Reviewed on Xbox One X
The Resident Evil 3 Remake demo builds upon the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake and expands upon it. I found the roughly 20-30 minute experience to be entertainingly terrifying and fun. I am relatively new to the Resident Evil franchise. In fact, I skipped RE2 at launch last year and only recently started playing it. I’m working to finish RE2 before 3 releases. I paused RE2 to try the Demo for 3 and right away noticed similarities and differences. While RE2 at times feels like a haunted house simulator (Albeit a really good one) finding myself several hours in and not really going outside yet, the Resident Evil 3 demo right away takes us outside. Since the games were developed in close proximity to each other they have a very similar feel and look much in the same way Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey feel like the same game taking place in different areas. RE3 and RE2 share a look but also share a UI, menu system. This isn’t a bad thing as like the Assassin’s Creed example, this strategy of overlapping “multi-game development” and reusing UI/menus can yield higher quality sequels in closer proximity. RE2 won multiple Game of the Year nominations in 2019 so their need to not reinvent the wheel makes sense to me.
(Jill Valentine Trailer)
I will point out that the character models did look more polished and higher resolution that my side by side play-through in RE2. This may be do to demos often being artificially polished up because games are unfinished during demos. This is why often time E3 demos Vs Release controversies occur. However with the demo dropping so close to release I doubt this is the case. I thought the main cut scene in the demo had Jill looking even higher resolution and better than Claire or Leon did in RE2. RE2 looks gorgeous don’t get me wrong, I just felt theres a small graphical upgrade here.
I will say the best part of the game was the atmosphere. It offers a genuine balanced suspenseful atmosphere that doesn’t rely too heavily on cheap jump scares or too over-the-top gore.
This part may be a gamer preference thing, but there’s an always perceived scale on how “hand-holdy” games can be. “Ease” or difficultly aside, some games continuously point the way towards your objective. Others drop you on a map and tell you absolutely nothing. The remake RE games seem skewed almost to the edge of the later. In RE2 you have to find some obscure item on one side of the map, combine it with some random batteries, and take it to some random spot, all with the game telling you pretty much nothing.
So far, RE3 felt the same. At least in the demo the game eventually tells you you have to get past a hallway on fire with some distant object slightly more clear.
If you prefer games with more puzzle and intuition as to what to do next you will enjoy RE3.
I will also point out that these games seem to enjoy more “struggle to survive” over running and gunning down zombies. If you want mindless shooting and action this is not the game for you. If you’ve enjoyed Call of Duty Zombies modes or World War Z from last year, this is very different. I often found myself getting impatient and just wanting to shoot when the game clearly wants you to be stealthy and slow.
I kept being confronted by the math that the zombies take 2-3 head shots and I had 5 bullets and there’s several zombies ahead of me. Even when you slowly collect bullets, your rate of fire is slow, delayed, and the game’s aim is... for lack of a technical term, “wonky”. Combine that with “wobbly” zombies that stumble across the room; this game makes even the best marksmen in other games find it difficult to shoot a zombie 6 feet away.
I won’t spoilt the end of the Demo, it is short enough that I just recommend giving it try before release. Whether you are a long term Resident Evil fan or a new arrival like myself, I think Resident Evil 3 will be worth it at launch.
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