Resident Evil 3: Remake Review – Looks The Business

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There have been a number of remastered titles in the works over the past couple of years, with this month seeing two hotly anticipated ones in Resident Evil 3: Remake and Final Fantasy VII: Remake.

While the latter is perhaps the most talked about, given how long it has been in development, Resident Evil is a gaming franchise with a loyal fan base, and as such is also one that players wish to experience.

That said, remastered titles gave proved a tad hit or miss of late, and in particular have looked great in terms of visuals, but the gameplay could not always live up to the same level.

So does Resident Evil 3: Remake suffer from the same issue?

Major graphics bump

To compare the Remake to the 1999 original in terms of graphics is not fair. The latter was certainly cutting edge for its time, but Remake is definitely more than just a new lick of paint.

You notice it from the first few minutes of the game.

You wake up as the main protagonist Jill Valentine, walking around her darkened apartment and heading to the dimly lit bathroom where one of the taps is running. As you approach the tap, you gaze into the bathroom mirror and get a better look at Valentine – each strand of hair, the sweat on her brow and her piercing blue eyes – all there in rich detail.

This small element of the game shows you that painstaking effort has been made by the team at Capcom to ensure that Resident Evil 3: Remake is to the quality expected from modern title.

The same attention to detail has been paid to the other characters, Carlos’ blowing black locks move in a very natural way for example, and the gnarly, sinewy face and body of Nemisis (the main antagonist) is hard to forget.

The environment too has been given a remaster, and all these aspects together, show how Capcom has approached Resident Evil 3: Remake. From a visual perspective it is hard to fault, and in many instances can easily sit side-by-side with Biohazard, in terms of graphics.

Stifling gameplay

When it comes to remasters, there is give and take. With this title, the take is the gameplay, which feels like it is still stuck in the late 90’s for some reason.

We understand that there is only so much remastering that can be done to the gameplay before Capcom eventually ends up making an entirely new title, but there are definitely elements that showcase how limited the game feels.

The characters for example, move at an almost comically slow pace, even while running. We get that this is part and parcel of survival horror games, but here it feels like something is missing.

The weapons system could also use some refining. Jill Valentine is a special ops agent (S.T.A.R.S) after all, but even a handgun and assault rifle feel cumbersome when she is using them. The crosshairs for aiming also veer a bit too wildly for our liking. This is a forgivable mechanic for larger, high-powered weapons, but for smaller ones, makes little sense.

As such taking on a group of lumbering zombies becomes more of a chore than it really should. It ultimately means you’ll be inclined to avoid zombies whenever possible.

Again, this may be done to personal preference, but if the visuals have been updated, so should the gameplay.

Best of enemies

Apart from the gorgeous remastered graphics, our other favourite part of Resident Evil 3: Remake is the Nemesis. He’s an absolute tank and we could not get enough of the exchanges that Valentine had with it throughout the game.

From the moment he first crashes into her room, to the final boss battle, he provided us with plenty of jump scares, as well as a tactical challenge to fight against.

Our only gripe is that Nemesis’ actions and mechanics are a bit easy to figure out. This may be down to the gameplay still being limited to what was available during 1999, but chase scenes for example, never have the heightened drama that they should.

Regardless, if there is one reason to play Resident Evil 3: Remake again, it’s the chance to tangle with the Nemesis once more.

Final verdict

Now we get to the real drawback of this Remake – price. The game costs R929 on the PlayStation Store at the time of writing. That’s the same price you’d expect to pay for a new title, and quite frankly, Resident Evil 3: Remake does not offer a lot of game time at around six to seven hours for that price.

Yes, there is the nostalgia for those players who got to experience the original, but for those who did not, there is simply not enough bang for your buck here.

A better option might be the Racoon City bundle, which adds Resident Evil Resistance too, but that option is also pricey.

Any way you slice, Resident Evil 3: Remake, is a remastered game that looks amazing, but will not bring you back for more.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.