Resident Evil 3 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 10.04.2020 1

Review for Resident Evil 3 on PC

After the success of Resident Evil 2, the remake of the 1998 PlayStation classic, it was inevitable that Capcom, a company famous for returning again and again (and again) to its IPs, would also revive Raccoon City saga's third entry. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, saw Jill Valentine, the heroine of the original instalment, trying to escape the grasp of the titular villain, and similar to it, Resident Evil 3 throws you into the streets of this zombie-ridden town, and pits you against this relentless adversary once more. Focusing less in themes of survival horror, and leaning more towards the more bombastic aspects of the franchise, although it’s a fun ride, it seems like it didn't realise its true potential, and it's nowhere near as good as expected from the sequel to one of the best remasters yet.

The terrors of Jill Valentine’s past have left quite a scar, evident by her pretty intense introduction. 10 minutes in, and all is forgotten. Unlike the horror vibes of the first two games, the threequel was that generic Hollywood blockbuster, with bland cardboard characters, pretty faces, and lots of explosions. It’s understandable then that the remake’s strongest point isn’t storytelling and character development. Understandable, not easy to stomach, though, as this missed the opportunity to finally offer some of those as well. Anyways, more action than action-adventure, Resident Evil 3 starts with a big ‘Bang!’ - or more accurately, with an enormous ‘CRUSH!!!’

The wall in Jill’s apartment gets demolished by Nemesis; a bio-weapon designed to kill members of the S.T.A.R.S. force of bad-asses. Chased by the creature, the heroine will hit the streets of Raccoon City. Those who wished for a semi-open world, which would make you feel like a survivor in an urban post-apocalypse where the dead walk, will realise that almost all paths are conveniently blocked, funnelling you into the one or two routes available. On the bright side, this part, where you get to explore around the place, collect resources for your fight, and get immersed into the craziness of it all, is actually where this brings its best.. Oh, yeah. It’s also the perfect opportunity to train with the new mechanics.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 3 on PC

Zombies now move in packs, but since this usually doesn’t take place in claustrophobic corridors, but out in the open, you have more room to move around. Also, like with 1999’s Resident Evil 3, it’s possible to exploit the environment, and blow up a barrel to burn down everyone close to it, or shoot a power generator to create a powerful, stunning spark. Note that this journey won’t be as stingy with ammunition as RE2 was, yet care still needs to be taken, not just pushing the trigger without any thought. Ammo or not, it’s still better to try and avoid combat when possible. Thankfully, Jill isn’t a police rookie or college girl, but a battle-ready super-cop. Enter the dodge move.

Ms. Valentine can use a neat manoeuvre that, if pulled off in the very last moment, will slow down time, and let her instantly lock on to an enemy’s weak point, and hit much harder. Don’t think for a second that this ability will turn you into an overpowered ninja, as this is somewhat tough to master. In other words, eventually, a corpse will manage to grab you and have a bite. What then? Well, don’t count on sub-weapons like knives and grenades to help you out, as these are now actual weapons, and can’t be used when grasped. This time, the only thing left to do when that happens is to mash a button to lessen the blow. Long story short, do practice your dodges. You’ll need them.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 3 on PC

Needless to say, of course, that the ‘STAAARR’ of the show is that big, super-fast, and ultra-ugly dude in leather that follows you around. Nemesis is supposed to be at the heart of the game, after all. Or is he? Sadly, what was once a creature that would never let you relax, has become an actor in a movie, as most of the encounters with the beast are annoyingly scripted. RE2’s Mr. X, who should actually feel like his less impressive brother, manages to be far more intimidating despite his unremarkable arsenal, simply because he chases you around the world, with you having to actually think which path of the maze to follow, and how to avoid spending your limited ammo on him.

That’s not to say that Nemesis can’t be intimidating, exciting, or challenging to “wrestle” with. There are plenty of moments in which he will raise adrenaline levels, but once realising that this isn’t a single-minded monster that constantly chases Jill around, but a trap that is set off when the right conditions are met, the magic begins to dissipate. Plus, he can be a major pain, because his speed makes it almost impossible to turn your back on him and run, since you won’t know when to dodge while doing so, as this doesn’t use the fixed camera angles of old. In all honesty, the original Nemesis remains much more frightening, and not only in terms of gameplay, but presentation-wise, as well.

