resident evil 3 backlog review

Backlog Review: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

The most terrifying game in the series. Writer’s Note: Every November 31st(Halloween) I have a tradition of playing trough a Resident Evil game in chronological order. Why chronological? Ehh… why not. This year being the fifth year it was Nemesis’ turn.

 

Resident Evil has always been a very highly regarded series up until recently. Resident Evil 4 is often considered to be one of the best games ever made. However, fans of the old “tank-controls era” games consider two to be the best in the series. But where does the third installment stand in all of this? It’s time to take a look back at Nemesis and see just where it belongs.

 

Farewell to my life. Farewell to my home.

Nemesis begins right after the outbreak in Racoon City. Jill is caught up in the middle of it and like every other Resident Evil has to escape the undead nightmare. Resident Evil games didn’t always have an amazing plot but they were fun to follow. Finding out the secrets of the mansion and the connection between Umbrella and Irons where interesting because of the characters involved in the crisis. Whenever the player would come across an NPC, it was interesting to know their when, what and why they’re in this mess. Resident Evil 3’s plot certainly leaves a lot to be desired in that aspect. There aren’t that many characters and the few you meet are generally uninteresting. Most characters except for Carlos are unmemorable. And the only reason Carlos is memorable is because Jill is interacting with him the most but other than that he’s just as interesting as the rest.

The previous Resident Evils are known for their cheesy goofy voice acting. And while Resident Evil 2 lowered the cheese(but only slightly), Nemesis takes it back to the original one’s cheese. Most lines will manage to get a chuckle out of players and some might even make you break out in laughter. Awkward animations are highlighted when there’s no one speaking and seeing Jill turn then run in a cut-scene is pretty awkward and funny to see nowadays. The previous titles’ files made the game’s plot way more interesting and made  up most of the lore in the universe. Nemesis fails to deliver on that. Most of the files don’t deliver anything of significance and some even don’t have anything to contribute except a screen cap of one of the CGI scenes. One thing Nemesis does deliver on is replayability.

During the game, players will be confronted with what’s called Live Selection Mode. These ask players to pick one of two different choices that will impact not only cut scenes but areas as well. Going one route will allow players to get more ammo or herbs while choosing to electrocute Nemesis causes him to chase the player while if they pushed him, they would be able to run around freely. Some characters might show up in certain rooms depending on the choices the players make and will even influence what ending they get. Other than that, every time players finish the game they will get an epilogue for a different character. There are eight in total and it seems like it sets up a final confrontation for a sequel that never happened. It’s a shame considering the state of the series now but the premise looks really cool. Resident Evil might not be the best narrative-wise but its multiple choices make it great to return and try to see what would happen if you took the other options.

resident evil 3 review4Characters are forgettable and the narrative is uninteresting. 

 

This is my last chance for survival…

Resident Evil games before 4 can be summarized in three words: exploration, puzzles and combat. As with the previous titles, enemy encounters are best avoided and ammo best be spared. In Nemesis it’s taken even further. Enemies take more bullets and there are way more enemies on one screen than there have ever been. And while in the previous games it was best to run around and avoid enemies, Resident Evil 3 takes it to a whole new level.

Resident Evil 3 certainly is way harder than most titles in the series. Puzzles are more challenging for veteran players who might even have some trouble with these new brainteasers. Some of the new mechanics in Resident Evil 3 are the ability to do a 180° turn to escape undead easier or just to save some time, a dodge mechanic is also added that strangely only appears in this game. It works as a parry type move which is done by pressing the action or aim button just before an enemy attacks and makes Jill either push the enemy back or do a cool dodge move. It’s a neat mechanic that allows players to make the choice to either go on the offensive or wait for an attack and risk potential damage to avoid wasting ammo.

Another new addition that never returned to the series is ammo creation. In previous game the player had to work with the guns they had ammo for. While it forced players to think about what to use, this time around players can find gunpowder they can combine into certain types of ammo like magnum rounds, shotgun rounds or any of the grenade types. It allows players to use the guns they want or strategically make the ammo for the situation they are in.

