Continuing in the horrifying, puss-filled vein that is survival horror, today I’m looking at Resident Evil 3, or Biohazard 3 as we call it over here.
Resident Evil three, or Biohazard 3 as we call it over here was an interesting addition to the Resident Evil family. I remember playing it being a ton of fun and since I also played it multiple times it definitely managed to keep my attention pretty well. Not always easy to do as I’m not really much of a video game guy.
The first two games basically set the standard for the “monsters-in-a-spooky-house” style game on Playstation. In both cases the main characters ran around large buildings solving puzzles and fighting off the dead. In Resident Evil 3 the designers decided to get away from that gimmick and make the action feel as if it were happening in a much larger area. The story follows our hero from the first game, Jill Valentine through the town of Raccoon City during the apocalyptic final hours of its existence. By setting the action in the open and around the city we got a much better feel for the town as a whole. At the time the programming and game engines weren’t able to create the massive areas we see in games like GTA and still maintain the sort of puzzle based, story driven game that Resident Evil is. It was essentially the first attempt in the series to try and make the world seem larger. To make us feel we were out there in the action.
One great thing about the game is the return of the heroine from the original game, Jill Valentine. This gave gamers a great chance to reconnect with a beloved character and expand on her story a bit. It also didn’t hurt that they put her in a sexy outfit which appealed to the mostly male gamers playing RE3.
The game mechanics continued to evolve here allowing for better dodging and running and more accurate control of the character. If you’ve gone back and played the original game after playing this one, the original controls are notably clunkier and harder to use. Funny how at the time they seemed great but they’re hard to go back to.
For the most part this game feels more like a refinement instead of a major leap forward. Not a bad thing but the incremental advancement is a little less satisfying when we compare the game to modern ones. At the time, it felt like a natural next step and a welcome addition to the game family.
The draw backs of this game are pretty similar to the previous games and tend to fall under the category of ridiculous plot and unrealistic characterization. We might say the graphics are pretty bad by today’s standards but that would be judging them out of context. The standard things that jump out at me as seeming silly is the way the virus mutates animals into monsters, the way key items sparkle when you enter a room, the silliness of some of the puzzles and the generally cartoonish action throughout the game. It’s not such a bad thing in context though as it is a game.
Nemesis, the main enemy in this game is one mean mother. He’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a thing who keeps popping up, seemingly at random as you move throughout the game and who continues to menace you right up until the end. Of all the enemies in the Resident Evil universe, this character definitely made a huge impact.