Resident Evil 3 Remake (RE3R) is the sixteenth game I’ve played in the series. I don’t think I’ve even played that many Mario games! It’s had some stinkers, but there’s one game that has always made my blood boil – RE4. With it’s action and success, I always saw it as the start of a lengthy period where Res wasn’t Res anymore. How dare the rest of you put it on such a pedestal!
Resentment isn’t healthy to hold onto though, so I’ve got a lot to be thankful to RE3R for. For it’s made me realise that that resentment is misguided, and might even allow me to try that game again.
The original RE3 was my top Resident Evil game for years. A younger SDCC was struck by it’s improved movement, ammo crafting, and propulsive forward momentum. There was the small matter of a terrifying new enemy. It looked brave too, ditching the multiple scenarios of its epic predecessor.
21 years later, RE3R takes the ideas of the original and makes the intentions of ‘Nemesis’ very clear. Now that I can see it all, RE4 was never the correct target of my ire. RE3 wanted to be different, it was just limited by the technology of it’s time. RE3R is what the original always wanted to be – an action film. If anything I should have been angry at RE3!
Following on from RE2R, Capcom pulled a blinder when it came to releasing RE3R. We would only have to wait four months from the announcement! With RE2R being a thoroughly quality experience, I was floored by the idea that soon I’d see 3 made in the same vein. The biggest question I had was how Nemesis would work in a world where Mr X existed in all his search and destroy glory. Frankly, he was a game-changer, and being bumped up from his relative B scenario obscurity made me wonder if Capcom had upstaged old Nemmy.
Mr X with weapons? How could we ever survive against that?!
Capcom did the only thing I feel they reasonably could; they kept Nemesis on a much tighter leash.
Let’s be honest, a free-roaming, weapon wielding, jump-over-your-head-and-tentacle-you-through-the-face enemy would probably be a bit one sided. So Nemesis is mainly a set-piece kind of guy, who it turns out has some of the better boss fights in the series. He also has a supremely ugly nose. Don’t look at it for too long; it will just freak you out.
They’ve tweaked his history too, in such a way that I think will benefit future REmakes (they’ve got to be coming) and help them tie together better. The tweaks are to his look of course, but also how he comes together, with him more overtly containing something that looks an awful lot like plagas.
I feel he’s been handled well, but my thoughts on him match some regarding the overall game. Do not expect this to be exactly as you remember the original to be, and do not expect it to be like RE2. You’ll only be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Jill and Carlos form a stronger team this time around. Free of the hilariously shonky shackles of the PS1 game’s acting, they actually grow closer together through the game. It makes sense. Which is especially good as I really like Carlos. Jill is just great, full of confidence and some great one-liners. Granted, if RE3R is your first exposure to Jill you’re left hanging a bit, but I don’t think Capcom is gunning for that crowd.
It does make me wish we had a RE1 Remake that was made to fit with the new 2 and 3, as that would round out the series really nicely on current gen. But you know, first world problems.
Many will complain that RE3R is short, and very different in approach to the extremely successful RE2R. I think to compare the two is folly; it’s far more intriguing to think of them as parts of a puzzle. Two pieces that when placed together give us the full tale of Raccoon City’s downfall and destruction. They create a wonderful piece of continuity; something I value highly. At some point I’ll play them close to one another to really see it come together.
No Resident Evil is a long game, with replays, often containing strong carry-over items, taking a few hours. But RE3R is short. I completed it first time in 6 hours on Standard, which is not a long game by anyone’s measure. So on that basis I get the complaints. But what that shorter length is built for, is replayability. Overall I’ve put in 20+ hours across multiple plays as I’ve built up to getting a rocket launcher with unlimited ammo, having a crack at speed runs.
Make a choice! Look at the positives! Do you want a mystery/horror film, or an action/chase film? Capcom have given us both! We haven’t had to wait years either. So pick your poison, or maybe even enjoy both for what they are.
Content and Callbacks
There is a negative that is a bit harder for me to swallow – cut content. One thing in particular (possible spoilers so skip ahead to the next paragraph) is the Clock Tower. It gets mentioned, and you can see it. But as an interactive part of the game, and something I remember as a clear piece of the original, it’s a shame that it’s missing. On the flip side, bar a very cool fake out ending, the Clock Tower section was slower, so I can see why it got cut out. Capcom still achieved a surprise at this point in the game, but this time by subverting my expectations.
The love is there if you’re looking for it though. There are still plenty of callbacks; a pavement with chalk drawings immediately dragged me back to 1999. And we still see Brad Vickers.
Resident Evil 3 is what the original game always intended to be. It’s supremely replayable, Jill is great, and it’s the most fun I’ve had with a Res. I get the complaints, but I think 2 and 3 are wonderful companions depending on what you want.
+ Jill and Carlos make an effective team
+ RE Engine does it again
+ Great fun!
+ Designed for replayability
– Some well known pieces of the original are lost
– Nemesis isn’t as scary this time
Not ‘Classic Res’, but never designed to be. RE3 is the most fun I’ve had in the series, making a fantastic companion piece to RE2.