One thing that Resident Evil 3 doesn’t have that much are bosses. Not counting the final battle, there are only three bosses and two of them are Nemesis.But Nemesis is what makes this game what it is. This Tyrant version is intelligent and has been ordered to hunt down all remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. What makes Nemesis so amazing is that, on top of his amazing design he relentlessly stalks the player and shows up at the most inopportune times. Once Nemesis appears; players won’t get rid of him by entering another room. Instead Nemesis might show up in certain rooms when entered. The Tyrant himself is incredibly powerful and fighting him unprepared is suicide. First-time players will feel uneasy, paranoid and find an incredible challenge in trying to survive his relentless pursuit while veteran players will find a new challenge trying to defeat him when they encounter the colossal titan. When players actually manage to down the trench coat wearing menace they get parts of unique and more powerful versions of the weapons they own. And once all weapons are collected and players replay the game they will get unlimited ammo of a weapon every time they down him. This is what makes Nemesis so brilliant. A thread to newcomers and a challenge to veterans, Nemesis offers something for everyone.

And while Nemesis is one of the best things in the series what doesn’t hit the bar compared to previous games is the map itself. This time around we get to see more of Racoon City. And while it’s interesting to see this nonsensical city it’s just not as well done as the Spencer Mansion or the Racoon City Police Department and lacks those memorable locations. All areas, while still different, tend to blend in with each other. Resident Evil 3 is also more linear than one or two. While you still backtrack a lot there is more a feeling of progression instead of exploring one big area and unraveling its secrets. Resident Evil 3 adds some new things that didn’t return but should have and Nemesis is one of the best concepts to ever grace horror games or even video games in general.

resident evil 3 review 3Nemesis is by far the best and most exciting element in the game. The game just wouldn’t have been as exciting without him.

 

There is only one chance left…

Resident Evil still looks pretty good. because of the use of pre-rendered backgrounds, the game still holds up better than most games of this era. And aside from the pre-rendered backgrounds the actual models like the human characters, zombies and Nemesis look great. However some enemies like the hunters and brain sucker have too much going on in their design. You can make out most of what they are but you can’t really make out the details. The zombies have a nice variety of models but the problem is that sometimes there are so many zombies on-screen that some models might be reused in the same area. It’s weird seeing a zombie and two of his identical twins walking next to each other. Other than that models have never had this amount of details.

The CGI movies look great. It’s certainly some of the best CGI movies of the generation. The character models in the CGI look great and stuff like explosions and trees look amazing. On an auditory level, Resident Evil 3 nails it. When walking around in the streets of Racoon City you can hear zombies wailing in the distance. It makes the city feel big and expanded like there is more of the city to be seen even if you can’t visit it. The music is some of the best in the series. It’s is a real mood setter when necessary and sound dramatic and intense in moments where it’s needed. the only problem with the audio is that the syncing is terrible. When loud music plays and characters speak they tend to become inaudible. The problem could have been avoided with subtitles which the game sadly doesn’t have. Resident evil 3 looks great and sounds great.

resident evil 3 review 5The game still looks pretty good thanks to the pre-rendered backgrounds.

 

This is my, last escape…

 

Closing note:

Resident evil 3: Nemesis is an amazing package. While it’s not as good as the first or second game, mainly because of the level design it has some amazing new stuff. The game is much harder than most games in the series. The new gameplay features are a nice addition even if they never returned. The plot is uninteresting, most of the files aren’t engaging and the characters are boring and generic. Nemesis still looks great and the CGI movies are some of the best of the generation. It could have been just another title in the series, but what makes this game so memorable and legendary is Nemesis. Often imitated never duplicated, Nemesis is not only a great design and enemy; it’s a concept that the Clock Tower series did first with Scissor Man but Resident Evil brought to the forefront and perfected. Nemesis is what makes the game so good and enjoyable that it’s certainly worth a revisit to Racoon City.

 

8.5/10

 

This game was reviewed on PlayStation. If you are interested in playing it you can track down either an original copy or you can get it here:

Playstation 3/Playstation Vita/Playstation Portable(PSOne Classic):

https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/resident-evil-3-nemesis-(psone-classic)/cid=UP9000-NPUJ00923_00-0000000000000001

I'm a fun loving guy who like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and long walks on the beach. I work hard, I play hard. Must like cats. Ugos need not apply. If you want to ask me anything you can contact me at yordi.verhoene@gmail.com