“September 28th, Daylight…”
Following on from the lack of any unveiling at E3 2019 as well as last week’s surprise ‘leak’ of the games box art, Sony have officially revealed the remake for Resident Evil 3 today during their State of Play stream for December 10th, with a meaty reveal trailer and a release date to boot. Over the course of this one I’ll be dissecting what was revealed for the upcoming title, as well as my sharing my own thoughts and expectations for the reboot of one of PlayStation’s scariest games ever made.
In the years that I’ve written articles for Game Hype, I’ve never made it a secret that I’ve had a very rocky relationship with the Resident Evil series as a whole over the years. Considering myself a ‘fixed camera angle’ purist (Myspace Angles were a legitimate part of my Emo years) I always resided myself to the fact that the survival-horror glory days of the original trilogy were long since gone, and were eroded away in favour of a more action-oriented experience as seen in Resident Evil 4 and onwards (while RE4 is a good game, I still argue that it’s massively overrated). Resident Evil 7: Biohazard however acted as a resonating return to form for the series, taking enough of the classic RE formula and applying it to the foundations laid out by more modern horror titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Outlast, with alarming degrees of success among the horror community. Following suit with this year’s excellent Resident Evil 2 Remake (shamelessly plugging my own review here) the Resident Evil franchise was once again a household name of survival-horror in my eyes, with all my money on the next instalment in series being a remake of Resident Evil 3, which is arguably the scariest of the original trilogy due to a relentless foe: Nemesis.
Following the leak of the game’s box art last week, the remake for Resident Evil 3 was all but confirmed by a Eurogamer article which deemed the images to be the real McCkoy, following months of unconfirmed leaks and speculation from the community. Today Sony unveiled the game with a reveal trailer during their State of Play stream, showcasing the new looks for Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira and the supporting cast, as well as a brief shadowy glimpse at the titular colossus himself, uttering the word “STARS…” in a low pitched whisper amidst the backdrop of what sounds like a remastered version of the unnerving Nemesis’ Theme. The trailer confirmed that the game will release across PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 3rd 2020, alongside Resident Evil Resistance which was first revealed as Project Resistance at Tokyo Game Show 2019 as a standalone 1v4 asymmetric horror multiplayer title, akin in style to Friday the 13th and Dead by Daylight, which now appears to be the online component of the remake (which many are touting as a spiritual successor to 2003’s Resident Evil: Outbreak). The trailer showcases many different gameplay elements, but the most interesting I found was what appears to be the inclusion of two different perspectives of the game this time around. While brief, the initial section of the trailer shows protagonist Jill Valentine attempting to flee from Nemesis, tripping up and pushing over furniture in an attempt to get away from the monster; the moment after Jill gets back to her knees and later climbing through a window appears to be player controlled, as the camera movements seem to break away from the cinematic camera, if only for a brief second. The inclusion of a first-person perspective (alongside the 3rd person OTS camera from the RE2 Remake which is also in the trailer) would be a welcome addition to the remake in my opinion, as the idea of experiencing Nemesis through the lens of an Alien Isolation-esque cat and mouse chase would make the encounters all the more terrifying, as well as adding an interesting dynamic to gameplay if it’s only segment based, rather than a changeable option in the settings.
Other aspects of the game’s leak and reveal have had people talking, most notably about Carlos’ unpractical hair (leave-in conditioner DLC confirmed) and the new look that’s been given to Nemesis, which has left a lot of people divided, with some holding on to the classic look of the creature, while others have been more positive about the revamped look. Personally I fall into the second camp, being a fan of the new look afforded to the monster; the inclusion of distorted facial features (yes I’m talking about that nose) gives Nemesis an almost human-esque appearance that’s been twisted and manipulated by the unethical experiments of the Umbrella Corporation, channelling an aesthetic somewhere between the creature from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (1818) and a painting by Francis Bacon. Further to this point, the established look of Nemesis is one that has had little in the way of variation across all of the mediums that the creature has been seen in, and while this has cemented an established image of the creature to make him instantly recognisable in popular culture, the very idea of a remake is one that holds some creative merit with it too, and Capcom have more than proved themselves with the Resident Evil 2 remake that they are capable of changing up aesthetics in effort to keep the nostalgia fresh.
The remake for Resident Evil 3 seems to be running on the excellent RE Engine (which renders lighting effects beautifully on the PS4 Pro) the same engine used for both for Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2, so the same level of detail, clarity and performance from RE2 can be expected for RE3. Looking over the trailer, a lot of the assets that were used for the RE2 remake seem to be present this time around, acting as somewhat of an asset flip. Environments and creature designs instantly hark back to the RE2 remake, and while this would normally be lazy game design, it actually benefits the RE3 remake as it acts as visual continuity that both these games take place within the same catastrophic event (The scenarios in RE2 and RE3 both take place in the closing weeks of September 1998). Following the trailer was a full unveiling on the PlayStation blog by Capcom, detailing the synopsis of the plot for those who aren’t familiar with the classic title, while also confirming that the game starts during ‘the early days of the outbreak’ possibly hinting that we may be in store for some initial exploration of the events leading up to the established story arc of RE3, similar to the gas station sequence for both Claire and Leon in RE2.
The hype train has without a doubt reached the station for the Resident Evil 3 remake for myself and no doubt countless other horror fans worldwide; the idea of Nemesis being brought to modern consoles is the stuff of nightmares, and without the safety of enclosed cells being closed off by doors, you can bet that he’s going to be more relentless than ever before when the game launches on April 3rd 2020. Stay tuned to Game Hype for full coverage once the game releases.