Resident Evil 2 was a success and Capcom knew they had a good series on their hands here, and people wanted more. There were a few spin offs around, Resident Evil: Survivor and a dual shock edition of RE2 for example, but people wanted a new one. What direction would they take with this one? The stalking tyrant from RE2 was terrifying and it definitely brought a new direction to the series as well as the increased amount of action and the new direction of the plot.
Jill Valentine is back. We were already aware that no one believed S.T.A.R.S. after the mansion incident and they were up shit creek without a paddle, and now Jill needs to make a desperate escape, and that’s where to game starts off. The city has gone to shit and takes place 1 hour before Resident Evil 2 as well as 1 hour after after a certain part. Doesn’t make much of a difference to the plot, but it adds to the fact that more and more happened in Raccoon City than we know.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis came, saw and conquered. It was a brilliant game. It combined action with suspense by introducing an even worse stalker than Mr. X from RE2 in the form of the Nemesis. He was massive, fast, powerful and could come at you at any time and actually chased you even if you left the area. It was terrifying, even if he did appear you could just skip past like Mr. X and not fight him again; Nemesis was faster than you and would follow you through a door.
It was pre-rendered backgrounds again and 3D models for moving stuff. Still looking good but you get the feeling they’re going to have to have proper graphics soon to keep up with competition, but still nice to look at. With it being based in Raccoon City it was all city based (almost) and looked really good, some locations were a bit over done though like yet another industrial area, every Resident Evil game up to now including one.
Overall the game is an absolute barnstormer and has loads of sequences and features to keep you going, particularly the mercenaries mode that can keep you occupies for days. Well known for its action and horror blend, this is one of the finer points of the Resident Evil franchise, with the Nemesis getting cult status as well.
Although happening at the same time, RE3’s plot is its own. No one believes Jill and S.T.A.R.S. story, and then the zombies came and she needs to get out. There isn’t so much of a premise with RE3 as with the others. With RE3 the plot is a case of, “there are zombies and something chasing me, I don’t know what it is, but I need to get out.” And that helps keep the game simple for first time players. No Wesker, no Ada, no Umbrella.
There is a group of militants from the U.B.C.S or something or other, but even they don’t confuse the plot or anything. They’re dodgy and you’re not sure about Nikolai, but not bogged down by a heavy mystery here. There’s too much going on for that.
It’s fair to say RE3 is a self contained game, it has a plot but it doesn’t weigh too heavily on the series as a whole, there’s no further explanation of the overlying storyline with Wesker and Umbrella but it doesn’t add much to it either, I found this to be one of the better aspects of the game – to keep it simple and all about the then and now.
Overall, Resident Evil 3 has it’s own self contained plot and it is good and it doesn’t progress nicely, but it is quite simplified and focuses more on what’s going on and more importantly, when will the Nemesis stop.
Resident Evil 3 incorporates the same tank controls as RE2 now with addition of a 180 quick turn and dodging.
With precise timing the player can make Jill avoid an attack altogether, almost essential to survival against the Nemesis with his speed and power. Sometimes it looks superhuman how Jill could dodge some of the things, but all in all a good addition.
The 180 turn however you think to yourself “how did I manage WITHOUT this?”. Turning around quickly is such a small thing, but so handy in a game like RE because of how stiff and tanky the controls are. You become such more mobile with this 180 turn. The turn stayed in the Resident Evil franchise as of this game, when you play RE and RE2 that’s when you realise how handy it is.
However, there wasn’t really much else that was new in terms of the gameplay, it was same old, same old. You could make your own bullets, but even that was just combine one thing with another and didn’t break any new ground. Nope, the tank controls of RE were still here and still “fine. P.S. being able to up and down stairs on your own was great!
With it still being pre-rendered there wasn’t much more they could do with game really, unless they went full 3D. But they obviously didn’t think the PS1 was able to handle their vision for that (they waited for the Dreamcast for that). The 3D models used for characters and monsters had been improved greatly, with better smoothing and textures, but characters still had a lot of blocky features.
CGI was back with more use, detailing a few of the scenes. Still looking quite good, especially when the Nemesis was involved, some of the scenes were spectacular, especially the “brad scene” or even the opening scene. Faces seemed a lot better this time around from RE2, but everything else was just as good but not THAT much better.
There is still that problem that lingers that it is so obvious what a puzzle by the graphics, so you knew if you had to push something just by the way it looked, but that was all about to change AFTE RE3, but this one was the last to suffer it.
Overall the game looked good, but it was more of another upgrade rather than anything mind blowing. It looked the part at it’s time of release with some flashes of brilliant, but the same problem of graphic clashes occurred when you went from a CGI back to the game, or when there’s a 3d object plonked in the pre rendered background.
The sounds of RE3 were one of it’s finer features. The noises of the city were great, it was quiet…apart from the monsters. And there was a sense of no hope about the whole thing, one of my favourite tracks from the game is “city of ruin” and it encapsulates the hopeless of Raccoon City.
Even when there was no music though, there was a wind around, crows, dogs and god knows what else that set the tone. Capcom knew where there should be music or none and RE3 demonstrated that.
However, now there was a new threat…the Nemesis. And he brought with him his own music. From explosive and boss like if he was in the room, to ultra tense if he was nearby and could strike at any time.
His final boss theme is one of the best in Resident Evil as well, really capturing what the Nemesis “stood for”.
Overall, if there’s any part of RE3 that is outstanding, it’s the music. It was always picked correctly and time perfectly to suit all of the moments the game had, especially that final boss theme.
RE3 was brilliant, and the critics could see that as well. Nemesis really stole the show and even now features in a few top 10 villain list and that kind of thing. It got high 80’s and 90’s and was another Resident Evil hit.
For obvious reasons it was the Nemesis that had the biggest impact, people were terrified of the way he could attack at you and then chase you all over the place. Not only that, he really could take a beating so you really couldn’t fight him all the time on the first play through of the game. He was so tough that it was like 10 boss fights in this game. And everyone loved it.
All in all it was instant hit, and one of the Resident Evil moments that really stood out. And even today people STILL remember how much of a bastard Nemesis was and his appearance is one of the most famous video game moments.
The legacy of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is the title of “it could be one of the best Resi’s” and things like that. Because it was. The third game of most sequels can be dodgy, but not this one. It was a solid game with solid gameplay and some of the mot memorable moments.
The 180 turn stayed around as well for future RE games, especially the tank ones. Dodging however did not. But that’s probably due to the tank controls being a thing of the past soon enough…
But although the game as a whole was good. It was the Nemesis and moments with the Nemesis that stole the show, and a lot of games after RE3 used a menacing stalker in their gameplay. Quite a legacy.
Overall, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was a bit of a masterpiece, a cracking game. Great blend of action and horror. If only Capcom were able to keep that type of blend as it was here rather than action-horror they became a few years late. But that’s an article for another time!