There is no time to breathe in “Resident Evil 3.”
From the moment you take control of Jill Valentine in her “final escape”, this is a chaotic and frenzied struggle to survive. Ammo is scarce, healing supplies are even more limited, and biological terror is great for showing you what rocket launchers do on human flesh. Oh, and there are zombies. So many zombies.
And it never stopped. Capcom’s remake of “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis” in 1999 only lasted about six hours, and the tiring speed never subsided. Thematically, that makes sense. Valentine’s entire purpose is to escape from Raccoon City which is full of zombies (still suffering from the dangerous virus Umbrella Corp.). There was no reason for him to enjoy the view, to better understand exactly what was happening in this damned city – every extra second not moving forward was another second he risked his life.
But as a player, it is tiring. Yes, the edge it creates, this pervasive fear when you race with relative safety, can be exhilarating when you look for resources and decide which fight is worth your effort. But, unlike in the smart remake of “Resident Evil 2,” it never really gives you the chance to slow down, to allow for even a little exploration.
It’s as if the game was built to be played as fast as possible; in fact, after you defeat the game for the first time, a shop full of facilities and weapons is available to help you defeat the game faster (although you will need BP – which you get from completing goals and killing zombies – to buy anything). There is even an achievement to complete the game in less than two hours.
But if you can put aside the unrelenting story, you will find that the game itself is definitely not in a hurry. With stunning visuals thanks to the slick RE Engine, tense and tense music, and satisfying weapon games, you are ready for an action-horror treat.
The plot of “Resident Evil 3,” which goes hand in hand with Leon Kennedy’s adventure in “RE2,” is simple: Raccoon City is dying, and Valentine, a skilled member of S.T.A.R.S. (Think of a passionate SWAT team), trying to save himself and others before the city was destroyed. Along the way, he was chased by Nemesis, the creation of a terrifying t-Virus that seemed unable to die. (Unfortunately, unlike Mr. X in “RE2,” Nemesis will not just appear here; its position remains.)
Valentine is a bit more vulgar in remaking, but she’s still capable with a gun (or magnum or shotgun or grenade launcher) and smart as usual. He will quickly be blown away even when he is covered in zombie viscera.
Initially, he found help in the form of Carlos Oliveira, a mercenary hired by Umbrella who played an important role in “RE3.” Both spend a lot of time in separate games, but tend to meet at critical times to help each other. (You will also control Oliveira, whose rematch gives a greater edge – and play time – this time, over certain parts.)
As mentioned earlier, remodeling largely reflects the original, but there are many big and small changes, too (excluding visuals). Several boss fights have been removed, along with several main areas from the originals. This changes the storyline because there is less area for Valentine and Oliveira to explore. And with the removal of Live Selections (basically fast events), there is only one ending now, which was also changed due to increased focus on only two characters that can be played.
Results? The game becomes more linear, and even faster to defeat than the original (which takes about two more hours to beat your time). In rare moments of calm, you can find some interesting notes scattered about the city that will help fill in some details about the disaster that befell the city and its citizens.
Mechanically, “RE3” uses many of the same upgrades used in remaking “RE2.” You will have an over-the-shoulder perspective, third-person rather than fixed camera angles from the original. You will also have improved avoidance mechanics that give slow motion effects if done perfectly. (Just say it’s not as easy as it sounds.)
This game, which seems to be classified as survival-horror, also relies on a genre of action that is a little more than “RE2,” even though the originals are the same. You are still limited in your inventory space (though it can be upgraded), which evokes a classic feeling of survival-horror, even if most other games don’t, especially weapons games. You will gradually unlock several weapons for Valentine, and each feels happy to be used. Rifles, for example, pack satisfying blows when you do headshots, and magnum counter-kicks aren’t real.
Visually, the RE Engine does a great job here. Just like in “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” and the remake of “RE2,” “RE3” is very beautiful from top to bottom. From the oozy Nemesis texture to the hyper-realistic flames that seem to be everywhere to the dust that adorns Valentine, every little detail is polished and clearly thought out.
From the note: “Resident Evil 3” also comes with a multiplayer spin-off, “Resident Evil: Resistance,” which will be reviewed at a later time.
In the end, the re-creation of “Resident Evil 3” has many benefits – if you can get past the pacing very quickly and play time is short, which is clearly designed to encourage you to play several times. The game is lean and to the point, and with a very thumping sequence of actions, you will never have a boring moment, even if a few more downtimes will add to your much needed balance. Enhanced visuals and game mechanisms present old classics in the modern era, but remodeling makes a lot of the charm of the silly originals. This is a fantastic update, if not enough to the same level as the “Resident Evil 2” remake. But if that is the metric that we use to rebuild today, then there is nothing to complain about. Very good job, Capcom. Now, where is the “Code Veronica” remake?
Contact critic Dominic Baez at [email protected] or 541-338-2263, and follow him on Twitter @Silver_Screenin and Instagram @ cafe_541. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.
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