Resident Evil 3 (2020) Review

April 3, 2020
Capcom
PS4
Survival Horror

Reviewed on PS4 on the 14th of April 2020 by Shane Tyler Williams

Pros

  • Incredible Music
  • Fantastic Story
  • Remarkable Graphics

Cons

  • Extremely Short Story
  • Lack of Puzzles
  • A more in depth tutorial on the dodge mechanic would help

Back in 1979, Capcom burst to life with the release of Street Fighter, then they went on to create titles such as Resident Evil in 1996, followed by Devil May Cry in 2001, and then Monster Hunter in 2004, these titles have been so popular in both the West and the Far East, that there has now been 5 Monster Hunters, 13 Resident Evils, and 5 Devil May Crys. The story of Resident Evil 3 begins in Raccoon City after the S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team have been wiped out when investigating the disturbances in the mountains. Luckily, Jill, Chris, and Barry managed to survive and discovered that there is a secret research facility underground which has gotten out of control, due to this the staff have become infected causing a large Zombie outbreak. However, the downside to knowing all of this information has not done you a lot of favours, as the Military aim to destroy Raccoon City in its entirety and Umbrella has now created a much more dangerous beast, Nemesis, whose sole purpose is to wipe out any remaining S.T.A.R.S members. Once you’ve completed the first escape segment in the game you’ll find yourself outside, here you’ll notice the panic that everyone is going through as well as the buildings exploding around you, which does a great job at setting the scene.

Due to the overwhelming success and love for both the original Resident Evil 2 and 3, they decided to surprise everyone with a remake of the second game in 2019. This did an excellent job at recapturing the journey that Leon and Claire went through with incredible graphics and music which makes every encounter feel tense, and improved controls. Fast forward to 2020 and we find ourselves with yet another Remake of a fantastic game, Resident Evil 3. Like with Resident Evil 2, this does an excellent job at bringing a classic back to life for new players to enjoy as well as long term fans to go on a nostalgia trip. However, this game does come with a fair few negatives. To begin, if you haven’t played the Resident Evil 2 Remake, I highly suggest you play it first, as Resident Evil 3 is set before and after the story of Resident Evil 2. For example, in your playthrough of Resident Evil 3 you’ll come across some incredible moments where you visit parts of Raccoon City that you spent a large portion of your time in Resident Evil 2 exploring, along with this you’ll also find out the back story to certain events that occurred in Resident Evil 2, which leaves you sitting there saying "oh wow".

The escape segments really get the adrenaline pumping.

The escape segments really get the adrenaline pumping.

Now it's time to dive into the gameplay side of things. Resident Evil 3 brings a refreshing feel to the gameplay with the new Dodge Mechanic, which allows you to get past some difficult encounters throughout the game without needing to use too much ammo. However, the game doesn’t really do a good job at explaining how exactly you’re meant to time the dodge so a lot of the time I found myself doing it too early or too late. Also, I feel that Capcom aims for its players to make use of this mechanic as it seems that the enemy’s health has been increased a lot more compared to Resident Evil 2, so a tutorial would have been helpful. On the plus if you manage to master this mechanic, you’ll be able to pull off some impressive speed run attempts. Another disappointment I have with this game is that for someone that has never played the original and had friends who have played the original tell me that the Nemesis is frightening and doesn’t get off your back throughout the game, doesn’t seem to be the case in the remake, as the only times you face the Nemesis is through set pieces in the story. On another note, I feel like the fear of the Nemesis is taken away, as you can easily down him with a few bullets to the chest or by just throwing a single Hand Grenade at him.

I also noticed whilst playing through this game that you’re given the option to either play on Assisted, Normal, or Hardcore. In Resident Evil 2 Remake this made more sense as the Hardcore mode offered a lot of different features compared to the Normal difficulty, but in Resident Evil 3 there is only slight differences between Hardcore and Normal which makes the point of having both pointless. Especially considering you also need to beat Hardcore first anyway to unlock the harder difficulties. I also thought that there wasn't enough gameplay between the set-pieces, as you'll just finish a boss battle and you'll immediately be thrown into another escape segment or fight shortly after. I wasn’t overly happy with fighting off waves of enemies in a portion of the game, as I felt like it took me out of the immersion for a short while. It seems that Resident Evil 3 is aimed to be more of an action game rather than Survival Horror.

Once you beat the game you unlock a shop in the bonus section of the title screen, this allows you to purchase items, such as Iron Defence Coins to increase your defence for the more difficult runs or Assault Coins for those who are aiming to deal just that little bit more damage. You can also purchase items such as the Bolt Cutters and Lock Picks to help give you an edge in those speed run attempts. You can also purchase some other items that allow you to acquire more ammo when crafting or a book that makes performing a dodge a little easier. Finally, I thought it was a nice touch that you can buy one of Jill’s Classic costumes too. Another good thing about this shop is that it gives the game a lot more replay value, as you’ll need to replay the game multiple times in order to farm the points needed to purchase these items.

There's a variety of items to purchase from the in-game shop upon completing the game.

