Resident Evil 3 Nemesis
Resident Evil terrorizes the PlaySation for a third time with Resident Evil Nemesis, its latest entry in the popular horror/adventure series. Literally speaking, Capcom isn't counting to "three" just yet: Instead of taking place after Resident Evil 2, Nemesis's two acts take place 24 hours before and 24 hours after RE2, respectively. During these harrowing two times, you'll control two characters: Jill Valentine, the heroine from the first RE, and a newcomer, Carlos. Nemesis retains the pre-rendered background environments of previous RE games, but introduces some new elements, too: You'll use a dodge button to avoid enemy attacks, be able to carry only two weapons at a time, and interact more with the game environments. Need an explosion? Shoot a gas tank. Advancing zombies? Drop a chandelier on 'em. Check out future issues of GamePro for more on this chilling title.
Download Resident Evil 3 Nemesis
Anyone who read last month's issue will know that Capcom's previous PlayStation conversion, Dino Crisis didn't do as well as expected. Nevertheless, they're still going ahead and releasing the third episode of its more successful zombie epic on PC just as it has the others. And, strange or not even though it uses the exact play mechanics as Dino Crisis, it's a lot, lot better. As was mentioned before, dinosaurs just aren't scary, whereas zombies certainly are. It may not quite be brown trousers at dawn time, but play with the lights out and it's as good as any Romero movie.
Expanding on the foundations of the Umbrella Corporation's T-Virus disaster, you play Jill Valentine, recently resigned member of Racoon City's special forces, and who you may recall was a controllable character from the first game. All Jill wants to do is get out of the city, which isn't going to be easy as it's been barricaded and overrun by those flesh-eating fiends. You're not alone the whole time, though -along the way, Jill meets up with mercenaries sent by Umbrella to clean up the mess (not that they do much of a job). There's even the chance to switch control to one of them halfway through.
The game itself literally starts with a bang with Jill being thrown outside by an explosion. You're left in the middle of the city surrounded by zombies and not much time to get out of the way. It's the first, but not the only, similarity with the second game, only this time you spend a lot of your time outside. Most of the city may be reduced to blocked alleys and impassable debris, but it's certainly effective in making the game feel a lot larger. Backgrounds are brilliantly detailed, giving an extreme sense of being caught up in the middle of the desolation and disaster. Couple this with the eerie sounds of the wind and the moan of distant zombies and you've got an atmosphere that captures the game perfectly. And for once the resolution can be put up as high as 1600x1200 which gives the PC version a much crisper look than the PlayStation, although the FMV is still a bit fuzzy in comparison.
Business As Usual
Expect nothing new in terms of puzzles. You're not going to find yourself completely stumped with any of the problems in here. Weapons, also, are carried over from the other games. You start with the standard pistol which takes forever to kill anything with. The good news is that it's start. Don't bother selecting that if you like some challenge in your games, though.
Gunpowder has to be collected and mixed with a special tool to produce certain kinds of bullets. It's a little unnecessary and takes up more inventory space but there's also plenty of normal ammo lying around, too. One good addition to the game is that certain objects in the scenery, such as barrels, can be shot at causing explosions which can take out groups of enemies at the same time. Although it's obvious that you're meant to shoot these when there's more than two zombies around it still feels like quite a godsend in a tight spot. Apart from zombies you've got your usual rabid dogs, giant spiders and hideous beasts, which have a tendency to leap going to mean you waste your ammo or get you killed, so it's best to run away very fast whenever he's about. Which is fine most times, but get hit by him once and it's sometimes hard to get away again.
Choose Your Own Adventure
At certain points, usually when Nemesis appears, the action halts and you're given two options to choose from. The choice usually ranges from either hiding or fighting, although the outcome of what you pick may not be quite so obvious. Each choice won't affect the outcome of the game at all, but it at least provides some replay value.
Other new things included in the game are a 180 degree quick-turn and a dodge command. The former can come in handy quite often but the latter is quite tricky and it's not always possible to pull it off on purpose, and even if you do it's hard to get to grips with the controls afterwards. Yes, that's right, the movement controls are exactly the same as before. While not exactly impossible, there are plenty of times when a slight error in judgement causes you to unfairly get attacked. The save points are still limited to using ink ribbons on typewriters and it can be a little difficult to judge exactly how much damage you can take before you die, so it's often a case of how much you want to risk doing before you save.
The problems of backtracking and only being able to carry a limited number of things are also back. They seem to have been given a little revision to make them less annoying but having to work your way through places you've been before can still be a chore, though there's often a couple of shocks in store for the unwary. It may not be quite as scary if you've played the first two games, but it can be mildly disturbing when something completely unexpected happens.
