When it was announced earlier this year that Resident Evil 3 was getting a remake, I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my chair with excitement. I’ve always thought of that game as being one of the weaker entries in the series and the thought of revisiting it wasn’t terribly appealing. But for as lukewarm as I felt about RE3, I absolutely adored last year’s remake of Resident Evil 2. So I decided to give developer Capcom the benefit of the doubt and see if they could work that same magic with the follow-up.
The game follows S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine and takes place shortly after the events of the original game. As the zombie outbreak begins to spill out into the streets of Raccoon City, a towering new enemy known as Nemesis appears who will stop at nothing to complete its sole mission, to kill Jill. Narrowly escaping the creature’s initial attack, Jill ends up teaming up with Carlos, a member of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.) whose team has been sent by their employer to try and clean up the mess. The two of them must find a way out of the city while outrunning the unstoppable killing machine that wants them dead.
First things first, let’s get this out of the way upfront. This game is drop-dead gorgeous. The RE Engine has always been great, and playing this game on an Xbox One X was a blood-soaked feast for the eyes. From a technical standpoint, it’s probably one of the best looking games I’ve played in a while. From the super detailed environments to every lock of Carlos’ ridiculously rendered hair, this is an absolute showcase for high-end visuals. The voice acting and music are also very well done, but the visuals are most definitely the standout.
Also, I feel I need to state the fact that I played the game on the “Assisted” difficulty, which is essentially Easy Mode. The reason I did this is that to be honest, I really didn’t need the extra stress and anxiety that comes along with a survival horror game when our day to day life is filled with so much of it already. Playing a game about an out of control virus wreaking havoc on the world was already going to be a bit much right now, so I felt good making this more of a casual experience and now that I’ve finished the game it really felt like the best way for me to play.
That’s not to say that the game is without suspense or tension on easy, it still freaks me out when a horde of zombies bursts through a window, even if I have 200 rounds in my assault rifle. And I still nearly shit my pants a couple of times when the Nemesis would come bursting through a wall or crashing down through the ceiling, but playing on ‘Assisted Mode’ gives you more ammo and health meaning that I approached each confrontation more aggressively as opposed to having to worry about each and every bullet that I used, and playing that way really complimented the fast-paced nature of this game in contrast to some other Resident Evil titles.
Resident Evil 3 is, to be clear, a much more trimmed done and streamlined type of Resident Evil game. It’s straightforward, simpler, and much shorter than other games in the series. In the 5 1/2 hours that it took me to complete the game, I moved from one environment to the next, with minimal backtracking or additional objectives to complete. At times it felt perhaps a bit too dumbed down, with puzzles reduced down to simply finding the right key or object to insert to move on, and enemy encounters that required little to no strategy. “Oh look, flame ammo! Immediately followed by a new enemy vulnerable to fire!” The combat is still fun, it’s just simple. Dark Souls this is not.
Again though, I feel like this is just the type of game I was looking to play right now. Something where I could turn my brain off, enjoy the actioned packed nonsense, and be done with it after a couple of days. Many people talk about the “value” of a game being tied to how many hours you can get out of it, but to me, a game can be of more value when it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome or overload you with dozens of sidequests purely for the sake of padding that playtime. Resident Evil 3 is comfortable with what it is and doesn’t try to be something else. As someone who doesn’t always have tons of time to play every day, I appreciate that.
Now if you do want to get more bang for your buck, you’re in luck because included with Resident Evil 3 is the multiplayer-focused game, Resident Evil Resistance. I chose not to include impressions of that game in this review because it’s a separate game that comes free with Resident Evil 3 as opposed to a multiplayer mode within the game, also multiplayer isn’t something I come to this series for so I don’t currently have plans to check it out. But if that sounds interesting to you, know that it is an added value that comes with the game.
I was unsure beforehand if I was in the proper state of mind for a game like Resident Evil 3, but in the end, it was worth investing a few days in. It’s a balls to the wall action thriller that features some fantastic set pieces and pulse-pounding fights. It may not challenge your gaming prowess but it will provide you with half a dozen hours of thrills. The visuals are gorgeous, the shooting is satisfying, and the creatures are disgusting, and sometimes that’s all you need.