Review by Answerman

"An excellent addition to the Resident Evil series, but is it perfect?"

Resident Evil 3:Nemesis is the 3rd in the Resident Evil series. In a nutshell, the story goes as follows:

A pharmaceutical company, Umbrella Corporation, had been developing biological weapons meant for military use and for their own purposes. Their pride and joy, T-Virus was their most
potent of their bio-weapons, being able to revive the dead by providing small electrical
pulses to the brain. However these charges were only powerful enough to supplement one
Function, the function to feed. This in turn, caused the “born-again” humans to become flesh-eating zombies. However, in July 1998, there was an accident at an Umbrella mansion on the outskirts of Raccoon City. The T-Virus was set free, turning the entire staff into zombies. The Raccoon City Police Department sent their Special Tactics And Rescue Service (STARS) to investigate… many of the team did not survive the mission. The survivors filed the report on what happened at the mansion, but it was dismissed as rubbish.

3 months later, the T-Virus epidemic spread through the city, turning the industrial town into a war zone. For days, the civilians not affected by the virus were slowly becoming extinct by the people who had succumbed to the virus. The police had set up barricades around their station and were valiantly defending their territory from the zombies. But their ammo and their luck would not last for long……

Being it in the survival horror genre, the game play is very good. The zombies are plentiful and the array of weapons you can get are great. Resident Evil 2’s main problem was the scarce amount of ammo you could find, which would mean taking evasive action against monsters and getting hurt.
Resident Evil 3 has made up for that in spades. If you’re playing easy mode, all the non-secret guns are available with maximum ammo included. In Hard mode, you are not given that luxury but you can find gunpowder lying around the place which can make up for it.

This being said, the game is a lot of fun to play with, while still providing a scare along the way. There is a lot of satisfaction found in taking out a herd of zombies by decapitating them with a shotgun.

The difficulty level is probably the slight letdown here. The game comes with 2 modes: Easy and Hard. There is not a medium level here which makes both of these modes as extreme as the other. Easy mode tends to “spoon-feed” you during the game, while Hard mode will sort of push you out of the door and slam it behind you with little going for you (ammo and health wise). A medium level would be better here with factors from both modes contributing here.

The Resident Evil controls have been known for being confusing, but if you have played the series before (1 or 2), then you have pretty much got the gist of it for Resident Evil 3. The auto-aim feature is back and a new feature which makes the character do a 180 degree turn, which is useful for escaping.

The last thing is the Decision event which offers you two choices to choose from, these occur normally during life-threatening events and you only have a very limited time to make up your mind. Your decision will decide whether you have hampered your progress through the game or you have just saved yourself from a world of hurt.

STORY 8/10
You control Jill Valentine, an ex-STARS member who resigned her commission after the mansion incident. Knowing the danger she is in, Jill must escape Raccoon City with whoever is still left in the war zone. For those who played Resident Evil 2, the game is set 24 hours before and 24 hours after the events of Resident Evil 2. While you may think, “why, all they have done is copied Resident Evil 2’s story line!”, well….you are half-correct, still it is survival horror so what can you expect? The meat of the story falls in with a monster called Nemesis.

Nemesis was another bio-weapon constructed by Umbrella Corporation. What separated him from the others was his brutality and his sheer willpower to destroy STARS. In fact, Nemesis was programmed by Umbrella to solely destroy STARS.

In the game, Nemesis is what your worst nightmares are made of. He is extremely powerful, very fast for someone his size and does not react to pain. Nemesis can also stalk you from room to room and it does not worry him in the least if there’s a zombie in the way (Nemesis just beats him down). His attacks range from the standard punch to the one-hit kill. He also like to throw you around like a rag doll which can keep you down for a few seconds and most of the time he’ll help you up just so he can punch you some more. Fighting him can prove to be a waste of ammo (unless you’re on Hard mode) as it’s like bringing an elephant down with a BB gun. Running away is often the best way to get around him, but he can easily outrun you and smack you one in the back. He might also be packing a rocket launcher and I do not think I need to explain what he will do with that.

Story-wise he is the major scare factor in the game, from the first time you meet him, you will continuously feel like he is stalking you (which he is), and you’ll be watching nervously for his next grand entry. Once you’ve thought you’ve escaped him by going through a door, a creepy piece of music will start playing and chances are if you keep pressing on, he will bust through that door and start chasing you again.

Nemesis: “STARS……….”

The graphics for this game are excellent. Unlike “Dino Crisis” where the camera is always moving, the Resident Evil series camera is in still shot, allowing for better graphics and suspense. While at times it feels like a slide show, as once you have reached the boundaries of one still-shot, it loads to the next still-shot, it allows the player to wonder in fear what might be lurking around the corner. An example is of when entering a room, where the camera looks to be on the floor and shows Jill from a close distance, it does not give the player a good view of where monsters are but allows monsters to come out of nowhere and scare the pants off you. Coming back to the graphics now, the graphics depicted show a perfect depiction of a city in desperation and chaos. Streets are littered in rubbish and cars have been trashed. Buildings are damaged or on fire and makeshift police barricades of furniture and vending machines are blocking roads. Quite disturbing are the dead bodies found on the streets and in buildings. The still-shot images have allowed to show graphic images of their pain-stricken faces and ripped open chests or whatever.

SOUND 9/10
The realism and the accuracy of the audio is excellent. Often you can hear the moans of the zombies walking the streets with their shoes scraping on the ground and the heavy silence is sometimes broken up by wind or distant explosions and zombies. Weapon sounds are good, like the shotgun which emits a thick bang which is sometimes followed by the sickening squelch of body parts being blown away. The musical score is great, while not only giving one a sense of fear and suspense, but providing us also with a sense of depression. The Nemesis musical score is one which hits me the most and still today gets my nerves racked up. Capcom obviously pushed the Playstation’s limits to achieve the standard it got not only in sound, but in graphics as well.

The only flaw is the dialogue, some of it is good, while some is just plain cheesy. While it’s obvious that they’ve tried to improve on their dialogue since Resident Evil 1 (the Jill sandwich..yuck), there are parts of their speech which makes you raise an eyebrow and think “What the hell?”.

Once you have played it though once you’ll be compelled to play it again. The game offers extra costumes, a sub-game that unlocks secret weapons and be able to re-think ,or try new, decisions in the Decision event. Nowadays, I just play it for the simple reason I think it is a whole lot of fun to play around with.

Despite the praise I have given it, I suggest you rent it out. Die-hard fans of survival horror may find the game lacks in the scare factor a bit in light of Resident Evil 1&2,and see it as more of an arcade game. Even those who do like the sound of Resident Evil 3 I would still suggest renting it as it is a different ball game than Resident Evil 1&2. If you still like it after your rental period, I suggest you buy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/01/04

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