Two years ago, when the pandemic hit, I wasn’t really in the mood for anything zombie-related. I did recall playing the Resident Evil 2 remake but it wasn’t as enjoyable. Now, that things are pretty mellow and I don’t hear constant ambulance siren bouncing off of the city’s buildings day and night, I can say it’s safe to play Resident Evil 3 remake without feeling like I’m in the actual game, although I just realized that Racoon City actually takes place in the Midwest! But I am not in a metropolis. The environment I am in now is a lot calmer and quieter with the exception of the rhythmic noises coming from the crickets. The sound made me think of certain parts in the Resident Evil remake for GameCube. And so, the waves of nostalgia hit me. I thought why not play the Resident Evil 3 remake? I heard it’s a short game compared to the Resident Evil 2 remake and it is one of the newer titles I haven’t played.
Generally, I have a soft spot for the Resident Evil franchise. I have a super soft spot for Resident Evil 3 because it was my first entry into the franchise. But I also want to point out that I just like Jill Valentine. Her story doesn’t revolve around being someone’s sister or lover. Not saying there is anything wrong with existing for the sake of others. It’s quite noble. It’s just that Jill has her own narrative which belongs to her solely. Her independence makes her quite admirable. She is a member of Special Tactics and Rescue Service also known as S.T.A.R.S, and she is on a mission. I love that kind of determination!
So let’s talk about Resident Evil 3 remake and why I had blast with it. First of all, I like the character dynamic between Carlos and Jill in this remake. There is a nice balance between them. Before I go into details about the character’s dynamic, I want to talk about Jill Valentine’s outfit. If you have played the original, Jill Valentine used to go around shooting zombies in clubbing clothes. As I said before in one of my blog posts, I have no problem with women who like to dress sexy (more power to you if you feel good in your skin. I wish I had your confidence). In the back of my mind, I have always thought it was uncomfortable to navigate Racoon City, holding a handgun and wearing a tube shirt and a mini-skirt.
That’s quite an empowering fantasy. Realistically though, try walking like that in the city at night, you sure will get hit on by creeps. That’s why I laughed when Jill called Nemesis the creepy stalker in the game. She knows exactly the pain that women go through just for dressing nice.
So, that’s where the remake got it right. Jill’s default outfit just seems more appropriate for the situation. The tube shirt and mini-skirt would only make sense if she was in fact in the middle of clubbing when chaos hit Raccoon City.
Speaking of Carlos Oliveira, in the original, he is an overall nice guy but a bit of a flirt. The remake, on the other hand, made him more mature, task driven and professional. There wasn’t a moment where I thought Carlos is a sleazy player who is “good with the ladies”. Removing that cocky, playboy attitude from the original game earned him my respect. Even if there was chemistry between the two characters, which is unlikely since Jill doesn’t seem to have time for romance, the remake kept their attraction to each other pretty wholesome. I really like that both characters have an important role in the story. I enjoyed playing as both of them, although Jill got more of the spotlight than Carlos. Still, Carlos makes an interesting support role. He is humble enough to let Jill take the lead but strong enough to save her when she is in need. The greatest part is that both trust and believe in each other! It always makes me happy to see good teamwork, especially revolving around the interaction between the opposite sex. There were no gender-defined roles when it comes to getting the job done, and I like that a lot.
Gameplay wise, it’s fun. Like Resident Evil 2 remake, it has the same structure format in terms of gaming mechanics. Back in the day, it was hard to move and aim when you are surrounded with zombies who want a bite out of your neck. The tank control is a challenge in itself in contrast to the over-the-shoulder view. In the remake, the zombies still bite your neck as if you are a piece of delicious meat and you have to press X to be released from the zombie. It’s just annoying, but I guess it’s Resident Evil’s signature dish. Of course, the highlight of Resident Evil 3 gameplay is Nemesis. I think he secretly has a crush on Jill. He sure loves pursuing her! The majority of the game revolves around running away from him. The final blow felt really good.
My only disappointment about the gameplay, which is only a matter of preference, is QTEs. Did Resident Evil fans complain loud enough that developers decided to take them out in this game? I played the game in standard mode. I wonder if it would appear if I play in hardcore mode. There were some action cutscenes that could use some QTEs. Personally, I like them because it always makes me laugh and get my heart pumping in excitement. It keeps my mind alert, but I can see how bothersome it can be for some people who only play for stories or atmosphere.
Overall, it’s a great remake. I am not sure though if I would replay the game to get all trophies and to get a better rating (I got a C for average performance). But I can see someone spending a lot of time in this game to improve their rating and unlocking items despite the story being short. You can beat it under 10 hours or even less if you know where and what to do in the game. So, replay value is great for such a short game. But then again, Resident Evil games were never long but were always well thought out, and that is exactly what I love about the franchise.