE2 Remake. The Nemesis should have had a little more presence. He felt underused, especially after having a terrifying built.
It is not a bad game
Pointing out all of the limitations here makes it feel like I did not enjoy the experience. That is not true. Resident Evil 3 Remake is fun as you're playing it. As mentioned, it keeps you immersed in the RE universe with all the action. But beyond the screen, the story, the fear or the characters did not stick with me. I have compared this game to the RE2 Remake because it is inescapable. The universes of both of these overlap.
The visuals are phenomenal and the details are beyond excellence. I do want to credit them for that.
I have not played the original or RE1, so to me this game was an introduction for these characters. It could be a reason as to why I did not feel involved with them. I have heard others complain about some areas missing from the remake, but I do not share their disappointment (which is good, otherwise it would have added to the list of complaints). It was rushed. However, it doesn't do enough damage for me to completely derail from the RE universe, of course. I am looking forward for Resident Evil 8, after Biohazard (which, too, was amazing).