Screenshot for Resident Evil 3 on PC

It’s not just that his newest version has a somewhat goofy face design, with the most important feature, the eyes, being almost nonexistent, but he also makes the cardinal sin of grabbing you, only to throw you away, similar to post-Terminator 2 cyber-assassins tend to do. Yes, that only happens in cut-scenes, but what this essentially tells the subconscious is that it’s all fake. Nemesis should make every other foe pale in comparison, but it turns out that a couple of arachnid critters, some croco-fish, a returning licker, and a weird zombie haircut, look, and are far more lethal. Come to think of it, whenever that giant doofus isn’t around, Resident Evil 3 actually becomes surprisingly better.

At some point players reach a hospital. After the vibrantly coloured, neon-lit streets of Raccoon, this feels like a downgrade, but only visually, as this chapter sees a return to the slower, less pompous ways of the franchise, with darker locales to do some scavenging in, alternative paths to follow if chased, lots of corpses that may or may not be really dead, and some very dangerous baddies from the past raising the tension sky-high, despite usually having what you need to take care of them. Resident Evil 3 can indeed feel like an annoyingly conventional, “scary” theme park ride, but occasionally some stops do make excellent use the assets at hand to offer some great survival horror.

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It would be nice if the whole thing wasn't as rigidly scripted and by the numbers; if the gore hadn't been toned down; if this had kept more of the "cheese" of the title it remade; and if it hadn't cut some of its content. It's unfortunate how the world isn't really as dynamic as it could be, with nothing really ever being on your tail, despite the "always on the run" feel the - very good - music has. Many have criticised the length. They shouldn't. Resident Evil 3, like its forbearer(s), has the perfect length - it's a shame, though, how it doesn't give you enough incentive to go back to it again, and again, bar some higher difficulty modes, a few unlockables, and the fun of speedrunning.

Don't mistake all those complaints up to now for being the outcome of a bad experience. Yes, this can feel like the equivalent of the straight-to-DVD kind of flick compared to other Resident Evil remakes, and, yes, it's inconsistent with regards to pace, atmosphere, and difficulty… but it still manages to lean more towards the fun side of the scale. It's just that this has the aura of a great expansion, rather than a brand new title. There's no reason for fans of the franchise or genre to not try this out, but everyone is advised to wait for a discount, and, when it comes to the PC version, for a couple of fixes of some performance issues, like sudden frame-rate drops and stutters.

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It's strange why those technical flaws were experienced in the first place, as this shares the same engine with Resident Evil 2, which has remained unmodified. The good news? While there are plenty of boring things to look at, there are many that make up for that, especially near the end of the journey. Generally, this remains a beautiful, and realistically looking game. Speaking of beautiful, Jill Valentine is stunning here, and has some fantastic facial animation. In fact, she, as well as the secondary protagonist Carlos, are a bit too stunning, and magazine cover-pretty compared to the slightly more down to earth Claire and Leon - but that's just personal taste speaking. Resident Evil 3 looks great. Full stop.

As a final comment, Resident Evil 3 does away with one of the favourites of yours truly, the Mercenary mode, where the mission was to save people in Raccoon City, and kill enemies while doing so, before a set timer would expire. The remake adds Resistance, which is an asymmetrical multiplayer kind of deathmatch like DOOM Eternal's Battlemode. In Resistance you get to have 4-vs-1 matches, with four players acting as civilians trying to survive the machinations of the fifth player, who acts as the mastermind, laying traps and monster encounters. Good? Yes. Awesome? Far from it. Should Mercenary mode be omitted just for it? No, no, definitely, no. Is there hope for its return? Fingers crossed…

Screenshot for Resident Evil 3 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

It's pretty obvious that this wasn't created by the confident, and steady hand that designed Resident Evil 2. Nevertheless, while nowhere near the quality of its predecessor, it remains a great survival horror game, worthy of the franchise it belongs to, with the only two flaws that are hard to stomach being how, the undisputed heart of the original, the pursuer known as Nemesis, is a bit of a major disappointment, and how you have to pay full price for something that feels more like an expansion.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Carlos and Jill look absolutely HORRID.  (No disrespect to the reviewer)

It reminds me of the same direction RE Revelations 2 went.  You had Jill looking sexy in her skinsuit in Rev 1, but Clarie looked like she was strung out on drugs in Rev 2, and Jill in this game looks like someone youd see at a mall, not the attractive heroine of the series (or her hotter revelations model)

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