Updating an innovative survival-horror classic

By Gieson Cacho // The Mercury News (TNS)

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Genre: Survival horror
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

With the Resident Evil 3 remake, Capcom updates a classic that was ahead of its time. It carries over concepts of the original, following Jill Valentine as she tries to escape Raccoon City.

The game is full of these dangers, but it also gives players opportunities to fight back. Apparently in the rush to evacuate the doomed metropolis, authorities left barrels of gasoline and malfunctioning generators.

Just avoiding the undead altogether is a viable solution in Resident Evil 3. It’s often better to lure zombies to one side of a rooftop in order to run past them on the other end. When being chased, players shouldn’t confront any undead at all and just use the dodge button to dip away from them.

Players can expect the same sort of puzzles as the previous entries. They’ll find random jewels in boxes and journal clues that help them open a safe or find a pivotal item. The problems aren’t difficult per se, but they’re easier if players pay attention to the details and look around the environment.

Players eventually have to deal with Nemesis. It’s essentially Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 on steroids. The tyrant variant follows Jill around Raccoon City and has more maneuverability and intelligence than the previous monster.

The demo climaxed with a boss battle against Nemesis atop a building under construction. This is where the tyrant variant shows its combat prowess. It uses a flamethrower against Jill and can climb using its tentacles. Players have to keep their distance and find its weak point to survive.

The other major feature of Resident Evil 3 is an asymmetrical multiplayer mode called Resistance. It pits four players against one mastermind. The goal is for the four survivors to escape, or for the Umbrella exec at the helm to kill them all. The mastermind acts almost like dungeon master setting up challenges against the group. The player can lay down traps and place zombies and other creatures to stand in their way.

There’s plenty of strategy as the antagonist has to figure out where to place the obstacles and how many of them to produce. They’ll need to look at the map and figure out where the survivors are headed. It’s smart to put zombies and traps on the way to objectives such as keys or canisters.

On the survivors’ end, each one has a special ability that counteracts some creature or obstacle. Valerie is the healer who can also mark ammo and other items in a room. January can jam the cameras and raise the costs of dropping zombies and traps for the mastermind. Tyrone is the tank and can deal pain to armored zombies with his melee attacks. Samuel has a similar ability but he’s geared toward damage. Martin can disarm traps while Becca deals damage with firearms.

Teamwork is mandatory and it’s best not to be a lone wolf. The mastermind can lock players in a room and turn off the lights making navigation and fighting difficult. Survivors need to use their talents harmoniously to get out alive but keep in mind, it’s possible that not everyone will escape. Some players could fall during the last stage of the battle and not make it out alive.

Players already have the opportunity to switch weapons or buy more powerful firearms using Umbrella Credits. The additional firearms don’t carry over to future games and can only be used in the match. They’re important to taking down the bigger bosses or unexpected situations.

The Resident Evil 3 remake comes out April 3 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.