The release of the demo for the Resident Evil 3 remake is some very eerie timing, considering real world events.
Based on the original title of the same name from 1999, the player navigates the famous, fictional Raccoon City, which has been overtaken by a virus infecting people and transforming them into zombies. The story follows Resident Evil hero Jill Valentine, a former protector of the city through its special unit S.T.A.R.S. For anyone unfamiliar with Resident Evil lore, Jill was one of the few survivors who had investigated the Spencer Estate, which started the initial infection of the T-Virus.
Revisiting this game and playing as Jill couldn’t have come at a better time. Jill Valentine has been one of my favorite video game heroes for nearly two decades; I remember popping in the original copy of Resident Evil 3 for my Sega Dreamcast and being so excited to play as Jill. She is hardcore, bold, and does not cower in the fear of her enemies. She simply says “f*ck you” before pulling out a rocket launcher. Playing as Jill again gave me confidence about the pandemic sweeping the real world. If Jill can survive this world, then so can we.
Unlike Resident Evil 2, the game does not move at a slow pace. Part of the horror of Resident Evil 2 was creeping around corners, not trying to wake the horrible monsters that crawled through the dark, especially the trench coat-wearing Mr. X. Instead, this demo shows us a new level of fear: Panic.
The demo starts with Jill on a subway car with the newly remodeled Carlos and Nicholai. They are trying to get the subway running so they can transport the survivors out of the city. Jill agrees to go topside and from the moment she reaches the surface, it’s sheer chaos. The player needs to make quick decisions on which zombies they are choosing to engage and which ones are best left attempting to run around. It’s not that there isn’t enough ammo to shoot them all, there just isn’t enough time.
After collecting a few key items to move the game forward (in typical Resident Evil fashion), Nemesis makes his grand appearance – except this version isn’t just hunting Jill, but infecting zombies with his own virus and transforming them into horrifying tentacle monsters. After that, the chase is on – Jill still needs to find the remaining pieces of equipment to get through an alley that is on fire, but now Nemesis is hot on her tail. Not only that, but zombies are crashing out of windows around you as items smash and explode in the background. A voice echoes into the night, “Stay inside your homes. Help is on its way,” something that hits a little too close to home right now.
But Jill can’t stay in her home. She has to run.
It’s not clear which areas Nemesis can and can’t access, but it doesn’t matter. The game doesn’t allow the player time to think about that before he shows up. Luckily, the safe rooms are still safe. Unlike Mr. X from Resident Evil 2, Nemesis is not taking his time getting around town. Instead, he’s leaping off buildings and landing directly in front of Jill, strangling her with a tentacle. To be completely honest, I didn’t find Nemesis nearly as terrifying as Mr. X, but that is not the type of fear Capcom is going for in Resident Evil 3. They want the player to panic, to make mistakes, and to not think clearly because this massive beast of a monster is chasing Jill down with its every breath.
Speaking of Jill, this game got rid of her sexy blue tube top and black mini skirt. Instead they opted for a more realistic look, giving Jill a blue tank top and tactical pants. It was a good call. No more jokes about wearing a sexy outfit into the zombie apocalypse!
This game is fun. It reminds me a lot of a haunted escape room I worked for back in 2017. The player has to figure out the puzzle before the monster hunts them down. In this case it’s Nemesis, and he is virtually indestructible.
I am excited for this game. From the demo alone, I can tell you that they nailed Jill’s personality and that it’s going to be fun as hell!