At the age of fifteen, I found myself with a bargain bin copy of Resident Evil 3 for PC; however, like Resident Evil 2, I couldn’t get past the first area. Not out of fear this time, for some reason the controls wouldn’t work on my keyboard—this I believe was due to some incompatibilities between the game and my PC. So, much like Resident Evil 2, my only experience with the game was flaming zombies making their way towards an immobile face-meal—preparing to eat me alive. It was another Resident Evil that I didn’t get to fully experience in my youth, and another horror I had to overcome.
After playing through Resident Evil 2, I felt the next battle to face was Resident Evil 3. I decided to jump straight into the Resident Evil 3 remake without much of a break in between. Leon and Claire’s story has ended; however, Jill and Miguel’s…sorry…Carlos’ was still a big blind spot to me in the RE universe.
In the Resident Evil 3 you play as Jill, of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.), and Miguel…damn it…Carlos, a corporal in the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.), throughout the Racoon City outbreak. The game starts off with a montage of outbreak media, as well as what I found to be an ironically funny advert of the Umbrella Corporation displaying their core values of “Commitment, Honesty, and Integrity” (yeah right!). It’s not long after this that Nemesis appears and starts running for you, not long at all in fact.
Let’s talk about Nemesis. He’s very much like the Tyrant (from RE2) only, rather than a slow consistent threat, this hulking garbage bag of a monstrosity is terrifyingly fast and cannot be outrun. He also has a bit of smarts to him, using weapons like a flamethrower and rocket launcher to take you out. He seems to be less interested in killing witnesses and more interested in killing every S.T.A.R.S. agent. The tell is his grumbling call “S.T.A.R.S.!” Unfortunately, Jill seems to be the only living S.T.A.R.S. agent and, through much of the game, you’re dealing with his bloodlust for you.
I particularly found the free roaming areas where Nemesis is hunting you down to be the most terrifying, as he can quickly out power-walk you, uses his tentacle arm to drag you to him, and can also often jump right in front of you to halt your progress. You mostly have to outsmart or outgun him to progress, but your heart will be in your mouth the entire time. Except for in the cinematic sections that is; I found the linear interactive chase scenes to be less thrilling. That isn’t to say they weren’t entertaining or cool, but I felt that the intent of tension didn’t quite land due to the lack of strategy in these scripted scenes.
But he’s not the only tense part of Resident Evil 3. Another particularly tense moment I found was in the subway substation where you have to navigate through a nest infested with Drain Deimos, (zombie parasites that poison you by forcing smaller parasites down your gullet). The infection is disgustingly horrifying when you’re initially forced; the only way to get rid of them is via green herbs. I did everything in my power throughout the entire subway substation experience to stave off the spiders—to not have to go through that again. I truly felt like I was trapped in a nest ;the spiders could come from any direction. Having to switch the four breakers in that mess while constantly watching every direction was probably the most tense the game ever got. I feel these tensions throughout Resident Evil 3 give that euphoric rush that a good horror movie gives. If you’re a fan of this kind of horror, RE3 does it brilliantly.
When playing as Jill, I found myself playing a lot like I did in Resident Evil 2—using my resources scarcely, and only killing when I absolutely needed to. Only this time, rather than having grenades and knives as an automatic get-out-of-bite free card, it’s replaced with the ability to dodge the bite at the last second; at times auto-focusing on an infected’s head. While I did miss my safe card, it made me more active in the process of not getting bitten, which I found to compliment the gameplay. I also found that when playing Mig…I’m getting better at this…Carlos, the style of gameplay would shift slightly. With an assault rifle and an ample amount of ammo, I could more liberally take down the infected, more akin to an action game.
Puzzles are less prominent in the game—as I found only one—but there are still safe locks and lock codes, particularly when Carlos visits the police department. Something that I received a thorough amount of enjoyment in, was that the lock codes in the police department were exactly the same as in RE2; I felt very satisfied at the fact that I wrote them down from that previous playthrough. Speaking of the police department, as you navigate through it as Carlos, it gives you some pretty nice context on how certain areas came to be pre-Leon/Claire’s arrival.
Something I can see many people having a gripe with is the shortness of the campaign, and the lack of replayability with alternative playthroughs—something that RE2 offers that RE3 doesn’t. I managed to finish RE3‘s campaign on Normal in about 4.5–5 hours and, after that playthrough, I didn’t have much reason to play through it again. Where in RE2 you can play unique stories with Leon and Claire, RE3 has Jill and Carlos (Yes! I did it right that time!), both playable during key story moments. It’s clear that less resources were used on the project for the single player campaign, and it felt more like a DLC to RE2 than a full game.
That being said, the game is bundled with an asymmetric 1v4 multiplayer game, Resident Evil: Resistance, which I found to be a well-made and fun experience. People that enjoy asymmetric multiplayer games like Dead by Daylight will definitely get their money’s worth in this package. It’s just a pity that the story focused players like myself will more than likely be left craving more. Maybe some story DLC will be added in the future.
P.S. I can’t help but keep calling Carlos “Miguel”. I mean…he reminds me so much of Miguel Rojo from Tekken 7! Perhaps they are cousins? Or the same man under an alias?