Title: Resident Evil 3
Publisher: CE Europe Ltd
Genre: Survival Horror, Action, Adventure
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 03/04/2020
Price: £49.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Be The Change
The world is changing. In so many different ways, we are coming full circle in the world of gaming, with a pipeline of modern remakes heading to major platforms through 2020 and beyond. We are beginning to see the gaming industry hit a maturity likened to the filmmaking world. So often we see nostalgic movies from our childhood remade utilising modern technology and eye-watering budgets that allow the storytelling to hit a whole new audience. We often face these moments with fear and worry that it may tarnish the memory and impact of the original, yet Capcom in 2019 did just this with a courage and skill that made Resident Evil 2 the near undisputed Game of The Year. Pretty impressive for such a beloved game now pushing past its 22nd birthday.
During Sony’s State of Play December 2019, we found out Resident Evil 3 would be receiving the same treatment, I mean how couldn’t it after the record breaking success of the remake mentioned above. As an avid fan of the series I had to reflect, how could they improve on last years remake? How can they raise a bar set so high? Or is the goal to simply mirror the product provided last time round?
For me, it’s more the latter, but there’s more to tell here. The story for Resident Evil 3 takes place 24 hours before the events of Resident Evil 2 and ends shortly after. It follows the story of protagonist Jill Valentine, a former operative for Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.). After being attacked by the highly intelligent Bio-Weapon Nemesis created by The Umbrella Corporation, Jill is thrown into a rescue mission to help the survivors of the viral outbreak to escape Raccoon City before it is too late. So much of this feels a little closer to home right now when you take a look at current events going on around the world.
Under My Umbrella
For many, the original execution of the story in 1999 could easily have been considered a side-story to the main events of the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City. Yet Capcom has carefully enhanced the detail and depth of this remake to deliver what feels like a narrative designed as a true sequel to last years masterpiece. It’s clever to see the team behind this production clearly decide they wanted to fill in the gaps and flaws in the story of old, and develop some of the poorly delivered plot points in the original as well as enhance the model and backstories for characters such as Carlos and Nikolai. Both of the aforementioned are mercenaries for the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.), so as you can imagine, Jill is not exactly their biggest fans.
Akin to last years game, Resident Evil 3 looks beautiful, harnessing the power of the RE engine to create stunning visuals, dynamic shadow and light and a nemesis character design that will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The soundtrack is chilling, yet authentic and true to the original. It’s panic inducing at times yet familiar, and I love it. The design of this rebooted nemesis across its multiple forms is superb. It’s ghastly, lightning fast and agile on a different level to Mr X from last years game.
You will feel exposed in moments where you need to turn and run from this beast, and other times where you have no choice but to stand your ground and fight. Yet be warned, this Nemesis returns for more sequels throughout the game than Freddy Kreuger. There are times wherein the new world of grand antagonists in Resident Evil games you often feel like you are playing Outlast. Turn, run, hide, pick a lock, solve a puzzle, don’t bother fighting, you’ll lose.
The net result in this outing is that you become very accustomed to the new dodge mechanic implemented. With a well-timed tap of R1, you can dive past zombies, or roll sideways away from the Nemesis, thus triggering a short slow down in time to get a critical shot in. It feels a little like bullet-time in Max Payne. It’s well thought out but resulted in me using it far more than perhaps would have been necessary.
Oh and the puzzles above? Unfortunately, there aren’t that many to be found in this particular Resident Evil game. It’s not the remakes fault really, and they weren’t there in the original either. This was very much the game that propelled the genre from Survival Horror / Puzzle game to Survival / Action. Kind of like Alien to Aliens, just with less Alien Queens (well no Alien Queens).
S.T.A.R’s In Our Eyes
This does, however, mean this outing can be comfortably completed in around 5-6 hours, with most of the side sections, holsters and weapons discovered along the way. Unlike the previous game, there is only one story to tell, and replayability isn’t particularly desirable, at least not straight after. I guess it makes sense that they bundled the new 4 vs 1 multiplayer game Resident Evil Resistance alongside this outing, which bolsters the perceived value for money. At review, this wasn’t quite ready or fair for me to look at quite yet, so a future review will cover this aspect of the game bundle.
There were some real treats to be found throughout the main game, that filled in several blanks never addressed across the two games in their original forms. For this, I applaud the writers who execute, particularly the time spent controlling Carlos’ character exceptionally well. It left me feeling both nostalgic and fulfilled by what was on offer.
It’s hard for me as such an advocate for the series to dig into the problems with the game, yet there are a few. Nothing particularly significant, Mikhail’s voice is comedically Russian to the point of distraction, I wish they hadn’t removed several puzzles such as the clock tower (which were scarce enough anyway), and I preferred the old way the Nemesis said STARS!! Yet I think this game was always going to be an uphill battle for Capcom to produce. Last year they absolutely innovated the genre and world of Horror action games. This year? I think they renovated. There aren’t really any new ideas, yet they’ve delivered a remake that I believe will again be a tremendous commercial success, and perhaps that’s enough.
I think most fans of the survival horror filled world of Resident Evil and newcomers alike will be fulfilled with the outcome as you traverse the zombie ravaged nightmarish journey across each darkened corner of Raccoon City. It’s just that it’s more an extension than reinvention to the incredible work delivered last year, and I can’t say that’s a bad thing.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Resident Evil 3 from the PlayStation Store.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.