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Resident Evil 3 remake review: a second helping of dessert


Resident Evil 3 is haunted by the gargantuan expectations of high quality established by its predecessor, the groundbreaking Resident Evil 2. That’s as true for this 12 months’s remake because it was for the unique PlayStation sport; Resident Evil 2 was certainly one of 2019’s finest video games.

In 1999, Capcom’s follow-up to Resident Evil 2 was each dangerous and by-product, in equal measure. Resident Evil 3 shed the established custom of a two-character, two-scenario sport in favor of a streamlined, targeted expertise — one which set a extra action-oriented tone for future Resident Evil video games.

There was (and nonetheless is) simply the singular marketing campaign: Jill Valentine’s fraught escape from the disaster-struck Raccoon Metropolis. The sequel recycles the stalking dread of Resident Evil 2’s Tyrant with a brand new menace referred to as the Nemesis, a extra current hazard that’s on a way more even stage with the participant. Nemesis pursues the participant from the sport’s first minutes till its finish — and it is aware of the best way to use weapons like rocket launchers and flamethrowers. It’s unkillable to an virtually comical diploma.

The Resident Evil 3 remake takes fewer dangers than its inspiration. The unique PlayStation sport provided branching story selections, and an unlockable minigame referred to as “The Mercenaries” that might turn into a sequence staple. None of these improvements are current right here, making 2020’s Resident Evil 3 play extra like an extension of final 12 months’s Resident Evil 2 remake.

That was my unshakable feeling of the primary few hours of the brand new Resident Evil 3: that this sport, so related in its fashion of play and visible presentation, is solely extra of 2019’s (admittedly wonderful) Resident Evil 2. It’s practically an identical in methods which can be satisfying, however supply diminishing returns. I referred to as the RE2 remake “a recent, expensive-looking sport that evokes one of the best reminiscences of the PlayStation unique, whereas additionally being one thing altogether new.” The identical is true of RE3, however the feat feels much less spectacular this time. We all know what to anticipate now.

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Jill and Mikhail attempt to do what’s proper in Raccoon Metropolis’s decline.

Picture: Capcom

There’s little question that the issues that made the Resident Evil 2 remake nice are current in Resident Evil 3. Capcom’s newest remake is an attractive sport, bearing the identical sharp design and streamlining of final 12 months’s sport. However a lot of it looks like a lesser repeat of what was so spectacular in Resident Evil 2.

The zombies, most of them reused from RE2, nonetheless shamble about in methods which can be frighteningly unpredictable and onerous to headshot. There are new, unusual monsters to battle, just like the hideous sewer-dwelling frog creatures often called Gammas that showcase Capcom’s present masterful talent at visualizing gore. Their fleshy innards are gorgeously rendered, and seeing Jill Valentine crunched in two by the Gamma’s horrid maw is impressively disgusting. Even the filth of Raccoon Metropolis’s sewers and its dilapidated streets encourage graphical awe.

There may be additionally the Nemesis, a relentless hunter who lacks the, nicely, meme-worthy allure of Resident Evil 2’s Tyrant, aka Mr. X. Nemesis leaps round Raccoon Metropolis to search out Jill in ways in which really feel extra aggravating than they’re scary, and he serves as the sport’s ever-mutating huge boss monster. The place Mr. X felt like a really terrifying stalker, Nemesis looks like an overpowered nuisance.

The Nemesis holds a rocket launcher in a screenshot from Resident Evil 3 remake
The Nemesis holds a rocket launcher in a screenshot from Resident Evil 3 remake

The Nemesis tries a brand new Jill-killing approach: laser-guided rockets.

Picture: Capcom

The motion of Resident Evil 3 is acquainted and gratifying. Little has been carried out to develop the gameplay mechanics of RE2, which excelled at each motion and gunplay. There’s a new dodge transfer used to evade zombie bites, and exploding barrels that wipe out clusters of the undead. Resident Evil 3 additionally shakes issues up at occasions, letting me play as secondary protagonist Carlos Oliveira for segments that provide moments of catharsis amid the extra cautious hours with Jill, because of his assault rifle and a whole lot of rounds of ammunition to unload on the horrors of Raccoon Metropolis.

