Alright. I very much enjoyed this game but do have a few qualms about it. Some of it is story related, some of it content related, some of it graphic related. With that said, let’s dive in:
First off, Jill and the other characters look great! Mikahil, Nicholai and Tyrell feel more fleshed out and like their own person. Raccoon City looks more vibrant then RE2 and it makes me wish I could explore it even more! The city feels more American now vs. what the developers thought an American town would look like. While some assets are obviously reused to me it makes sense and I didn’t really mind. My only complaint for this game graphically/technically is that sometimes when I played and there were a lot of things going on, the zombies moved in a very weird slow way at a distance. The main examples I can think of are in that starting city area, the zombies behind the barrier Brad is near and then on the way to Moon Donuts if you’re at the top of stairs looking towards the building. I wasn’t able to catch my own footage of it but it was basically this. I thought this was because I own an older PS4 model and not the pro but it seems to appear in other versions as well. Overall though, this game felt better graphically then its RE2 sibling.
I did enjoy the pacing of this game in regards to how long you stayed in different areas. I do however wish there were more areas to go through. On that note, I also somehow felt like I played as Carlos more then Jill, which is weird. He also seemed to get the more atmospheric, confined places to explore too. But I digress. Some people complain about the lack of puzzles but I feel the ones that were included seem reasonable for the plot and made sense. The only puzzle that I would say go against this is a completely optional one to get an extra ammo pouch among other items. I was surprised at the lack of Blue herbs in this game though! Kind of a random thought I know but with the drain deimos, nemesis, nemesis zombies, etc. I’m surprised they were absent. Since RE2 introduced the Red + Blue made damage mitigation I’m surprised it wasn’t included to have some strategies in the harder difficulties. A feature that was updated from the original is the perfect dodge. You can actually execute it now with somewhat consistency!
One of the biggest complaints I have seem about this game is the length of time it takes to beat. I’m in some ways okay with the length but also see ways they could have lengthened it a bit but kept the game still well paced, perhaps I’ll go over my ideas in another post. Most (older) RE games take maybe 5 to 8 hours to beat first time depending on your play style. I know most of my first rusty/blind playthroughs of the RE games are around 7 to 8. Nowadays in entries like RE 1 remake & RE2 remake I’m done in under 2 hours. Does it make them bad games? Nope! The replay ability of RE games have always been high and its why its one of my favorite series. RE3 is no different in this regard with the added bonus of having a shop feature now. It rewards you for doing different things through your runs like no health item use, not opening the box, using certain weapons to dispatch enemies. Some plot related challenges too! While RE2 remake also had this and you were rewarded with models and concept art, RE3 took it further to give us points to use to buy items to either just let us have fun on some zombies or to help us power through the harder difficulties.
Difficulty is something else the developers kept in mind with this game. Aside from the usual Assisted, Standard and Hardcore, they decided to add on more which are Nightmare and Inferno. RE3 has and always will be the challenging RE game of the original quartet (RE1-CV). With the amount of RNG, etc. that went into the old RE3, I feel the developers really wanted to recapture that feeling and give something extra to those hardcore RE gamers and speedrunners. I have yet to play higher then Standard but I’m both excited and nervous as I’ve seen some Inferno gameplay via one of my favorite streamers and just the sheer amount of enemies and their placement make me squirm.
So let’s finally address the elephant….er nemesis in the room. Nemesis. As a kid I always struggled with the older tank control RE games, I never played OG RE3 because of this plus….Nemesis. I was too chicken. As I got older I finally beat RE on the DS which made me proud and then RE remake and RE0 got updated to have modern controls. I played and beat those and RE remake remains one of my favorite games of all time. RE2 remake came out and I loved it and admittedly, struggled with Mr. X the first time or two I played. He disrupted my item collecting and puzzle solving. Enemies I had left in order to conserve ammo were now obstacles to scramble by while also running from Mr. X. My heart pounded and I sweated and got frustrated. Going to RE3 remake, I was nervous because I felt Nemesis would be an updated Mr. X . Initially I was a little panicked but I saw the sprinkled things throughout the environments the developers gave me to help combat him. This came in the form of barrels and generators. The scariest thing he could do to me was block me from entering where I needed to go. I never got grabbed by him which I’m thoroughly surprised unless its difficulty related? The perfect dodge here I think also made him seem less scarier.
It’s almost a positive and negative thing for me. Nemesis in his first form I feel wasn’t around as much as I remember him being in the original. Mind you my knowledge of RE3 is from watching others play it. So this was almost a relief for me but I feel took the wind out of his scary sails. Also, a lot of the times he would show up it would be very scripted/on rails which I was thankful for but felt disappointed. Somehow Mr X. ended up on being a better nemesis.
Alright so lastly I would like to cover bits of the story. I feel it does a good job of retelling and I feel making a little more sense out of the RE3 story line. But there are some parts that I feel need a little more backstory or explaining. Carlos going to RPD. It was fun to revisit it since Jill never goes there in this version. It was nice to see how some of things were set up for RE2 but at the same time somehow breaks some of the immersion/continuity of RE2. The 2f explosion made sense but what about the 3f? It just doesn’t make sense. Also the Nathaniel Bard RPD plot. I get why it needs to happen, so Carlos knows to head to the hospital and how to cure Jill. But the execution is a bit odd. UBCS wants to capture Bard so they send Carlos and Tyrell, they say hes holed up in RPD. Makes sense so far. However when you get to the office, he’s nowhere to be found. Jill’s computer just happens to blinking with an incoming video call from Bard. Just seems odd/convenient? The other plot point is Carlos finding Jill. I understand a time skip needs to occur, and that since Carlos was not with Jill this version of events when she got infected. So he would need to find her. But there’s no explanation as to how he finds her, it just “Oh Jill is on the ground..found her!”. How would he know where to look? Was he just following the train route? Was he on the way to the hospital and saw her? I wish there was more context. I might address these plot points further in another post. I could just be splitting hairs at this point but its just something that nags at me. Much like Annette in RE2.
Otherwise, I feel this is a very solid title overall and a great re-imagining of a classic. It improves upon some features introduced in RE2 and graphically the best RE to date. While quite a bit of content from the original is missing and Nemesis doesn’t feel that threatening this time around don’t let that hold you back from playing this title. It’s a lot short, fun ride.