Capcom puts the "scare" back in "zombies" - Review By Tren
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is the latest title from Capcom's PlayStation catalogue to receive a quick port to the Dreamcast. However, this Resident Evil game is a bit different from the rest of the series.
The game fits neatly into the Resident Evil story and is equally compelling for new-comers and die-hard fans alike. Set after the original game's events, Nemesis begins before Resident Evil 2's events but actually finishes afterwards. It helps paint an even larger picture of the widespread chaos Umbrella's leaked T-Virus has caused, turning humans into zombied undead creatures. The original Resident Evil game saw the player explore the mansion the virus leak is believed to have originated from. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is set in nearby Racoon City, where a once thriving city has been infested with zombies.
Nemesis, whom the game's title is derived, is a giant killer zombie creature who continually stalks your character throughout the game. Seemingly created with the sole purpose of killing surviving members of the special squad your character is part of, this monster adds an extra element of increased constant tension to the tried and tested Resident Evil formula, but is it enough to keep the series fresh?
Apart from the major addition of the constant stalking from Nemesis, Resident Evil 3 is mostly business as usual. However, for Resident Evil fans who can't get enough of the game's atmosphere and excellent survival horror gameplay this is excellent news.
The higher resolution really brings out the beautiful textures and level of detail.
The game is set mostly within the decimated streets and buildings of Racoon City, with the player taking control of Special Squad S.T.A.R.S member Jill, who was the lead female character in the original Resident Evil. Compared to the other Resident Evil titles, the game delivers an incredible sense of immersion merely through the standard flat backdrops. Something lacking in some of Resident Evil: Code Veronica's occasionally bland backdrops is the level of detail found in Nemesis. Practically every still screen is packed with amazing detail. Most of this detail is completely irrelvant because it has no purpose within the game, but this is what contributes to a certain part of Resident Evil. Crashed cars, raging fires, dead bodies, and spectacular set pieces help induce feelings of chaotic terror. The animation is certainly improved in Resident Evil 3 over the earlier games, although it's still confined to looking like a later PSX port. Consistent with Resident Evil series, the weapons and enemy design are spot on and proves how talented Capcom's artists really are.
Nemesis, at least in my opinion, is the best in the series at constantly shocking and surprising you. Even more so than other Resident Evil games, the soundtrack is used to the best effect here being either misleadingly quiet, loud and horrifying, or ambient and scary. With the surprise element of Nemesis combined with such a haunting audio experience the game will shock you and keep you on the edge of your seat at the best of times. The plot is excellent despite not furthering the Resident Evil story much. The game is perfect to be played by itself or after only playing Code Veronica, as the storyline is never confusing but still complex enough to be compelling. Unlike Code Veronica, which introduced a human face to the Umbrella corporation in the form of the Ashford family, Resident Evil 3 doesn't tell you much extra about the whole virus "incident." Despite being immediately accesible and not much of a total plot contributor, Nemesis is far from predictable or boring.
When will people learn that guns and alcohol don't mix?
Like Code Veronica, Resident Evil 3 has just the one route through the game but this is improved with a new addition to the series, different paths at certain points. Whilst its nothing groundbreaking, there are a number of occasions where you must quickly choose a plot path which Jill will take. For example, at one point Nemesis has chased Jill into the old Racoon Press Office into a burning room. At this point you get a choice flashing up on screen whether you want Jill to jump out of a nearby window or whether she should hide in the burning room. As a result of this the game is the least linear of all the Resident Evil's so far, which certainly makes it feel a lot more like your controlling Jill's destiny, rather than playing out a predefined story in the game. Two other new addition found in Resident Evil 3 are health and ammo items positions differing every time you play the game from the start, as well as my particular favourite; the ability to mix your own ammo! Using the reloader device Jill starts with, along with collected gunpowder types the player can mix and match to create normal and special ammo types including explosive shotgun shells! Along with a selection of single player mission difficulty options, these extra options add a touch of longetivity to the game and make it all the more appealing to players new to the Resident Evil series.
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