Review by sylvester

Reviewed: 11/20/02 | Updated: 11/20/02

Jill has changed, but Umbrella will always be the same...

After two brilliant games making the Resident Evil series a well respected name in the business, Capcom was sure to collect the big cash once again with a third installment in the series. But did they make a good enough job to actually deserve the cash? Yes. YES, YES, YES, YES, YES! Capcom did it again! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

As Jill Valentine, psychologically bruised survivor of the happenings back in the mansion, we get to take on the ever so dark Racoon City. When the Zombies comes to the city Jill finds herself as one of few people still human in a city filled overtaken by horror.
When we start the date is set before Resident Evil 2, but stuff happens and later on we also get to play after the events in RE 2. How nice of Capcom to give us even more details about the story and let us experience how the town got to be what it was in the 2nd installment.
Of course there are a few helpful guys that Jill encounters along the way, but there is NO 2 player mode this time. We get to play Jill and at one point also Carlos, Jill’s new won friend.
But the 2player mode would have rocked I personally believe.

So what’s new? Does Resident Evil 3 have something fresh to offer except for the cool under title? Well we all know the drill by now, Capcom somehow managed to refresh Resident Evil with new characters, story and environments and we got Resident Evil 2, a great sequel. Somehow they have once again managed to improve a game that was real good to make the new one feel fresh and not like a rushed moneymaker. So what exactly are those little improvements that they’re doing?
If you today would compare the original Resident Evil with Resident Evil 3 you would see that a lot has happened, and I’m not only talking about Jill Valentines curves.
Resident Evil 3 was marketed with improved controls and new ways to battle with the new “dodge move” and the always-appreciated 180 degrees turn… Useful additions that don’t necessarily makes the game easier though as other problems comes in where the old ones left.

The biggest change is probably the whole gameplay concept itself though. Instead of wandering around and encounter the bad guys yourself we get assisted to keep up the pace. Nemesis, the guy who did a good enough job to get his name on the cd cover is a real badass. While he’s actually a zombie like thing he’s still good enough to run fast like hell and handle a rocket launcher, yes you heard me, Nemesis holds a rocket launcher at some points. Of course he can open doors too… And did I mention that he’s real good at tracking you down as well? And you guessed it, Nemesis is one of those guys that refuse to die, and when he finally seem to do, it turns out that he’s only transforming to an even worse being.

That little addition works real great and feels very fresh. Good work Capcom.
Except for Nemesis there’s also a brand new “choice mode” where the screen freezes and you get to choose between to alternatives what Jill should do. Interesting, as there are no real right choice, it’s up for you to decide which will be the wisest to do. If you think to long though you won’t be able to choose, as the game is not really paused, thankfully we always get the worse possible outcome if we don’t choose.

One of the first things that I noticed with Resident Evil 3 was the great graphics. Except for the FMVs everything feels much better then Resident Evil 2 and the animations are with some exceptions real good. It all feels very Resident Evil and that’s good.

When I played Resident Evil 2 I did not thought the whole outdoors intro was very terrifying. As you were running around on the streets of Racoon city you never got the feeling of being trapped inside a house full of lurking beasts behind every door.
Sadly, most of Resident Evil 3 also takes place in Racoon City, outdoors. This however works better, partly because you visit a lot of deserted places, but most thanks to Nemesis who manage to make you feel trapped and hunted even if it’s within the town limits.
But we know Capcom by now, what would a Resident Evil be without letting the main character pay some visits to dodgy technological Umbrella underground labs.
And even if Nemesis is the bad guy of this one, I can say without spoiling to much for you that also Umbrella corp. has got maybe even more involvement in this game then its predecessors. The locations in RE 3 works quite good but never gets near to the perfect original in atmosphere. That does not say very much though.

The best thing with this game, as always with the Resident Evil games, is how you get sucked into the game and not get out until you beat it. It’s not as scary as the previous ones but some events might as well make some of you wet your pants. It feels somehow that Capcom are concentrating a little more on the action with this one and that feels welcome, as long as it is not permanent change.

With the 2player mode removed and the game almost only technically improved, is Resident Evil 3 still a good prequel/sequel? Yes. Yes, it is. Things like Nemesis adds a lot and the Resident Evil series actually a strong enough that even if all the games would be obvious clones of its predecessors they would still be worth to play through. The clone part has nothing to do with this game however though.

When it comes to replay value this game is without the smallest doubt the best in the series. A bonus game along with epilogues that you’re able to unlock adds even more to an already awesome game. And of course there are alternate costumes in this one as well, as long as you can find them. Resident Evil 3 is not a very hard game to beat however, there are different difficulties though but you should be able to play it through a couple of times quite fast.

I can’t say that Resident Evil 3 is a must though, as there are better games out there. While no collection would be complete without the first two in the series Resident Evil 3 is just a must for the Resident Evil fans. For the non-RE fans all I can say is that is real good and if you don’t think it’s anything for you try it anyway.

Resident Evil 3 is really really good, but not as amazing as the first two and therefore I have to give it a slightly lower score. Still the game is by far a better sequel/prequel than many other ones.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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