Gameplay insights from our first hands-on, including a retooled Jill Valentine, battling Nemesis, exploring a reinvented Raccoon City and more
The more I try to escape Raccoon City, the more it pulls me back in. Capcom recently invited the PlayStation team to go hands-on with the hotly anticipated Resident Evil 3 remake. We spent several intense hours with former S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team member, Jill Valentine, and the hulking Nemesis dogging her attempt to flee Raccoon City. The action-packed preview left us bloodied, singed, rattled, and ready for more.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was originally released on PlayStation in 1999, just a year after RE2. Similar to the 1999 original, Capcom’s RE3 remake ups the action on the chaotic city streets, which reflects in the core gameplay.
Prepare for the ordeal with key takeaways from our time with the RE3 remake (no story spoilers here):
Reinventing Raccoon City
- Capcom’s photo-realistic visuals bring Raccoon City to life with stunning detail. Blazing infernos cast zombie shadows down long alleyways. Faux movie posters adorn corridors. Dirt and abrasions show on Jill as she struggles to survive. The cumulative effect is striking.
- The RE3 remake dramatically reinvents the sprawling streets of Raccoon City – this is much grander than a one-to-one remaster. Expect larger areas and some reimagined sequences that dwarf those in the original game.
- New shops and locations flesh out the collapsing city, including an expanded subway station, new labyrinthine sewer section, and a richly detailed donut shop (yum!).
- City streets are wider and more open, unlike the relatively narrow corridors of the 1999 original. More room to dodge enemies! Speaking of…
Jill Valentine: seasoned supercop
- Jill has a new evade move (R1 + left stick) that lets you dodge lunging zombies and other foes. It works a bit like a parry, and is much easier to execute than in the 1999 original. Careful you don’t roll into the arms of a waiting enemy, though…
- The seasoned supercop can now perform a Perfect Dodge by precisely pressing X while in an enemy’s clutches. Success scores you a slow-motion counter window to open fire.
- Jill’s knife doesn’t degrade like the blades of RE2 remake, and it’s no longer used as a self-defense item (practice that Perfect Dodge).
- Similar to the RE2 remake and RE7, ammo crafting is key to survival in RE3. (Fun fact: RE3 introduced ammo crafting to the series in 1999!)
- Outwit your enemies with environmental traps. Blast red barrels to topple groups of zombies, and shoot electrical boxes to stun nearby threats.
- Jill, a known Master of Unlocking, can eventually pick numerous yellow padlocks scattered around the environment. This gives you more reason to canvas areas you’ve already explored as you hunt for extra supplies.
Nemesis and other threats
- Nemesis is bigger, stronger, and more persistent than ever. The brutish bio-weapon packs a heavy punch, ensnares Jill with a tentacle grab, and can cut off her escape routes with a flying leap. Your experience fleeing from RE2’s Tyrant (a.k.a. Mr. X) isn’t enough… When in doubt, run from Nemesis. Especially when fighting in confined spaces or around other enemies.
- If you must fight, do it on your terms. Lure Nemesis near electrical boxes or explosive barrels to deal damage while saving ammo.
- Sometimes, Nemesis drops valuable supply cases when you (temporarily) defeat him. Nab these for high-powered ammo and coveted weapon upgrades…
- Similar to the RE2 remake, there are numerous weapon mods to find. I souped up Jill’s pistol with an extended magazine, laser-dot sight, and silencer.
- The Hunter Gamma lurks within the bowels of Raccoon City. Stay away from its gaping maw to stay alive. Pack flame grenade rounds and look the devil in the mouth.
- The skittering, bug-like Drain Deimos creatures return, and can now inject Jill with an unsettling status effect. Pack an extra green herb…
- Fanny packs are still in style! These inventory-expanding pick-ups are worth their weight in gold.
- A little overwhelmed? Activate Assist Mode for regenerating health, weaker enemies, more ammo, and a powerful assault rifle (similar to the 1999 original’s Easy Mode).
- The preview concluded with a boss battle against a flamethrower-wielding Nemesis. The monster swept fire across the construction site battleground, dashed at Jill, and blasted flaming mortar shots everywhere in the epic confrontation.
- Dismantling Nemesis’ flamethrower with precise shots to its cooling vents and fuel tank isn’t enough to keep the pursuer down. Prepare for a resilient foe…
My time with the Resident Evil 3 remake reassured me that Capcom is faithfully enhancing what made the 1999 original unforgettable. While expanding the scope of Raccoon City, it also ratchets up the action and tension. Enemies are more plentiful and ferocious than ever, but Jill also has more skills at her disposal. I can’t wait to plunge back into the madness and outwit the imposing Nemesis when it hits PS4 on 3rd April.
Learn more about the online, asymmetrical multiplayer game, Resident Evil Resistance, which is included with Resident Evil 3.