Resident Evil 3 review: A tale of two game experiences

Capcom /
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Resident Evil 3 - Nemesis
Capcom /

Action-Adventure vs. Puzzle Horror

Resident Evil 3’s story starts off with a bang. Nemesis is the very first monstrosity Jill encounters, and he is hunting her relentlessly. She is required to get away from him through various action sequences at the start.

These scenes were a blast to play through. Some of them featured unique camera angles that added to my interest. Once she reaches safety, she is informed of Raccoon City’s infection and it is at its peak.

This is significantly different from what Resident Evil 2 did, which placed characters in the infected city well after its tipping point. Resident Evil 3’s set pieces are full of stories themselves due to the game being set in the midst of the infection. Zombies are banging against fences, doors are barricaded, and there are plenty of people still alive. Running the game on an Xbox One X made these areas even more stunning. Character models — Jill’s facial expressions especially — were brilliantly animated.

When it comes to gameplay, Resident Evil 3 turns off the beaten path of horror and puzzles. There are no puzzles in Resident Evil 3‘s story, which I personally enjoyed more. Resident Evil 2’s settings are centered around puzzles, and I was happy to see them gone. There is also a lot less backtracking. The areas Jill is given access to are limited, and I was capable of exploring most of it all at once. The only time I would have to backtrack was when I wanted to open a locker with a lockpick or remove a set of chains from a gun case.

Resident Evil 3 fits into the action-adventure genre more than its horror bloodline. I never felt scared or tense during Resident Evil 3‘s six-hour campaign. There are plenty of grotesque creatures, and Nemesis is certainly a formidable foe, but neither could really scare me. I was disappointed because its predecessor was exceptional at the task. Instead of being scared, I was having a blast dodging Nemesis’ rocket launcher and fighting off waves of zombies as Carlos.