A little over a year ago, I wrote a piece on Resident Evil 2 Remake‘s reveal trailers, which showcased a tremendous amount of info across both of them — with some of that info lasting fractions of seconds on screen. Here, I’ll be doing the same with Resident Evil 3 Remake, which was revealed officially earlier this morning. I’m a little buzzed from the hype, but that will only fuel my thirst to talk about this. Between the reveal trailer and the ‘Special Developer Video,’ we have a lot to go over, so without further ado, let’s dive right back into the world of survival horror…
The trailer opens, charmingly, with an overview of Resident Evil 2‘s story, tracking the time (incredible dedication to lore fun fact: the timestamps they show line up with the timestamps shown for RE2’s chronology in the Resident Evil Archives reference book). However, hours before Leon and Claire’s nightmare was over, an entire city’s had only just begun.
First things first, something we can all speculate the meaning of: are these first-person, flashy cutscene sections made just for the trailer or indicative of a first-person mode? It’s hard to say at the moment, although something about the camera bob in certain places feels weirdly stiff, in a “controlled by a control stick” kind of way. It might be nothing at all though. Anyway, starting at the 00:42 mark (where we’re greeted with the date and location), we see a lengthy sequence of Jill racing through what appears to be her apartment building (a location previously only just barely seen in the original game, but we’ll go over that later). There isn’t all that much to talk about here, as most of the apartment is fairly non-descript, although we do get a few glimpses of Nemesis’s full body (albeit heavily obscured by shadow and screen shaking), first at the 00:47 mark, then again at the 00:51 mark.
Jill makes it outside onto the catwalk, where we get a nice, sweeping view of Raccoon City. The main thing to note here is what part of it we’re seeing — or at least what elements it’s recreating. What appears to a white van that could possibly be a Kendo Gunshop van (several of which are parked around Raccoon), although it is worth noting that there’s no logo visible. You can see the clearest shot at 1:08.
Next up is another shot of Nemesis, smashing down through the floor/roof and uttering the one and only word he’s known for. Jill nopes the fuck out, as The Pursuer gains its footing at 1:13 and seems to brace up the collapsing roof at 1:21.
We get our first clear look at Jill Valentine and her new design, with what I assume to be Brad Vickers (the famously wussy helicopter pilot from RE1, and fellow S.T.A.R.S. officer) calling out to get her attention at 1:33.
At 1:37, we get a top-down view of the street, showing what could possibly be the aftermath of Resident Evil 3‘s classic opening with a police barricade left a graveyard. Interesting to note here is a neon sign for “Sigourney” in the upper left of the shot (perhaps the name of the apartment building or just a nearby hotel, based on the design). I can only assume this is a shout-out to Sigourney Weaver, who played space trucker turned hardened Xeno killer Ripley from the Alien franchise (which was a major influence on the original Resident Evil trilogy). We can also just barely make out “Bar Jack,” although we’ll get a better look at that later.
We continue to see imagery of the denizens of Raccoon City turned flesh-eating undead cannibals – a tremendous amount of which appear to be cops. Perhaps because this takes place in an area near that aforementioned failed barricade. But then we get some real meat at 1:43, with our first look at UBCS Captain Mikhail Viktor (who, if you haven’t played the original RE3, is a goddamned hero). Curiously, his beret now bears a newly designed UBCS logo, which ditches the swords and shield sigil it’s borne in every instance of the organization since it’s debut in RE3. We also see some posters on the interior of the subway car (yes, subway car, we’ll get to that in a bit), which feel strangely modern for 1998, but they might honestly be recycled from DMC5 or something for the time being.
In the very next shot, at 1:46, we can see two other figures in the car beyond. In the original RE3, Jill had a conversation with Mikhail one on one, while Carlos and Nicholi spoke in the other car. The blue-clothed figure doesn’t look like a UBCS soldier, though, which makes me wonder if this incarnation of UBCS Delta Platoon managed to actually save some civilians.
Here, we get a shot of what looks like the interior of the Stagla gas station garage. You can see a box of Steel Boy shotgun rounds imported from REmake 2 sitting on a push-cart, and a stairway leading up to a door. This is at 1:47.
Cutting from that, to who Jill was running towards in the garage, we find UBCS Sniper Murphy Seeker, a friend of Carlos’ who met a bitter end in the original RE3. He… looks more or less like he always has, beanie included. This is at 1:48.
Now at 1:52, we get our first real look at S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team pilot Brad Vickers, who was teased in REmake 2. Fittingly, he resembles Bill Paxton (Hudson from Aliens), as he explains the Nemesis to Jill in the midst of what looks like an RPD evacuation operation.
