Review by Garbol Shora

"The third installment has come to haunt Raccoon City once more... 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'"

Synopsis
Resident Evil was a shocking and frightening experience, and caught many gamers off guard. Capcom snickered at this display, and released another screamer that sent jolts up people's backs. Capcom's laughing in moneybags now, because the third installment has come to haunt Raccoon City once more... Resident Evil 3: Nemesis!

Again you will jump, and scream at the immediate shocks. You'll feel the utter pain. But this time, you'll have to settle to feel it as a girl, not that that's a bad thing at all! The 2 character choices that were noticeable in the first two installments have been eliminated. Once again, there are two stars, but only one scenario. The princess of guns and zombies, Claire Redfield escapes danger. This time, you'll be facing zombies as the queen of Resident Evil, Jill Valentine.

Gameplay Elements:
Things haven't really changed much in Resident Evil, have they? Once again, you sit through a one-night horror stand against zombies and their mutated friends. Standing up to the challenge is just as difficult, but Capcom has put in some exciting new elements that make for some very panicky times. Nevertheless, Capcom raises the horror level up a notch, and makes Resident Evil 3 more intense than its predecessors, Resident Evil 2 and 1. Again, the same things apply, and again, the good and the bad come into the mix.

Once again, quirky controls make Resident Evil 3 a very frustrating learning experience. While veteran Resident Evil gamers will be taking these controls like a pro, the beginners will be smashing the control pad onto the table just so many times. These controls are extremely confusing for first-time players, and they WILL die because of it. The basic rule is that forward is your character's forward, not the game screen's forward. This means, if your character is facing right on the game screen, you'd have to press up to have him/her move right, instead of actually pressing right to have her move to the right. Very frustrating indeed!

While the first one took place in the dark mansion of doom and the second one took place in the Raccoon City police station and sewers, the third one takes place on the Raccoon City streets. Things have gotten from bad, to worse, to horribly worse! Once again, zombies will be biting and biting for your lovely feminine flesh, and will just want to tear you to bits. Therefore, you can only do one of three things: Shoot, Run or Die!

Shooting them slowly becomes the most reassuring factor, as no harm will come your way once heads are blown off. To shoot, you would need... believe it or not, some weaponry. The weaponry collection is quite impressive, ranging from the miniscule pistol to the large and powerful grenade launcher. Unfortunately, ammo becomes an issue, as shooting enemies will slowly degenerate your ammo reserves. Ammo is scarce and never regenerate, so shooting freely is out of the question. Therefore, shooting zombies becomes a risky situation, as every bullet, every grenade, every shotgun shell counts for that much! Running is another option. Running is great, as you can... well... run! Running away is usually a good option because zombies are slow and cumbersome. Thus, there are factors that make running useless, such as narrow halls which will force you to be taken a chunk or two from the zombies. Unfortunately for you, health is a limited amount too, as you can only take so many teeth marks from mutant freaks. Health becomes an important factor that can be regenerated through herbs. Herbs are, just like ammo, rather scarce and do not regenerate. Therefore, you cannot run freely either. That leaves you with the other option: to die... again, it's best to have you experience that, as you will be experiencing death quite frequently!

Ahem, things have changed from Resident Evil 2. There is a new threat that is scarier, uglier and oh-so hateful mutant called the Nemesis. This Nemesis is a homing target that wants to beat poor Jill's bones to the ground. Through each consecutive encounter, you'll be offered two choices that determine life and death. For example, if something goes haywire in the newspaper room, you'll be given an option to A) Jump out the window into the alleyway or B) Stay and fight. Obviously, the easiest way out would be the first choice, but the harder choices may just give you your rewards to free items. Nevertheless, the fact remains that you'll be enjoying new choices much more than the previous Resident Evils. The main man in this one is Carlos, a mysterious man with an accent that just happens to be there to help Jill. No, he cannot be playable until a certain point of the game that lasts a bare maximum of 20 minutes, and that is all. He does not have a totally different scenario as one would imagine.

