Resident Evil 3 Remake Gameplay: First Look at Mechanics and More

UPDATE: Kat’s English Language stream of Resident Evil 3 Remake went off without a hitch yesterday, I’ve added a few details from her stream in among these original details.

We’re now officially less than one month away from the release of Resident Evil 3 Remake, and the hype is bursting at the seams at this point. After finally getting some gameplay footage a week ago along with confirmation that a demo is coming, we’ve been eagerly waiting for anything more to come from Capcom. Today that wish is granted, as a two and a half hour Capcom TV stream played Resident Evil 3 Remake for about 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid, there’s actually no spoilers here — all of the gameplay is set in areas we’ve already seen, and there’s practically zero story content (and what there is, we’ve already seen in other footage). While the gameplay is mostly dedicated to exploration, we do learn a lot of important key features about the game, and many are very surprising. Check out the footage, and I’ll do a breakdown of what’s new below:

While many fans have been assuming that Resident Evil 3 Remake will basically just be REmake 2 with a fresh coat of paint over it, it appears that Capcom and Neobards have gone out of their way to ensure this is a very different experience from the previous remake. From a mechanic standpoint, a tremendous amount appears to have either been revised, changed completely, or be an all-new feature added in. Here’s what we’ve noticed so far:

  • The knife is no longer a defense item, but a weapon in your inventory that is equipped and unequipped just like a gun. The knife no longer degrades, either, and the animation for using it appears to be a stab animation from a pre-release build of REmake 2.
  • You now manually have to escape from a zombie’s grasp. In REmake 2, being grabbed and bitten was an unskippable animation with no way of speeding it up other than using a defense item to get out of it. Now in Resident Evil 3 Remake you can mash a button (◉ in Japan, ✖/A in the west) to get out of taking more damage, and there’s a button prompt on screen that fills up as you mash.
  • We get a clearer view of how the dodge mechanic works; tapping RB/R1 on the controller will dodge in the direction you’re holding on the left stick, at any time. Hitting it perfectly just as a zombie is about to grab hold of you allows you to perform a slow-motion counter-attack, where the targeting reticle snaps to the enemy’s head. Note: Kat has explained on Twitter that there is no slow-motion effect, Jill herself simply moves faster. Looking back over footage, that does indeed seem to be the case — the screen effect simply gives off the impression things are moving slower, but they actually aren’t.
  • The inventory screen has been redesigned. While the general gist of it remains the same, the inventory itself has been centered. The EKG health readout is still in the lower left, however, and the D-Pad quick inventory icon has been moved to the lower right. In general, the inventory slots have a more rounded shape to them, rather than the strict squares used in REmake 2. Also, after picking up an item for the first time, you will no longer have to sort it into the inventory manually upon future pickups of that same item.
  • Doors no longer seem to open upon contact. In both RE7 and REmake 2, doors could both be opened manually (tapping a button) or they would swing open automatically upon touching them. It’s difficult to tell from the footage, but it appears that you will have to tap a button in order to open doors now.
  • Zombies appear to lack the dismemberment mechanic from REmake 2. This is, however, footage of the Japanese build, and the Japanese CERO D version of REmake 2 also lacked dismemberment. In the English footage, Kat only ever went for headshots, so it’s difficult to tell at the moment. I reached out to her to see if we could get clarification, but she declined to comment.
  • Yellow padlocks may indicate that a lockpick is necessary. We’ve previously heard that lockpicks will feature in the game, and these appear to be the most likely candidate for use. They also strongly resemble the red padlocks from RE4 and 5. We can see a padlock on a locker in the back of Moon Donuts, as well as very briefly on the front door to Toy Uncle. This would greatly expand the lockpick’s use, which was only required four times in the original RE3.
  • Yellow chains make a return from Resident Evil 7 and REmake 2. These chains are separate from the yellow padlocks and require bolt-cutters to “unlock” so to speak. We can see the doors to the Supermarket across the street from Toy Uncle are chained shut, with an icon to interact with them in Kat’s footage.
  • Many stores and buildings can be entered and explored, and “Metroidvania” interlocking paths unite the map in the same way they did in REmake 2.
  • RE4-7 Wooden boxes do indeed make a return, and we see a red jewel stored in a special box (similar to the box REmake 2‘s S.T.A.R.S. badge/dongle was stored in). The red jewel is an entirely new item, although visually similar to the blue and green gems from the original RE3. It’s been reported that red gems may be a form of currency used to get items, but that has yet to be shown in any official capacity.
  • Kat highlights a few more areas than the Japanese stream did, and we get clearer looks at the clock mechanism in the subway (which some have speculated to be an updated version of the city hall puzzle, and what we’ll need the red jewel for). We also get a look into the front doors of the pharmacy, and a look at a classic RE3 jumpscare recreated for a modern audience.

Outside of that, the grand majority of the new content comes in the form of easter eggs. Tons of charming Capcom and Resident Evil shout-outs, from Ghosts N’ Goblins to acknowledging things like Outbreak‘s Umbrella Noodles, abound. Fans also noticed that the green armor room doors from the original PS1 Resident Evil trilogy have been remade in loving detail here. Kat also enters and hangs out in the safe room significantly more than the Japanese demo, allowing us to hear the new version of Free From Fear, the classic RE3 safe room music. It appears REmake 3‘s score will be a lot closer to the original than REmake 2‘s mostly remixed score. A ton of care has gone into making each part of the city feel unique as well as sort of warm and nostalgic, and I’m absolutely in love with it.

If you’d like to see potentially a little more of this demo, not to mention in English, Capcom’s Resident Evil Community Manager Kat will be streaming it today. Appearing on Twitch and YouTube at 7PM GMT / 8PM CET / 2PM ET / 11AM PT, we’ll get to see what these menus look like in English and more. Other than that, a demo has been promised to release some time in the future, and of course, the full Resident Evil 3 Remake releases April 3rd on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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