After completing the recently released, Resident Evil 3 Remakeit’s clear how under appreciated this game truly is. Coming off of the heels of the spectacular Resident Evil 2 Remake, the sequel had high expectations to live up to. From not being long enough, little replay value, and a stronger emphasis on action instead of survival horror, fans of the series had their fair share of gripes. What needs to be said though is that despite all of these shortcomings, Resident Evil 3 remains a highlight for the series. Yes, it is not as perfectly executed as its predecessor, but that by no means makes this a bad title. There is still plenty to offer which makes this a title worth checking out.

Resident Evil 3

For starters, it must be known that this title was originally conceived as a spin-off to Resident Evil 2. The true sequel could be found in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, but because Sony wished to have a proper numbered iteration to their platform, Resident Evil 3 was born. This is why many of the same set pieces and assets were used throughout the campaign. That explains why you’ll see places like the RCPD reappear looking exactly the same. This doesn’t excuse the game’s length, though. Yes, it is a fairly short experience with an initial run through lasting around five to six hours. Where Resident Evil 2 had a meaty story with over ten hours, thanks to its inclusion of two characters, its sequel falls flat. Yet, there is still so much that can be uncovered in terms of lore and gameplay. Figuring out what was going on before and after the events of the previous game is incredibly interesting and brings the world to life. Also, this game is not intended to be that long. It delivers the story it sets out to in a concise manner without feeling dragged on. There are no artificial paddings to the experience nor are there any bullet sponge bosses or enemies. Everything feels to the point which, during a time where there are some overly long open-world titles, is much appreciated.

If you were a fan of Resident Evil 2, then you may be surprised to find the lack of puzzles and exploration this title has to offer. Playing as Jill Valentine means more action compared to Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, yet the introduction of Carlos Oliveira elevates the action to a new level. Running around areas in search of key items to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles is found much less. This isn’t necessarily bad though as this presents new gameplay opportunities and barriers to overcome. When taking control of Jill, players have a more similar style to that of the previous title where there are some light puzzles and horror elements that feels at home to the series. Carlos, though, is more run-and-gun with sequences featuring a large number of infected coming towards you. They’re both fun in their own respects but the Nemesis leaves more to be desired. Nemesis is definitely a tougher foe but is nowhere near as daunting as Mr. X was. Instead, there are a few chase sequences and boss battles but it doesn’t feel as big as a presence it should be. Despite this, gameplay remains a highlight and offers enough exploration to feel like a worthy successor in the Resident Evil franchise.

Resident Evil 3 does not have the benefit of having two high-caliber characters as its predecessor does. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy are some of the best the series has to offer compared to Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira. Jill is a great character in her own right and is definitely able to carry the game by herself. She’s also a well-known character at this point in the story as her and Claire’s brother, Chris, were the main protagonists for Resident Evil 1. Carlos doesn’t have much personality to offer here which is a problem. He doesn’t have much backstory presented or enough lines of dialogue to make the players feel attached to him. Playing through this, I cared very little about Carlos due to his lack of depth. Fleshing him out would have made for a better overall experience and could also contribute to a longer story length. Yet, there were instances with side characters that were enjoyable and did provide a bit more depth to the overall atmosphere.

It isn’t really fair to compare this game to Resident Evil 2 so closely. They both are different experiences that should share their own respective praises. Both do utilize the same engine but the cast of characters, story beats, and gameplay experiences are their own. Resident Evil 3 does have its shortcomings but that by no means makes this a bad game or an experience to skip. There is still so much lore to be uncovered and a plot that contributes to the rest of the franchise’s future. It may not be one of the greatest games of all time but that’s an incredibly daunting task to live up to for any game. Following up a title that received acclaim of that caliber is no easy task and unfortunately expectations may have been raised too high. Resident Evil 3 is a highlight in the franchise and deserves much more appreciation rather than strong backlash.

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