The ink ribbons, magic boxes and your stock has returned once again. To sum up, magic boxes are chests that can be discovered in various save points, where you can transport goods and weaponry from each save point. Your stock consists of a limited amount of carrying, therefore, you will have to deposit your items into the magic boxes frequently. The ink ribbons are containers of ink that let you save your progress on the local typewriter. These three have been the trademark of all the Resident Evil games, and marks your safety and progress.

Aha! Things to compensate for your constant deaths against zombies. You will now be able to do various tricks to avoid zombies. The run option slowly becomes more useful, as you will now be able to dodge zombies by pressing certain button combinations. While very quirky in the beginning, it soon becomes one of the most important aspects of survival. Secondly is the new and improved 180 degree turn around. This can help you quickly maneuver your character the other way so you can start running for your life! This drastically improves the Run element of gameplay, and becomes an excellent improvement.

The shooting alternative has also drastically improved! Now, you can refine ammo into different ammo types, and make up different combinations to create different amounts of certain types of ammo. This makes useless ammo... less useless, and things become unbelievably efficient through this option. Other things that have helped the game progress is... auto-target! Capcom got it through their heads that gamers cannot aim for beans! Now, Jill will know exactly who she's shooting and when she's shooting. Auto-target becomes extremely fun to use as it also enables you to literally 'switch' your target to a different threat. Things have become a lot more preferable on the protagonist's side!

No, there is no improvement to the death option. You simply can't get any worse than dying... sorry!

The gameplay elements in Resident Evil 3 have not changed... it's only been added. But the things that have been added are extremely well done, well executed and well thought-out. I have never been so happy to do a 180 degree turn when being chased by a zombie. The shooting and running which becomes the most frequent uses of gaming have improved almost immediately, and you'll notice the difference through gameplay. The large amount of new things that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis gives makes gameplay better than before, and maneuvering characters has become an easier thing to do. 9/10

Visual Presentation:
The visual presentation in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has very much improved. Character models are much more crisp than in the second installment, and backgrounds and architecture have made its way to become extremely large-scale in the streets of Raccoon City.

Once again, design plays an integral role to the overall gaming experience. Due to the immense amount of monsters, characters will need to experience new and better things. Jill has a new costume now, and she doesn't have that cute blue beret. Now, she's gone casual, with a blue top, a black skirt and a white sweater tied around her waist. Her casual look makes her a very charming and likeable character to use. But what will forever make Resident Evil 3: Nemesis what it is, is the antagonist. The antagonist is so devastatingly ugly, yet has so much remarkable features, that its quality ultimately surpasses the antagonists of Resident Evil 2 and 1 combined. The result is a large madman mutant that's face has been scarred. This guy is smart! He carries a rocket launcher, he's big, strong, mean and has a lot of health. But back to the design, Nemesis' face seems to have been literally ripped, while tentacles or some sort of wires rip out of his body. His face is very bumpy and his overall size and impressive speed makes Nemesis one of the most frightening antagonists ever. The design of Nemesis is pure genius and he can easily become one of the most memorable monsters in a game. The sheer variety of zombies have improved, and the lickers are back with more licking and head-chomping than ever before. In other words, the lickers are just as ugly as they were in Resident Evil 2.

Realism makes a frightening return in Resident Evil 3, considering it is the streets that have been destroyed and mutilated. The darkness and the obvious bloodshed of the streets only make you feel more uncomfortable. You'll feel disturbed when you see some of the charred, scarred and slaughtered remains of everything before you. Ambience and overall atmosphere makes Resident Evil 3 just as scary, if not scarier than the predecessor.

Resident Evil 3 has excellent graphics that seem to skyrocket through every consecutive release. Very realistic and very dark, Resident Evil 3 is a work of art, as the game creates pure fear through the environments it offers. 9/10

Audio Presentation:
Capcom creates another horrifying sound repertoire that seems to create the dark feeling that the second one already created. Once again, dissonance and clashes make its way into the scene, and it does a very good job of it.

