Posted on 10 Apr 2020 by Jay Shaw

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Remake


The Defence

Remake of: Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Remake
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Platform: Consoles, PC
Review copy: Yes
Release date: 03 Apr 2020

The Prosecution

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i5 4460
AMD FX 6300
VGA: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB
AMD Radeon R7 260x 2GB
HDD: 45 GB
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: No
VR: No
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770
AMD FX 9590
VGA: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
AMD Radeon RX 480 3GB
HDD: 45 GB
DirectX: 12
Controller: Full
Mod Support: No
VR: No
FOV Slider: Yes
FPS Lock: 120+

The Case

As the name suggests, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Remake (Nemesis from now on) is a complete remake of the classic PlayStation 1 survival horror game of the same name. Capcom have taken their Resident Evil 2 Remake formula and applied it to a game that was more about player choice and action. Some of what made Nemesis special has been lost in translation however. Beware of spoilers for a 20 year old story from this point forwards.

The Trial

Main character, Jill Valentine, is as badass as ever and, while her new design is contentious, the writing of both her and Carlos is top notch. Jill has very few vulnerable moments through the campaign and even when infected she’s never a damsel in distress. Almost right from the very beginning Nemesis himself shows up hunting her before she’s even armed but even running away Jill is unflappable and competent. Even when Nemesis arms himself with a rocket launcher and begins to mutate she keeps her cool and deals with him like an intelligent person – luring him into traps based on information she’s found and exploiting his weaknesses with the equipment on hand.

Nemesis encounters aren’t all sunshine and rainbows though, the earliest chase sequence with him amounts to the player holding forwards and letting the scene play out. But what if the player doesn’t press anything? Well, Nemesis stands there in a burning corridor with a huge chunk of masonry like a plonker and all tension drains from the scene as though a spillway malfunctioned. This problem doesn’t occur in other sequences where Nemesis chases Jill through actual levels but they’re all scripted encounters; he won’t just show up out of the blue like Mr X could in the previous game. This helps keep his impact high but also makes a huge chunk of the early game feel like one protracted boss battle.

There’s plenty of zombies to go along with your Resi mandated bioweapon too and the combat system from Resident Evil 2 Remake returns with mixed results. The knife was a useful tool in the previous game but in Nemesis it has been nerfed so hard its only use is to check if a downed zombie is actually dead or not and, honestly, if you’ve already downed the zombie you can probably get done what needs doing before it’s a problem again anyway. While we agree that Resi 2‘s knife was perhaps a little too useful, Capcom have gone in a little too hard on the nerf.

Jill doesn't take any shit.

Weapons in general feel like they lack significant power. Every single weapon, even a semi-automatic shotgun and grenade launcher, fire with a disheartening “pop.” We’ve heard more threatening children’s cap guns. We’ve also seen more threatening cap guns: Both the pistols and assault rifle suffer significantly from miniscule damage output, that stupid focusing mechanic, and the nagging feeling that every shot fired into a zombie is a waste of your time. You will kill a zombie eventually but they appear to have random health values and we’ve seen everything between one and ten shots to just knock one down. We get that it’s survival horror and resource management is a big issue but it’s handled poorly; more powerful weapons and less ammunition would have been a more exciting route and might have helped alleviate another issue with enemies: forced encounters.

Nemesis, mainly in the late game hospital and underground research lab areas, forces you into some pretty rough fights. Carlos is jumped by a powerful Hunter Gamma and must face two at once not long after to get a key item. Jill also faces a forced encounter with a Hunter Gamma in the hospital that can result in her getting cornered and killed very easily. Jill also faces off against the very powerful, and reanimating, Pale Heads with the first meeting with one being a forced encounter. If you don’t know what it is, you’re liable to waste a lot of ammunition trying to bring it down and the whole thing feels like a beginner’s trap. A hint as to its nature before they were introduced could have made this easily avoidable.

We also encountered an infuriating design decision whereby any items left behind by one character are gone with the other character enters the same area. This manifested in the hospital where, as Carlos, we left behind four grenades and about 120 handgun bullets because we knew Jill had to retread the same area and had far less supplies. Those items were gone after the character switch and left both Jill and Carlos with a severe deficit of valuable gear going into the final areas of the game. Did the cleaning lady turn up during a zombie apocalypse and put the bullets away in a cupboard somewhere? Perhaps she just threw a handful of grenades in the bin because she didn’t know what they were and assumed them to be rubbish?

Sniff my finger.

