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Whilst the rest of the world battles Coronavirus, we've spent the last week battling our own pandemic in Resident Evil 3 Remake and here's our thoughts so far.

Developed and published by Capcom Resident Evil 3 is a remake of the 1999 Playstation one classic "Resident Evil 3: Nemesis" that releases on April 3rd 2020. The story is set in 1998, concurrently to the events of Resident Evil 2. Players control former police officer Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse caused by an outbreak of the T-Virus. She is hunted by an intelligent bio-weapon known as Nemesis, who attempts to kill her and all remaining members of her police division, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.). The game also follows the mercenary Carlos Oliveira, hired by Umbrella to help survivors. Unlike the original, which uses tank controls and fixed camera angles, the remake features third-person shooter gameplay similar to the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake. It also includes an online multiplayer mode, Resident Evil: Resistance, which puts a team of four players against a "mastermind" who can create traps, enemies, and other hazards. This review however will focus on Resident Evil 3 and its story mode. [1]

Graphic comparison between RE3 remake and the original
Graphic comparison between RE3 remake and the original

It’s quite fitting that in a world currently battling the COVID-19 virus, I got to sit down and play the latest Resident Evil title. The game actually starts with a news reporter stating that this current pandemic has spread faster than any disease in modern history; something that would be eerily familiar to those anyone who has watched the news recently. These similarities to the current climate, gave the story and gameplay of Resident Evil 3 even more meaning. A couple of things I did notice however, was the lack of "social distancing" measures and the glaringly obvious omission of the great toilet paper hoarding crisis that would have inevitably come before the events of RE3. I mean not once did I enter a building only to find a stash of toilet roll hiding in someone’s closet.

Capcom haven't always done the right thing by Resident evil or by its loyal fanbase, but it seems that after a couple of less successful new endeavours, they are comfortable resting on their laurels and cashing in on previous success. Some might think this is a bad thing, I however, love this idea. As long as our favourite games of yesteryear are remade in the way Capcom have remade Resident Evil 3, then I’m hoping this trend keeps up. Rather than a remaster, Resident Evil 3 has been rebuilt from the ground up - and it is glorious!

You wake up in your apartment as Jill Valentine, a former Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S) agent for the Raccoon City Police Department (R.P.D), mid pandemic. After getting your bearings and learning the basic controls, you're rudely interrupted by the games’ main enemy and massive pain in everybody's ass "Nemesis". It was about now that I was glad that I too had stocked up on toilet paper because Nemesis is genuinely terrifying! Not only is he disturbing to look at, but in true Resident Evil fashion he waits until the absolute worst time to jump out on you, leaving you needing regular underwear changes.

The opening 5 minutes of the game are filled with a mixture of basic player interaction and heavy cut-scenes; which are phenomenal. They are something straight out of a blockbuster action movie. Once you're past this part of the game, you set out into the big, bad, zombie infested hell hole that is Raccoon City. Using the same graphic engine as Resident Evil 2 remake, Resident Evil 3 looks absolutely stunning. The lighting, rain and fire effects are second to none and really add to the overall eeriness of the game. Being a long-time fan of the Resident Evil franchise and placing Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as one of my favourite all time games; I went into this expecting great things. Well, I am happy to say that great things is what I was delivered! During my review of Resident Evil 2 I said this "The first thing that I noticed about this remake was the graphics. I played with both the HDR enabled and disabled on my PS4 Pro and I came to the conclusion that I actually preferred it disabled. With HDR on, the game seemed brighter than it should be, which means the hallways and tunnels that are purposefully intended to be dark and eerie are no longer that way. I was able to see everything and completely lost the feeling that dark hallways and the unknown create; this is what Resident Evil is about. I can appreciate how some may prefer a lighter option, but it wasn’t for me. With the HDR off these hallways are perfect. Certain parts of the game were so dark that I had no way of seeing something without pointing my flashlight directly at it. This made navigating the hallways a genuinely scary and suspenseful task. Every corner was a breath holding moment where I was wondering what was on the other side! The RE engine is clearly amazing because the graphics in this game are outstanding." Thankfully this is no longer the case with Resident Evil 3 Remake. Capcom really seem to have fine tuned their HDR capabilities making the backs truly black and the whites crisp and clean, the dark scenes are truly dark making every corner and dark room truly terrifying to encounter.

Let’s talk a little more about Nemesis himself...... Nemesis, well, he now haunts my nightmares! Up until this game, I would have said that Tyrant was as bad as it got, in reference to haunting video game characters. Those incessant footsteps always only a few steps behind was enough to make anyone fear for their life. Well move over Tyrant! Nemesis takes Tryant and makes him look and feel a bit like this Thomas the Tank mod for RE2 did. Nemesis is big, quick, nimble and basically indestructible. I will give you a little advice on how to (at least at the early stages of the game) keep Nemesis at bay as much as possible and gain some sweet mods for your handgun while you're at it. One word = GRENADES. If you see a grenade, whatever you do PICK IT UP. These things, if thrown correctly, will temporarily take down Nemesis in 1 go. Upon take down, he will drop an Umbrella Corp branded crate, usually featuring either ammo or a weapon attachment, and will allow you a lot of much needed time to make your escape. Please note however, that the crates only drop once per separate encounter, so don't waste all your grenades at once expecting crate after crate.

Unlike Resident Evil 2 Remake, which leaned heavily on the puzzle and challenges aspect of the game, Resident Evil 3 remake leaned more on the action and shooter aspects of the gameplay. That being said, the challenges did feel some-what easy, there was never a moment that I felt challenged by a puzzle; as I have in previous Resident Evil titles. One cool aspect of the game for me, was the crossover and references to Resident Evil 2 remake. Through a certain portion of the game, you find yourself walking the same halls of the R.P.D that Leon Kennedy did in the RE2 Remake, some nice nostalgia as the actions you take have an impact on the experiences Leon has in RE2.