With the Resident Evil 3 Remake swiftly closing in on an April 2020 release, what secrets can be unearthed from the State of Play Reveal Trailer?
Those who were there to recall the tale of that day remember it well. Throughout the year, devout followers of Sony, and the fourth incarnation of their PlayStation console, were repeatedly underwhelmed by the company’s lacklustre equivalent to Nintendo’s Direct. However, during a cold December afternoon, they would be granted all that they desired before the dawning of the new year. For not only did Sony produce a rather excellent State of Play, they also concluded it with an earth-shattering announcement.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was to be remade, and released in but a few months’ time.
Alongside this revelation came a reveal trailer that expertly showcased the renewed life that has been shot into the visuals, narrative and gameplay. Though the development team at Capcom appeared to believe that devoted fans of the franchise would be not be content with a single trailer. Subsequently, they released a featurette where the game’s Producers divulged more explicit information.
So, come with me as we revisit both of these seminal examples of marketing excellence, and attempt to discern for ourselves what may await us come April 3rd.
It is time, once again, to enter the survival horror.
A FEAST FOR THE EYES
If you will permit me, I shall commence proceedings by doing away with the obvious and the overt. Similar to the previous two Resident Evil titles released on this soon-to-be-obsolete generation of consoles, Resident Evil 3 Remake runs on the RE Engine.
Consequently, veterans of the two prior Resident Evil titles can expect photorealistic renderings of locations and character models, as well as an atmospheric lighting system that is sure to have you jumping at shadows of the literal variety.
Fully unveiled redesigns for dual protagonists, Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliveira, emphasise practicality over two-decade-old fashion statements. Classic locations from the ’99 original, such as the hospital and cable car, appear to have been blessed with a fresh coat of paint that adds to their tangibility.
Furthermore, I expect the game to run at a relatively smooth 60fps, and for the physics engine to demonstrate the same level of oddly satisfying destruction that was present in the two instalments that came before.
BEAT BY BLOODY BEAT
Like any good action romp from the 90s, the narrative of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is rather simple, with dialogue that is far from Shakespearean. Sound bites from the remake’s reveal trailer, and Mr. Kennedy’s affinity for profanity in Resident Evil 2 Remake, joyfully indicate a commendable stubbornness from the latter to change. Yet the former remains to be seen.
First and foremost, like Marvin Brannagh before him, Brad “Chicken Heart” Vickers may adopt a more integral role. Evidence of this can be ascertained by examining his modified personality. Gone is the terrified deserter from the original first and third games. In his place stands a confident ally who seems intent on staying by our side.
In a brief video recording showcased in the trailer, it is also insinuated that Dario Rosso, a minor character killed early on in the original, is looking to blow the whistle on Umbrella. Transforming him from a man paralysed by grief, into one who is making it his mission to ensure justice is served in a dish as cold as revenge.
As a matter of fact, there are hints which suggest that exposing Umbrella to the world at large will take greater precedence in what used to be a simple escape story. A collage of evidence acquired over an undisclosed period of time litter a white wall during a brief tracking shot in the trailer. Either this incarnation of Jill is more proactive than her PlayStation One counterpart, or someone else is hot on the heels of the faceless Bio-terrorist organisation. Could it be Dario?
Or perhaps this will explain why Carlos is in search of the S.T.A.R.S. office. Only time will tell.
Again, my friends, I must dispose of the obvious before venturing into the relatively unknown. However, on this occasion, it surrounds the one element I am unable to experience first hand: the gameplay.
Word from the developers is that players experiencing the remake of Resident Evil 3 will feel an instantaneous sense of familiarity if they have played the remake of Resident Evil 2. From what I have witnessed, this is quite apparent. The over-the-shoulder, 360 degree camera and precise aiming both make a return from that aforementioned remake.
Alas, what is more interesting is the short glance we are granted of Jill skilfully evading the decaying clutches of a zombie. She ducks and weaves as though on instinct, and immediately my mind races back to the dodge mechanic implemented in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
Unfortunately, that mechanic was far from easy to accomplish as it was tied to the aim button. Should you have already been aiming at that time, pressing the fire command at the last minute was imperative to a clean getaway. This was a feature so often frustrating that I abandoned it before reaching the original title’s halfway point.
Therefore, it would please me most profoundly if this mechanic were to be relegated to a single, otherwise unused, button on the controller as it was a tremendous idea when first conceived, but was tragically botched in its execution. Fortunately, my faith in Capcom is strong.
A PERSISTANT PAIN
Fear not fellow fans, for I have heard your cry. Those of you reading this who are not fans of the franchise, be rest assured that I have saved the best for last: Nemesis.
Capcom, the flirtatious teases that they are, have been rather stingy with the details on the titular Tyrant. All they let slip was that Nemesis will implement more methods to hunt the player down than Resident Evil 2’s Mr. X. Considering how tenacious that terrible Tyrant was, I am genuinely, and thoroughly quaking in my standard issue S.T.A.R.S. combat boots.
A concept artist’s rendition of Nemesis’ new design has been unveiled to the gaming public. At present, I am unsure of what to make of his cleaner design. Fortunately, it was not Nemesis’ physical appearance that cemented him as one of gaming’s most legendary villains: it was his relentless pursuit of the player.
So long as this element remains true to the original, I’ll be endlessly glancing over my shoulder all throughout April.
S.T.A.R.S. IN THEIR EYES
In conclusion, Resident Evil 3 Remake is already shaping up to be a game that will dominate the new year like its predecessor did in 2019.
As always, the RE Engine proves to be a reliable game engine for those seeking a modern revitalisation of the classic iconography of Resident Evil’s early instalments.
Narrative shortcomings are set to be greatly expanded upon to create a narrative that contains all the epicness one expects from this storied franchise.
With some minor tweaks to the gameplay of both the original Resident Evil 3, and the remake of Resident Evil 2, we could soon be enjoying the smoothest Resident Evil experience yet.
Although little information has been divulged on the Nemesis that is soon to stalk players, there is also little doubt in my mind that he will serve as an equally intimidating antagonist as his 32-bit counterpart.
With Capcom’s track record as of late, my ever-increasing excitement for this title shows no sign of subsiding. Are you ready to partake in one last escape?
Are you excited for the Resident Evil 3 Remake? What are your current thoughts on the Final Fantasy VII Remake that drops just one month earlier? Let’s get chatting on Twitter @WillDoubleJ.