I’ve already spoken a little about the Resident Evil 3 remake, giving my first impressions of the game from the great demo released a few weeks ago. However, now that I’ve had the game for a few days, and sunk more hours into it than I’m willing to admit, it’s time to give it a proper review.
In my previous article I said that the game seems to be quite different from the original it’s based on; however, I wasn’t expecting just how different it would end up being. Where the remake of Resident Evil 2 stuck fairly close to the original, this game sticks to the feel of the original, but changes things up quite a bit. For example, the original game had you work your way through the back alleys of Raccoon City from Jill’s apartment to the police station, where you meet Nemesis for the first time. In this game not only does Jill not go to the police station (a section that Carlos gets instead), but Nemesis is the very first monster you see in the game, breaking his way into Jill’s apartment.
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Within minutes it’s clear that Capcom aren’t afraid to make big changes, and whilst there are certain things that I miss from the original game that haven’t made the cut, I loved the fact that the Resident Evil 3 remake kept me on my toes in ways that Resident Evil 2 didn’t. Some of the new locations made for some great set pieces, with the zombie-filled streets of the city feeling like the remnants of a real city in ways previous games never did, and some locations like the construction site being made purely to show how big and scary Nemesis is.
These parts also have a drawback though, as it shows how Resident Evil 3 is much more of an action game than it is a survival horror one. Now this isn’t something that’s new to the remake, as the original had much more guns, explosions, and bombastic moments than any Resident Evil game had had to that point. It’s not as action heavy as some of the other games in the series such as Resident Evil 4, or Resident Evil 5, and certainly not anything like 2012’s Resident Evil 6, which played more like a rejected Call of Duty game. However, in comparison to the remakes of the first and second game it does stand out. Whether this is something that puts you off or not will largely depend on how you like your action to horror balance, and if you were a fan of the original Resident Evil 3.
As a fan of the original these differences in tone weren’t too much of a sticking point for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My biggest annoyances were the loss of the Clocktower location, this time relegated to a single boss fight, and that we didn’t have longer with the first stage Nemesis before he mutated into a new monster. These are just my personal opinions though, and the game still flows extremely well despite the loss of this old location.
Before the game came out people were already complaining about the length of it. Whilst it doesn’t take as long to fully finish compared to the first two games this is in part because there’s just the one story here, rather than two to choose from. Instead of this being a downside I found it to actually work to the game’s benefit. It’s much easier to go back and play through it again thanks to its length and fast pace.
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This is especially true if you enjoy trying to earn achievements/trophies, as you’ll have to replay the game with some interesting caveats involved. Not only is there the standard achievements for beating the game on higher difficulties, but you can even attempt to earn rewards for beating the game without using any health items, or in under two hours. So far I’ve managed both of those and will be trying to beat the game without using the item chests later this week. I can easily see myself playing through the game several more times at least before taking a break from it.
The game is, like Resident Evil 2, absolutely gorgeous to look at, with amazing graphics and visuals that stand out as some of the best in the franchise. Along with the much improved voice-acting it helps to make Resident Evil 3 into a truly cinematic experience. Jill is by far at her best in this game, and cements why she’s one of the best characters in the series, and the improvements to Carlos elevate him from a somewhat forgettable character into a hero I’d love to see more of.
There are probably some people who’d say that this isn’t as good as Resident Evil 2, but it’s not really fair to compare the two as they’re very different types of Resident Evil games. One is slower and more claustrophobic, whilst the other is more fast paced and action oriented. These differences don’t make for anything of a lesser game, and anyone who’s a fan of the series is sure to enjoy this entry.