By 1999, the Resident Evil series was a well-established pillar of gaming. Capcom was determined to get as much out of the PlayStation as possible. Riding the high of Resident Evil 2, fans weren’t sure where Capcom could go with the franchise. Fortunately, there was a pretty open hole in the story.
Twenty-four hours before Leon and Claire would begin their journey, Jill Valentine is left stranded attempting to escape Racoon City as the Umbrella’s T-Virus begins turning the population into zombies. Unlike the mansion, Jill isn’t simply looking for an exit. Nemesis, a creature created by the Umbrella corporation to hunt down and kill members of S.T.A.R.S., is tracking her every move.
Resident Evil 3 controls just like the previous entries. We see the return of auto-aim, my biggest turn off to Resident Evil 2, a new dodge maneuver, and a few new weapons. You’re still dealing with the tank-controls and poor graphics. The map feels much larger in scope, but your adventure will be much shorter. It’s much easier to get lost or confused in Racoon City itself. There weren’t as many distinct places to remember.
The biggest addition is Nemesis himself. You’ll first encounter him early on, but he’s a constant presence. It’s not hard to get ahead of him, but you’ll want to keep up that pace. He’s an unkillable machine hell-bent on demoting Jill to the Bravo Unit… killing you. He is going to kill you a lot. You can temporarily stun him, but it will take a lot of ammo to slow him down. I preferred to keep moving constantly.
Resident Evil 2 did away with most of the cheesy B movie tropes the original used. Resident Evil 3 reintroduced a lot of it back into the soul of the game! The characterization of every face you meet, or tortured soul you read of, feels organic. You learn to empathize with those who were simply caught in the crossfire. Resident Evil 2 created tense moments, but Nemesis cranks that dial-up. Last time, I was caught off guard by certain enemies or scenes. Now, I genuinely tense up when I see Nemesis come bursting in.
For years, I’ve avoided the original Resident Evil trilogy because of how they control. Resident Evil has always been about pushing limits, and RE3 truly makes a mountain out of the molehill that was the PlayStation. Truthfully, I think the only reason to go back to the humble beginning is novelty. If you have no nostalgia, there’s almost no substance for you. That being said, the trilogy is iconic gaming history that should at least be looked at. Resident Evil 3 is the perfect type of game to close out this saga of Capcom’s history.