Resident Evil 3: Remake is worth your time, that is, the little run-time you’ll get from this action-horror. It is without question a game that looks, feels, and runs extraordinarily, but suffers from a somewhat gutted experience in comparison to 2019 GOTY contender Resident Evil 2: Remake. While each scenario in RE3’s predecessor can be completed within 1-2 hours time, the game is littered with additional content that kept me coming back for more. As a die-hard fan of the series, I already find myself doing the same with Resident Evil 3, however, most of the fan base will likely have a single completion of the main campaign, likely on the standard or assisted difficulty. If you loved last years remake for Resident Evil 2, then there is a good chance you’ll enjoy RE3, limited campaign aside.
(Disclaimer: There will be minor spoilers from here on out. If you want a completely fresh experience coming in – as in you chose not to watch the trailers or play the demo, I advise playing the game first.)
My experience playing RE3:Remake will be much different than your casual fan of the series; I grew up with Resident Evil. It is among one of my favorite franchises in video games. Thus, pretending to be impartial when critiquing the Resident Evil series would be a foolish task for me. I am aware of its illustrious history brimming with incredible highs matched by disconcerting lows. Although biased, I believe there is value in the opinion of a longtime fan of a game. While playing, I’d continue to ask myself, is this something I would enjoy if I was not familiar with the lore?
That depends on the particular aspect of the game under examination. The dialog, for instance, is the typical “campiness” fans expect from the series. However, fans who expect their survival horrors to take themselves seriously may find the voice work to be distasteful, and perhaps a bit corny. Hell, even the latest mainline title – the fantastic Resident Evil 7, is a sublimely immersive experience. Only the DLC really dives into full on camp.
The gameplay on the other hand can be enjoyed by both action and horror fans alike. To describe it in a word? Satisfying. The movement is fluid, the weapons have a real weight to them, and Jill’s perfect dodge ability is a game changer akin to the series upgrade from tank-like movements. Paired with the RE Engine and the game running at a consistent 60 FPS (I played on the Playstation Pro) it’s an experience like no other. This is the reason I continued to come back even after the credits rolled. In fact, I’ve gone and earned a platinum trophy to boot. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of how these modernized Resident Evil games play. Yet, with all the praise out of the way, Resident Evil 3 is perhaps my least favorite of the three, with two and seven being the superior titles.
The worst aspect Resident Evil 3: Remake is how “Hollywood” it feels. Sure, the product value is top notch and the action is a blast but it often felt like walking down a suped up corridor. A very brief but pretty corridor. That is not to say there isn’t replayability within this title, as the player earned “shop” serves as a saving grace for new game plus activity. Yet, nothing is remotely exploratory or open-world by design. the main villain Nemesis falls within this category, serving as nothing more than a set piece that keeps the protagonists moving throughout the city.
Most disappointingly of all, however, is the disparity in difficulty throughout the game. While Nemesis is generally a formidable foe, his predictability renders him irrelevant after the first playthrough. The fact that his final evolution is akin to a Souls-like boss on Nightmare difficulty and above creates a disconnect from the rest of the game. It is jarring, and made any previous encounters seem laughably easy. One caveat to that is that I, as well as many other hardcore fans, achieved their S rating on the hardest difficulties after unlocking the rocket launcher (unlimited ammo). I could not even fathom getting an S on the highest difficulty without the rocket launcher, so I could imagine the immense challenge this could present.
This all of course goes without including the standalone asymmetrical multiplayer game that is packaged with Resident Evil 3: Remake – Resident Evil Resistance. I believe this warrants its own review but my brief time with it was somewhat enjoyable, if not frustrating. Many Playstation 4 users are currently experiencing a bug that makes Mastermind games nigh impossible to find. Without the option of playing both Mastermind and Survivor, the gameplay quickly becomes dull. I also worry about the price gate preventing a stable player population long term. In truth, I can see this one becoming a Free To Play option in the future.
Ultimately, Resident Evil 3: Remake deserves praise for its addictive gameplay and stellar technical performance. Its shortcomings will make this title hard to recommend to many, yet it is a must-have for any fan of either the genre or Resident Evil series itself. If that does not apply to you I recommend either Redboxing this title or waiting for a sale to come about. Heck, if you are a new player looking for an introduction to the series I highly recommend you starting with Resident Evil 7 or 2: Remake before checking this title out. The content on those games are meaty and come at a lower price than the more recent release.