Review by Cyril

"FINALLY, some innovation in the series...even if there isn't that much"

Many, many people claim that Resident Evil 2 is the best Resident Evil. While I do not agree with that (I think Resident Evil Code: Veronica is) Resident Evil 3: Nemesis comes in a close second. The game itself is innovative, and it has quite a bit of changes compared to the last two.

Resident Evil 3, like its predecessors, is a Survival Horror game. This means, obviously (but this IS a review for the new players...) a game that if meant to keep you on the edge of your seat. Obviously, you need to be a certain type of person to enjoy such a game. Also, remember that a game like this has extreme violence. This is not a game for kiddies.

Resident Evil 3 starts off a few months after the events with Jill, Chris and the rest of the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) alpha teams in the Mansion on Raccoon Forest. Raccoon city itself has been invested with Zombies, as seen in Resident Evil 2. Jill has stayed behind as Chris left 2 months earlier to pursue the Umbrella corporation who was in charge of the massacres at the mansion and now Racoon city itself. Jill is one of the lone survivors in Racoon city, and now is desperately trying to find a way out. The game starts off, quite interestingly, with Jill running through the back of an alleyway. Zombies have begun to pursue her, and she is only armed with a basic handgun. As she runs forward she must dodge the zombies, and a lot of the basic play mechanics are introduced.

Jill is then shown running through a narrow alleyway, trying to avoid the grabbing hands of the zombies. She is almost caught..and then...Well I am going to be a brat and not spoil the game for you.

Anyway, what most people complain about in Resident Evil 3, is the fact that there is not too much story. There actually IS a good amount of story, but not nearly as much as Resident Evil 2. Depending on what kind of person you are, you may like the story of Resident Evil 3 better then 2, because Resident Evil 3 is more of a direct sequel to Resident Evil one, even if it is a ''Side-Story''. Since Jill is the main character of this game, it is obviously more of a sequel.

A few new play mechanics are introduced in Resident Evil 3. Mainly, there is a dodge feature, choices that affect the way you play, and the making of ammunition. Both of these features are there to try and add some innovation to the series, and they do, but it also adds a bit more complexity. The dodge feature, while useful, does not always work, but it does save you from damage. Just don't try to understand how to use it control-wise, or else it will work less often. And the making of ammunition can also be fun. There are 3 or more types of gunpowder, and depending on what type you mix, you can usually mix up to 3, you get different types of ammunition. You can mix an powder that usually makes shotgun ammo, with one that usually makes grenade ammunition you will get a different type of ammunition, then say, when you mix two grenade ammunitions together. Mixing gun powder is usually the only way to get the stronger ammunitions of the game, and also adds an element of strategy. The last new mechanic is the shooting of objects in the field. Namely, barrels that will explode if shot. If you are too close, you will get hurt, too, but at a distance you can kill all the zombies in a single hit. As for the choices, Resident Evil 3 is Non-Linear, meaning that you have to play through the game multiple times to actually get everything. You usually choose an attack, or a run. Each choice leads to a different area, or a way to go to the end. And certain choices effect the items you get and the ending.

Sadly, Resident Evil 3 retains the series' trademark control scheme. The control scheme is basically pressing up makes you go forward (no matter what camera angle) and pressing back makes you take a step backwards. This is a horrible scheme, and will disorient you many, many a time. it also makes dodging annoying as hell. If you aren't used to it, it will take a long time to get used to it.

The graphics of Resident Evil 3 have been upgraded quite a bit, especially compared to Resident Evil 2. The zombies are more diverse and have some good detail on them. They aren't all the same shape or sex now, either. There are cop Zombies, athlete zombies, and lazy zombies. Some of them also ''pop'' quite funnily when you shoot them. The other graphics have also improved quite nicely. The player now controls a smoother, cleaner main character. And the guns have more detail. The CG movies has undergone the most changes, as they are now quite pretty-er...disgusting. And also what some people complain about are the backgrounds. Yes, they are still the same. You wont be able to see past some screens, meaning for some scary shooting. Of course, it does make the game more ''dynamic'', but it also makes it more annoying.

The best part of Resident Evil 3, is its namesake, the Nemesis. For those of you who have played Resident Evil 2, the Nemesis is basically a souped up ''Mr. X'' from the B game. Except when I say souped up, I mean FAR more powerful. It takes around 50 Handgun shots to kill him. And even scarier, he can run faster then your character, and doesn't fall. These Nemesis battles are adrenaline pumping, and really get your blood boiling. Each time you successfully knock him down, you get an item. And he won't follow you. Also unlike Mr. X, the Nemesis follows you from room to room, pursuing you like a hound. Since he has a huge range, instant kills, and sometimes, a rocket launcher (ouch), he can be quite difficult.

Resident Evil 3 also has some amazing sounds. It has improved from Resident Evil 2. Resident Evil 2 has some whiny voices, and luckily, Resident Evil 3 doesn't have nearly as many. Also, the moans and screams are also a lot more realistic, making for a more creepy experience. And you will soon learn to fear the evil mumbles of ''STARS...''

Other then these few minor changes, there isn't really anything NEW in Resident Evil 3. Like in the past games, you have to follow the paths, find items, and solve puzzles. Of course, this isn't anything new, and if you have played RE in the past, and didn't like it then, you wont like it now.

Sadly, there is not a WHOLE lot of innovation in this game, but it does make some changes. These changes are, mostly, for the better. Like I said previously, if you didn't like the past games, this probably won't change the way you think about the series, but this is still an awesome game, and any RE fan should love. If you don't you are just crazy.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/23/03, Updated 06/23/03

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