There's a variety of items to purchase from the in-game shop upon completing the game.

The last major negative to this remake is just how short it is, 5 Hours just isn’t enough for a £50 game, especially if you consider that the original wasn’t that short. Although, if you find yourself really invested in the story, the files that you can collect around Raccoon City have some interesting back story that helps you understand more on what's happening around you, as well giving you a little bit more playtime. Another topic I would like to brush up on is the Puzzles, in Resident Evil 2 there was a lot more of them and I found some generally difficult, however in Resident Evil 3 there are only a couple which aren't even remotely difficult. With this all said I feel like Capcom realised the game was a little too short, which is why they gave us the Resistance Mode included in the bundle when purchasing Resident Evil 3.

This is a one-vs-four mode where a group of players pick one of six characters, which offer a variety of benefits to the team. For example, Valerie Harmon is given a First-Aid Spray which allows her to heal up the team, whereas January Van Sant can activate an EMP to put the cameras out of action for a while. However, the biggest downside to this mode is that the Masterminds are far too powerful, as they can place several explosives on the floor, or they can use cameras that are scattered around the rooms to shoot you. On top of this they can spawn in waves of Enemies on you, such as Lickers, Dogs, or Zombies even though the game doesn’t allow you to get fully prepared until the 2nd room. Also, the Ultimate Abilities need to be looked at, as having Mr.X chase you around a tiny corridor when you don’t have a dodge ability makes it near impossible to survive at times. On the plus side if you like these kinds of modes, there is a lot of replay value to be had here, as there are a variety of maps to help keep the mode feeling fresh along with being given new Missions every day to encourage you to make use of the other characters. Also, being able to unlock new Character and Weapon Skins, Gestures, and new abilities for both your Survivors and Masterminds makes you want to play more to purchase them.

There's a variety of characters to choose from in the Resistance Mode.

There's a variety of characters to choose from in the Resistance Mode.

Although I noticed that trying to find a match is near impossible at times, as me and a friend would spend up to 5 minutes waiting for a game at times. Finally, the matchmaking in this mode seems to be poorly managed, as me and my teammates are only level 5 going up against a level 27 Mastermind, so that just makes the already impossible task of beating it just that much worse.

Returning to Resident Evil 3 itself, on a more positive note, the game looks incredible from every aspect. I played this game on the PS4 Pro and I found myself saying “oh wow” constantly throughout, as the attention to detail on Carlos and Jill’s hair looks fantastic, as well as being able to see the sweat coming from the person’s face during the cutscenes makes their emotion more impactful. Also, the reflection of the lights bouncing off the cars, puddles, and walls were also incredible. Finally, the posters you find scattered around the Downtown and Subway sections look incredible and really makes you think about how Raccoon City went from a safe and normal area where people were just enjoying life, to a dark and frightening place caused by a devasting outbreak.

Raccoon City looks better then ever in this Remake.

Raccoon City looks better then ever in this Remake.

To bring a few more positives to the table after the number of negatives regarding the gameplay, the sound design is outstanding. The music is incredible throughout the game and helps make the escape segments along with boss fights feel a lot more tense. I also thought the sounds of the footsteps and gunfire along with the Nemesis shouting STARS! constantly at you from afar helps make the world feel more frightening. Another thing that was nice to see, is that after playing through the game fully I didn't notice any technical issues, but If I had to be picky the only fault I could give is that the loading between deaths takes a while.

In conclusion, Resident Evil 3 Remake is still a great game but a lot of things could've been done to make it better, such as keeping in all the areas from the original to help give the game a few more hours of play time and gives those who never played the original the true Resident Evil 3 experience. They could’ve increased the difficulty to take down the Nemesis, so it makes him feel more frightening. Also, I think they could've done a better job at spacing out the Set-Pieces and Boss Fights to give you more time to take in the incredible graphics of Racoon City, as It feels like the game was rushed and they just tried to get as much of the game into a five hour package. A major addition I would’ve liked to see is a more in-depth tutorial on the Dodge Mechanic, as for me, I found myself only really pulling it off by accident as I had no idea how to properly time it. I wish that they didn't separate the inventories when transitioning between Carlos and Jill, as it takes away the urge to want to seek out treasures in his segments. I also noticed that they took out the difficult puzzles that Resident Evil 2 had, which I thought was a shame, as I liked having to spend a while trying to solve them.

In closing, If they do decide to create anymore remakes, I hope they don’t follow the same structure as this game, with everything being pulled together into a short five hour adventure along with cutting out parts of the original for no reason and taking more of an Action Game approach rather than a Survival Horror. Although I personally hope they give the remake streak a break for a while and begin working on the next Resident Evil.

The Verdict

3.5/ 5.0

Nostalgia Trip!

Resident Evil 3 brings a refreshing feel to the classic by implementing immersive music, remarkable graphics, and a fantastic story along with an updated combat system that does a great job of leaving you wanting some more Resident Evil action.

Score Breakdown

Gameplay3
Sound4
Graphics5
Story4
Value2
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