Maybe it’s not the ideal time to get into a city ravaged by a virus that transforms people into zombies who only want to eat living things. But the confinement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also leaves us no room for much more than reading, watching movies and playing video games (as well as teleworking). The last one to reach our hands has been the Resident Evil 3 Remake. We have played it from start to finish and here we tell you what we think about this new walk around Raccoon City with Jill Valentine.
A Remake with a lot of Imagination
If you think you’re going to find an absolute fan service like the Resident Evil 2 Remake was, you’d better get this idea out of your head. It’s a remake, not a remastering, and Capcom has taken some license to tell the story of the original game with new scenarios and the occasional new monster. Or with the absence of several of these elements of the original. That said, as a fan of the franchise, I can say satisfied with the experience. I know what’s going to happen at the end of the game, but there’s room for surprises and novelties. So the experience is new and complete, and there are also nods to the original.
I don’t want to tell you what all those elements are so as not to ruin the surprise. But the remake of the story and, more importantly, the narrative of Resident Evil 3 Remake is more than adequate to keep you in control and to know how it all ends. Even though inside you already know it. And, if you come back again, you’re going to find an action story that will take your breath away in many of its scenes.
Watch out, this Resident Evil 3 Remake also serves as a bridge to the Resident Evil 2 Remake. Some shared scenarios, crossed plot moments and other details are slipped in here and there. So if you’ve been following the “new” Resident Evil story you’ll find references all over the place. Capcom did a good job here in revamping the game. Although I’ll never forgive them for taking the giant worm scene away from me. Oh, no, you don’t.
Action, Action, and More Action
While the Resident Evil 2 Remake focused on tension, suspense, and claustrophobic places, this Resident Evil 3 Remake is more open and action-focused. You can tell from the first few minutes of play that they’re already a great allegory for the sensations of the rest of the game: a flight forward to save their skins and leave Raccoon City and Nemesis behind. Oh, Nemesis… I’ll join you later…
Although the stages are still corridors and halls, there is no such feeling of enclosure. The curious thing is that the areas are not excessively large, but they have managed to convey that perception of openness. Of not just being locked up in a huge police station or a laboratory full of rooms. RE3 Remake is not bigger, but it is more spacious. And this allows us to face groups of zombies in open. Although here we have to talk about the mysterious explosive canisters that are always near to make our lives too easy. You’ve made it too easy for us, Capcom.
Other than that, the game is shorter. To complete the story the first time I spent about 7:30 hours (normal difficulty). While the second time, it was 4:30 hours in easy mode. There are less mystery and less puzzle. Which means less uncontrolled walking from one side of an area to the other until everything is completed. Elements that do not break with the identity of the franchise, but that, again, have focused this game to the movement and action. And not so much on mystery or scares.
This is not only evident in the barrels and cans for zombie fireworks. It’s also in the character of our heroine, Jill Valentine. She runs fast, she’s agile and she’s also evasive. Just like in the original RE3, but here with less chance of success until you master the technique of running away from catches. Anyway, you’ve come to give cakes, not to solve mysteries. Even less so when it’s the same character from RE1 and you know well who is doing evil under your “umbrella”.
Jill Valentine: The Super-Hero
It seems that Capcom has caught the same taste for mistreating its hero as Crystal Dynamics with Lara Croft. This RE3 Remake is a succession of physical abuse to Jill Valentine, and, above all, to see how this character exceeds them all. She’s strong, tough, resilient and determined. And although the first minutes of the game make us think that she is not prepared for what is coming (after having survived the incident at the Spencer mansion), in each advance, we see what material she is made of.
Blows, fall, but also betrayals and disdain. Valentine can handle it all. She shows it in her attitude with the co-star or supporting actor Carlos Olivera, who has some kind of sly comment about her. But it is part of the improved story they tell us in this RE3 Remake. Deeper, more personal and with a little more friction between characters compared to the original RE3.
I especially liked the tone of the women’s struggle in several of the situations that occur throughout the game. We must not forget that this is a game that was launched in 1998, but here Valentine has to assert herself as security and weapons professional on several occasions in front of men armed to the eyebrow and with muscular arms surrounding her. I’m telling you that here it’s Jill who breaks the corduroy and gives out cakes while the others, men, run errands. And, hey, it’s funny to see it that clear in a video game. Even if it’s in 2020.
Nemesis: The Not-So-Super-Villain
It may be a thoughtful decision on Capcom’s part, but RE3 Remake doesn’t have the character: Nemesis, as the original did. Nemesis, to everyone’s sorrow, loses a certain prominence in this story. But understand me: you’re going to have it even in the soup. The difference is that he is still an entity that has little to contribute to the real plot. He only gets in the way, gives a few scares and never gets tired or dies. No matter how much dogging we do to him.
He loses those super enemy feelings of the original Nemesis. I’ve also found him to be less of a stalker than Mr. X in RE2 Remake, and that sneaking around the safe rooms. This new character also has his charisma. He gives the impression of being a new figure, both visually and in terms of events. He transforms himself, he mutates others and it is impossible to escape from him. Unless you know what its weak points are. At that moment the difficulty of his confrontations disappears. And with it part of his charisma. But he leaves us with very memorable moments of action and that feeling of exhaustion from persecution that does not end and that permeates the game, in general, more than the experience in particular.
I’m left with a more than pleasant taste in my mouth after playing the game. So much so that I’ve done it twice in a row. Partly because it was a bit short, and partly because I wanted to get some of the extras that are offered after passing the game. There’s a shop where you can buy items such as weapons with infinite ammunition or new features for Jill with points that you get during the game.
The graphics are great. Capcom already did it with RE2 Remake, and now with open environments in RE3 Remake. I’ve had a hard time enjoying dismembering and deforming zombies based on the shots you take. But I’m comfortable with the level of detail in characters and scenarios. The light in environments like the city and the lab is wonderful.
The gameplay is up to date, too. It changes slightly from RE2 Remake in details like running or interacting with elements. But after a few minutes, you can easily get used to it. More difficult is to master the perfect dodge technique, which was easier in the original RE3. But it makes up for it when you get to the trickiest moments in the game.
But what I’m left with in this game is the narrative. I’ve practically played it in two sessions because I don’t know when to stop. The story, the way it’s told and the way it shows more depth in the characters make you want to know what the next step will be. And that’s because I knew everything that was going on very well.
Without a doubt, this is a game for those who love the franchise and for those who want to get closer to it or continue with what they have experienced in RE2 Remake. It is more of the same, but it also has its personality and is different from its previous version. Perhaps a few more hours of gameplay with elements of mystery would have completed the experience. But you can always rejuvenate and try your luck with the highest difficulties. By the way, the game comes with an online mode called Resident Evil Resistance. Something that can also add several hours of gameplay if you have an Internet gaming service.
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