Video Game Review: Resident Evil 3 Remake

NOTE: I will review the online title that came packaged with Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil: Resistance, in a separate review. This is purely for the remake of RE 3.

Capcom has brought Resident Evil back from the grave to its former glory since its seventh main installment in 2017 and last year’s excellent Resident Evil 2 Remake. One year later, bringing the third entry of the ridiculous zombie franchise to the modern age seemed like the right move. In many ways, it was, but so closely related to 2019’s hit and a lack of innovation on the original game’s mechanics brings this highly anticipated action-horror title down a notch.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Screenshot 2020.04.03 - 11.43.24.30

Happening before and during RE 2, Jill Valentine (Nicole Tompkins) wakes up to Raccoon City on fire with a horrifying monster named Nemesis and the undead flooding the streets. In typical RE fashion, she and new-found friends like Carlos Oliveira (Jeff Schine) must try to save the city and get to the bottom of what is happening. I never played the original game, similar to my experience when playing last year’s remake. Still, despite having knowledge of what will most likely happen due to the many sequels that came since 1999, I felt the thrill of trying to save an already doomed metropolis.

The acting is a great improvement, especially as the franchise tends to suffer from that end, the dialogue is written better. I know it changed from the initial release in the late 90s’, yet what makes it more enjoyable is that it does not have nearly the same amount of awkwardness as RE 2. I hate to overly compare the two, but it is impossible not to in this situation and hell, the flirting between Leon (Nick Apostolides) and Claire (Stephanie Panisello) was laughably cringy, despite their best efforts when delivering great performances.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Screenshot 2020.04.03 - 09.39.11.89

The live-action introduction was a stylish way to start that immediately got diminished with a jarring first-person section with Jill before heading into the standard third-person view. Even in the normal perspective, the field of view was too close, even at maxed settings. My eyes got used to it, but at times it was painful.

The new RE engine introduced a few years back with Biohazard continues to satisfy with its enhanced gameplay. The guns feel gratifying as chunks of zombies get blown to bits, and moving around feels better than ever with an added dodge mechanic.

I know it is a staple for Capcom’s Fast and Furious styled zombie games, but inventory management and crafting is so fun, yet stressful. Finding gun powder when I need ammo with full pockets got my brain going as I try to figure out how to stuff everything and not leave one little item behind.

Despite being in the city, the level design keeps it tight like its predecessor’s police department. While I did not feel scared at all unlike my time with RE 2, I was stressed enough in a sadistically thrilling way. I do adore exploring to find little hidden gems, and backtracking never feels punishing in the best of the RE games, like this 2020 remake.

A gameplay staple in the franchise that it mostly omitted comes from the puzzles. One or two pop up which are decent but the lack of obstacles for my mind, even if at an elementary level, takes away from the variety in what I was doing throughout. I found myself mostly gathering things to unlock a new area and fight off whatever zombies came my way.

Nemesis is essentially a faster, stronger Mr. X. Despite that, I felt he was underutilized. Popping up here and there only to push you forward as you run away without posing any real threat.

The boss battles felt very 90s’ in the worst way possible. Even the lesser of the Resident Evil games manage to have some epic fights that feel deserved. Here, these showdowns are easy and repetitive without much to impress.

Collectibles only consist of bobbleheads to find, sadly, but the documents still match the quality I expect. It is a good relaxing time to read a file about people’s misery or uncovering a piece of paper that expands the universe.

The AI matches the level of intelligence found in RE 2. Zombies walking into walls with their heads turned to me. They know I am there, yet they will get stuck on an object or really want to rub their cheek against a wall.

The coldness of the undead populated Raccoon City does not hinder its beauty. A destroyed city with breathtaking lighting and graphical fidelity makes for one gorgeous game that enhances the horrors that surrounded me on my adventure.

I played on PC, which ran like butter on my 144Hz monitor and at a steady 200+ FPS. One issue I found is seeing enemies in the distance, they tend to look like they were stuttering a little.

After beating, there are not second playthroughs or much to entice going back in. A shop unlocks and gives you points based on the challenges you completed. It had basic items along with unique weaponry like a heated blade to burst zombies and monsters on fire and a select few guns with infinite ammo, but even those fun toys did not make me want to jump back in anytime soon.

I completed my playthrough in four hours and 43 minutes. The quality of it does not match the $60 price tag for me, even with the amount of fun I had, so go buy it on a discount in a few weeks or months. Resident Evil 3 is a flashy remake that falls short due to its younger sibling’s success and lackluster mechanics that do not bring anything to the table.

Score: 7/10

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