I have been playing a lot of Resident Evil 3 Remake for the past couple of days now. I’ve already beaten it a couple of times now, on Standard and Hardcore mode, and I’m planning to go another round in Assisted mode just for laughs. What I’m saying is I really like the game a whole lot. It’s a really good game.
So why do I find Resident Evil 3 Remake a overpriced disappointment? That’s mainly Capcom’s fault for putting out the superb Resident Evil 2 Remake before this. Let me explain…
Before I do go into detail on my thoughts of Capcom’s latest remake of a Resident Evil game, I have to mention a couple of things. First off, this will be a SPOILER FREE review. I won’t be revealing any plot details just in case you haven’t played it yet. I will be going in-depth with some of the gameplay specifics, though. Second of all, I won’t be tackling the bundled Resident Evil: Resistance multiplayer game because, well, I just can’t play it! My Internet sucks really bad since everyone in the house is on the same Wi-Fi so everything slows down! So this is just the story mode of Resident Evil 3 Remake. Besides, that’s what you wanted to read about and not some multiplayer experience, right? Finally, there will be a lot of comparisons to Resident Evil 2 Remake because both games use the same game mechanics mostly.
Resident Evil 3 Remake takes place around the same timeframe of the previous game. This time around you primarily take control of Jill Valentine, a survivor of the original game. Even with Racoon City on fire thanks to the viral outbreak from Resident Evil 2, the Umbrella Corporation isn’t taking any chances and they send Nemesis, one of the new bioweapons, to take out the remaining STARS members, including Jill Valentine. She, along with Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (UBCS) soldier, Carlos Oliveira, have to find a way to escape Racoon City while avoiding the Nemesis that is after Jill.
If you played Resident Evil 2 Remake, you already have a general idea of the gameplay for Resident Evil 3 Remake. You have to dodge or take out zombies and a variety of monstrosities that Umbrella has developed while gathering items and weapons to find a way to escape the area. The biggest change in this game is you now have the entirety of Racoon City to explore! That by itself got me very excited because I imagined it to be a huge area to explore. We already got a good chunk of the game with the Demo, which I loved, by the way.
So why, despite having an entire city at their disposal, does Resident Evil 3 Remake seem like a smaller game Resident Evil 2 Remake? I believe because it doesn’t just seem like it is, but it actually is smaller than the previous game! Most of Racoon City is cordoned off with barriers so you can’t actually go exploring the cityscape. You’re essentially bound to the area until you complete the goal and that’s when the game will teleport you to the new map.
Also, when you do go to a new area or location, you never control Jill or Carlos to get there. They travel there via magical cutscene, which is very disappointing. I mean, in Resident Evil 2 Remake, you control Leon and Claire through the police station then the sewers and the only time we travel to a different area via magical cutscene is when you have to go to the underground lab using a cable car. This sucks because, once you get to a new area, you can’t go back! Missed that one Hip Pouch because you forgot to pick it up? Sorry! Better luck next time! Sometimes the magical transportation cutscene even comes out of nowhere! There was one point in the game when I wanted to leave a room to get another item I left outside but, little did I know, it would trigger the cutscene and I wouldn’t be able to get it anymore!
This wouldn’t be much of a problem if the locations themselves were all fun to explore. Unfortunately, some areas are bereft of any detail. In fact, some locations don’t even have any zombies plodding around! Oh, you know it’s a prelude to a huge boss fight but it seems like a waste of a large map.
Resident Evil 3 Remake does change up the combat mechanics from the earlier entry with both good and bad effects. Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira both have a counterattack move which, if done at the right time, can save your bacon. Jill gets a combat dodge and, if you time the dodge just right, will slow down time and all her attacks during that time do extra damage. I really like Carlos’ version. Normally, he would do a shoulder tackle which can stun enemies for a short bit but, when this is done as a counter to attacks, he will instead do a massive punch that will send all manner of monsters flying! On top of that, he also gets the same slowdown attack bonus afterwards!
