Review by GavLuvsGA

"The gameplay flaws are this game's true nemesis"

Introduction

Having played Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil 2 for the Gamecube, it wasn't a difficult decision for me to snap up this sequel. Like Resident Evil 2, it doesn't quite capture the style of the original, but it's still a nice game.

Gameplay - 7/10

Gameplay is the same as in previous games. Shoot the zombies and other monsters, collect items and survive. The controls are exactly the same, except luckily they took out that annoying "press A to go up and down stairs" concept from Resident Evil 2.

However, Gameplay is ruined by one thing - the only two modes are what should be known as "too easy" and "too hard" - there's no in-between. The easy mode has a lot of the enjoyment taken out of it by two things.

First of all, when you open your first item box (a handy device that you store your items in to save carrying all of them), you will immediately notice that you have virtually all of the weapons - hence, you miss out on the fun of actually earning them. The second thing that it glaringly obvious is that you have infinite ink ribbons. I rather enjoyed hunting around for my next ink ribbon, and don't need to be given an infinite number (especially since the less saves you make, the better your ranking at the end will be). Easy mode also gives you a container with three first aid sprays in them - and playing without these is actually rather difficult.

The character you will be using most of the time is Jill Valentine, who has returned from the original game - although there is another character called Carlos Oliviera who you get to play as at one point. Like Resident Evil 2, the game is very linear, moving from one place to another, and rarely backtracking. You also get to go into the Police Station, seen in Resident Evil 2 (although you can hardly go anywhere inside the bulding in this game). There is one enjoyable new gameplay element - occasionally getting two options regarding what you should do next; these will always have some sort of effect on how the game continues, so you can effectively have several versions of the same game depending on whether you choose to jump off a bridge or attack a monster.

Bad guys are a little less interesting, since most are recycled from Resident Evil 2, and the boss fights seem to consist of about two different enemies. There is Nemesis, the title character and a bizarre wormlike character called "Gravedigger".

The amazing thing is that all of the Nemesis fights actually somehow manage to be interesting. There are places where he'll suddenly show up and attack you, so you have to be on your toes all the time, and often it gets incredibly intense. At one point, for example, he'll actually infect you with a virus and you still have to battle him while infected, which is not easy at all. At another point, he will actually chase you from room to room, mercilessly stalking you, and this can get very intense.

Another notable thing about this game is the puzzle element. There are a number of complex mind puzzles (and I'm talking more complex than even the puzzles from the original Resident Evil) that can take a while to solve. For example, in one of the rooms, you are given three pictures, and you must place items in them to change the time on a clock, and just working out what the effects will be took me what seemed like half an hour.

Overall, the gameplay is good. It seems a little slow at first, as you take a long time getting through the first area, but after the half way mark, it picks up. There is also a neat bonus mode you can unlock called "The Mercenaries", where you must run through the streets, killing zombies, with only limited items. Killing enemies gets you more time to get to the goal, and the game can be very tough - especially if you run out of weapons towards the end, where most of the tougher enemies can be found.

Story - 7/10

The story's not one of the best in the series. Jill Valentine is once again running from the zombies, and this time there's a monster called "Nemesis" on her trail. Carlos is certainly an interesting character, with his obvious naivety and his forced loyalty to a group of rather two dimensional, and obviously bad, characters. The ending is certainly one of the best, though.

Graphics - 8/10

Like in Resident Evil 2, the graphics are not this game's strong point - being the same as the original version, and a lot of the areas at the start look drab and unineteresting. Some of the character models appear as though their faces have swollen up following a bizarre allergic reaction to something. However, there are some great points, including Nemesis himself, certainly one of the scariest monsters ever to appear on the Resident Evil games. I also rather liked the Umbrella commercials that appear at one point - something that amusingly (and cheesily) glosses over the fact that everyone who works for them is nothing but evil scum.

Sound - 6/10

A little better than in Resident Evil 2. Good voice acting, although most of the time, once again, you'll be listening to a lot of the guttural sounds made by the monsters.

Play Time/Replay Value - 8/10

This game is designed in such a way that even easy mode can be forgiven for the fact that they took away the hunt for the weapons, with the intensity of some of the fights. In places, you may find yourself retrying a number of times, even though you may find yourself breezing through towards the end (certainly the hardest fight in this game occurs at the Clock Tower stage, right in the middle). Things that make replaying fun are trying the different options to see how differently you can make the game play out, and also playing the Mercenaries mode. This game is certainly addictive; I genuinely missed the start of an episode of Malcolm in the Middle because I just had to find a save point for my game.

Final Verdict

Buy this if you are a fan of the Resident Evil series, although if you've never played one of the games in this series, you may want to start with the original (which is still the best in my opinion). You should get this to complete your collection, though.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/12/05


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