Resident Evil 3 is everything that you wanted from the game

Resident Evil 3 are incredibly effective at putting you on edge. A remake of the original 1999 game, Resident Evil 3 puts the volatile and intense conflict between protagonist Jill Valentine and the unrelenting force of nature, Nemesis, front and center–giving way to some strong survival horror moments that show off the best of what the series can offer. But after that solid start, this revisit to a bygone era not only loses track of the type of horror game that Resident Evil once was, but also loses sight of what made the original so memorable. Much like 2019’s Resident Evil 2, the remake of Resident Evil 3 interprets the classic survival horror game through a modern lens, redesigning locations and altering key events to fit a significantly revised story. Resident Evil 3 doesn’t deviate too much from the formula set by the RE2 remake, but it does lean harder into the action-focused slant the original version of RE3 had, giving you some greater defensive skills to survive. RE3’s introduction is a strong one, conveying a creeping sense of paranoia and dread that’s synonymous with the series, and Jill Valentine once again proves herself to be a confident protagonist to take everything head-on.

RE3 is very much a companion piece to the previous game, serving as a simultaneous prequel and sequel that caps off the saga in Raccoon City. There are even key points in the story that expect you to know of prior characters or locations that tie back to the previous remake. While you won’t miss out on anything vital for not having played RE2, some of the previous game’s most poignant moments are given more subtext in RE3. You’ll eventually cross paths with supporting characters like mercenary Carlos Oliveira, the game’s second playable character, along with some other unsavory individuals looking to take advantage of the chaos. Throughout the game, Jill Valentine is a capable survivor, more so than both Leon and Claire, and she’s well-suited to handle the undead and other bioweapon monstrosities like the Nemesis that roam the city. Along with dodging attacks, she can also execute slow-mo evasive rolls that open a clean shot at the enemy’s weak point, which can be especially satisfying to pull off during an intense encounter. There’s a more pronounced emphasis on action and quick reflexes in RE3, which can make the shooting, survival, and exploration loop a bit more engaging and responsive. While this ultimately gives you a greater feeling of control in the field, it’s not enough to the point that it makes encounters with the ravenous undead or Nemesis easy. So while you are capable, it’s often best to play it safe. Resident Evil 3 tries to stick with the tenets of survival horror gameplay and is generally far more challenging than RE2, due to its greater focus on inventory management and ammo crafting. However, the generous save points and checkpoints ensure you won’t suffer too steep a loss after death. Resident Evil 3 also carries forth many of the successes from the Resident Evil 2 remake, which gives it a leg up for its own outing. As with previous games, RE3 is all about escalation, forcing you to contend with dwindling resources as the monsters–and Nemesis–put the pressure on. Unlike in Resident Evil 2, which quickly took you off the streets of Raccoon City, you spend more time in RE3 exploring the main roads, side alleys, and other points of interest in town.

Resistance didn’t hold my attention long, and while Resident Evil 3 is the stronger of the two, it’s still disappointing. Looking back on my first playthrough of the RE3 remake, it was clear that the game reached its peak early and slowly lost momentum going forward. With the remake’s shortcomings in mind, it’s easy to make comparisons to the original game’s approach. In addition to featuring a more dynamic and present Nemesis, Jill’s odyssey had more locations to visit. It is impressive to see classic locations like Downtown and Hospital recreated, yet some other places from the original, like the Clock Tower and Park, are absent. While this won’t mean much for newcomers, and the remake skirts this by setting up elaborate Nemesis encounters, the shrinking scale of the game diminishes the impact of its plot and events. It’s clear that this remake of Resident Evil 3 is missing some crucial beats that could have offered a more effective and satisfying story.As a remake, Resident Evil 3 not only falls short of honoring its source, but it also doesn’t quite stick the landing as a standalone horror experience. Even without taking into account the original game, or its predecessor, RE3 struggles to keep up with its pace amid a clashing of elements from survival horror and standard action. While it has a strong start and gives its principal villain some great moments, this truncated retelling of the concluding game from the original Resident Evil trilogy doesn’t do it proper justice.

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