Resident Evil 3 Remake Review: Awesome graphics and high-stakes story ramp up the horror
Following on from Resi Evil 2’s re-work last year. Capcom are back to make you scream.
Following on from last year’s highly-acclaimed Resident Evil 2 Remake, Capcom’s has served up a similarly stylish reimagining of 1999’s Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
Sharing the same game engine as the Resi 2 remake, this new take on Resi 3 tasks players with evading the ominous Nemesis as they complete a series of objectives around Raccoon City.
Players must craft resources and switch between weapons as they attempt to survive the T-virus outbreak that has unleashed hordes of zombies and an array of other creatures.
So how does the game hold up? We put Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 Remake through its paces, attempting to work out whether this is the new zombie game that the grim world of 2020 needs…
If you played the Resi 2 remake, you’ll feel instantly at home with this new take on Resi 3 – the control scheme is pretty much identical.
This is a good thing in one regard: players that are used to combining herbs, acquiring ammo, getting the most from their maps and tactically dodging zombies will find themselves sliding quickly into this game and understanding it straight off the bat.
In another regard, you could argue that this is not a good thing: the Resident Evil 3 remake doesn’t have much of an identity of its own, which stands out greatly when you revisit familiar things from the previous game.
You could argue that this new instalment does less than its predecessor.
This game seems more linear than the last, putting much less focus on revisiting locations as a means of solving puzzles.
The Resi 3 remake is more interested in thrusting you towards the next boss battle than making you think, explore or try particularly hard.
Thankfully, though, those boss battles are great.
Capcom’s reimagined take on the monstrous monolith that is Nemesis is a formidable foe, and the ways in which you go to toe with him are very enjoyable indeed.
To say any more on that would be veering into spoiler territory.
You can tell this is a game that has been made at the high end of the current-gen capabilities, simply because the graphics look top-notch.
From the highly-realistic human heroes (Jill and Carlos) to the fearsome-looking foes (especially the show-stealing Nemesis), via eye-catching weaponry and seriously memorable locations, this is a game that never looks anything short of great.
A next-gen remaster for PS5 and Xbox Series X would be hard-pressed to look any better, but the loading times could be improved upon.
The only slight qualm with the game, visually, is the fact that you see the same zombie designs quite a few times in different places.
A bit more variety would’ve been nice, but this is hardly a game-breaking flaw.
The story is a tale as old as time: girl meets giant mutant creature, giant mutant creature repeatedly tries to murder girl, girl meets boy, boy tries to help kill the creature, and everyone runs around a lot trying to find a cure for the T-virus (we could do with some of that right about now).
Despite the fact that there’s nothing particularly original in this story, the stakes soon start to feel high, and there are plentiful scary moments that will try to make you jump.
Although the writing sometimes veers into a swearing overload that verges on parody, the acting performances are strong enough to keep you invested (especially in Jill and Carlos).
The only problem with the story is its length: it’s easy to beat this game in under six hours, even on your first playthrough, which makes it noticeably shorter than the Resident Evil 2 remake.
Last year’s Resi 2 also allowed you to replay the story from a different perspective, which isn’t available as an option here (although you do switch point-of-view within the story a few times).
READ MORE: Resident Evil 3 Pre-order guide
The brisk campaign makes this feel like a speed-runners dream, but the average player might be disappointed to find this sequel to be shorter than the previous game in the franchise.
Making up for the short campaign somewhat, the game has a variety of extra offerings: once you finish the story for the first time, you can start unlocking items that will make your second playthrough more fun.
These range from retro costumes to fiery knives, and there’s even an infinite grenade-launcher in there.
This is a game that clearly wants you to play it more than once.
There are also three difficultly levels to choose from, allowing players to change it up a bit if they do fancy a second or third bash at the campaign.
Players will also get the beta for Resident Evil: Project Resistance bundled in for free with their copy of Resident Evil 3.
This early access to Project Resistance (a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer game) is a significant bonus, which could help make up for the short story.
However, Project Resistance has had some technical issues on PS4 and PC and was not available to play when we reviewed this game on PS4. It is working on Xbox One, though.
All in all, Resident Evil 3 Remake is a fun way to spend a few hours. Battling against Nemesis is fun, and the wide array of available weaponry sends a sense of variety surging through the game.
The story rattles along at a pace and is elevated by strong performances, and the high-end graphics also help to make this compelling horror experience. A few more zombie variants would’ve made it even better.
Also, there’s no getting away from the fact that this game borrows heavily from its predecessor, and it ends up being shorter and less original than Resident Evil 2 Remake.
This game certainly doesn’t feel ‘bigger and better’ than the previous entry in the franchise – in fact, it almost feels like a piece of Resi 2 DLC – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a satisfying way to spend a few hours.
When Project Resistance starts working, it could make this game even more appealing. But for now, Resident Evil 3 is an enjoyable little game that will feel like a familiar homecoming for fans of the franchise.
RealSport Rating: 3.5 staaaaaars (out of 5)
Resident Evil 3 is released on Friday, 3 April 2020.