Game Over Online ~ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

GameOver Game Reviews - Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (c) Eidos Interactive, Reviewed by - Lee Donowitz

Game & Publisher Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (c) Eidos Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium II-266, 64MB Ram, 3D Accelerator, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 70%
Date Published Friday, November 24th, 2000 at 07:39 PM

Divider Left By: Lee Donowitz Divider Right

When Resident Evil made its debut for the PlayStation in 1996, it gained instant cult status like a good b-horror flick. Albeit far from a complicated gaming experience, Resident Evil's blend of endless zombie encounters and interesting puzzle designs was a successful recipe, spawning many sequels on various platforms and countless spin-offs. It wasn't long before Capcom ported the Resident Evil series to the PC with aspirations of the kind of success the series acquired on the PlayStation. Unfortunately, most PC gamers didn't buy into the series. Despite Resident Evil's ability to provide chills and thrills, gamers were often disappointed not only by the lack of elaborate gameplay, but mainly due to the fact the series looked dated on the PC. This time around, Capcom has teamed up with Eidos Interactive in an attempt to bring the Resident Evil series to the PC like never before with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. So, is the third time the charm?

In terms of the story, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is set after the original Resident Evil, but before the events of Resident Evil 2. At the beginning of the game, players control STARS member Jill Valentine, the main character from the original game, as she attempts to escape from Racoon City, a small town that has been biologically altered by the Umbrella organization's manufactured T-Virus, a plague which has turned all the residents into flesh consuming zombies. As if things couldn't get any worse, a Goliath-like zombie named Nemesis seems to have a vendetta against Jill and the rest of the STARS crew.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, like the rest of the Resident Evil series, is a third-person action title. Unlike most third-person games though, the camera in Resident Evil doesn't roam, rather each location has a fixed camera position, a tactic employed to provide dramatic effects, often involving zombies jumping out and scaring the fillings right out of your teeth. While this system works well on the PlayStation, it's rather frustrating on the PC in terms of controlling the game's character, particularly during combat. Capcom has implemented a 180 button to help the situation, a key that allows you to turn around instantly without worrying about muddling with numerous keys, as well as the ability to dodge zombie attacks, but the finicky controls are difficult to handle, especially when you're under pressure to react, shoot, or escape from zombies. Toss in the fact that Resident Evil 3 appears to have problems with gamepads other than Sidewinder and you've got this title's biggest downfall, the controls.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is not unlike its predecessors when it comes to gameplay. Most of the game is made up of action sequences involving, well, zombies. As mentioned earlier, you can now dodge zombie attacks, which helps make the endless zombie encounters a little less repetitive in terms of the actions you can perform while in combat. You can also create your own ammunition by combining different types of ammo available in the game. Resident Evil 3 also tosses in a few bonus items including the mini-game Mercenaries, as well as the ability to outfit Jill in a number of costumes as she begins her daring escape, features that must be unlocked in the PlayStation counterpart. Besides the mindless zombie killing, Resident Evil 3 has also stepped up it's puzzle element by focusing less on keys required to open doors and more on problem solving techniques, all welcome changes to the series to say the least.

If the zombie assaults weren't enough, the aforementioned Nemesis pops up numerous times throughout the game, often by crashing through a wall, door or window, and scaring the beegeebers out of you in the process. Whenever he makes an appearance, he brings with him an option screen that presents a set of choices you have to make that wind up affecting where the game moves, by unlocking certain areas, and how the story develops for the next few minutes. It's an excellent addition to the game that not only brings with it several shocking moments, but also increases the replay value of the title. On a side note, you won't actually be able to defeat Nemesis until the end of the game, so don't bother wasting what precious ammo you have on him.

One of the problems with the previous editions of Resident Evil was the visual department. Resolutions were often limited to 640x480, resulting in poor character animation and scruffy backdrops. While Resident Evil 3 does little to improve on the models and environments themselves, Capcom has bumped up the resolution quite a bit. Although higher resolutions are available, I found that 1280x1024 was as high as I could go without incurring inopportune slowdowns. It would have been nice to see Capcom overhaul the visuals completely, over the PlayStation version, but I suppose increased resolution is better than nothing. In terms of the sound department, everything is the same as the PlayStation equivalent, bad voice acting and all.

I few other gripes I have with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis include the console-style save function, which remains in tact. Special rooms with typewriters are the only place where you can save your game, there's no quick save available. In the same vein, you can only carry approximately 10 items in your possession, so you have to store your extra items in chests located throughout the game. In an odd David Copperfield kind of way, when you store items in a chest in a particular area of the city, those same objects will re-appear in a different chest found in a seperate location. Who with the what now? While this tactic certainly helps gamers avoid having to re-trace their steps for various stored items, it doesn't exactly give the game a feeling of realism.

Ok, so the game sports terrible controls, odd console'ish elements and limited visuals, but we've heard this story before, haven't we? Of course we have. These problems have plagued the series since it's inauguration on the PC, but Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is still the best Resident Evil title to date for the PC. The simple reason for that is the improved gameplay, particularly the enhanced puzzle elements and the addition of Nemesis and the game-altering choice screens he brings with him. Well, that and the fact I'm a sucker for mindless horror entities. If you enjoyed the previous two titles in the series and you have no problem overlooking the rough edges, Resident Evil 3 will probably satisfy your hunger for more zombie antics.

[ 38/50 ] Gameplay
[ 06/10 ] Graphics
[ 06/10 ] Sound
[ 08/10 ] Storyline
[ 04/10 ] Controls
[ 08/10 ] Fun Factor


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