As things advance, it becomes harder to appreciate classics of the past. Some games, especially simpler ones, are able to transcend this but the shift from sprites to 3D models turns a number of innovative experiences into rough products of the time. As a result, a number of popular franchises have been remade, bringing the story and experiences we love to a more modern age. This worked extremely well for Resident Evil 2 and Capcom hopes to find success with the sequel. While not as iconic, Resident Evil 3 still has a number of notable elements and new things were added, giving fans and newcomers alike something to be excited for. However, given the expectations of the series, is it enough to make fans happy or is it a lazy attempt following labor of love?
Resident Evil 3 takes place before and after the events of Resident Evil 2. With the T-Virus finally spread in Raccoon City and almost every citizen has turned into zombies, the city is in ruins and the heroine Jill Valentine from the first Resident Evil game is on a final mission and that is to escape the city whatever means necessary. With her attempt to escape Raccoon City, Umbrella’s new creation bioweapon called Nemesis is up to chase and makes her escape a hard one. As she finds a way to escape Raccoon City, a more devious plot uncovers and Jill has to team up with new allies if she ever wants to escape the nightmare.
Gamers who have played the original game back in 1999 will be enthralled in the new remake. All of the key scenes from the original have been remade to cater to the modern age. The overall main plot remains intact but Capcom redid some of the scenes in the game to have a far smoother transition as it takes place before and after the events of Resident Evil 2. There may have been some areas that have been added or omitted which may disappoint fans to a certain degree. As someone who has played the original Resident Evil 3 many times in the past, it certainly is entertaining to see Jill Valentine on her last escape in Raccoon City, and with the remake showing new faces and emotions for characters like Mikhail, Carlos, and Nikolai – it makes it even better. For newcomers, the remake may not be as exciting and can simply just another zombie game but for someone who is a longtime fan, the retelling of the story in Resident Evil 3 is spectacular.
When remaking games like Resident Evil 3, it’s hard not to compare and contrast the original to the remake. There are things that many fans who have played the original wish the remake would implement such as the branching paths that you can take. In Resident Evil 3 remake, Capcom has omitted that feature but instead made it more action-streamlined with a linear story path. It is actually one of the things I am looking forward to when the game was announced as being able to choose between two options makes the game more interesting as it gives a different outcome. Fans who are well familiarized with the scenes of the original shouldn’t expect everything you see in the remake remains the same as it won’t, just like in the Resident Evil 2 remake.
In terms of gameplay, it is smooth and similar to the gameplay many have played in the Resident Evil 2 remake. The menu and the map screen is overly similar, and the mechanics are the same. Jill and Carlos will be hunting for upgrades for their guns around Raccoon City but it won’t be as hard to find like in Resident Evil 2. For the holster pack that further increases storage, it is very easy to spot here and you won’t require much searching. As far as Nemesis, he is tougher and more villainous than ever. Expect him to chase you at any given place in the game but note that in safe areas where there are the storage box and typewriter, that’s the area he can’t enter. For zombies, they are far more aggressive where it will really challenge players to move quickly.
As far puzzles go, it’s literally disappointing that there are zero to none in the game. At least with the Resident Evil 2 remake, they managed to keep some of the puzzles or at least have some but in Resident Evil 3 remake, it is almost non-existent, to the point if there’s one, it’s just asking Jill to find fuses or turning on the switches. Fans who remember those old puzzles from the original won’t be in the game, which is really disappointing.
Taking away the features such as puzzles, and branching story paths feels like you’re breezing through the game, which is possible to beat the game in about five hours or less. It is really short and the transition from one scene to another makes it feels like it’s rushed. However, the production quality of the game is phenomenal and well deserved to watch at least two times.
For its replayability factor, it’s disappointing to say again that there is less compared to the original. The Mercenaries that debuted in the original Resident Evil 3 is not in the remake. Though there is Resident Evil Resistance that may have replaced Mercenaries, it would be awesome to at least see it in the game. Additionally, there will be no boutique room key that you get right after finishing the game that allows you to change to different outfits. However, when it comes to extra weapons that you can use, you can get unique ones that you can use on your second playthrough like the Rocket Launcher. To get these, you need to gather up points from your original playthrough and exchange them. The weapons that you purchase will appear in the storage box on your second playthrough.
Performance-wise, Resident Evil 3 remake looks exceptional. From its production values to voice-overs, it’s really nice to see characters from Resident Evil 3 given a new life. With characters being able to have facial expressions, it makes it even more compelling to see the narrative unlike the original release’s weak voice acting and abysmal visuals. For Xbox One X, the game looks and plays smoothly in native 4K resolution but fails to maintain a steady sixty frames per second. Whenever you are aiming at zombies, there are instances that it will drop frame rates significantly.
Resident Evil 3 Review – Verdict
Given the success of Resident Evil 2, fans with high expectations will likely be disappointed with Resident Evil 3. While they did a fantastic job of modernizing the classic, a number of features were omitted, ultimately making it hard to recommend to fans. Between a short story, with no real reason to play it a second time, it falls short of what we saw with the last remake. Nevertheless, if you’re okay with that shortcoming or want to see a new version of Jill’s escape from Raccoon City, you’ll likely not be too disappointed.
[Editor’s Note: Resident Evil 3 was reviewed on the Xbox One X platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]