So where Capcom failed with Dino Crisis, Nemesis succeeds. If you've played Resident Evil 2 you're not really getting anything new but it's still on a parallel with it in terms of quality, Anyone who wants to see how the story continues in the saga won't be too disappointed. OK, the puzzles are simplistic, the controls are frustrating and the acting's just passable, but that classic zombie movie atmosphere makes it an enjoyable experience to play through at least once.
Resident Evil survivor, Jill Valentine returns for a second helping of horror in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Not really a sequel, Nemesis is more like "book-ends." Its first half takes place 24 hours before the events of Resident Evil 2, and its second half takes place 24 hours after RE2. You control Jill in the first half, but after she's infected by the deadly T-Virus, you assume the role of a new character, Carlos, who must find a cure.
Similar to previous Evils, Nemesis uses the same pre-rendered background visual scheme and control layout. Yet the game has a few key differences, too, including the elimination of a button press to climb stairs and a new roll-and-fire move. In addition, you can use the hi-res surroundings to your advantage: For example, you can shoot a gas tank to create an explosion to stop a pack of advancing zombies. Although Nemesis won't be released for a few months, already has the makings of a worthwhile addition to the Resident Evil series.
Jill Valentine (above) is caught in the throes of a death duel with "the chaser," the deadliest Resident Evil creature yet. Nemesis takes place 24 hours before and 24 hours after the events of Resident Evil 2.
"September 28th Daylight..."
The 10 percent playable preview version of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis finally arrived, and it's lookin' frightfully good. The action starts in zombie-infested Raccoon City 24 hours before Leon and Claire's adventures in Resident Evil 2. As Jill Valentine, member of the S.T.A.R.S. police force and veteran from the first RE game, your objective is simple: Get the hell out of town. Soon the locale changes, and Jill finds herself inside the barricaded Raccoon City Police Department--the same as in RE2--but she's none the safer; here she faces the toughest monster in the RE series yet.
"Somehow..I'm Still Alive...
The monsters in the preview version are familiar menaces from the RE monster zoo--mostly zombies and dogs. The real surprise in Nemesis is a mutated mauler nicknamed "the chaser." This badass titanic terror looks like RE2's Mr. X, but he's faster (he can run), tougher, and stronger, and carries a bazooka that he fires without mercy. Once he picks up your trail (constantly grumbling "stars" during pursuit), he doesn't let up, even chasing you from room to room. Strange how this thing knows Jill is a S.T.A.R.S. member, even though she isn't in uniform. Hmmm...
"We Have To Gel Ouv of Here!"
Nemesis's hi-res pre-rendered backgrounds are loaded with details, like fires, broken hydrants, and squirming maggots. This time, however, the environments play a more important role than they did in other RE adventures. At one point Jill is cornered by several zombies--a situation that's rectified by shooting a nearby oil drum, which blasts the zombies to pieces. New gameplay mechanics have been implemented, too, including a scalable map and the ability to use weapons while on staircases or to turn 180 degrees quickly. Although Nemesis won't be released until November, a playable demo of the game will be bundled with Dino Crisis for that games September release.
They do it once a month. Every producer, planner and director involved in the development of any current Resident Evil project gathers in Capcom R&D's offices in Japan and talks shop. Their goal: to avoid any continuity problems in the Resident Evil saga's increasingly complex story line. Seeing as how the newest installment in the series, Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, drops characters from the first game into settings from the second and is set at roughly the same time as RE2, Capcom's planning meetings are no doubt a necessity. In case you missed our massive cover story a few months ago, here's a quick recap of RE3's tangled tale. You play Jill Valentine, who returned from the first game's mansion only to see the entire horrific incident covered up and forgotten by the Raccoon PD. She resigns from S.T.A.R.S. and packs up to follow Chris Redfield, who's already left to investigate Umbrella's HQ in Europe. But just as she's about to wash her Raccoon City troubles outa her hair, the G-virus-infected zombies hit the streets, putting the kibosh on her plans to escape.
So, the game picks up on Sept. 28, the day before events depicted in RE2. It continues on through Sept. 29 and finishes up the following night. You'll trundle through familiar settings, including the police station (scan this preview for a screenshot of a room and minor character from RE2). But one thing we haven't seen as we played through our nearly complete preview version is any Back to the Future Part-style intertwining of prequel/sequel plot lines. We were hoping to see RE2's Leon or Claire grappling zombies in some distant alley. Would that be cheesy? Sure, but It'd also be a nice graphical touch that would drive home the idea that, yes, you are stalking around town during RE2's time frame. Of course, such a sequence may be in the final game and we just haven't seen it yet.
