Resident Evil 3 Remake starts out by punching you in the throat, and it doesn’t really get any easier from there. It’s a non-stop journey of stress as you control Jill Valentine through the streets of Raccoon City in its final hours, and you’ve got a stalker. Everything has been revamped in this release, and it’s mostly for the better.
The game’s story matches the original’s exactly, though some parts have been tweaked to make them better in subtle ways. I won’t bore you with the details, because they’re all essential, but it’s a story that keeps you hooked from start to end, and keeps you thinking about it in your dreams.
The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down
When I say bus, I mean Nemesis, because he’s the real focal point of this game isn’t he? You meet Jill Valentine just as things start to go south in Raccoon City, and while her main priority is saving it, she’s also got to fight for her life against an antagonist that is quite literally an unstoppable killing machine. From the very start the game drops you in the deep end, having to avoid Nemesis as he hunts you down, and if you don’t act fast, then you really are going to die a lot.
The pace of the story matches the force of Nemesis, pushing you through some tight sequences, then giving you a short breather before hitting you back even harder. I loved the game’s story, and finished it in just under 8 hours in Standard difficulty. That was taking my time too. It might sound short, but this is a really fulfilling experience that you won’t soon forget, and it’ll make you want to play it over again. Every aspect of the game, from the visuals to the mechanics, has been finely tuned to make for the optimal experience, and that’s what makes it so compelling.
Looks Good, Sounds Good
Capcom has done a fantastic job of remaking Resident Evil 3. Jill, Carlos, and the rest of the cast all look superb. The new game engine provides enemies that make you shudder when imagining the pain they must be going through, and Raccoon City has never looked so torn apart. It felt good to walk around the streets and look at the tiny details that have been added, from posters on the walls, to bricks on the floor, and even the garbage.
Nemesis is probably the biggest visual highlight for Resident Evil 3 Remake. This guy is is completely different to how he looked in the original. While before he at least looked like a man who had been cut apart and sewn back together, here he just looks like pieces of meat that were infused with T-virus, wrapped in bin bags, and dropped on Raccoon City just to see what would happen. As he goes through his various stages of metamorphosis, he becomes even bigger and more grotesque, but that just makes him more interesting to look at. It’s honestly quite hard to fight him for a want to understand his anatomy.
The sounds of Raccoon City are also superb. Zombies feel that much more terrifying because they have a distinct gurgle that makes you turn around in fear. I never felt safe in this game, even though I knew I’d killed everything, and that’s what makes a great survival horror title.
Brutal, But Fair
As you may know by now, I never played Resident Evil 3 Nemesis. However, I have watched a few playthroughs, and I know that the game was about as hard as the others. Resident Evil 3 Remake feels much more difficult than Resident Evil 7, but I think that’s because there’s more of a sense of urgency to the game overall. Zombies take a lot of shots to put down, and you always feel as though you’re about to run out of ammo. You can tell when a big fight is coming, because you’re showered with ammo, but other than that the game is fairly harsh on what you have.
This makes me think of Dark Souls in a way, because that game also pushes you to your limit, but you always know that you’re capable of winning. The game would definitely benefit from bringing down the number of hits that it takes to kill a zombie though, because there was one section that I had a lot of trouble with.
In the hospital, there is one section where you need to defend a door whilst shutters close. It feels a bit like a tower defence game, except you play as Carlos, the only tower in the area, with a limited ammo supply. The zombies take so many hits to go down that you’re often hit while reloading. This can lead to death very quickly, and it’s more frustrating than anything. This section felt odd in the game. I didn’t enjoy it because I thought that it was implemented as a difficulty spike. A deliberate move by the developers to make something that fans would talk about as the hardest encounter, but it just felt cheap. I didn’t find it fun, and the game would be just as good without it. The story wouldn’t even suffer.
While I do have a major gripe with one section in the game, I loved it overall. I’ve always adored the Resident Evil franchise, and this game fits right in with all the others. The crazy story about a giant corporation destroying a city with a zombie virus feels just as fresh as it did 20 years ago. The visuals now match up with what we all thought the game looked like back then, and it’s genuinely scary. I had some moments where I was surprised and shocked by the horrors of the T-virus, and to do that after so long is very impressive.
Anyone looking for a game that makes you feel smart, but also pushes you to your limits, will find what they want in Resident Evil 3 Remake. You’ll suffer, you’ll scream, and you’ll get annoyed, but by the end you’ll wish there was more. I’m glad that the game wasn’t artificially extended though, because that could easily have happened. Plenty of people think that the game is too short, but its length is essential to every element. You’d get bored of the low ammo, the fast pace, and Nemesis in particular if you had to endure it all for another 8 hours. What you have in the game is a loving remake of a title that wasn’t received that well the first time it released, but those of us who enjoy it, really enjoy it. Maybe Nemesis was just never destined to be one of the greats of Resident Evil history. I don’t really think he cares that much.