We get our first (very, very brief) glimpse at UBCS Sgt. Nicholi Ginovaef at 1:55. He’s hard to make out, but there’s no one else that could be. The Silver Fox’s role in RE3, not to mention during the Raccoon City outbreak as a whole, is something I eagerly look forward to being recreated.
Next at 1:56, we see UBCS Corporal Tyrell Patrick (I’m very surprised that they showed off the entire UBCS, at least the entirety of the ones we actually meet in RE3) leading an operation into what should be very familiar territory, as we’ll see in the next shot.
Yep, that’s the R.P.D. alright, they aren’t just saying it. Carlos and Tyrell are heading down the stairs to the underpass room Leon/Claire enter at the start of the 2nd scenario in REmake 2. Revisiting the R.P.D. was always part of RE3, but as Jill, not the UBCS. I’m curious to know if this is just a cutscene or if we’ll actually be playing as Carlos here. Even more than that, if we are playing as Carlos (which we do in the original RE3, but only for one brief section), does this indicate that we might be bouncing back and forth between him and Jill? Or could they possibly have two separate campaigns (which would be a massive change)? I’m also curious as to when this will be taking place. I’d like to see the RPD building when it wasn’t a total wreck yet. Anyway, RPD. Sounds like they’re trying to get to the S.T.A.R.S. office (which was Jill’s goal in the original RE3, to get her
safety pin lockpick). This is at 1:57.
Hard cut to 1:58 to get our first close-up of the new, much more haggard-looking UBCS Corporal Carlos Olivera. Personally, I feel that this look fits the ex-guerrilla mercenary turned corporate bug hunt mercenary a lot more than “Leon, but Hispanic” did in the original RE3.
At 2:04 we get our first look at Jill’s apartment, a location we really haven’t seen before. We can see her bed in the opening of the original RE3 as a still-image piece of art, but after that, we immediately cut to her escaping the building. I’m curious if this space will only exist in a cutscene or if it will be explorable to some degree.
The next shot I’m…very interested in, largely because I have no idea who this is. Using a bit of friend-aided sleuthing (thanks, Steven), our best guess is a character referenced on the Collector’s Edition map of Raccoon City — Dr. Bard, who seems to be located at the R.P.D. building (based on where the note is pointing). Finding him might be why Carlos and Tyrell are visiting the station. This is at 2:08.
Next, at 2:09 is a shot of a pretty classic map with red strings and newspaper clipping collage. While a lot of it is hard to make out, there’s a clipping from the Raccoon Times, a photo of the exterior of the R.P.D. building, a photo that might be of Annette Birkin and a photo of a man in a tie. That photo could be of nobody we actually find out about, Dr. Bard or (and this is pure speculation) Mayor Micheal Warren, who has never made an appearance in any of the games. It’s also neat seeing the map and referencing how it’s changed from the original (which is surprisingly little, actually).
As long as we’re on the subject, let’s do a brief dive into the map. The biggest differences are the complete removal of the Central Street tram station and surrounding geography (including City Hall), replaced by Redstone Street Station, which is presumably the Raccoon City subway. The subway isn’t new, it was introduced in Outbreak File 2 and even briefly shown in REmake 2‘s intro, but it seems to have completely replaced the tramway. The Redstone line follows the exact same path the Central Street line did originally. Warren Street and the buildings around it appear to have been swapped out for a new Electrical Substation. This presumably takes the place of the substation from the original game, although it’s massive now. Nearly the same size as the R.P.D., it looks as if it will be taking up a major chunk of our playtime (the substation in the original game was a hallway and three rooms, and included another insipid power level puzzle). There are various notes on the map regarding locations we could be visiting, including a subway office, a pharmacy and several that are too small to see in the website stand-alone image.
There’s also a note in roughly the center of the map regarding a “S.T.A.R.S. survivor confirmed,” which leads me to believe these notes are made by the UBCS, not Jill. To linger on the note a little longer, the Resident Evil website gives Jill a little pre-game bio, explaining why she’s still in the city. Evidently, Umbrella had placed her under observation. It’s no wonder that the UBCS would know her location without even meeting her yet.
Next is something that begins one of the most intriguing elements of this whole reveal to me, but it’s too early yet to go into much detail. The shot shows Jill bent over her sink and woozy with a headache of some kind. This is at 2:10.
