By Dean Moses
Game: Resident Evil 3
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: M for Mature
We all have those games that fill us with unbridled nostalgia, the titles that grant us warm comfort when we return to them time after time. So, it is both exciting and daunting when that special game is reworked and remade for a new generation. Will it do the original justice? Will it retain its charm?Does the new development team hold the same appreciation for it as the fans? These were some of the worries I had going into Resident Evil 3. Let’s find out if they were justified or unfounded.
The Star of the Show
In this third installment of the series we take control of the first title’s heroine and survivor of the house of horrors, Jill Valentine. Jill is one of the few surviving members of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service team, also known as S.T.A.R.S, after investigating a mansion full to the brim with zombies and other monsters. Now living alone in Raccoon City, she is suffering from post-traumatic stress induced nightmares. But Jill is not the star of the show, as many longtime fans will recall, that honor falls to the Nemesis, a bio-engineered monster tasked with hunting down all remaining S.T.A.R.S members. Crashing through the protagonist’s apartment wall, the hefty mutant chases her outside where the city has somehow become overrun by flesh -eating zombies. Nemesis is the big selling point of Resident Evil 3, because this big, ugly, and rather toothy monster will be hunting you down throughout much of the experience. The problem is that the experience itself is insultingly short—with memorable sections of the original experience cut out entirely. My first playthrough took me about four hours while my second clocked in at a mere one hour and twenty minutes.
Dodging and Solving
While the narrative and game length may be severely lacking, the gameplay is about as fun as a Resident Evil game can get. Controls are swift and intuitive thanks to the addition of a fresh and welcomed dodge ability, making it easier than ever to escape the clutches of the undead. There is also a plethora of weapons to stock up on like a shotgun, magnum, and even a grenade launch-er. These armaments render exploring the deadly Raccoon City streets a pleasure. It is not all action though; some classic puzzles have been resurrected in order to keep things fresh.
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Excuse the pun, but Resident Evil 3 is drop dead gorgeous. From the movement of Jill’s hair to the way she holds her handgun, the little graphical details are off the chart. And then there are the environments. Revisiting the Raccoon City Police Department from Resident Evil 2 and investigating a ruined hospital, the developers have paid close attention to the little things like strewn bodies and discarded journals to read. How-ever, whilst marveling at all the stuff they got right, I could not help but lament the things they got wrong. Creatures like the Grave Digger—a giant underground worm that Jill must battle in the original—has been completely removed along with locations like the clock tower that only appear as scenic backdrops this time around. If Capcom put a little extra care, taken a little extra time, and included these iconic sections, it would have made a world of difference. Despite adding an online component in the form of Resident Evil Resistance, it can’t make up for the short single player experience.
Objectively, Resident Evil 3 is stunning in terms of both game-play and visuals. Unfortunately, things begin to fall apart in other aspects. The narrative feels rush-ed, along with the meager length of the game. Capcom attempts to pad things out somewhat by offering players unlockables, such as guns with infinite ammo. Still, no matter how fun a rocket launcher with endless missiles is, it can’t overshadow running through the game for a 6th or 7th playthrough in the time it would take to complete another title. Sixty dollars is just too high a price for such a short experience.