The Story Behind Resident Evil 3 Remake
The storyline of Resident Evil 3 Remake is very much that of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis from 20 years ago. The year is 1998, and you play the role of Jill Valentine in the time between the incident at Spencer Mansion and incident in the police station that saw Leon and Claire go through their own hell. RE3, for intents and purposes could have been called Resident Evil 1.5, but we’ll leave that discussion for another day. Jill is a survived of the Spencer Mountain incident, and she finds herself in Racoon City with the goal of exposing the Umbrella Corporation for the outbreak of zombies. The problem is that Umbrella is out to eliminate every surviving S.T.A.R.S member to keep the conspiracy a secret from the outside world. To succeed, Umbrella has released Nemesis, the ultimate bioweapon that’s hellbent on finding and killing every member of S.T.A.R.S., Jill Valentine included.
Resident Evil 3 Remake Gameplay
In terms of general gameplay, RE3 is a lot like RE2 – it features the same over-the-shoulder third-person perspective. As a whole, the game retains a lot of the original of the 1999 original, while there are some subtle changes along the way. Left over lockers and safes from RE2 blend the two games together despite the different timelines, and you’ll find that ammo feels more plentiful than before unless you play on the highest difficulty setting. You still need to be mindful of your ammo, of course, but in RE3, you can use your knife as an offensive weapon – something that wasn’t implemented in the remake of Resident Evil 2. Something we really liked is the fact that you need to know your enemy. You need to know its weak points and you need to know how to dispatch it quickly.
RE3 is definitely more action oriented that RE2 in terms of game mechanics, but it’s still a survival horror game at its core and doesn’t lack moments of tension. To be quite honest, we expected Nemesis to be a lot more dominating in the game, but he wasn’t nearly as big of a problem as we expected – especially not in comparison to Mr. X in RE2. Nemesis is really only present during certain parts of the storyline but, when you do encounter him, he’s tougher to deal with that you might expect. For his size, he’s fast and agile all while being extremely aggressive. You’ll also find that he has no problems slinging the dead at you with every opportunity that comes his way.
As we expected, there’s only one campaign in RE3 Remake, which means Capcom didn’t build too far off the original. You still get to see the game from two perspectives, though, as you’ll get the chance to play as both Jill and Carlos. In our experience, both of them handled about the same but are unique in their abilities. As an example Jill will roll off to one side or the other to avoid an attack (with a press of the R1 button) while Carlos will go gangster and punch or tackle the enemy. These maneuvers aren’t easy to get the hang of either – it took us hours of playing to perfect the timing of evading attacks, so don’t get frustrated with it, just keep working at it.
RE3 Visuals, Graphics, and Audio – Best of the Year so Far
We don’t take what we’re about to say lightly, but RE3 Remake is, in a gruesome way, one of most beautiful games we’ve seen launch so far in 2020. The remastering of various structures and locations is on point, and the amazing detail of the zombies is downright nightmare inducing. If you have the chance to play at 4K, make sure you do – just don’t let the kids see you play. The insane graphics and high level of details really inspired us to explore the city, which was a lot more open in comparison to the original from 20 years ago. You also have to look in every dark corner if you’re looking for ammo or secrets – the revised shading and detail of shadows makes things that much more realistic. There’s no doubt that Capcom put a lot of time and effort into redesigning the city and taking advantage of everything the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and any high-end PC is capable of. It’s almost a shame we don’t get the game with next-gen console compatibility, but at the same time, we can’t imagine the quality of the graphics being that much better.
In terms of audio, RE3 actually makes us wonder just how much better things can get with both Microsoft and Sony boasting new, high-tech audio solutions for the Xbox Series X and PS5, respectively. The revamped audio in RE3 is, well, perfect. I truly believe that the audio is as good as it can get with the technology we have right now, and you can here all the little details from a chain knocking against a pipe in the distance to the groan of a zombie down a dark alley. You can even hear wind whistling and gunshots in the distance – it really does put you inside the game and give you the feeling that you’re experiencing what’s going on all around you.
The Campaign and Final Verdict
The campaign of RE3 Remake is familiar yet different. There’s more to see and explore, and the game is harder than the original. The campaign, however, is quite short with our first playthrough being completed in just under 10 hours total. Granted, we didn’t explore quite as much as we could, but if you stick exclusively to the storyline, you can probably see it from start to finish with one late night, a couple of Monster energy drinks, and an evening pizza order. Then again, you can’t really criticize Capcom for this as even the 1999 original was designed to be more of a spin-off than a continuation or tie in to the story – hence what it’s based in a slightly different time frame compared to the first Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2. As I said before, RE3 could have been called Resident Evil 1.5 and it would have been entirely accurate. The game is important to the initial storyline as it gives you more perspective, no doubt, but it’s also completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. If you want to stretch out the length of the campaign, you can easily hunt down all of the safe codes and lockers to collect the extras and don’t forget to hunt down all of the hidden bobbleheads and files. If you want to cover every single bit of the game, you can probably get a good 14 or 15 hours out of it.
Overall, Resident Evil 3 Remake is an excellent game and our hats go off to the work that went into remastering it. Considering the design of the original, you really couldn’t ask for much more and while we still favor Resident Evil 2 a bit more, that doesn’t change the fact that Resident Evil 3 is awesome in its own right despite the few shortcomings it has. If you’re a fan of the series or just a fan of horror or zombie games, this is one you don’t want to pass up.