Next is another shot of Carlos in the subway (presumably due to the “fare” sign behind him), saying “What’s wrong with Umbrella?” with a decidedly non-Hispanic accent. Carlos’ accent has been MIA since the original RE3, never to appear in either of his appearances since (The Umbrella Chronicles and Operation Raccoon City). After this, though, we get a shot of Jill racing towards a helicopter on top of a parking structure. While this scene may appear entirely new, we’ll come back to it in a few frames to get the whole picture. This is at 2:13.
Next at 2:13 is a brief shot of some gunplay, at what appears to be that new power substation. I adore the color present here, in general, Resident Evil 3 looks to be pushing hard on bright colors, rather than the mostly muted greys and blues of REmake 2. We also get to see a little of Jill’s “battle damage.” REmake 2 used a dynamic system of texture modifiers to tremendous effect to make Leon and Claire appear dirty, blood-splattered and injured. Jill is following suit, with visible cuts, scrapes and traces of mud covering her shoulder and arms.
We get a quick shot of Jill being bitten and then elbowing the zed off of her, before switching to a shot of Brad at 2:14 calling her, or perhaps her and a group, towards Bar Jack (the location Jill and Brad originally met up in the original Resident Evil 3).
Next we hear Jill, perhaps responding to Carlos’ question, saying “You guys are the ones who caused all this!”, with footage of her running through a dimly lit hallway at 2:16. There’s no way of knowing where this is, so it’s basically useless to speculate. It is one of the few clear shots we have of the back of her costume, though, so that’s neat.
2:17 gives us another look at Mikhail, but it’s also one of the clearer shots of Jill’s face, beyond the opening. I’m curious what the context of this is as well, as it gives the impression that she’s been asked to step out, while the UBCS commiserate.
It isn’t finally over in this shot, which is still at the 2:17 mark, as the rescue chopper Jill was running towards is destroyed in an explosion, possibly caused by a certain toothy boi.
This next shot, at the 2:18 mark, has been driving fans absolutely crazy — the first look at this game’s Hunter β. It’s mostly obscured by shadow, but the promise of what could be done with these things is exciting as all hell.
Finally, a clear shot at Nicholi’s face, lasting only a few frames at the 2:18 mark, immediately after the Hunter.
This next shot, at 2:19, is a bit difficult to figure out. It appears that Jill’s jumping out of the way of something, perhaps the crashing wreckage of the helicopter.
Still, at 2:19, we find Jill inside of an upturned car or truck. There’s nothing like this in the original Resident Evil 3, so I’m super curious to see how this unfolds.
Now here we go, the thing that I’m the most interested in out of all of this. We return to Jill standing over her sink, now looking at herself in the mirror, at 2:20.
“We’ve gotta be dreaming.” Jill sees herself now, zombified, putrid, a hallucination of a nightmare.
Jill flashes back and forth between reality and nightmare multiple times until the Resident Evil 3 logo appears. My only question here is , what are we seeing here? Is this truly a nightmare? An intro cutscene where she’s just having a bad dream? Or could this be indicative of hallucinations? Spoilers, if you’re unaware, Jill becomes infected about halfway through Resident Evil 3 and it’s very possible Jill could have viral-induced hallucinations afterward. The idea that Jill could go through Dead Space 2 style hallucinations, possibly even to the point that she could be exploring say, the Clock Tower, and suddenly find herself inside the Spencer Mansion, is like a nightmare come true. There’s almost no use speculating at the moment, but the imagery is so striking that I feel there has to be something more to it, especially since its how we close out the trailer.
Well, it would be the end of the trailer, except there’s one last journey to take. With some super Resident Evil: Apocolypse vibes, we see Umbrella lab technicians preparing Nemesis, the T-Type Pursuer, for battle. Not that I doubt RE Engine’s ability to create nigh-photorealistic visuals, but the footage here looks… a bit too real, if you know what I mean. As in live-action footage. Anyway, we see injections and tubes and a giant machine heart thing plugged into Nemmy’s chest at 2:38.
There isn’t much to discuss for the most part, but one thing did catch my eye when put in relation to some of the screenshots released (again, thanks Steven). So, at 2:39 we get a few rapid-fire shots of Nemesis being loaded aboard a helicopter in a sort of carrier-pod casket. While we had seen how Mr. X was deployed into Raccoon City (in the original RE2 at least), Nemesis always just sort of… showed up. Here, however, we see him loaded up. Note the yellow stripe:
Now, this is interesting just as its own “Hey, that’s neat” sort of deal, but when looking through the screens we’ve seen, something stands out — a giant, casket-like case smashed into the center of the frame, (just in front of the firetruck) with a notable yellow stripe:
This is as good a time as any to go further in-depth with the screenshots. While there’s a lot of fun things to look at here, the Cinema, the Jazz Night club, Hotel, etc, it’s worth noting that this is directly in front of the R.P.D. building. You can see it off in the distance here, and again behind the oncoming horde in this shot (you can even just barely make out the logo):
That also seems to be the same parking structure Jill tries to grab a chopper from in the trailer, meaning that the majority of the trailer is very focused on this area. That doesn’t mean the whole damn game is set on this one street, just that a lot happens in a short amount of time here. I get a serious opening spectacle setpiece vibe from this. To emphasize even further, turning to the right at this same angle, we can see Bar Jack again.