The music is sharp, dissonant, dark and extremely eerie. You will not know exactly what the music is trying to tell you, but it won't relent its creepy whisper. Once again, the tune is rather forgettable, as it really isn't a tune at all. Instruments become rather strange and suddenly fierce, and then silent, and so on. The overall mood makes you feel extremely queezy, as the music ranges from all types of tension. The climax theme can be really nerve-wrecking, as it is so sudden, so violent and fierce that you'll be running from whatever direction you can find. Sounds contribute a lot to the environment, as you'll be hearing zombies from afar, moaning as they smell your flesh. The sounds are again, very messy and the shloops and splatters of zombies can be heard in nearly every area you go to.

Voice acting comes in again, but with Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira playing the roles. Unfortunately, the voice acting in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis have been downgraded by the performances of Resident Evil 2. Jill speaks in a much too dramatic tone that plays off strangely, while Carlos' accent can have you pulling your hair out throughout your survival quest. All in all, the voice acting again plays the worst role in audio presentation, and it could very much improve. While the audio presentation is good, it just doesn't seem to come up to par to the horrific presentation of Resident Evil 2, although again, satisfactory. 7/10

Story and Composition:
The story is interestingly enough, in the time period of Resident Evil 2. In fact, it fits nicely around the same time Resident Evil 2 took place... in other words, while Claire was frantically running around, Jill was elsewhere in her own horror world. On that note, the story starts off with Jill's liberty speech. Beginning on a stern and serious tone, Jill describes her intentions on the 3rd installment, and ultimately decides to run away. And then begins the chaos, as she is too late. As all Resident Evils start off, you are hurriedly placed into a strange and awkward situation where you soon find out some very disturbing things. Resident Evil 3 is no exception, as it uses the disturbing tales and stories that can be found through files as its main use of disturbance.

However, the basic plot is extremely linear. Unlike in Resident Evil 2, where characters will meet new personalities, strange twists and sudden appearances, Resident Evil 3 plays a much minimal role to that area, although still showing much of it. While the execution is done just as well, if not better than Resident Evil 2, the linearity becomes a large problem and ultimately hampers the overall story. 7/10

Replayability and Extras:
There is many secrets to unlock in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. While not as many as its predecessor, there is still some new discoveries to unlock including new modes, new costumes and alternate endings. Every time you beat Resident Evil 3, you will be offered a new costume and a new ending. This means you could have Jill wearing a leather outfit while discovering what truly happened to Barry Watson of Resident Evil 1. Resident Evil 3, in that respect, tries to fill in all the plotholes that Resident Evil 2 left behind.

The alternate mode is based on the mercenaries that Carlos works for. Through this quest, you will be going through a timed sequence of killing various zombies, until you come to your objective. Pretty much, the Mercenary mode is a backtrack of Jill's first half of her quest. As gamers finish these quests, they will be rewarded with money to use on Jill's game. With this money, you can access unlimited ammo on certain weapons, gain new weapons and have advantages that will ease the overall gameplay.

Overall, replayability and extras is not as enjoyable as it was in Resident Evil 2, but it is still a very exciting experience to discover all these new extras. Resident Evil 3 has enough new things to offer for some replays. 8/10

Conclusion
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is a much more linear game than its previous installment. While it has added brand new things to heighten gameplay and enjoyment, the overall lack of scenarios and secrets compared to Resident Evil 2 might disappoint some of the veteran Resident Evil fans. But nevertheless, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is an exciting and very enjoyable game, although rather short.

Capcom delivers once more an engrossing game filled with more and more aspects to gameplay. It seems as if Capcom is bringing in new ideas through every installment of Resident Evil. This is what companies do to gain success, and Capcom does this rather well. The Resident Evil series does not plan to die down anytime soon, it seems, as Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is a very enjoyable third installment.

However, some may consider this as a sidequest to the already famous Resident Evil 2, considering the time the game is taken place, the area it is taken place in and the references to Resident Evil 2. In the end, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis should be in every 'RE' fan's library collection.

How it all adds up!
(average is determined through the importance of the criteria)
Gameplay Elements: 9/10
Visual Presentation: 9/10
Audio Presentation: 7/10
Story and Composition: 7/10
Replayability and Extras: 8/10
Final Score: 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/02, Updated 02/09/03


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