The story begins with explosions, burning buildings, and a chase, setting the tone for the remainder of Resident Evil 3. That’s what a lot of RE3 is: a chase, with little in the best way of story revelations or attention-grabbing new character additions to the Resident Evil fiction. Our heroes, Jill and Carlos, are likable. The villains drip with cruelty and hubris. Bits and items of lore are scattered by way of notes and laptop recordsdata, a few of that are amusingly written.

At round six hours, RE3 is a relatively brief expertise

Once I first fired up Resident Evil 3, I anxious that its story of a pandemic turning cities into disease-plagued ghost cities could be extra of a miserable reminder of our present actuality than escapist leisure. To wit: A live-action cinematic begins the sport with docs in hazmat fits and authorities officers telling of a CDC-enforced quarantine.

However the an infection of Raccoon Metropolis is thus far faraway from our real-world conundrum as to be largely unrelatable. The specter of Resident Evil is seen, within the type of zombies and different grotesqueries, and the foundation of its evil so tangible: the Umbrella Company. (The one actual shared menace in our world and Resident Evil’s fantasy world, as identified by Jill herself, is human greed.)

Carlos Oliveira aims his assault rifle at a Hunter in a screenshot from Resident Evil 3 remake
Carlos Oliveira aims his assault rifle at a Hunter in a screenshot from Resident Evil 3 remake

Carlos faces a brand new menace: the Hunter.

Picture: Capcom

At round six hours, RE3 is a relatively brief expertise. Your second playthrough turns into an influence fantasy as you full duties to unlock and buy enhancements that provide you with additional storage, auto-healing gadgets, and outlandish weapons just like the Scorching Dogger, a knife that units enemies on fireplace. There are more and more more durable issue choices to unlock for survival-horror heads who crave one thing grueling and extra old-school. I’m presently having fun with a “hardcore” issue run aided by a handgun with infinite ammo and a magical therapeutic coin.

Ostensibly, the opposite “half” of the brand new Resident Evil 3 is an unique multiplayer mode referred to as Resident Evil Resistance. Truly, RE Resistance is much less of an additional mode than it’s a separate sport — it’s a distinct obtain, and it seems there is no such thing as a crossover or connectivity between the 2 experiences.

I’ve solely spent a quick period of time with Resistance, however it’s an uneven 4v1 problem during which 4 gamers as survivors try to flee a analysis facility whereas an evil mastermind participant makes an attempt to kill all of them with an elaborate safety system. My expertise with it thus far has felt sluggish and clumsy, and the deep nicely of beauty and equippable gadgets to earn by way of long-term play already feels daunting. There’s simply a lot stuff to unlock, and all of it feels so laborious.

Resident Evil Resistance begins with entry to 6 of the sport’s playable survivors, however solely one of many 4 accessible masterminds is unlocked. Getting the remainder, which might add some selection to the multiplayer mode, will take ample playtime, and over the weekend, I discovered it time-consuming to get right into a steady match.

I had a mastermind drop out 10 minutes right into a sport, shutting it down. I’ve had persistent warnings of unstable connections to the host. Getting right into a sport was a protracted course of, and regardless of liking the premise — which has similarities to horror video games like Useless by Daylight — the refined controls of Resident Evil 3 really feel laggy in Resistance.

A survivor, Martin, aims his pistol at a security camera while a zombie approaches in a screenshot from Resident Evil Resistance
A survivor, Martin, aims his pistol at a security camera while a zombie approaches in a screenshot from Resident Evil Resistance

Survivor Martin Sandwich shoots out a safety digicam, unaware of the spawned zombie menace behind him.

Picture: Capcom

Have been it not for the excessive expectations set by Resident Evil 2, Capcom’s equally lavish remake of Resident Evil 3 would stand out as a beautiful instance of a survival horror sport lovingly and painstakingly reimagined. At occasions it manages to be precisely that, modernizing the story of Jill Valentine’s escape from a zombie-ravaged Raccoon Metropolis crafted with wonderful manufacturing values.

However the shadow of its very latest predecessor looms so giant as to overshadow it. Like final 12 months’s sport, Resident Evil 3 is a superb instance of what a online game remake ought to be. It’s simply that the supply materials is rather less spectacular this time round — and so is the tip outcome.

Resident Evil 3 might be launched April Three on PlayStation 4, Home windows PC, and Xbox One. The sport was reviewed utilizing a remaining “retail” PS4 obtain code offered by Capcom. You could find further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here*.*

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