Okay, the tagline is incorrect. Jill Valentine certainly is sweet in Resident Evil 3.
As with Resident Evil 2, I went in to this iteration with a fairly open mind. I’d never played either before, but had been promised good things. Admittedly, I’d never been attracted to the older Resident Evil tiles as – quite simply – they’re tough as hell.
And if you know me, you know I hate a challenge…
I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t played (and loved) Resident Evil 2, I might not have invested in this remake. I’ve played every Resident Evil title since the fifth release, but I haven’t ever made a point of picking them up at launch. However, I pulled the trigger on Resident Evil 3 and I’m ultimately glad I did.
A Legacy Redesigned
When you hit ‘new game’ and launch into these remakes, it’s immediately obvious that Capcom have put a lot of time and effort into their production. The quality of the environments, effects, character models and atmosphere is sublime and makes for a great experience. They have an uncanny ability to present characters that are instantly recognisable, but modernised and infinitely improved.
In Resident Evil 3, all the familiar characters have been rebuilt from the ground up. This includes the beautiful Jill Valentine, strapping Carlos Oliveira and horrifying Nemesis. The dev team have been masterful in their reconstruction of Raccoon City and in the creation of genuinely creepy zombies. As with Resident Evil 2, it’s what we already know, but made so much better.
I can find absolutely no fault with how the game looks – it’s brilliant. My only gripe is a weird one, and it’s to do with how zombies behave in the distance. It’s likely to save on resources, but shamblers that are even a short distance away undergo some weird, jarring movement effects when you shoot them. I likened it to the old school, PS1 zombies – it’s as though their personal frame rates drop through the floor when they collapse.
An Extremely Rapid Apocalypse
This game is short.
I mean… short.
I clocked just under four hours on my playthrough, and that wasn’t with me going quickly. I took the time to explore, study smaller details, and double back on myself frequently to collect certain items. Of course, I was playing on the Assisted difficulty (three beneath the top level) and this will have undoubtedly contributed to my meagre play time.
The story advances very quickly from point to point, from the extremely early introduction to Nemesis, to the twists and turns that are delivered as key plot points throughout the adventure. It’s good, though – there’s no drop in pace whatsoever, and you’re constantly under siege.
One annoying aspect of the rapid story is the constant reappearances made by Nemesis. He will pop up in your story no fewer than ten times in his fight to slaughter all STARS officers. There are also three separate ‘phases’ across which you do battle with the hulking mutant. This might not sound so bad, but if you average it out, he came across my path once every twenty-four minutes.
She Looks Good, But How Does She Move?
Jill Valentine might be expertly-crafted eye candy for the budding zombie apocalypse enthusiast, but she isn’t the most agile of creatures. I went through the entire title almost incapable of countering zombie lunges, for reasons I still don’t understand. The character movement is ever so slightly blocky and stiff, and feels quite limited in places.
You’re almost blocked from sprinting properly in any given scenario, even when you need it most. When you dodge, it’s jarring and leaves you almost completely undefended if your efforts were unsuccessful. The best aspect of interactivity and movement in this title comes from the combat.
Now, I love a good zombie game. If that zombie game has grisly wounding effects and a wide arsenal of weapons to utilise, then it’s top marks. Thankfully, Resident Evil 3 ticks these boxes through and through. These grotesque, chilling and murderous enemies fall foul to the onslaught of bullets and bombs launched forth by our heroine (and hero).
Don’t think I’m forgetting Carlos here. He is of course a playable character (albeit for a shorter duration) but he suffers the same movement-related issues as Jill.
Is This An Infection, Or The Anti-Virus?
It’s… neither. In its own right, Resident Evil 3 is a brilliant game. However, when you consider it’s a major release for one of the longest-running video game franchises in history, you expect a little more. Yes, it’s a remake and therefore can only reproduce the source content, but still. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it – I did, quite a lot – but there were quite a few drawbacks.
It’s worth noting that I didn’t go completionist on this, nor did I dive into the arena-based multiplayer title that comes with the game, Resistance. However, given that this title is retailing at around £50, I would definitely say you should wait for a price drop. It really isn’t worth it for just four hours of gameplay.