Having never played the original back in 1999 *GASP* – yeah yeah I know let’s just get on with it – this going to be a proper “newbie” take on Resident Evil 3. The only other Resident Evil title I literally played into the ground, was Resident Evil 5. Feel like I am shooting myself in the foot here for not playing Resident Evil 4 either, however, I would say 5 retained the tension building throughout, which kept a lot of the fun intact from start to finish.
Resident Evil 3 Remaster is quite different from what I am used to, so picking my own brain here was another challenge.
HELLO, VALENTINE RESIDENCE
Resident Evil 3 has this calming open, a stark contrast of the chaos that will soon follow. I was kind of expecting what was about to happen, but not in the fashion when meeting Nemesis for the first time. You know that feeling of giving your pants a fresh coat of Beef Stew and also thinking “oh crap! oh crap! oh crap!” while trying to getaway? Yeah, anxiety-inducing yet exciting.
So after about 5 minutes of being on the Nemesis Rollercoaster, consisting mainly of downhill, there is some calmness to catch my breath…and then getting it swiftly kicked out again.
This happens a few times throughout the game, but not always in that order of “Boil the potatoes as you sear the meat” and then bringing it all together in the boiling gravy, sometimes the game will hit you with the freakin’ onion that rolled under the counter earlier and thought you could do without the gassy grenades later, but now it’s in there, SO ENJOY!!!
WHERE ARE ALL THE RACCOONS?
For a city named after the American Dustbin Badger, there is none to be seen…oh well.
Most levels have you explore all the nooks and crannies for various items needed in your fight for survival. Bullets, herbs, and even some weapon parts, it all gives you a little bit more hope for the road ahead. The actual layouts have you back-tracking some areas to gain previously unobtainable loot, mostly in the way of opening a path.
I particularly didn’t mind all the running around the undead riddled streets and possibly getting my jugular veins used as dental floss, the level of detail is just pure eye candy. Like stated earlier, I never played the 1999 original, so just going from seen imagery and videos from video game shows and magazines, the remastering of the levels with the sense of chaos and dread is ever-present. The lighting in itself is something else to witness, not a single ray of light out of place, considering the fact I set the brightness just two notches above normal. The number of times one of these Compost Travel Bags snuck up on me to let me smell their nose aroma is more than I’m willing to admit.
Another aspect that had me on edge half of the time, was not the music no, it was the subtle sounds when looking for items and it is far too quiet. I eventually learned to adapt when the undead citizens of Raccoon City came around the corner like a pasty drunk, staring down at me like I am the hangover cure in the form of a Saturday morning English Breakfast before dodging them like they just asked for some pocket change. The ones who do get too close and you successfully dodge them, activates this slow-motion window of blowing their heads open like a splitting headache just crossed their rotting brains.
That being said, Resident Evil 3 Remaster does not add anything special to your usual arsenal of weapons of pistol, shotgun and knife. The latter is as good as buttering bread with a shovel and the prior good enough to the job done. The prodigal shotgun, or the Swiss Cheese Factory, is probably still the best way to establish a personal space perimeter. I have learned that a downed Got-Too-Close-For-My-Own-Good is not always permanently downed, so I end up checking the corpses with one extra bullet, hence why the shotgun is pretty much still the employee of the week in any situation.
CARLOS AND JILL WENT UP A HILL
For the longest time, I always thought Jill Valentine was the main protagonist of Resident Evil, and to my discovery, she is not. Yes, you start out with her and then reach a point where you take the story further with the man she met earlier, Carlos Oliveira.
I would go as far as to say both of them are likeable characters, with some fast working chemistry between them, but I believe that is spurred on by the urgency of rescuing Raccoon City.
Jill, being the police officer trying to bring down the Umbrella Corporation, gets most of the game’s limelight in larger story pieces, whereas Carlos takes on a more supporting role. However, don’t throw him away by the looks he goes by, the biggest feature being his bushy head of hair, which I am convinced could have been used as 2 slots of inventory space!
In terms of how each function, not much difference other than Jill has a useful dodge and Carlos a more of a shoulder bash, something I didn’t use as intended as I’m sure the undead would get caught in Carlos’ hair like it’s Velcro.
Mind you, I would like to see more of Carlos in his own game, and not just as filler as he is a great character with personality in this remake.
LET US PLAY A GAME CALLED RESISTANCE
Resistance is the added multiplayer component of 4 Survivor characters, straight out of the typical late 90’s high-school catalogue, trying to not get killed by The Mastermind, controlled by another player, in various location types to get a door open within the time limit given per section.
As a survivor playing with randoms, it quickly becomes a mad convoluted mess to get the puzzle pieces in place, all the while the mastermind lays traps in the form of undead humans, dogs, foot clamps and directly controlled guns to deal damage to players. The mastermind player can only rely on cameras scattered all over the location to see what is going on, so knowing the map helps.
It is quite the opposite of what Resident Evil is, as the music is fast and the action resembling a 4 player party beat’em up, so maybe that is the break one needs from the main game, who knows.
SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED, UMBRELLA?!
When the end credits started rolling, I expressed my catharsis by nearly sliding off my chair in relief that I saw this endeavour through to the end and also being quite chuffed that I actually did see it through as Horror Survival is not the buttery crumpet with my afternoon mug of coffee.
I feel this way expressively knowing that Nemesis, throughout my 9-hour play-through, was a biological asshole! At some point, Jill even felt the same.
Upon finishing the game, there is point shop to unlock collectables with the points you have earned from doing certain actions, which warrants a few playthroughs, but maybe after I scraped enough sanity together for the speed-runs, will I attempt that pain when only a stubbed toe can distract me.