Last week, we got two hours of hands-on time with Resident Evil 3. No, not the 1999 version, the new remake, silly! Dropping the "Nemesis" from its name, Resident Evil 3 has been remade with the shiny RE Engine for a new generation. While the most polarizing of the original trilogy, Resident Evil 3 is shaping up to take what we loved about the Resident Evil 2 remake, and fold it into a more action-oriented formula. Letting us loose on a Raccoon City in fresh ruin as Jill Valentine, we noticed quite a few smart changes and callbacks during our demo. Read on for six big details we noticed during our time with the Resident Evil 3 remake demo.
Environmental Hazards Make Dealing With Zombies and Nemesis Way Easier
Early on in my Resident Evil 3 demo, Jill had three or four zombies shambling toward her. I noticed a red barrel—the universal video game signifier of a bomb—and shot it, hoping for the best. The best happened: an explosion killed all the zombies instantly. From that point onward, I was noticing the tucked away barrels in the most convenient of places, in addition to the new electrical boxes that can stun enemies. The latter is most useful for stopping Nemesis, the giant monster that chases you around in this game. (Nemesis' extra foreboding nature makes Tyrant look like a toddler.) Or at least, stalling him for a time.
Nemesis Drops Supply Crates Like In the Original, But It's A Bit Easier Now
The best thing about Resident Evil 3 with the remake? Nemesis doesn't kick my ass anymore. In fact, it's easier than ever to stall Nemesis when he's in pursuit, even if he leaps directly in front of you in a startling fashion. He even drops a supply crate with a unique item if he suffers enough damage, much like in the original. Having finished the demo a tad early, a representative from Capcom walked some of us early demo-finishers through this easy-to-miss embellishment.
Luckily, you don't need to sink as much damage as was needed in the original, wherein Nemesis was kind of a bullet sponge. In the example we saw in-demo, they stunned Nemesis by shooting an electrical box, and threw a grenade at him. Then a supply crate dropped as he stumbled back, containing a useful item as a reward. I imagine supply crates will become far harder to come by as Resident Evil 3, and Nemesis in turn, grows more dangerous.
Resident Evil 3 Features New Locations, Like the Sewers
In Resident Evil 2's original and the remake, Claire and Leon traverse the sewers for a time. With last year's remake, many remarked that it was the low point of the game. Unfortunately, the sewers return in Resident Evil 3, despite not being in the original. Luckily, it's at a shortened capacity (and is not exactly the same area as Resident Evil 2). And it's not all bad! Really! Even if I got eaten by a giant albino monster at one point!
In our interview with Producer Peter Fabiano, he's coy about other new surprises that lie in wait for players of the original Resident Evil 3. "Resident Evil 3 is also a reimagining," he tells USgamer. "We took probably more liberties than we did with Resident Evil 2, but again, it was very important that we kept to the essence of the original. So we want it to feel fresh but familiar."
The Weapons Are Familiar If You Played Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Much like the incremental change between the original Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil 3's remake carries over the same weapons seen in Resident Evil 2. Only there's a catch: Where Leon and Claire's weapon-sets were divided depending on who you played as, in Resident Evil 3, the arsenal looks to be folded over.
The first few weapons Jill gets are a handgun, a shotgun, and a grenade launcher. The first two were key weapons in Leon's routes, while the grenade launcher was a perk of playing as Claire. Personally, I never found the grenade launcher because I apparently missed a locked closet somewhere in the new locale of the sewers, though I did find many flame rounds for it. I found the shotgun readily after acquiring some bolt cutters, and hacked off the chain that was keeping it locked away.
The Shotgun Only Uses One Inventory Slot Now
One of the big pain points of Resident Evil games is finagling your inventory like a high stakes match of Tetris. In last year's Resident Evil 2 remake, that annoyance was present again thanks to its plentiful weapons. Guns like the shotgun and the considerably larger flamethrower took up the same amount of inventory space: two slots. As a result, I'd often find myself trekking with just two weapons at a time—a souped up pistol, and a shotgun or other strong "crowd control" weapon. Resident Evil 3 is fixing that.
The shotgun, like the handgun, is just one inventory slot now. It's easier to conceive carrying three weapons now than it was before, which is great considering Jill's toolset is shaping up to be like Claire's and Leon's from Resident Evil 2, only combined.
Shootable Bobblehead Statues Return With Mr. Charlies
If you were at all like me playing Resident Evil 2 (2019), then you wasted ammo shooting the heads off of little bobblehead statues called Mr. Raccoons. I never got the trophy that you net if you find them all, but I did discover (and shoot) quite a few. I'm pleased to say that Resident Evil 3 brings forward this bonus collect-a-thon challenge with Mr. Charlie. I found at least one during my demo, though I'm sure there were more tucked away in buildings and rooms that I didn't even spot. The Mr. Charlie statues operate in the same way as they did in Resident Evil 2: You shoot their heads, and presumably, work your way toward a trophy. Or at least one can hope.
This year's Resident Evil 3 remake is out on April 3, 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. We played our demo on a PlayStation 4 Pro and found it ran very smoothly, with no noticeable frame rate or performance issues. Resident Evil 3 will release alongside a 4v1 co-op survival game called Resident Evil: Resistance, which features a hodge-podge of villains from the series' past and a motley crew of new faces. Both Resistance and Resident Evil 3 are bundled together, and out the same day.