Critics’ Corner

Video Game Review – Resident Evil 3 Remake


Ellie O'Sullivan, Sophomore, Feature's Editor

Image Courtesy of Capcom

As a long time Resident Evil fanatic, I was over the moon when I learned the next installment of the Remake series, Resident Evil 3 Remake, would be released in just a little over a year after its wildly popular predecessor, Resident Evil 2 Remake. RE2, after being announced years prior in 2015, was released January 25, 2019. The four year wait for that game is what brought about such a quick release schedule for RE3 in April of 2020; fans were expecting another four years, but instead got five months. The Resident Evil franchise is infamous for its tumultuous development processes. Take, for example, the development process of RE4. It came out 5 years after the original RE3 and was restarted and scrapped a whopping 4 times. However, RE3 Remake didn’t fall victim to this ‘curse’. The development process started in early 2016 and the project was reportedly outsourced for much of its production and was developed, for the most part, externally. 

The almost too topical story follows the returning main character from Resident Evil 1, Jill Valentine, as she desperately tries to escape the zombie-infested Raccoon City while being chased unforgivingly by the bioweapon known as Nemesis. Jill is aware that the Umbrella Corporation, an antagonist introduced in the first 2 games, is at fault for the release of the T-Virus and subsequent zombification of the helpless citizens. However, most of the world, as well as her new fiery counterpart, Carlos Oliveira, is unaware of such involvement.  Carlos is a mercenary for the U.B.C.S (Umbrella Biohazard Counter measurement Service) who is acting as damage control, trying to rescue survivors along with the other members of his platoon: Mikhail Victor, Tyrell Patrick, and Nicholai Ginovaef. Together, they must find a way out of the city and a way to defeat Nemesis, while also working around a traitor in their midst.

Let’s start with what the game got absolutely spot on. The voice acting and chemistry between characters was absolutely terrific. Each of their personalities fit so well together and it’s apparent that this project was a labor of love for every actor involved. The writing compliments this perfectly: the opening and exposition of the game force the player into a very tense situation but somehow manages to make the characters you’re meeting feel genuine and relatable. There’s also the surprisingly great music that came with this game. One of Resident Evil 2 Remake’s biggest flaws was that there was barely any music when comparing it to the original. The original arguably having some of the greatest and most iconic tracks in video game history, so it was a nice surprise to open up the game and be met with a new, yet at the same time nostalgic and familiar song. Of course, a review of a triple-A Capcom game can’t be complete without mentioning the graphics. The RE Engine is absolutely stunning. The look and atmosphere of this game are just incredible, with fully rendered 3D models and backgrounds that really sell the whole “zombie-infested city” idea.

Although this game has so many great things going for it, there are still many flaws to go around. For one, it just didn’t live up to the incredibly high bar that RE2 set. The two projects were worked on concurrently and it’s my theory that this game didn’t get as much attention or effort put into it, leading to a much more empty feeling game. Part of what makes me think this is the run time. A lot of content from the original game was cut, upsetting fans, myself included. The game is only about 5-6 hours long and there’s just the one campaign as compared to the 2 full-length campaigns that RE2 boasted. The game had a lot of potential to live up to, but it ended up feeling like a hollowed-out shell. In terms of gameplay, the game is very linear, which is pretty out of character for the survival horror series. I miss finding a locked doorway at the beginning of the game and not being able to open it until 2 hours later when you finally find the key; It’s what keeps the player motivated to keep going. Not to mention that the boss battles in this game were pretty lackluster. I found them to be pretty underwhelming and almost too easy. This could be blamed on the amount of ammunition and weapons they flood you with. The short and condensed story means that they have to do this, but it’s just a little bit disappointing to be expecting a spooky challenge and being met by a fast-paced zombie shooter. The game in itself is just a tad bit too easy, even on the hardest difficulty, and it makes it lack a lot of tension that is characteristic of the franchise. Overall, playing this game is a pretty flawed experience, but there were definitely steps in the right direction. It should also be taken into account that RE2 and RE3 were made by different teams with very different visions, so it’s a bit unfair to compare the two so closely. It should also be remembered that the original was meant to be more action-oriented as well, which, though it may not be my preference or others, is a respectable decision to stay close to the roots. 

Do I think this game is a must-buy? Well, yes and no. If you want an amazing survival horror game to just fall into, don’t pick up this game…yet. First, play RE2. RE2 is absolutely amazing and it’s usually on sale now that it’s been over a year since the initial release. Then pick up RE3, once it’s gone on sale. Spend the 10 or so hours in RE2 to really acquaint yourself with the mechanics and the lore, then, when you’ve played enough and you want more, buy RE3. To be completely honest, this game is not worth the full price, but if DLC (Downloadable Content) is added and it goes on sale, it’s a great nab. The two games together make an excellent combo and playable experience, as well as an excellent introduction to one of the greatest and most well-known survival horror games in video game history.