Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Slash-em-up reviewed

Playstation Developer:CapcomPublisher:Eidos Interactive

Introduction

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Cute little thing ain't she?!

Jill Valentine's nightmares are set to continue. Heroine and survivor of the infamous mansion incident in the Arclay Mountains, there's not much this girl hasn't already been through.

After resigning from S.T.A.R.S. a specialist police taskforce, she headed for Europe. She hoped the bizarre T-Virus epidemic was over, the disease that turned humans and animals into horrible monsters.

A series of inexplicable murders in Raccoon city suggests otherwise. Jill heads for the city, a place now crawling with zombies.

You must help Jill uncover the secrets behind the Umbrella Corporation, now in control of the city. No-one dared to oppose them .. It may already be too late.

This is the city's last chance, and Jill's. Her last escape...

Raccoon City

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You begin here .. Nice gun!

You can't knock the success of the Resident Evil series. As a PSX owner, one of the most common questions is whether you've got the first RE! The success comes with the fear factor RE induces, and the sheer gore of it all.

Resident Evil: Nemesis sees you playing as Jill Valentine, a stereotypically scantily clad girl with a gun! Parts of the game also involve playing as the Umbrella Corp. soldier, Carlos Oliviera. He'll have you believe that Umbrella's motives are noble.

Options are limited to loading or starting a new game. You can adjust the screen and choose a different set of controls to the default. If you're not into vibration, then this can be disabled too.

Upon starting a new game, a video plays showing you the mayhem going down in Raccoon City. Zombies ambling around, fire licking at cars, and the police department being vastly outnumbered.

You take control of Jill in the midst of all the chaos!

Zombie Fever

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A less exciting moment captured

Yes it's yet another game with a deluge of zombies, but Capcom do it so well. These walking corpses sound genuinely tormented, and amble along quite sickeningly.

Fortunately for you, weaponry is in good supply, and once those suckers are down, they usually stay down. There are a nice variety of zombies; after all, it's the city's occupants that have been touched by the virus. You will come across both male and female zombies, along with fat, less agile ones, and frighteningly fast critters too.

Your opponents aren't just confined to zombies though, with Cerebus Dogs, Giant Spiders and the rather evil looking Drain Deimos! Not to mention the Nemesis himself .. or itself!

Objects are easily manipulated and combined where applicable with the simply inventory system. An object that is collectable will usually glint in it's location, attracting you to it. A lot of the objects like bullets and health you'll need a keen eye for though.

The game has the usual array of puzzles to solve, doors to unlock, obstacles to hurdle, etc..etc.. In Resident Evil 3 though, it's all done with you sat on the edge of your seat wondering when the next heart stopping moment's going to happen.

The horror was a big plus point in the first game, and is still an addictive quality in this one.

Visuals and Audio

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I'm sure she must be cold

Like the previous games, RE3 uses a flip screen pre-rendered background method. The background graphics are extremely good, with an impressive amount of detail. Fire still rages in a few locations, and absolute destruction is witnessed wherever you go. It all looks mighty convincing.

Similarly the foreground characters have a nice cartoon style quality to them, and they fit perfectly with the backdrops. Animation is also nicely done, and in some cases is very clever .. the slight stooping and slow down to ascend or descend staircases for example.

Cut-scenes look great, and aren't too many in number and aren't unnecessarily long. The dark figure of the Nemesis itself is particularly chilling, especially when it comes hurtling after you! It can run faster than you too! Gulp!

The sound department has been busy too. Atmospheric sounds go on all the while you're playing, further bolstering the chilling mood of it all. The zombies all sound like the tortured souls they are, and make a delightfully disgusting squelching sound when hit!

Of course no horror story would be complete without a suitably eerie soundtrack. The music in RE3 perfectly sits alongside the action, instilling dread in turning that next corner.

Doors and Puzzles

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Dammit! You can't get a beer when you want one!

They've annoyed me before, and it looks like they're going to annoy me until my dying days. What am I blithering on about? The door animations that's what!

I know it may sound trivial, but having an animation of a door opening each and every time you walk through is still one of the most annoying things about the Resident Evil games. I wouldn't be bothered if you could skip the animation, but you can't! If you're back tracking to retrieve an item you forgot, the sight of the same doors opening time and time again gets mind numbing.

I'm not sure they serve a higher purpose, maybe loading more level data in, but I'd rather it just say 'loading...'!

While we're on a negative note: I have to say the puzzles in RE3 aren't exactly going to warp your mind. In fact, a lot of the time it is far too obvious what the solution is. Having said this, there are a couple of little brainteasers in there that make up for the rest.

Conclusion

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It's an ambush. Jill doesn't appear phased

Some would argue it's a moneymaking certainty to keep this series running. What Capcom provide though isn't just simply a rehash of the last game. RE3 stands on it's own merits, adding to it's predecessors nicely, and improving in all the important areas.

The horror mood of it all is superbly done, with creepy music, eerie sound and moments in the game which have you almost losing the control pad in panic!

Weapon variety is also nice, and all do as expected with the right sounds and damage. The shotgun is a favourite, easily dropping zombies with one blast. The grenade launcher is also top quality, and if you manage to snag the Gatling Gun get ready to rumble!

I will say the text descriptions of locations and items gets a little annoying after a while, as you can't skip it, only able to make it scroll in faster. The door animations are annoying for the same reason.

There are a possible three endings to the game, ensuring a little more shelf life for the game. You will also get choices to make throughout the game which can aid or be detrimental to your progress. You only get a short amount of time to decide too!

Lights off .. Volume up .. That's the best way to play this game. Only, make sure you're not alone!

What The Scores Mean

- Out Now

       

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