Header Ads

[Review] Resident Evil 3 Remake - The .44 Magnum Opus?

With the huge success of the Resident Evil 2 remake, it came as no surprise when Capcom announced Resident Evil 3 would be next in line to receive the ultra polished remake treatment. Considering how high RE2 set the bar, can Jill and Carlos' venture provide an experience as satisfyingly intense and exciting as its predecessor?

To begin, the events of Resident Evil 3 run both prior and concurrently to those of Resident Evil 2 and while you won't see Leon or Claire directly, without spoiling too much, there are multiple nods and a satisfying overlap of events that take place between the two games, most notably at the RPD. The two titles are linked in a very clever way and while RE2 went into development first, Capcom began developing RE3 only a short time after, so the overlap in development and communication is most likely what lead to everything working out so well.

A number of changes have been made from the original release of Resident Evil 3 and while the most apparent would be both Jill and Carlos' new appearance (outside of the obvious graphical overhaul), the essence of the original is still very much intact and with great character development, voice acting and the current Covid-19 epidemic, the characters and plot feel that much more believable. Let's just hope Covid doesn't develop a T strain...

Two references for the price of one. No problemo.
That said, as a fan of the original I was pretty disappointed to discover Jill's original costume was exclusive to pre-orders only. Carlos didn't bother me as he looks far more realistic, older and therefore more believable as a hired Merc this time around, but Jill's original look is iconic and my favourite costume out of any Resident Evil title to date. Completing a number of in-game challenges unlocks extra concept art, weapons, tools and costumes, so I had hoped I could unlock it in the in-game shop menu (not real money) you unlock after your first run, but sadly that's not the case.

If you're anything like me, you may have had some initial hang-up's going in, but I'll say now that you needn't worry because where I was initially against Jill, Carlos and Nemesis' appearance changes, I grew to really really like Jill's new look and Carlos is a lot more fitting of his backstory. As for Nemesis? I still prefer the original design (1st form at least) - Sorry, Capcom!

For the most-part, the streets of Raccoon City feel somewhat believable, if a little condensed and navigation becomes pretty easy, even without a map, after you've spent a small amount of time familiarising yourself with your surroundings. Shortcuts are in pretty handy spots and if you're a completionist, there are plenty of hidden items to keep you busy. These include personal memos and reports of the events that lead up to the untimely deaths of so many civilians, hidden boxes containing a number of useful items, the Magnum (don't forget that!) and Charlie Boy statues to shoot/stab.

Resident Evil 3 is a very dark game, in every sense of the word.
Graphically, Resident Evil 3 is phenomenal and though Nemesis does chase you for a good portion of the game, it doesn't quite reach the same level of intensity as Mr.X in the RE2 remake. That said, I spent a good amount of time playing around with Nemesis once I got good at the dodge function, new and exclusive to this version of RE3 (it was in the original RE3 release, but functioned differently). I wanted to see just how many places I could down him for extra goodies and while this increased my death count considerably (don't try to kill him when the building is on fire - he won't go down and it'll be a waste of ammo), I feel it was worth it because ultimately I had a lot of fun. Also, pro-tip - Save your Frag Grenades for him. If you're playing on standard difficulty, a single Frag will down him in one and it's worth doing this because he drops ammo and even weapon upgrades (much like the original).

Resident Evil 3 is faster paced and a lot more militaristic than its predecessor. At times it can be full on and a real challenge, and sometimes it's better to run than stay and fight, but Capcom have expertly perfected this mix of action, survival and horror with great story-telling and exceptional characters who you'll come to love, and love to hate (I'm looking at you, Nikolai).

From doughnuts to brains, hunger is fickle.
The only two glitches I had were that of an invincible Pale-Head (which took 15 Shotgun Shells to the head like it was nothing) and the second to last boss. The latter of which, I went in loaded to the teeth with Grenade Rounds (14 Flame, 10 Explosive, 4 Acid, 2 Mines), 8 Shotgun Shells and 12 Magnum Rounds. On standard difficulty this should have assured victory, but instead, it depleted all of my ammo. Unsure if I'd actually be able to beat the end boss now, I proceeded to the next room where a storage box awaited. Inside the box was the last of my ammo - 50 Pistol rounds and 6 Shotgun Shells. Thankfully, due to a badass gimmick in the final boss room, this was enough and what a ride it was.

Once you've completed the game you'll unlock an in-game shop to purchase all kinds of items for later play-throughs. This includes new weapons such as the Electric Gun from the RE2 remake, a Flame Knife and an Infinite Rocket Launcher, extra item pouches, extra costumes and even key items such as the Lock Picks you get with Jill. This enables you to skip having to collect some of the essential items needed to progress and enables speed-runners to really go to town.

"Come up to the lab and see what's on the slab."
One last thing I'd really like to address is that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the length of Resident Evil 3's campaign. The RE2 remake had two campaigns that each played out a little differently depending on whether you began with Leon or Claire. Resident Evil 3 however was only ever a single campaign dedicated to Jill Valentine. It was never going to be as long but it's also not one of the shortest games around.

I like to explore. I like to search for easter eggs and the many secrets embedded in the world I'm about to immerse myself in. I didn't search for hidden items excessively and missed quite a few of the Charlie Boy collectables, but I did explore Raccoon City enough to find and collect all of the hidden lockboxes, doors and safes to break into in my first run. My final play time was 9 hours and 40 minutes (with only about half an hour of idle time to fuel myself with cups of Tea in true British style), so unless you're racing through the streets like your life depended on it the whole way through, Resident Evil 3 isn't as short the critics have made it out to be.

Final time - Saving OCD.
Overall, Resident Evil 3 is a truly fantastic title and one that I had an absolute blast with from start to finish. The soundtrack has been reworked and re-imagined and yet still remains familiar. The well known save room music is back and better sounding than ever, and being able to walk through a section of the same area Leon and Claire would later walk through was the absolute icing on the cake. Resident Evil 3 is a worthy successor to Resident Evil 2, and with much more believable characters this time around, I really hope we get to see Carlos and Jill reunited for a sequel some day.

Resident Evil 3 is out now for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and comes bundled with Resistance - An entirely separate multiplayer game (which I'm yet to try) for no additional cost.

Must Play is the best rating we could possibly give a game, and if we rated out of 10, Resident Evil 3 would be a solid 9/10 from me. I'd like to thank our friends at Capcom for sending us code for the PS4 version of the game and if you just can't get enough of Resident Evil, be sure to check out my review for the fantastically re-imagined remake of Resident Evil 2 here.

Which classic Capcom game would you like to see receive the same treatment next? Personally, I'd love to see a modern take on Dino Crisis. Let's make it happen, Capcom!

Got something to say? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @CaptainCortez

You can also find us over on our Social Networks:

No comments