However, I didn’t rely on the counterattack move very often because getting the timing is difficult. The game doesn’t really tell you the precise window when to do it to get the perfect dodge/punch. This can get very frustrating because there are a couple of specific monsters here that can take Jill and Carlos with 1 hit, even if you have full health! This makes it almost impossible to practice on them unless you’re totally cool with dying over and over again, loading your save point and then trying one more time. I don’t have that kind of patience!
There are also no more secondary defensive weapons here anymore. So, if you do get grappled by a zombie, you have no choice but to eat damage. Then again, even zombies can 1-hit kill you this time around because, if you don’t mash out of the zombie’s grab, they will kill you then and there! I guess they had to take the defensive items away as to encourage players to use the counter move but they are sorely missed because, since I suck with the counter command, I kept on taking a ton of damage!
Capcom did make the standard zombie more resilient to damage. It’s much more difficult to take out a zombie’s legs now, forcing you to really get those headshots to maximize damage. Another thing they did was make some of the downed zombies come back to life more frequently. There are even times when I would stab a zombie with my now unbreakable combat knife, see it not react and try to pass over them. Just as I do, they come back to life and bite me in the ankle! That’s kind of infuriating because I even took the time to stab them and they didn’t do anything then!
Of course, the main baddie in Resident Evil 3 Remake is the Nemesis, Umbrella’s latest bioweapon who’s got a thing for STARS members like Jill. Nemesis feels like both an upgrade and a downgrade from Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Nemesis is faster and can catch up to you if it decides to sprint. It also has a long tentacle it can use to grab and drag you towards it if it feels lazy. Oh, and there are several times when it’ll come at you with weapons! That’s definitely something Mr. X couldn’t do!
However, at the same time, Nemesis is kind of a letdown. Unlike Mr. X, who will stalk you relentlessly throughout the police station, Umbrella’s new monster is content to just appear at certain portions of the game. Because of this, he’s definitely not as heart attack inducing. Also, all it takes is a single grenade to make him take a knee! Well, that’s mostly because grenades in Resident Evil 3 Remake are super powerful and takes everything down with one explosion! I just expected a lot more from this freaking monster because it took more than a grenade to take Mr. X down!
That doesn’t mean that you can take out his boss forms with a single grenade. Then again, boss battles here feel a little less harrowing and, well, weird, in Resident Evil 3 Remake. There aren’t any telltale “here’s the big eye to shoot at” weak points on Nemesis for some of them, which means you can just blast away at him during those battles. The areas you fight Nemesis during these boss battles are also very large, which makes it very easy to avoid him, even if you don’t do the counter move. There was even one boss fight where I didn’t use a single healing item throughout my fight with him! This was on Hardcode more, no less! So the boss battles are kind of easy here.
My biggest issue with Resident Evil 3 is its overall length. It’s a very short campaign. My first playthrough was around 6-7 hours. This was with me not knowing anything about the game and me getting every single item I could pick up on the map! I have nothing against short games but what sucks is there is very little incentive to play the game if you’re just in it for the story. There aren’t any branching story paths nor do you have a different campaign for different characters. Once you’ve finished the story, you’ve seen everything regarding the story. That does limit replayability. You can play the game and complete all the challenges to unlock more items to help you through other consecutive playthroughs but, if you’re one of those who play for the story, then you probably won’t bother.
While it seems like I’m mostly complaining about what Resident Evil 3 Remake has to offer, that doesn’t mean it’s a terrible game. The core gameplay of exploring and finding items is still very enjoyable. The graphics are incredible, even better than Resident Evil 2 Remake somehow! The human character interactions, especially between Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira, feel organic and you do start to really care for them. There is actual character growth between the two of them, which is much better than the rather static personalities Leon and Claire had in the previous game.
This doesn’t change the fact you’re still paying a premium price for the experience. I guess if you play this as well as the packaged Resident Evil: Resistance, it will feel like the high price is warranted as you’re basically buying 2 games for the price of 1. If you’re like me, however, and you just got it to play Resident Evil 3 Remake and will not be able to play Resistance even if you wanted to, I won’t blame you for feeling cheated. If Capcom eventually releases Resident Evil 3 Remake by itself at a reduced price, I say it’ll be worth it.
Have you played Resident Evil 3 Remake? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!