Resident Evil 3 was originally intended as a side-story meant to placate people who had wanted to explore Raccoon City more in RE2, but instead turned out to be a beautifully done addition to the series. It was also used as a test-bed for some new features, including dodging, decision sequences the ability to walk up stairs without having to press the action key (finally). The game follows a similar sequence to the two previous ones, with the first half made up of finding 4 key items that allow you to progress to the next area and the second half featuring more boss battles, harder BOWs and finally a lab area with a self-destruct sequence. The game has an extra twist of being constantly pursued by Umbrella’s latest tyrant, Nemesis. This ups the fear factor considerably as there will be times when he drops in out of the blue, literally. There are also moments where you can be struck with terrible indecision as you decide whether to dodge left or right, or if you should waste ammo on him. The game’s characters are some of the best and most popular. They some far more real with none of the stereotypical “take over the world” traits.
Some of the best you’ll find on a Playstation, bar Parasite Eve 2. The flame and water effects are nicely done, and the pre-rendered backgrounds have greater colour and range than RE2’s. Environments vary from the Raccoon hospital to the local park. The areas allow for a certain amount of interaction, such as shooting up lamps and gas valves. Capcom have also improved their character manipulation, so ingame cutscenes allow for more movement, including some nicely done gunfights. The FMVs are some of the best you’ll see and succeed in capturing the atmosphere.
RE3 features a wide range of weapon effects that are noticeably improved from the ones of RE2 and even those of CVX. Voice acting is above par, with the best work coming from the UBCS and Nemesis. It’s nice to hear a wide range of accents, but Jill’s lines sometimes seem to fall a little flat when contrasted against those from characters such as Dario Russo. RE3’s music features the best save room, boss battle and introduction tracks that border on the inspirational.
Capcom were right to keep RE3’s story relatively low-key, seeing as RE2 had taken care of the explanation regarding the Raccoon City incident. The UBCS make a welcome change from mad scientists and power-crazed civilians. Umbrella’s activities are given more depth by areas such as the Dead Factory. They compliment the overall storyline instead of eroding it like Outbreak’s did. Epilogue files provide a lot of material on all the other surviving characters.
RE3 is my second favourite RE game mainly due to its replayability. There are many decision paths you can take that will alter your route and even the ending of the game. The BOWs that appear in an area are never the same ones the second time through. RE3 also features the best of the minigames, Mercenaries, that allows you to unlock weapons for the main game. The gameplay is nicely paced and prevents you from ever becoming bored.