Resident Evil 3: Review – Welcome to Raccoon City
I have kept this as spoiler-free as possible. I would take an in-depth look at the story and other major spoilers at a later date when more people have a chance to play it.
If there is one thing that Capcom has perfected in recent years, its remasters. More specifically, Resident Evil remasters.
On April 3rd – or earlier depending on where you ordered from – the world got to revisit Racoon City with Jill Valentine. Needless to say, it was a sadistic joy from start to finish. Those you who thought Mr X – AKA Tyrant – was terrifying were in for a rude awakening. Nemesis is in a league of its own, this hunking beast of a bioweapon will purse Jill throughout the entire game. Unlike Mr X who only shows up at scripted portions of RE2, heck, if you choose Claire in the remake he shows up for half an hour in one section at most, maybe even less if you are in beast mode and storm through the police station.
Jill Valentine is not that lucky, since, you know, Nemesis is engineered to kill S.T.A.R.S members. A zombie outbreak clearly wasn’t enough, Umbrella thought ‘hey! Let’s make this more interesting’. However, Valentine does end up with a nice arsenal of weapons – triple-ammoed grenade launcher anyone.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Resident Evil 3 is superb. It controls well, and the new dodge option is on point. If you perfect your dodge, it gives you a slow-motion window to fill those zombies up with bullets. It could also save your life against Nemesis, so, you might want to get familiar with it – unless getting turned into a pile of mush by a sexy monster in a bin bag is your thing (I’m not judging).
Sure, the game isn’t long, on average it will take between six and seven hours to finish – unless you are a die-hard Resi fan then you can likely half that time or even quarter it (my first run through to 3 hours and 18 minutes). But, this is not a thing to complain about as some critics have. It is a remake. Pure and simple. A remake based on a game from the 1990s on the PlayStation, so, no, it is not going to be a long-ass game. Since when did it become a crime to have a shorter game that is top quality as opposed to 50 hours of garbage?
Want to know the main reason for playing this game? Jill Valentine is a badass! No two ways about it, as a character, she is not one to be messed with. Taking control of her and journeying through Raccoon City will leave you feeling like you can fight anyone and anything – seriously, come at me bro! Furthermore, Valentine is one of the most beloved Resident Evil characters to have ever been created. She was of course there when it all began, in that infamous mansion. The fact that she has received a wonderful makeover doesn’t hurt either.
Leon Kennedy is likely the overall fan-favourite, but I am confident in saying that Jill is easily in the top three – Claire Redfield being the one to close out the most loved Resident Evil badasses. Honestly, it is a toss-up on who the best female protagonist in the series is – Valentine or Redfield.
However, we cannot forget Carlos – what a lad! It is a crime that he and that fabulous hair have not featured in any more Resi titles. I’d like to start a movement to bring him back for the eighth instalment. Bugger it, pair him and Jill up again and have them go after Umbrella – million-dollar idea.
Any good survival horror game worth its salt will feature a variety of monsters and villains. RE3 just needed one, Nemesis. That thing is the stuff of nightmares, seriously, you may need some therapy after running from him and fighting him for what feels like a lifetime. He does inspire terror, crucial for any monstrous nemesis – see what I did there? – and when you first see him with a rocket launcher, well, Jill’s reaction summed up mine perfectly…” he’s got a rocket launcher, REALLY!” I agree Jill, bit overkill.
There are multiple boss encounters with the big bad bioweapon, and each one is more intense and intimidating than the last. The first of which was newly created just for this remake.
One of the best things that Capcom nailed was the different challenges posed in each fight. Taking on the same boss repeatedly has the potential to get repetitive and frankly quite dull, but Nemesis has some key differences in each fight – or at the very least the environment Jill finds herself in adds a unique feature to each battle. Must admit, I had no idea there were so many ways to ‘kill’ that damn monster – all the aggro is worth Valentine’s ultimate moment of badassness in the closing moments of the game.
There is another antagonist too, after all, what Resident Evil game would be complete without a mad man enjoying all the chaos. As with all other human villains in the series, he is a bit of a dick and clearly has some unresolved family issues that he should have really seen a therapist about.
Another critical component to a horror game is the atmosphere, the devastation of Racoon City contributes to this nicely. The sense of impending doom filling you with dread, exploring the unknown, being so unsure if you’re going to make it all cause this game to become shrouded in the atmosphere. It is intense from start to finish – from getting kicked, thrown and blown out of the apartment building to getting on that chopper to leave this hell hole of a city.
I should point out that for the trophy hunters out there, Resident Evil 3 isn’t as difficult as one might think. Upon first completing the game, you will unlock a store in which you can spend points – earned through in-game challenges – to get an advantage in the zombie invested city. Antique coins that boost defence and regenerate health are available and of course infinite ammo. The top prize is infinite rocket launcher ammo, all the items available go a long way in helping to combat the harder difficulties. Don’t you just miss the days where a quick cheat code gave you unlimited ammo and health, ah, I felt like a god.
Capcom nailed this remake, there was never any doubt that they would with the reputation they are building themselves. Do I recommend this game? I do, I would suggest playing this to anybody – it was full-on from start to finish, it made the most out of its shorter run time.
There is a bit of fan service in this game if you played the Resident Evil 2 remake and had some unanswered questions about the police station you may just get your answers in Resident Evil 3. You will also spot a couple of familiar faces – ah memories, well not great memories but memories none the less.
All that’s left for me to say is, yo Capcom, when am I getting my damn Dino Crisis remake?