Some other small problems presented themselves too; the quick turn command briefly turns off your ability to aim after the animation has completed which leaves you vulnerable and unless you’re playing with a pad that particular binding only serves to trip you up and put you in danger if accidentally pressed. Some boss fights against Nemesis are also prolonged significantly if you don’t bring a specific weapon and ammunition type to exploit his movement pattern. This doesn’t make the fight any harder per se but does make it drag on well over the five minute mark while you go dizzy spinning the camera to keep up with his movements, ready to shoot once he stops.

For fans of the original PlayStation game’s choices and Mercenaries mode, we’ve got bad news: neither are present. Two of the defining features that made up the soul of Resident Evil 3 have been removed completely from Nemesis. This left us feeling railroaded throughout the miserably short campaign: 3 hours and 55 minutes, including about 20 minutes where I forgot I had a map and got lost in the city area and 25-30 minutes where I went for a smoke without pausing the game. That was on a first play-through on normal difficulty too. Minus the smoke break you’re looking at a full price game that clocks in at three and a half hours long. A short but sweet campaign wouldn’t be an issue if there were any incentive to replay; there’s no second scenario here, no new game plus, no Mercenaries mode (instead replaced with a simple menu to buy items), not all weapons have infinite ammo variants, no unlockable characters. We didn’t have a second thought about uninstalling after the credits rolled.

Included with Nemesis is Resident Evil Resistance, a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer mode where four survivors have to outwit a mastermind player while racing against the clock and whatever the mastermind throws in their way. We jumped into this mode with hopes that it would help salvage the long-term appeal of the game but came away not just disappointed but again reaching for the uninstall button after just a few rounds. See, Resistance has the most horrific feature possible for a multiplayer game: a giant gaping chasm of imbalance. Each survivor and mastermind have unique skills but also level up, gaining more skills and equipment slots as they go but higher level players have a blatant and overwhelming advantage against new players. Our first match resulted in facing a level 20 mastermind who spawned exactly two zombies which he then took control of and proceeded to beat all four survivors to death in the first room. Not a good first impression.

Getting in melee range of Nemesis isn't a good idea.

We had some better luck with a team of survivors against a low level mastermind but the lone player still had the advantage and could use player controlled zombies and their powerful Birkin Tyrant summon to block a narrow path leading to the exit door which left us high and dry with no hope of getting through. The issue of weapon power and usefulness again crops up heavily; the starting pistol is near useless while the shotgun and minigun provide a decent amount of firepower but hit registration issues mean many shots were missing even point blank. Melee weapons have a durability meter, do practically no damage, and don’t even stagger zombies so right away one survivor who specialises in melee combat is just there as a beginner’s trap.

Some of the more interesting features of the mode are also hobbled; players can hack or shoot cameras (the mastermind’s way of seeing the world) to disable them but the latter option takes so many bullets and lasts for such a short time that it’s just a gigantic waste of resources and puts your team in danger. Resistance also features a loot box type mechanic where you buy additional equipment, emotes, and cosmetics from random boxes. Right now, there’s a microtransaction store to buy “RP” boosters, but the store wouldn’t load and it wouldn’t shock us if these microtransactions expand significantly in the future.

Enough negativity though, time for a positive: The RE Engine, used in Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2 Remake, again shows its chops as a graphical and performance powerhouse. Even with settings turned up high enough that game game’s options menu threw out a warning about possible problems we encountered none. Characters become dirty and covered in soot from their traipsing around a burning city while being accosted by the undead populace. Characters are also impressively distinct – too often we see games where everyone’s the same height or other assets are recycled without care for the player noticing but not here, antagonist Nicholai is taller and gaunter than other characters, an imposing presence who’s supposed to be a pragmatic money obsessed mercenary but comes off as a cartoonishly evil dickweasel who’s one top hat and moustache twirl away from tying a woman to train tracks. That’s not to say he’s a bad villain, he’s just not as interesting as the rest of the cast.

The dogs look so bad it's like they're from an early Xbox 360 game.

Carlos, likely just taken in by Jill’s appearance at first, is constantly confident and headstrong but has faith in Jill’s abilities even when the rest of his team thinks she’s dead weight. This comes across in his play style too as he starts out packing an assault rifle and a couple of hundred bullets that let you tear through about half the game without having to worry about ammunition so long as you’re fairly efficient. Towards the end of the game Carlos is more driven, determined to protect Jill and even willing to face down a zombie siege solo to accomplish this. His hair is also magnificent, the kind of messy that Ed Sheeran has been trying to pull off for years.

