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Resident Evil 3 Looks Like a Frightening Reimagining of My Childhood

As one of the only mainline Resident Evil games that I haven't played, I can't wait to face off with Nemesis in Resident Evil 3.

There aren’t too many gaming memories from my childhood that stand out clear as day. Sure, there are several foggy memories of neat achievements, but only a handful that I can recall with perfect clarity. One of those moments is when I bought my GameCube off of eBay. I spent weeks looking for the perfect deal that would get me the games I wanted (namely, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 and NHL Hitz 2002). For whatever reason, I also happened to grab the Resident Evil remake in my bundle. I was instantly hooked.

I played the game back to front multiple times. I went out and bought all the S.D. Perry novels because I just loved the series’ lore. I even bought the guide book to Resident Evil Outbreak, a game that I would never actually play, because by the time my parents got a good enough internet connection, the Xbox 360 was out. However, even with all that Resident Evil love, I’ve never actually played through Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

I’m not really sure why that is. I’ve had opportunities to go back and try it out. I’ve just never taken advantage of them. But now that the remake is coming later this year, I could not be more excited to dive into the one mainline Resident Evil game I’ve yet to play.

In 2019, Resident Evil 2 was the runner-up in my personal game of the year rankings (Judgment being number one). A lot of that has to do with the incredible work that the team at Capcom did with Mr. X. His constant presence in the police station was among the tensest and enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had in video games. Hearing his thudding footsteps echoing throughout the building gave RE2 a scare-factor that just isn’t present in many other games.

Interestingly, Mr. X feels like the final culmination in a long process that Capcom started with Nemesis. In the original game, Nemesis would pursue Jill at certain intervals, making it feel like he was always there. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard went a long way in fleshing out that concept with Jack Baker. Your time in the Baker house feels very similar to the police station, albeit with a lot more one-liners. And now, we finally get to see the whole thing come full circle with the game that started this concept off.

“I could not be more excited to dive into the one mainline Resident Evil game I’ve yet to play.”

And the best part is that, if there’s a developer I trust in 2020, it’s Capcom. That feels kind of weird to type, but the developer has been knocking it out of the park in a major way since 2017. In the past three years, they’ve put out three games (Monster Hunter: World, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and Resident Evil 2) that rank among the company’s six best-selling games of all time. And this isn’t some ragtag team; Capcom made Mega Man for goodness sake. It truly feels like we’ve hit another golden era for the company.

Plus, it feels great just finally getting to step back into the shoes of Jill Valentine. She hasn’t been playable in a prime entry since what, the Resident Evil remake in 2002? Maybe Revelations, depending on how you feel about that game. That’s wild for what is one of the best characters in Resident Evil lore. I know people love Leon and Chris, but I’ve always had Jill and Barry as my one and two in terms of RE protagonists. She’s the lock-picking queen! The Jill Sandwich! Jill is just an all-time great character that’s felt a bit forgotten about since the original Nemesis. Now, all we need is a Barry-centric entry and this RE fan will be over the moon.

“It feels great just finally getting to step back into the shoes of Jill Valentine.”

All that said, I do have a few reservations going in. As much as I love Martin Sandwich, I’m not sure if I’ll actually play the game’s online multiplayer mode, Resident Evil: Resistance. Of course, the hope is that neither game took development time away from the other, but it does worry me slightly that resources could have been taken away from the remake in favor of working on the new multiplayer mode.

The trailer also makes Nemesis look way more mobile than Mr. X. That’s not, on its own, a bad thing. However, part of what makes Mr. X such an amazing enemy is that he’s just constantly plodding along. You can’t stop him. You can only hope to run away. If Nemesis can just hop around levels, I worry that some of the tension will go away. It’s kind of like when they finally had Yoda and Darth Sidious fight in Revenge of the Sith. What were previously stoic, serious characters became a caricature of themselves. I trust Capcom to get it right, but I can see several potential pitfalls.

“If there’s a developer I trust in 2020, it’s Capcom.”

Of course, if they can capture that same Mr. X magic in a bottle again, Resident Evil 3 Remake might just be my game of the year in 2020. I mean, it’s hard to top a character that is basically Mr. X with a flamethrower. And a rocket launcher. And weird, tendril-like things.

Resident Evil 3 will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 3, 2020, and you can pre-order the game right now over on Amazon.

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Ricky Frech

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