And again, here, we look directly to Jill’s right, at the Cinema (and Brad, waving on survivors):
This image of Jill pumping a shotgun (which appears to be Richard’s S.T.A.R.S. Custom Assualt Shotgun from REmake 1, although it could just be a regular Benelli M4 Tactical Shotgun with a telescoping stock) in front of what looks like a diner/donut shop or something:
There’s Nemmy himself, resplendent in his new look, which looks goddamn amazing in this action pose. It was surprising to me that they didn’t show him off that much in the trailer, but are showing him all over the place in still images. It appears that the big iron heart is completely external – a metal casing over its real heart, as opposed to having it completely exposed like a Tyrant. Visually, it helps add another layer of upgrade distinct from a Tyrant, while also coming off as a haphazard retro-fit of a Tyrant. It’s a very cool look for an already iconic looking monster. I can’t wait to see this bad boy in action.
There isn’t much to say about the shot of Jill in the sewers, the close up of her and Carlos’ faces (other than they’re both shockingly gorgeous), etc, but it is worth touching on the image of Jill, Carlos, and Mikhail in the subway train car. Again, this location is ostensibly new, while being familiar. This interaction still happened as-is in the original Resident Evil 3, but aboard an old-fashioned tram. The upgrade to subway train fits more with the idea of trying to hide out (the tram was under pretty constant assault by the undead, Mikhail even blows a few up at one point with an oil drum/grenade depending on your choices), and fits in better with lore (which has established and re-established the subway system of Raccoon, while not even bothering to mention the tram system since).
Don’t worry, we’re not done yet. There’s still a few points worth touching on in the Special Developer Message video, released just after the game was announced. First of all, there’s an image of Jill reloading a pistol, but it’s hard to tell if it’s her personal S.T.A.R.S Samurai Edge Beretta 92F from this angle. In some shots from the trailer and the Collector’s Edition statue, she appears to be using a Glock, which would be a huge shame. Perhaps a return trip to the R.P.D. would allow her to rescue it from the S.T.A.R.S. weapons locker? She does visibly carry her badge on her, which REmake 2 players will know carries a secret for getting into said locker.
Next up, we have a little bit of gameplay. Jill ducks under a shutter and walks out into the streets of Racoon City, as chaos takes control. Multiple human NPCs run in terror from the undead onslaught, and we get a look at a dodge mechanic very similar to Revelations 1. Dodging is nothing new to Resident Evil 3. The original was actually the first game in the series to use one, although it was a vague pain in the ass to pull it off. We also can see two locations, Toy Uncle (that’s uh… kinda creepy wording), Big Wave (a bar perhaps?), Lone Wolf (the logo looks vaguely like smoke, a smoker shop?) and that same Sigourney sign from before. That seems to place it pretty close to that final showdown barricade featured heavily in the screenshots.
Did they add a dodge mechanic in #ResidentEvil3Remake? It looks like a dodge technique used in Resident Evil Revelations more than the “auto dodge” that was in RE2 Remake. Dodging was new to the original series in RE3. pic.twitter.com/1Ny1A44ybN
— Where’s Barry (@WheresBarryB) December 10, 2019
After worming her way around the shambler, Jill ducks into an alleyway where we can see the iconic Stagla gas station sign. It makes me goofy happy to see that that, in particular, looks basically exactly the same.
Aaaand that about covers it. For now. Unlike Resident Evil 7 or Resident Evil 2 Remake, which both had seven months worth of marketing before launch, Resident Evil 3 Remake only has four. That’s pretty damn good new for us, both because it means we’re getting the game in four months, but also that the marketing is going to be really front-loaded this time around. No beating around the bush, there’s only so much time to tease. We will most likely be hearing from Resident Evil 3 again by January, if not this month (remember, Capcom is showing stuff off at Jump Festa). It’s absolutely insane that it’s coming out so soon, but it might be to get ahead of E3 next-gen buzz. Regardless of the reasons, hurray! We’ll keep you updated as often as there’s something to update you on!
Until then, Resident Evil 3 releases April 3rd, 2020, across Xbox One, PS4 and PC.