Capcom is no stranger to remaking older titles. After 2019’s “Resident Evil 2” remake was a smash hit, it seemed inevitable the story of Jill Valentine’s escape from Raccoon City in “Resident Evil 3” would receive the same treatment. And, on April 3, the game officially launched.
Traumatized by her experiences from the first game, Jill Valentine has decided to leave Raccoon City. She comes to this decision a bit too late, though, as the city is in the midst of a T-virus outbreak. Now she has to get out whilst evading a mysterious creature codenamed Nemesis.
Compared to last year’s “Resident Evil 2” remake, “Resident Evil 3” is faster paced. It’s a race against time to get out of the city, all the while searching for clues on what the nefarious Umbrella Corporation is up to.
Gameplay retains the survival-horror angle the series is known for, but there’s a stronger emphasis on action. Backtracking and puzzle-solving is kept to minimum, but combat is amped up. This is because, unlike Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, Jill is more combat experienced. New mechanics further add to this idea, including the new feature of a dodge that, when properly timed, lets her fire off some rounds at an enemy’s weak point.
Occasionally, the perspective switches from Jill to the Umbrella mercenary Carlos Olivera, able to explore some areas Jill doesn’t with an arsenal to match Jill’s own. Even better, a new mechanic means that, when you successfully dodge a monster, Carlos will promptly sucker punch it, which is extremely satisfying.
Exploration of Jill’s surroundings is key to her survival. Searching every nook and cranny for keys, ammo and healing items makes a big difference in the long run. It’s even possible to find weapon attachments for each gun she acquires over the course of the campaign. On Standard difficulty, ammo and healing items are plentiful, so if you want a challenge, bump it to Hardcore.
However, the trek won’t be easy due to the presence of Nemesis, a hulking creature whose sole purpose is to eliminate any S.T.A.R.S. affiliated personnel. His introduction is tense and scary, but he’s the most disappointing aspect of the game. In the original “Resident Evil 3,” Nemesis was an ever-looming threat, able to strike at any moment. His encounters here are much more scripted and lack any surprise, even while he’s packing serious firepower.
Longtime fans might also be disappointed by the removal of key areas like the clock tower and park, but it is not too big of a problem. However, the removal of the fan-favorite Mercenaries mode is a crime, and the stand-alone, multiplayer experience in its place, “Resident Evil: Resistance,” doesn’t quite compare.
Despite this, “Resident Evil 3” is still a good time. Even after the adventure is over, the higher difficulties and ranking system, a staple of the series, provides incentive to go back and perfect your skills.
While it lacks some of the same spark that made the “Resident Evil 2” remake shine, “Resident Evil 3” is a solid experience in its own right. It’s quick, relentless and fun.