REVIEW: ‘Resident Evil 3 Remake’ is an Action-Packed Mess (PS4)

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Resident Evil 3 Remake

Resident Evil 3 Remake is the latest installment in the franchise from Capcom. Following in the footsteps of last year’s Resident Evil 2 Remake, this game reimagines the classic 1999 game. While it takes place concurrently with Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3 Remake primarily follows Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape the city and the terrifying Nemesis intent on stalking her every move.

After the events at the Spencer Mansion, Jill is set on leaving town and S.T.A.R.S., Special Tactics and Rescue Service of the Raccoon City Police Department. However, the T-virus outbreak puts a serious dent in her plans. In addition to zombies that roam the streets, Jill must also face off against Nemesis. Like Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, Nemesis is a furious and horrifying Tyrant with one goal in mind: Kill the members of  S.T.A.R.S, including none other than Jill Valentine. After befriending Carlos Oliveira and his Umbrella team, Jill spends the longest night of her life trying to escape the city.

The Resident Evil 3 Remake has big shoes to fill. In addition to being a remake of a beloved horror-survival game, it is following immediately on the heels of the critically praised and fan-loved Resident Evil 2. 

The game borrows a lot of the mechanics from the previous remake and prior to that, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The inventory is sleek and easy to use. The UI is fantastic because it is both clear and concise while not being overwhelming. It is easy to flip through documents, maps, and your inventory on the fly. Additionally, like previous games, the map highlights items that you either cannot currently access or missed making it easier to double-back to grab everything. While I did get lost a few times and struggled to understand the map, that is more a commentary on my horrible sense of direction than the game itself.

Additionally, the shooting feels solid. My only real issue with the combat is that the zombies are bullet sponges. Similar to Resident Evil 2, headshots are not an instant kill. Focusing on headshots might grant you a chance for a critical hit but it doesn’t guarantee it. This is also a gripe I had with the previous remake. Even still, the game offers a dodge mechanic and with the right timing, Jill can dodge zombies and Nemesis with ease. If you time a dodge perfectly, the game slows down offering you more time to run – which when Nemesis is chasing you, dodge becomes your best friend. The mechanic took a bit to get used but overall is a welcome addition.

Resident Evil 3 Remake

At the end of the day, my issues with Resident Evil 3 Remake are not with the mechanics. The mechanics of the game are nearly flawless. The major issue with the game is the pacing. From the start, Resident Evil 3 Remake throws you into the deep end. Within the five minute mark, you are being chased by Nemesis and immediately gunning down zombies making the game feels like a Michael Bay action movie. So much happens so soon it feels like you missed the introduction levels. Instead of puzzles and riddles, the focus of Resident Evil 3 Remake is the action. Jill picks up and shoots a lot more ammo than Leon or Claire ever did. A majority of the game you have to run, pushing down on the analog stick.

Anyone who played Resident Evil 2 will remember Mr. X. Nemesis is significantly scarier and more frustrating to deal with. He can chase you through safe rooms, he has a long-ranged attack that can grab you from afar. He also can jump in front of you, forces you dodge out of his grasp. Nemesis is a frustrating villain because of his relentlessness. Depending on what you like in Resident Evil games, that could be a positive or a negative. For me personally, it became overwhelming and took away from the experience. There is no chance to really explore the beautifully detailed streets of Raccoon City. From the get-go, Nemesis is breathing down your neck ready to rip you in half.

And because he is constantly chasing you through the first half of the game, the pacing feels too sped up, as if the game is being fast-forwarded. There is no first act and every moment feels like the climax of the story. This isn’t helped by the fact the campaign is only about 6 hours long.

In addition to playing as Jill, the game also features a segment where you play as Carlos. As much as I enjoyed Carlos and his now shaggier hair, I was frustrated that it wasn’t Jill exploring the Police Department. The segment almost felt shoehorned in and you don’t play as him long enough to really establish his character or an emotional connection with him. This issue can also be attributed to the very short playtime. It is hard to fall in love with a character when you only see them for maybe an hour of the game. One thing I hoped would be expanded on was Jill’s history and thoughts following what she experienced in the first Resident Evil. We get some of that in the notes around her apartment but overall, it is not enough to really scratch the itch.

Resident Evil 3 Remake is not a bad game but it shouldn’t be full-priced. While the game comes with Resident Evil: Resistance, an asymmetrical 4 vs 1 multiplayer experience, I have no desire to play that. I primarily enjoy Resident Evil for its single-player narratives and it feels like Capcom is justifying the short length of the game with this multiplayer mode but the choice is strange to me. This should have been two different games and more time should have been put into fleshing out Jill’s story.

The Resident Evil 3 Remake is stunning, action-packed, and thrilling with enough scares to still make it feel like Resident Evil. However, it is more action than survival horror and overall, not what I look for in Resident Evil games. This would have been an excellent DLC for Resident Evil 2. Hardcore fans will enjoy it and definitely should pick it up but for everyone else, unless you also intend to play Resident Evil: Resistance, I would wait for this one to go on sale.

Resident Evil 3 Remake
  • 6.5/10
    Resident Evil 3 Remake - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Resident Evil 3 Remake is not a bad game but it shouldn’t be full-priced. It is more action than survival horror and overall, not what I look for in Resident Evil games. Hardcore fans will enjoy it and definitely should pick it up but for everyone else, unless you also intend to play Resident Evil: Resistance, I would wait for this one to go on sale.