Posters in the game world also provide many, many nods to Capcom’s history and staff for seasoned Capcom fans. Endo Mitsuru, director of Ace Attourney games, is likely referenced in an advertisement for a fictional Japanese restaurant with the kanji for Mitsuru emblazoned boldly over half the poster. Drs Light and Wily appear on a poster for a science forum while red and yellow cartoon dinosaurs shilling Dino-Bites are likely a reference to the red and yellow haired protagonists of Dino Crisis. Other posters just lampoon classic monster movies and The Terminator or reference games more overtly such as a billboard advertising movies of 1942, Section Z, and Mars Carlisle, a blatant homage to Capcom classic Captain Commando.

The Verdict

While we’ve been quite harsh on Nemesis, we did have fun for the most part and if it was a budget title at around the twenty quid mark we’d be wholeheartedly recommending it. But it’s fifty pounds for around three and a half hours of campaign, a frankly bollocks multiplayer mode, and little reason to ever play it again once you’ve finished it. If you’re a huge fan of Resident Evil 2 Remake and haven’t played the original Resident Evil 3 then this version is worthwhile mainly for bringing an old game up to modern gameplay standards. We aren’t impressed by many design decisions either, particularly the aiming focus and quick-time events which don’t even prevent you from getting hurt, they’re basically just there to trick you into feeling like you have more agency than you actually do while a cutscene of the world’s most aggressive hickey plays out. The original Resident Evil 3 is my second favourite game of the series but it feels like what made it unique and special has been lost beneath a vacuous layer of visual polish.

Case Review

  • Shiny: The RE Engine delivers excellent performance and visuals.

  • Characters: Jill and Carlos are well written and complimentary of each other.

  • Nemesis: Gimmick ridden boss fights feel silly occasionally.

  • Mercenaries: It’s gone. GONE!

  • Soulless: It feels like Capcom just didn’t have much love for this one.

  • Resistance: One of the worst multiplayer games I’ve played in years. Truly abysmal.

2 Score: 2/5
There's plenty of technical polish but the lack of love shows through large cracks.


  • Controls: Controller settings, fully rebindable keys, run toggle, quick-time event hold/tap toggle, moust button swap, lock cursor to window toggle, auto reload toggle, aim sensitivity adjustment, aim assist toggle, controller vibration toggle.
  • Camera: Normal gameplay and aiming inversion options, field of view slider, separate sliders for aiming and normal gameplay sensitivity for both controller and mouse.
  • Display: HDR mode, brightness calibration, display area calibration, reticle colour and sight colour selection, tutorials toggle, HUD toggle, colour space type selection.
  • Audio: Volume sliders for voice, background music, and sound effects. Output type (stereo, mono, etc.) selection. Dynamic range selection.
  • Language: Voice and display language selection. Subtitles toggle.
  • Graphics: Selection options for; refresh rate, frame rate, V-sync, anti-aliasing, texture quality, texture filter quality, mesh quality, shadow quality, shadow cache, screen space reflections, subsurface scattering, volumetric lighting quality, particle lighting quality, ambient occlusion, bloom, lens flare, motion blur, depth of field, lens distortion, and FidelityFX CAS. Memory usage, resource distribution bars, and example image.
4 Score: 4/5

Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is precisely why we try to have more than one voice for our reviews. Whilst the complaints my fellow Judge made are all valid, I personally completely disagree that they ruin the end product. Far from it. Both games are solid, with R3make itself being one of the best Resident Evil games ever made. It does suck that the choices and multiple endings have not carried over, but that ultimately allows the end product to be far more tightly focused.

It looks absolutely amazing, with a respectable amount of variety in its environments and is sublime in its optimisation. The extra year of dev time has allowed Capcom to really bring their A game, giving me a rock solid 60+ at all times, with everything maxed out, running at 1440p. Even with the game warning me I’m rubbing right up against the limits of my VRAM, there was not a single issue to be found. The only real complaint is that Nemesis is a bit bullshit during the chase sections. All the more annoying because the boss fights aren’t anything overly challenging. Enough so that I found myself actually enjoying them, despite usually hating boss fights on point of principle. Quite the accomplishment indeed.

Resistance isn’t exactly great, but it has a lot of charm. Its largest problem is a complete lack of balance. Beginning players are grossly underpowered, whilst even getting in a few levels flips things completely on their head, especially for the Survivors. All you need is a few competent people, with a couple of buffs apiece, and it becomes a cake walk. If sold alone, it wouldn’t really be all that much to talk about, but coming as an extra with R3make makes it a pretty solid bonus. Overall, that makes this a great package and well worth dropping your money on.

Comments (0)