|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Release: April 3, 2020|
|Players: 1-5 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 1080p-4K||Strong Language, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, In-Game Purchases, and Users Interact|
by Jenni Lada
When a company is able to create magic with a game, particularly with a remake, there’s a temptation to attempt it again. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can mean an opportunity to experiment, fix issues, and introduce a title to more people. Capcom struck gold with its Resident Evil 2 remake. It enhanced a meaty, beloved game and made it even more delicious. The remake of Resident Evil 3 tries to offer a similar banquet and, while it is by no means bad, it doesn’t offer the same gourmet experience. Resident Evil 3 actually takes place at the same time as Resident Evil 2. Jill Valentine is caught in Raccoon City dealing with her own demons. Namely, she’s being chased by a bioweapon named Nemesis, while also grudgingly working with Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service members Carlos, Mikhail, Nicholai, and Tyrell as they attempt to save civilians and escape the city. Things are never easy, though, and Nemesis begins a relentless pursuit of her throughout the city as new obstacles make things more difficult.
While the original Resident Evil 3 placed a priority on allowing people to choose Jill’s responses to situations with different sorts of repercussions and had more of a survival horror feel to it, the remake is a more straightforward journey through Raccoon City. This has its perks. We get more characterization for Jill, her allies, and her enemies. In particular, Carlos becomes playable during some portions that were assumed in the original, allowing greater insight into who he is and his motivations. We get a better idea of the timeline, especially with Carlos’ segment. But, it also feels like some of the intensity and pressure isn’t there. In the original Resident Evil 3, there was a sense of suspense whenever Nemesis would appear. It was a life or death situation. Given how well Mister X was handled in Resident Evil 2 and the unexpected pressure he offered, and the way things are scripted in Resident Evil 3, it feels like some of the punch is lost.
Nemesis is still an admirable and worthy foe, especially if you don’t take the time to clear an area where he’ll appear of its zombies and find Jill facing both him and more “minor” foes. He’s a hazard, but encounters don’t feel as tense. This is especially prominent on maps that, while detailed, can be rather small. Part of this could also come from Resident Evil 3’s improvements. It controls beautifully, with multiple difficulty options to help offer the challenge someone might need. The aim assist works well, if you opt to try it. On a higher difficulty, it can feel more intense. But the modern control scheme, clear environments, and a pretty much perfect dodge, Jill has no trouble getting to safety. She’s capable. But it could also be the simplification. As I mentioned before, the opportunity to choose how Jill will respond is gone. So are a number of puzzles from the original. It is more like Jill and Carlos are just running through areas and completing them, with fewer thoughtful moments to them.
It’s more active. This isn’t bad, but it changes the atmosphere. Especially since this was never one of the longest Resident Evil games. If you aren’t interested in testing yourself with the additional difficulties, there’s really no reason to go through the campaign more than once. Resident Evil 3 doesn’t come alone, however. It includes Resident Evil: Resistance. This is a multiplayer game where one person is a Mastermind, a villain plucked from the series, and the other four people are Survivors. The Mastermind wants to stop all the survivors and halt their escape, while the four Survivors want to work together to fight the Mastermind’s enemies, outfit traps, and escape. It’s not unlike titles like Dead by Daylight or Friday the 13th: The Game. The Masterminds were the “fun” ones for me, since they were familiar, while the Survivors tended to be characters where I’d just pick someone who looked cool. Which means it succumbs to the same pitfalls. Resident Evil Resistance is fine. Especially when you consider Jill will be a playable Survivor and more updates are planned.
But it works best when you have a good internet connection for everyone and are playing with people who really know what they are doing and, if you’re a Survivor, want to cooperate. If you can’t get good groups together, it isn’t going to go as well and, frankly, it doesn’t have the same excitement to it as the established Dead by Daylight. Resident Evil 3 is a historically important game and its story is interesting. Had it come before Resident Evil 2, perhaps I would have been fonder of it. But as is, it feels like it doesn’t do as much or go as far as its predecessor, an issue exacerbated by the removal of some of its challenging and unique elements. It is worth playing, but people should enter with tempered expectations.