Review by KLantis

"Zombie killing hasn't been so much fun, but something is amiss..."

If you have ever gone to the movies the past few months, you may have noticed a certain trend in the more popular flicks.... ''Sixth Sense'', ''The Blair Witch Project'', ''Stigmata''... All being quite scary movies, creating an atmosphere of suspense and horror the likes was never seen before in many years. And the Playstation owners can brag for having a series that had born, raised, and grown powerful in the good ol' 32-bit wonder, creating it's own mark of survival horror: Bio Hazard/Resident Evil.

Enter RE 3: Nemesis. This game is planned to be a sidestory to the main series (being a prequel/sequel to RE 2), and along with the Code Veronica game for the Dreamcast, plan to tie missing links in the storyline, before the big bash at Umbrella's hood in RE 4 (Let's hope for a PS2 release!). This one involves Jill Valentine, one of the heroines of the first RE, being one of the few survivors of the mansion incident. Having lost many of her teammates in the mission, Jill and her remaining friends lose no time in pointing Umbrella as the company who began such disaster. But since most of the people in Raccoon City work for Umbrella, no one believes them. Seeing how their efforts are in vain, Chris Redfield, the other hero of RE 1, decides to fly over to Europe to Umbrella's main HQ and demand responsibility from the main Umbrella man himself. Meanwhile, Jill remains to scoop up what proof she can take to Europe with Chris. Not before long, she more than gets what she is asking for....

Jill gets caught in middle of the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City, and now has to try to escape. In fact, the only character you get to control for most of the game is Jill herself, though there will be sometimes that you will be using her mercenary friend, Carlos Oliveira, instead (plus two other characters you get to use in a secret bonus game). The engine is pretty much the same you have grown up to love to, but with a few twists here and there that tweak the gameplay to support more action.

First off, you get to have a new ''dodge'' technique. When you press the directional pad plus the weapon button, Jill gets to dodge any incoming attack from an enemy, or shove off any zombie that wants to take a bite out of her (and believe me, there are a LOT of them). This weapon is totally neccesary if you wish to fight some certain guy who is waiting for you at every corner (explained later).... It also avoids the neccesary evil of getting hit if you're backed up in a corner by a bunch of dogs, so you can just dodge, then blow their brains out! Smelly! :)

Another big chance is the option to ''create your own ammo''. You won't find too many handgun bullets or shotgun shell stashes out there anymore, but more likely, you will get two types of Gun Powder (A and B). Combine both of them several times, in different ways, and then use the Reloading Tool (which you begin with) to refine them into several types of ammo. This proves to be absolutely neccesary if you want to get more rounds for your Grenade Launcher, especially for Freeze Rounds, which tend to work wonders on you-know-who....

Also inside the game are several ''live-action'' decisions you have to make in key parts in the game, and depending on your decision is well...your destiny! If you stall too much, however, the game decides for you, and the outcome could not be as pretty as before....

You also get to have new gadgets in order to blow more zombie ass than ever! The Grenade Launcher now gets to have new Freeze Rounds aside from the Explosive, Flame, and Acid Rounds, and can put the enemy on ice. There is a new Mine Thrower, which can throw explosive rounds that impale (and then explode) on the enemy. Be careful, though, as the explosion might hurt you as well. Same thing happens with the several oil drums and explosive boxes you find on the way. If you shoot them, they'll create a huge explosion and nail all enemies in the vicinty...and you too, if you're not careful enough....

However, new terrors will stalk you at every corner. The new Brain Deimos/Brain Suckers are arachnid like creatures which get to have a lick at your head....The original terrors, the Hunters of RE 1, are back, and willing to play with your head again. Small worms (and BIG worms) are mighty pesky, but can either be avoided or eliminated. However, all pail in comparison to....

The NEMESIS!!!! Yeah, this is the guy I've been mentioning indirectly the past few paragraphs. Man, is he FREAKY or what??! Most people incorectly tag this guy as a two-bit Tyrant (the main bad guy of the past two RE, though not as much in RE 2). Yeah, he may seem uglier than Tyrant, but he is smarter, deadlier, and a lot more persistent! Damn, he just won't die! You can knock him down ten times, but he will always come back! OK, perhaps not ten times....but he does appear a lot! Be on your toes always, since if this guy grabs ahold of you, you're going for a ride more often than not. I suggest you only face him once you get some decent weapons (Grenade Launcher, Magnum), otherwise, he'll kill you for sure. Dodging is key to avoid his onslaught as well. Don't EVER try to get far from him if he's totting that rusty rocket launcher!

But, after so much innovation, what is left? I should say, the game is too short once you've played RE 2. Since RE 2 was two CDs, and RE 3 only one, the sense of completion is just not there. You will just be asking for more. More insight on the villains or victims wouldn't have hurt. And besides, the epilogues at the end of the game (which, BTW, you have to finish EIGHT times to get all the epilogues), which detail the destiny of the main RE characters, don't help too much from you desiring more and more. At least Capcom prepared you for such repetitive repeats...the placement of items and enemies can get to be random every time you play, so you don't get bored.

So, is RE 3 worth it? I may say yes, if you're a hardcore RE fan, and if you're aren't, hey, who cares? Buy it too! RE masters may welcome the challenge that is the Nemesis, but as I said earlier, the game has so much to offer, and so little delight. If the game would have been packed in two CDs, made you choose at least another character for a whole game, and have some sort of interaction with the events in RE 2, it would have been the greatest RE ever! Can this be a preview of things to come in RE 4? Anyway you see it, don't eat or drink anything during this game, or else, have a towel at hand....


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/24/00, Updated 01/24/00


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