Thanks to leaks from YouTuber Spawn Wave and a Eurogamer report, we now know that by all reasonable doubt that Resident Evil 3 is indeed being remade by Capcom and is slated for a 2020 release. Although this is yet to be confirmed by Capcom.
If the game is anything like the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake then this is excellent news. After all that game was a critical and commercial success, managing to respect what came before while offering a masterful update. RE2 (2019) offered slick gameplay while managing to retain what made the original so terrifying and addictive.
But how should Capcom present the game? What should be similar or different from the original Resident Evil 3 or the RE2 remake?
We’re sure that Capcom will be remaking the third chapter using the same assets from RE2. They’ve already made another game, multiplayer spin-off; Project Resistance with them. Read more about the gameplay of that here.
What’s the story this time?
Like RE2, RE3 is set in Racoon City and charts the final hours of the zombie infested city while the government scrambles to contain the T-Virus outbreak. More importantly, the game also covers the escape of RE1 heroine Jill Valentine as she attempts to flee the city. As she does so she’s pursued by a monster called Nemesis.
In the story of RE, the villains, the Umbrella Corporation are looking to eliminate anyone who knows about their illegal experiments or sales of biological weapons (BOWs) on the black market. The Tyrant, Mr X in Resident Evil 2 had two mission objectives, retrieve the G-Virus and kill anyone left in the Racoon City Police Department, as they may have known too much after speaking to the surviving STARs members. This theme continues in RE3, but tenfold.
Nemesis is a Tyrant created by Umbrella who’s been given some upgrades. He’s not chasing young girls or rookie cops around, no his purpose is to find and kill the remaining STARs members, of which only 5 are still alive; Chris, Jill, Barry, Rebecca and Brad.
Brad and Jill are the only ones still in the city, so they are his targets. Nemesis himself is a T103 Tyrant like Mr X, but has been made smarter due to a parasite Umbrella have put into him. (Parasites became a much bigger deal in RE4.) This also makes him better at taking Umbrella’s orders and figuring out complex solutions. Unlike Mr X who tends to just punch his way out of problems.
After much of the gameplay of RE2 centred around escaping Mr X, it will be interesting to see how Capcom build on this for RE3. We expect Nemesis will act in a similar way, but in the original games, Nemesis was always faster and smarter than Mr X, so expect the stalking elements to be a major factor and undergo changes in the RE3 remake. He often appears without warning and possesses a rocket launcher to for added fun times.
Stalkers in Resident Evil
While the RE2 remake featured periods of time where Mr X stalked you relentlessly, and then times when he was temporally defeated, we got a fair amount of breathing room. It will be interesting to see if Capcom ramps up the danger here, increasing the time Nemesis is active so the cat and mouse gameplay dominates proceedings more. After all this was a main theme of the original RE3 but the PS1 had its limitations, so the moments when Nemesis appeared became predictable. Now however the game has no need to rely on scripted events. Like Mr X, Nemesis’ stalking mechanics can be more fluid, keeping the player on their toes.
The RE2 remake invoked dread in players by allowing us to always hear Mr X’s footsteps, this allowed us to predict where he was, but also reminded us he was a threat. Being stuck in an area while his footsteps get louder is panic inducing.
Stalkers have been a staple of Resident Evil games for a long time, there’s been quite a few:
- Resident Evil Zero – James Marcus (Or at least leeches imitating his DNA)
- Resident Evil (Remake) – Lisa Trevor
- Resident Evil 2 (and remake) – Mr X/Tyrant and somewhat William Birkin
- Resident Evil 3 – Nemesis
- Resident Evil 4 – Doctor Salvador
- Resident Evil 6 – Ustanak
- Resident Evil 7 – Jack Baker (and other Baker family members at times)
None have been as iconic as Nemesis, although Mr X in the RE2 remake has given him a run for his money, but only because technology has allowed this. After all, RE3 was 20 years ago. It’s absolutely time to remind gamers of who Nemesis is and what makes him such a threat. To do this, Capcom needs to make him far more dangerous than Mr X. Simply copy and pasting his mechanics won’t do.
We fully expect Capcom to reuse some of his mechanics, he is a Tyrant and there were moments in RE3 that reminded us of Mr X from the original RE2. Nemesis himself was clearly inspired by Mr X when Capcom was making the RE3, so we do hope that a modern Nemesis will take some cues from the great hatted menace. But most of all he needs to stand out and push players further than any other stalkers have.
Resident Evil 3 also featured decision making events, ‘Fight with the monster’ or ‘Enter the police station’ being the first. There were pros and cons to each, fighting Nemesis and winning led to upgradable gun parts. Where running from the big lug ensured safety. At least for a while. It also saved on resources. Later choices also altered the games story, but no in huge meaningful ways. As a cannon Resident Evil timeline is now established, it wouldn’t surprise us if Capcom cut these choices. For example:
We know Jill and Barry survived the events of the original trilogy because each character has been seen in later games. We also know that douche Nikolai survived too from additional RE cannon materials. He could have met multiple grisly fates in RE3 either at the hands of the players or the slimy hands of Nemesis.
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Or they could double down and make them more meaningful and integral to the experience for re-playability. RE3 only has one scenario unlike RE2, but granted it was longer.
Mercenaries mode is also likely to return. This will be interesting because RE3 was the first game to have a Mercs mode and it returned in RE4, 5 and 6 due to it’s popularity. Neither RE7 or the RE2 remake had one so it would be awesome to see this feature return using the new RE engine. Resident Evil Revelations and its sequel had Raid mode which was a similar thing and that was tremendous fun, especially on modern consoles.
We expect the RE3 remake will look a lot like the RE2 remake but have one long scenario in which multiple paths can be taken to either avoid or outsmart Nemesis. In his case, we expect Nemesis will be completely redesigned and reimagined as an intelligent and dangerously relentless hunter. We also expect he will be a driving force behind the gameplay, forcing players to not stay too long in one spot, making Mr X from the RE2 remake feel tame in comparison. One criticism of Mr X is once his mechanics were learnt, he became less scary and laughably predictable.
Hopefully Nemesis and the remake of Resident Evil 3 are about to take monster stalkers to a whole new level, and we can’t wait.