Resident Evil 3 Remake Review
After the success of the spectacular Resident Evil 2 Remake (RE2R) , Capcom, have once again jumped into the development seat to bring back to life the highly regarded Resident Evil 3. Creating the Resident Evil 3 Remake (RE3R) and bringing it into the games of today, comes with risks that Capcom never seemed to mitigate when delivering the new final product. Resident Evil 3 was always meant to be an “add-on” to the Resident Evil 2 storyline. Happening only 24 hour BEFORE Leon and Claire’s story begins in RE2, which hasn’t changed with the recent remasters. Where the original Resident Evil 3 fell short for its story, the remake makes up with its introduction of one of the most iconic and terrifying enemies of the gaming world, Nemesis. The only question is, has Capcom managed to translate this well into the new remake. I will break this down in the review below:
The controls of Resident Evil 3 Remake are really fluid and smooth. The game runs at a stable 60FPS on the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. Whist having variable FPS averagely achieving 50FPS (with slight dips in the more action filled scenes) on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 base models. The gun play and weapon switching is as slick as ever, but doesn’t introduce anything new from the Resident Evil 2 Remake. The biggest change to the controls are the addition of a “dodge button”. RE3R introduces dodging to help handle the larger numbers of enemies, compared to what the the second instalment had introduced. When the player dodges an attack at the last moment, an opportunity is given to slow down time for a couple of seconds (at best) which allows for some nice quick head shots. Although if you dodge at the wrong moment, the end of the dodge will cause Jill to stagger, allowing for an enemy to land an attack on her.
I have a play-style in which I like to try and investigate every nook and cranny, in order to find as many secrets as I can. I also started playing the game on Hardcore difficulty, which is what I recommend most players to play on. Hardcore mode brings a heightened sense of realism and immersion. When playing like this I completed the game start to finish, in 8 hours which is quite a bit shorter than my first run-through of Resident Evil 2 Remake. Which was a shame as this game was an experience I did not want to end too soon. This is primarily due to the fun in finding new ways to survive the hordes of Zombies. Enemies are able to do more to bring Jill to her gruesome end. The new features would include zombies biting from behind, pinning Jill down unable to defend herself, resulting in a gruesome death. Additionally, multiple Zombies grappling Jill at once is extremely difficult/impossible to escape from, which brings the sense of nervousness and anxiety to navigating through groups of Zombies. An additional mechanic that I enjoyed was having limited inventory space, forcing me to manage items effectively to ensure that I took the right tools for the right job. Not doing so would always result in my death, or a really lucky escape.
One gripe that I have with the remake is in it’s change when presenting the key antagonist (of the monster variety), Nemesis. When I first ever encountered Nemesis in the original game, it was a terrifying ordeal. When facing him, I always felt like the odd where stacked against me and when I managed to escape him, I would always be on edge wondering when his next imminent attack would be. Then, Minutes later he would come smashing out of a random area and completely wipe me from existence. In these moments I would have to stop and take like 5 minutes to just psyche myself up, to face him again. In the remake however, Capcom never really revives that anxiety and fear. Nemesis becomes really predictable and when he does arrive, it’s quite easy to determine areas he cant reach, which never really allows him to build up your anxiety levels and truly fear him. It feels like your trying to reach the next area that he can’t get to instead of genuinely running away from him. Its no longer hide an seek, but more like kiss chase.
Resident Evil 3 Remake is a game which is made great by its intelligent use of audio. Resident Evil 3 Remake always seems to know the best time and place to play the right ambiance. From things such as the quiet tranquil sounds from a safe room to the blaring intense smashing and crashing sounds when being pursued by Nemesis. I wouldn’t go as far to say that the music is memorable, but I think with thrillers like this, the main the focus is on the ambient sounds that surround you. Using the crashing of bins or the moan of a Zombie to inform you of the dangers that lie ahead.
Japanese games historically have a bad rep for Voice acting which usually comes from localisation and translation. Well I can say with utmost confidence that the voice acting in Resident Evil 3 Remake is absolutely spot on. Resident Evil 3 Remake brings us a fantastic array of new and old characters (even if they do have a cliché ‘evil character being a Russian’ trope). The character capture was clearly recorded in mocap which leads them to have conversations that flow and look natural. The animation and dialog never seems to have any lip synching issues and the voices all match the characters, which helps you believe the emotions, stories and views that they share, which really helps us invest into the characters. We want them to succeed and we don’t want to watch them fail, which with this being a horror game, we inevitably have to go through.