Gameplay-wise, RE3 is faithful to the previous games: You explore, shoot zombies, solve puzzles, shoot more zombies, uncover the Umbrella Corporation's misdeeds, shoot even more zombies. Heck, this thing is jammed to overflowing with stinkin* undead. It's more action-oriented than past Resident Evil games. Zombies are everywhere, and you'll have to master the new dodge move pretty early if you wanna survive Raccoon City's mean streets for long. You'll even come across the occasional civilian in need of saving. You can hear their terrorized cries from a distance. Race to their rescue before they get gang-munched. We know of at least one mini-game you can open when you beat RE3. Perhaps saving all the civilians is one key to unlocking it.
With its zombie-packed streets, RE3 is a tad trickier than previous Resident Evil outings. Newbies can play at an easier mode, called Light Mode, which offers more ammunition and an easier dodge move. Besides the varied undead (you'll face zombie businessmen, zombie doctors, etc.), you'll also go up against the devil dogs and spiders of previous games. Nasty newcomers include poisoning spider/licker hybrids and giant slugs.
It's not the new critters, dodge move or decision moments (see sidebar) that make RE3 different from its predecessors. The new wrinkle here comes in the form of a hulking, mutating, terrifying new character named Nemesis. He shows up early in the game. He has a definite problem with S.T.A.R.S. members. And he spends the rest of the game busting through walls, doors and windows, kinda like the boogey man meets Kool-Aid man. He'll follow you from room to room and he's lightning quick. The Nemesis is easily the most terrifying Resident Evil enemy ever.
Flagship--the company that wrote the scenarios for RE2m Dino Crisis and the upcoming Code Veronica--didn't create RE3's story. That has some die-hard RE fans a little worried, and some skeptics see RE3 as more of a sidestory than a true sequel. But while Capcom staff wrote RE3's scenario, Flagship is still checking over the plot to make sure everything fits together in the growing Resident Evil universe. The game does promise to answer many of your questions about the Umbrella Corporation and its schemes. Unless the Nemesis kills you first.
This DC version of the PlayStation classic should be out now, but since we haven't gotten a final from Capcom yet we had to settle for this small preview. DC Nemesis looks like the PC version--same old models, backgrounds and textures, but at a higher resolution so they look crisp. Now all the costumes and the Mercenaries' minigame are unlocked from the start, plus a health display has been added for the VMU. Cool.
Umbrella Corp. has made a fortune in illegal genetic manipulation, experiments and murder. Now Jill Valentine, former S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactical And Rescue Squad) team member and one of three people to survive the mansion, finds herself trapped in Raccoon City. The populace has been turned into zombies and Jill must fight for her life, attempting to escape the evil intentions of Umbrella, Inc. To make matters worse, Jill is stalked mercilessly by the Nemesis, an unstoppable killing machine that has been genetically programmed to kill all S.T.A.R.S. members -- oh yeah, and he carries a rocket launcher. Time to whip out the lockpick, load up the shotgun and run from the really big spiders.
When Resident Evil (RE) first came out for the PlayStation over five years ago, it set the gaming world on its ear, inspiring countless knockoffs and three sequels (including a rumored fourth for the soon-to-be-released Nintendo Gamecube). It would seem that stock in Umbrella, Inc. is holding firm. Alas, this reviewer does not see it staying that way with the newest rehash. Resident Evil 3 crash-lands on the PC-emphasis on "crash."
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Hopefully this is not your first Resident Evil game. If it is, you should really start by playing the first two, as this is a continuing story that spans four games to date.
Jill Valentine, the heroine from the original RE, is fed up. The original conspiracy was covered up; her boss, Police Chief Irons, has been bought by Umbrella; and no one believes her story about the mansion. Packing her bags and resigning from the police force, Jill decides to join her partner Chris Redfield in Europe. But poor Jill decides to pull out 24 hours too late and finds herself thrust in the middle of big trouble once again. The town is teeming with zombies and other baddies. All this occurs hours before police rookie Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield's sister Claire come into town for the events of Resident Evil 2. Now that you are caught up as to what the devil’s going on, I can continue with this review.
I played RE3 with a gamepad. Capcom actually recommends the Microsoft SideWinder control pad for gameplay. RE games were originally designed for console systems, so using a gamepad (especially if you played the other games) makes for an easier time. The d-pad controls the characters in a much more usable way as compared to the keyboard. Obviously you could play this game using a keyboard, but I found these controls clumsy and not as comfortable; plus with actions like running and evading, it's easier to use a gamepad.
