Resident Evil 3’s Remake Is Great Even If You Don’t Like Horror Games


Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 is more a reimagining of the 1999 original than a true remake, and that means it sheds much of the survival horror elements that early games in the series are known for. Resident Evil 3′s focus on action has led to a fair amount of criticism from fans expecting a more faithful remake, but RE3 is a great game on its own – one that can be enjoyed even by those usually intimidated by horror games.

The Resident Evil 3 remake changes a number of aspects of the original, ditching the fixed camera angles for over-the-shoulder, third-person gameplay and creating a single, linear storyline. The RE3 remake removes characters from the game and cuts several areas, including the original’s beloved Clock Tower. Fan scores on Metacritic are mixed on account of these changes, but the game has largely been well-received in Resident Evil 3 critic reviews, which found it to be a fun ride despite the alterations.

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And it’s certainly very different from the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The PS1 game was more action-focused than its series predecessors, but it was still a relatively slow-paced survival horror game. 2020’s Resident Evil 3, on the other hand, is a horror game in theme only. Rather than sustained fear and dread, players instead encounter self-contained “horror set pieces” separated by exploration, action, cutscenes, and inventory management. The biggest scares come from protagonist Jill Valentine’s hulking stalker, Nemesis, but the monster leaves players alone for large sections of the game, when it’s fairly clear he won’t jump out and startle them.

Plenty of intimidating enemies do show up, but players are almost always well-equipped to deal with them: This is no Anmesia, where players can only run, defenseless from pursuers. Jill has a full arsenal of weapons, like a powerful shotgun and a deadly grenade launcher, and ammo is plentifully scattered around the world. This ammo is still limited enough on Normal difficulty to make thoughtful preparation important, but it’s common enough that things feel fair. Jill’s improved dodge ability also makes getting away from enemies easier than in many other horror games, even allowing for some slow-motion shots at the attacker if timed correctly.

Importantly, the lack of scares and increased action don’t hurt the game. It may not have done its job as a remake, but it’s still a good game in its own right. Exploring Raccoon City, dodging zombies, and blasting monsters is a ton of fun, and Resident Evil 3 is the perfect way for players to experience the early Resident Evil games’ intriguing universe and intricate world design without the constant fear of being scared to death. Think of Resident Evil 3 not as a deliberate, tense attempt to escape a looming threat but as an Uncharted game with a zombie theme. The emphasis is on exploring fairly straightforward levels, engaging in fun combat encounters, and taking down occasional tough bosses, not on an unending, jaw-clenching worry. This all makes Resident Evil 3 a great game that anyone can enjoy, not in spite of its lack of horror, but by its own, action-heavy design.

Resident Evil 3 released for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 3, 2020.

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