To summarise, I would say that the audio of Resident Evil 3 Remake overall is impressive through conversations through to ambience. Although the game seems to lack any real music. I can’t say whether this is good or bad as quieter times with no music create suspense. But my key point would be that none of the tracks have really stuck with me after my experience with Resident Evil 3 Remake.
The optimisation and graphics combined for this game are easily some of the best of this generation. Resident Evil 3 Remake runs incredibly well on the consoles and runs consistently. I played the game end to end on a Playstation 4 Pro. During my time playing I never experienced any real decrease in the framerates, even during the big climactic explosive events that were going on. I did have a go at running this on the Xbox One and PS4 base models, in which the game still runs really well, even when around hordes.
The quality of textures and character models in this game are incredible. It seems that Capcom have really started to master the RE engine, bringing out some amazing visuals and functions. There were times where I’d shoot a Zombie in the face to stun it, so I could run past. When I returned, the Zombie would still have that same bullet-hole. When looking around the broken Racoon City, it always manages to impress me as it always looks really good. I think this comes from mastering amazing reflective and wet simulations, along with properties on textures to help make them really pop. The blood and gore in this game, is really impressive and damage caused to both Jill and the enemies is incredible.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the ‘Loading Times’. I’m not a seasoned veteran at the Resident Evil games, so as a result I died… A LOT. Although when I did, the loading times seemed really quick allowing me to jump quickly back into the action. Which is usually something that is a problem towards the end of a console’s generation.
Overall This is where Capcom have succeeded the most in their game. The graphics are beautiful, the game is incredibly smooth even on base consoles and the loading times are quick. A triple whammy for me!
Unlike Resident Evils 2's Remake, Capcom have opted to make changes to the flow of the story to give Resident Evil 3 Remake greater context. Which is something that comes with its own positives and negatives. An example of where I really enjoyed this variation from the original is within the first five minutes of the game. In the original game, our protagonist Jill Valentine dives (or is thrown) out of a fiery Inferno, which used to be a hotel, straight into the action of an alley way filled with Zombies. Instead Resident Evil 3 Remake opts for a more eerily tranquil start, where you play as Jill walking around her apartment after a bad dream. In this segment you are given time to see the contents of Jill's room (including some nice callbacks to the other games) to learn more about her character. In which then moments after you proceed past this segment Jill is launched into that exact same scenario from the original. Although there are times where this element falls short. Especially when Capcom is primarily so focused on wanting you to follow a storyline. The developers end up “hiding” key moments from the original game. In the original game we meet a character who saved Jill's life, only to then meet his demise to Nemesis. It's at this moment in the game we understand how terrifying our adversary is and it re-enforces how powerful he is. In RE3R. However, you never actually see this death occur and in fact it is entirely changed. Although, Capcom do find other ways to send the same message as the original, it just never quite lives up to its predecessor and Nemesis never really becomes as terrifying as he once was.
Resident Evil 3 Remake gives a complete and more structured story to the original, adding tonnes of content and cutscenes, that bring us to the epic conclusion at the end of the experience. One thing I found frustrating was, that all the key changes to the story seem to have been made at the beginning of the game, which felt like it made the pacing at the beginning feel a bit slow. I mean being chased around Racoon City is never a slow ordeal, but the pacing felt wrong to me. It felt for a few hours, that I was being forced to run in circles… with no hard puzzles or challenges to resolve. I feel like I spent a lot of the beginning of the game, running away to then return to the exact moment I started. I think the reason for this is that Capcom found it easier to put more content at the beginning but this made the beginning segments of the game feel the most unlike the original.
Although the game is shorter than previous entries, I do feel like it packed in a lot more story content than any of the other Resident Evil games, which filled a lot of flaws in the original story. I like this approach a lot, though I think I would have enjoyed it more if this story had been paced a little better and I was given more environments to explore.
This remake of Resident Evil 3, is not entirely loyal to the original. However, it is a great new addition to Capcom's current game library. As a Zombie game, it sits up there as one of the best, much like the originals did in their time on the PlayStation 1. Resident Evil 3 Remake looks back at what made it good and grows on these concepts. Although, it does fall short on making its key adversary Nemesis as terrifying as he was in the originals. The game runs beautifully and performs extremely well on the consoles. The Cast of characters that the game introduces, follows the usual ragtag group of survivors, trying to do what’s right takes queues of many other horror/survival games, but hey – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? The ambience in the game is amazing, really helping drive the suspense of walking the streets of Racoon City and upping the horror when being chased. RE3R doesn’t really deliver anything memorable in terms of its soundtrack, but this isn’t something I would expect from this genre of game.