RE3 features the third-person view seen in every other RE game. Camera angles are fixed and vary from screen to screen. Characters Jill and Carlos (a paramilitary trooper) run through Raccoon City trying to find the way out, solving fairly rudimentary puzzles and finding the proper keys to open the doors. Along the way Jill (the primary character) finds more powerful weapons, keys and equipment designed for improving the weapons she finds. Occasionally, Jill will run into other people who are wrapped up in their own problems, but will give a sketchy clue to move the story along.
Toward the beginning of the game, Jill finds another member of the S.T.A.R.S. team and learns that "He" is coming. When Jill tries to ask more, the cop merely responds, "You'll see," and runs away. Well, the "He" he was referring to is the Nemesis, a gigantic hulking monstrosity that has been programmed to kill all the S.T.A.R.S. team members. The Nemesis seems to show up at all the wrong times, tearing the place up and firing his rocket launcher. No matter what you do, he just keeps coming. You’d think a fella like this would encourage the aforementioned officer to team up with you, but no.
Jill will need to know when to fight and when to run. As in all RE games, there is not enough ammunition to kill everything and it’s important to save the more powerful weapons and ammo for times when you really need it. An excellent example is the previously described Nemesis. Unloading all your ammo into him early will only make things worse for you later, since you can only kill him at the end of the game.
Compared to the other RE games, RE3 seems to be right on par-but that’s the problem. As the story evolves from game to game and technology advances, one would expect Capcom to come up with fresh new ways to shape the survival/horror genre. Unfortunately, it’s not that way. With the exception of new monsters and new locations, it’s the same old same old. Sure, you get more information about Umbrella, Inc. and the dreaded T and G viruses (the formula that makes monsters), but I went from RE2 to Resident Evil: Code Veronica on the Dreamcast and never missed a beat.
Finally, I want to touch on the horror aspect. In every RE game to date, I have jumped due to being startled by either a monster or a creepy situation. This game kept the streak alive, but just because I jumped doesn’t necessarily mean it was scary. For one thing, many of the locales are the same as in RE2. I felt almost robbed as it was painfully obvious the programmers re-used the same rendered backgrounds. This made me complacent, as I knew the layout of the police station. Hey -- new game, new locations! Half the fun of survival horror games is exploring and trying to anticipate what’s coming next. This never occurred for me while playing RE3.
The Resident Evil series was meant to be played on console systems. While the polygon count of the monsters and characters was increased to make them look better on the PC, this game has major graphics problems. In darn near every location, there are white programming grids/lines still visible. I couldn’t believe it. How is it that a game that played fine on the PlayStation two years ago has these glaring graphical defects? How could they come up with good-looking characters, yet put them in painfully rendered environments? Also, the inventory screen was big and blocky-looking. Blurred pictures with what looked like a DOS setup screen made for an unhappy gaming experience.
Resident Evil games are notorious for their awful voice acting. RE3 is no exception -- ungodly calm voices during times of sheer abject terror, damn near savant-like conversations. It just plain stinks. The background noises are done well, though -- crows cawing, zombies moaning, dogs running at you. The sound effects are well done; the voice acting isn’t.
P-200 (PII-266 or higher recommended), Microsoft Windows 95/98, 48 MB RAM (64 MB or higher recommended), 20 MB minimum hard drive space (250 MB or more recommended), 4X CD-ROM drive (8X or faster recommended), 640x480 monitor, DirectSound-supporting sound card, DirectDraw-supporting video card, DirectX 6.1 or higher, 3D video card, and keyboard/gamepad.
Resident Evil 3 is arguably the worst of this series. Poor translation from console to PC, nothing really new or engaging about the gameplay and the fact that you’d swear this was a DOS game combine to make this an awful gaming experience. If you must play it, I recommend using a control pad and squinting your eyes to even out the poor graphics. Wait six months and you’ll find this game in the $9.99 bin at your local computer store.
Snapshots and Media
- Alone In The Dark
- Alone in the Dark 4
- Resident Evil 5
- Dino Crisis
- Dino Crisis 2
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil 0
- Resident Evil 2
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim
- Resident Evil Directors Cut
- Resident Evil Survivor
- SCP - Containment Breach
- Silent Hill
- Silent Hill 2
- Silent Hill 3
- Parasite Eve
- Resident Evil 4
- Resident Evil: Outbreak