Lets be honest right from the start; Resident Evil 3 was far from the best release in the iconic series by Capcom when it was originally released in 1999, however, Capcom seem insistent now on continually remaking their titles rather than putting some time and effort into creating a new title. It does feel like developers are becoming lazy with this trend, but why would Capcom want to try and polish a turd with the remake of Resi 3?
So lets jump right in. The original release featured Jill Valentine and follows her efforts to escape Raccoon City which has been infected with a biological weapon. Throughout that game players faced decisions to make which ultimately affected the story and the ending. Guess what? The remake has totally scrapped the decisions and multiple endings which for me was a huge mistake. Well, the first mistake of many!
Even while I spent my time exploring to the best of my ability in the game, my total finish time for completing it was 3 1/2 hours. Yes, you read that right! The game is unbelievably short, even when you think you’re taking your time with things. For the release price tag of £49.99 people will be cheated out of their money, but of course the hype was there from Capcom and you just know the fans will eat it up. Seriously, wait until the price has been reduced. OK, the game comes with an online only separate entity called ‘Resistance’, but its something that the fans never asked for, or even wanted and feels like Capcom trying to make up for an inferior main title. I haven’t really given it much time at the point of review, but the little I have dabbled with it does feel kinda fun, but nothing really amazing.
The original title has been completely overhauled as you would expect. Jill has been remodeled but Capcom have somehow managed to completely mess up her personality and design over the original title. In the original [possible spoiler] Jill had a really unique one liner toward the end of the game that really stood out; not in the remake, it has been removed. Carlos Oliveira looks ridiculous with his over the top bouffant hair doo. Then we move on to Nemesis, the main enemy who stalks you through pretty much the entirety of the game. What the hell have they done? He looks like a really badly drawn comic book character that they just couldn’t be bothered spending any real time designing. I spent more time laughing at him rather than actually fearing him in any way at all in his first incantation, especially with what looked like a really badly fitting set of false teeth.
The overall look of the game is nice, but was done so much better with the remake of Resident Evil 2 last year. The graphics just weren’t as polished, and just to be sure I went back to playing that before I started on this review just to confirm it for myself. Even after trying to tweak the graphics through my PS Pro Resi 2 did it so much better. The whole game just feels rushed, as if Capcom just couldn’t be bothered to put any real time or effort in to it and rushed to get it out for those fans who have been screaming out for it. I mean, already, a couple of days after this has been released the rumours have started on Capcom now working on Resident Evil 4 being remade. Considering that 4, 5 and 6 have had remasters on the latest generation of consoles and how badly Capcom have done with this latest remake, I urge them to leave those titles alone and put some time and effort into making Resident Evil 8 considering that the release of 7 was possibly one of the best games of this generation, especially played in VR.
Iconic game areas have also been cut from the remake. In-fact, the most iconic place from the original title, The Clock Tower, is resigned to a poor backdrop to a boss fight. I loved the Gothic architecture of it in the original as well as the fun puzzles but as I said at the start of this review, developers are becoming lazy. The game could have been made longer by including original areas instead of cutting them from the final product, but that would have meant some more work for them wouldn’t it? Why bother putting in that extra effort when there is a fan base that will literally buy up anything you release!? Gone as well is Raccoon Park which I’m sure fans of the original will remember contained a nice boss fight with the Grave Digger.
Capcom have definitely focused on the action of the game and seem to have lost any real puzzle solving; something that made the original games brilliant. OK, there is a few thrown in there for good measure, but they are really simple to solve and there is very little running back and forth to collect items needed for a certain puzzle. These were all things that added to the time spent in the game exploring originally, I just can’t understand why they have been removed when it was the backbone of the original titles.
I spent my time playing through the game trying my hardest to find positives and I kinda really struggled. Yeah, I know, the annoying fan-boys out there won’t hear a bad word said against their precious franchise but I really do believe they’re wearing blinkers (and the less said about IGN blatantly trying to kiss the ass of Capcom after their failed review for Resi 2, the better). The entire experience wasn’t a fun one like with Resident Evil 2’s remake. There are a few gems in there when you do look; the Hospital level was pretty fun. It’s similar to what we got from the Police Station in Resi 2, but was still very short. I think I spent no longer than 45 minutes in there in total and when you bear in mind that there is a rather impressive (what I guess can be classed as a..) Boss Fight its not that long.
I am aware that I seem as if I’m coming down a little hard on the game, but compared to their last remake, Capcom have unfortunately failed with this one. OK, there is a replay value in there if you really want to go back through it again, and I will if just for a stream on our YouTube channel. Once you do complete the game for the first time it does unlock the in-game shop which you can use to spend credits earned for completing certain actions on new weapons as well as boosts for your health regeneration and ammo damage which does help with the harder difficulties. Complete the game on the hardest difficulty and that will unlock a secret ultimate difficulty run through which does change the game up a level. Think you have learnt the game and where everything is located? Think again with this new level as everything has been moved and ammo is really scarce.
There are familiar areas that have been lifted straight from the remake of Resi 2; the Police Station is revisited again, but I was done with that area in less than half an hour and there are no serious puzzles involved this time round. OK, you do come across padlocked lockers and need to find notes with the code in them, but considering the station is now about a quarter of the size it was in the last game, its not a hard thing to do. The secured lockers again make an appearance with the digital keypad, and again, the same as Resi 2 there are a couple of keys missing from it, but you don’t need them to open any of the lockers. Resi 2 made a whole thing out of finding the 2 missing keys so that you could access specific lockers to be able to progress. Again there is a visit to the sewers, but 20 minutes later I was out of them. The game is seriously lacking in any real challenge from puzzle solving or even from enemies. OK, the zombies are bullet sponges and will drop after a few well aimed head-shots or you can blow their heads clean off with a shotgun round, but considering you have access to the shotgun within the first half an hour of the game rather than have to really work your way toward it and ammo is plenty on the lower levels of difficulty I never once felt scared like I did with the original and even though Nemesis stalks you throughout in his first incarnation there was never even so much as a jump scare. The game tries to make you sweat a little with apparent close escapes from him, but its just scripted scenes. At one point I was running from him toward the subway at the start of the game and I had left him for dust in my wake until a cut-scene cuts in and you narrowly escape him diving under a shutter before closing it and shutting him out. It doesn’t flow right!
By all means, give the game a try at some point, its certainly an experience, but as I have already said, wait until the price drops drastically.
The best I can give Resident Evil 3 Remake is a 6/10 and that is really pushing it. Compared to the original title it has been cut to shreds and feels more of an insult rather than a homage. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; Capcom, PLEASE give us a brand new title and not sub par remakes. We are all sick of developers doing it now.
Reviewed on PS4 Pro