I’m a fan of the Resident Evil series, have been since the very first game on the original Playstation. I’ve got multiple copies of some of the games spread across various different platforms (thank you Nintendo Switch for making me rebuy all my games so I can play them on the go). Resident Evil 3 has always been something of a favourite of mine, and is probably the one I like the most on the Playstation, so when it was announced that a remake was coming I was more than excited.
Friday April 3rd sees the release of the Resident Evil 3 remake. Thanks to the Resident Evil 2 remake hitting homes a year ago, and some impressive trailers, fans had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, those expectations have shifted somewhat with the release of the demo last week.
Dropping you some way into the game, the demo has lead hero Jill Valentine meeting up with some members of the UBCS (the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service) who are trying to restore power to the subway to get survivors to safety.
It’s already clear from the first few minutes that this is going to be a very different game to the original. The characters are already quite different, with Jill being much more assertive and sure of herself than in the original. She doesn’t take crap from the guys in the UBCS, and it’s great. Jill’s always been one of my favourite Resident Evil characters, and I love whenever you get the chance to play as her, but she never really had much of a personality during her early appearances. This looks to be the first time that she’s really given the spotlight and the chance to shine.
Outside of this brief look at the characters, players get to experience a small part of the apocalyptic Raccoon City. One of the best things about the Resident Evil 2 remake was how it updated the environments and made them new and dynamic, but other than the police station you really didn’t get a chance to see much of the city, with large sections of the game set in the sewers and underground labs. This seems to have changed with this game, with the streets and shops.
The demo really surprised me by how it expanded Raccoon City. It’s not just the fact that you can run around the streets, but that you can enter almost every building you come across. Raided shops, ruined pharmacies, and abandoned cafes litter the broken and ruined city. Some of these places have important items you need, like a fire hose that you’ll use to get past a burning alley, but some just hold a few supplies and zombies.
You’ll also find that there’s a lot more zombies littering the streets too. This means that action is more of a focus than last year’s remake. Whilst there are more enemies around, and more ammo to fight them, as well as Resident Evil 3‘s ammo creation system, it’s not a gun heavy game by any means. The enemies are tough, and can move and sway in a way that often makes hitting them harder than you think. Combat is definitely going to be something of a challenge in the game, one that will require you to think through your tactics.
The biggest thing in the demo, however, is Nemesis. Arguably the second biggest star in the game after Jill, he’s one of the most memorable boss monsters in the entire franchise. What always made him great was his ability to show up at unexpected times, and his near invulnerability made fighting him a hell of a challenge. Well, old Nemesis was a joy compared to this one.
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This version is fast, really fast. He can run what looks like three times your speed. He can jump around the environment, landing in front of you and blocking your escape. He’s tough as hell and can knock you to the ground with one hit. He’s got tentacles that can grab you and trip you up. And it looks like he can change zombies into even worse enemies. Seeing Nemesis was both the best and worst part of the demo. It was great to see him in action, but made me seriously worried about having to fight him multiple times in the actual game.
The demo was short, basically getting you down one street and past one obstacle, but it gives you a good taste of what the game is about. It highlights how Capcom have taken what was in the last remake and really built on it. Just from first impressions Resident Evil 3‘s remake is set to be one of the biggest and best Resident Evil games in years.