The Insight: Horror Within The Resident Evil 3 Remake Makes The Heart Race And The Goosebumps Rise

By Ronald Gordon

Although I may not be a die hard fan of the franchise, Resident Evil still holds a special place in my heart when it comes to games that know just how to plant a seed of terror into their players. And after playing through the whole game, I can confidently say that the remake of Resident Evil 3 put my heart through the wringer. 

Resident Evil 3 is a survival horror game developed and published by Capcom and a remake of the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis game, which was released back in September of 1999 and features a similar storyline. You play as Supercop and former S.T.A.R.S Operative Jill Valentine, who must escape the zombie-infested streets of Raccoon City in order to avoid certain death at the hands of the unstoppable new Tyrant, Nemesis. 

The Resident Evil series has its own unique methods when it comes to instilling dread and anxiety with its tense atmosphere and the suspenseful feel of its gameplay, much like how John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place kept its viewers on edge because of how necessary silence was in that movie. Throughout the game, I was unnerved and anxious because of how many enemies were around and how little ammunition I had at my disposal. Much to my dismay, a single shot to the head didn’t finish off the walking undead that littered the streets. And there were even tougher enemies around, like the Hunters, claw-handed, tough-skinned beasts that wanted nothing more than to slit my throat and required even more ammo to take out. So I had to really think about rationing my arsenal and making sure I had something besides a combat knife with which to defend myself against the terrors that lie ahead. 

In addition to my fear of being defenseless, I also dreaded running into Nemesis, who was a recurring obstacle in Jill’s adventure. Unlike RE2’s Mr. X, who could be stopped temporarily by a few good hits, or perhaps an explosion, Nemesis is faster, tougher, and just downright terrifying. He can sprint after you, attack you with a long tentacle that extends from his arm, and even jump in front of you if you make it far enough. He wants you dead, and he isn’t going to stop until you are. On top of that, he shows up at the most inconvenient times, like when you’re surrounded by zombies or when you’re just about to escape a level. 

RE3 has amazing graphics and some of the most realistic-looking characters I’ve seen. I was astonished by the improvement when compared to the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis game. Everything from the old game got a new look. One of the best examples is Nemesis himself, who now has so much definition in his utterly grotesque appearance that I felt like I shouldn’t even want to look at him and should just stay several feet away whenever possible. Carlos, a secondary protagonist you play as in certain parts of the game, has an entirely different style, with curly black hair and a gruff stubble which, in contrast to his original clean-shaven and straight-haired design, gives him the hardened appearance of an authentic military man.  The music of the game is somber, driving home the dismal feel of Raccoon City and the grimness of Jill’s situation. In some situations, though, the music shifts; whenever Nemesis is present, for instance, the music becomes jarring and fast paced, forcing you into a state of mind that makes running feel like your only option. 

I loved the Resident Evil 3 Remake. Capcom has already shown its prowess with remodelling like the Resident Evil 2 Remake, but RE3 proves that they can do even better. The story was similar, but the characters and the environments were given a breath of fresh air, which greatly impacted the overall experience. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat when the game wanted me to be, and I nearly jumped for joy whenever I had the chance to take a breather. I’d wholeheartedly recommend RE3 to both die hard fans of the Resident Evil franchise, and those who, like me, aren’t avid followers of every game, but still appreciate a fine horror game with gameplay that makes the heart race and the goosebumps rise. 

Ronald Gordon is a senior intern for the New York Videogame Critics Circle. He attends City Tech College.

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