Earlier this year, the masterminds at Capcom treated us to the phenomenal remake of Resident Evil 2. Before that, few would argue that even with the admirable Resident Evil 7, the series had gone astray. Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 were far from being solid representatives of the franchise and so everything rested upon the upcoming remake of one of the best: Resident Evil 2.
Luckily, our hopes were not let down and this remake featured some of the best story, horror and combat of the series ever. Most video game publications praised Resident Evil 2 with nearly perfect scores, including our very own Carlos Santuana who gave the game a solid 5/5. But promptly after its release, the conversation mounted on the possible remake of its equally great sequel – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
Released way back in September of 1999, the third entry in the series made perfect sense for being the next in line to receive the remake treatment. Especially now, when the first two games have been remade to critical acclaim. As the last game in the series from the era of the PlayStation, Resident Evil 3 has undoubtedly aged poorly and the rudimentary tank controls could benefit from an overhaul as well.
Of course, it could still take another solid year until we hear anything concrete about the game. But in our irresistible fervour of any news, we discuss what improvements we would like to see brought to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and which features should return in the remake.
Welcome to Raccoon City
Resident Evil 2, or rather its remake, began with a tantalizing pan over Raccoon City. Afterwards, before eventually entering the police station, we got to briefly run through its chaotic streets during a rainstorm. This short, yet memorable segment gave us a slight taste of the outdoor environments and the gorgeous weather effects. City streets were lined with abandoned cars, zombies roamed across every alleyway, and puddles brightly reflected the city lights.
But after that, we seldom had the chance to explore these outdoor environments and were mostly isolated to the police station. And while Resident Evil 2 was all about the Raccoon Police Department, Resident Evil 3 should give us a greater perspective on the dilapidated city itself. Bigger and more detailed environments open up avenues for new events and even additional story arcs.
For instance, the remake could shed more light on Dario Rosso’s daughter before she met her untimely demise. In the original, we briefly encounter her desperately fleeing from zombies. Afterwards, we hear a scream and find her motionless body on a set of stairs – the end.
We might also get to explore previously inaccessible locales, like shops and random apartment buildings. Speaking of which, the R.P.D. featured in Resident Evil 3 as well, albeit as a very short segment; too short, in fact. Turning it into a lengthier segment and allowing us to explore its remnants could greatly benefit the story. Especially with a handful of zombies still roaming its dark corridors and grim events, like Marvin’s corpse and the blown-up police van in the parking lot, indicating at Leon and Claire’s recent presence. Capcom took many creative liberties when it came to the narrative in Resident Evil 2, so we should expect the same in Resident Evil 3 as well.
You Want Stars? I’ll Give You Stars.
Leon and Claire were completely unprepared for the zombie outbreak; with Leon being a rookie police officer and Claire barely fit for combat. They were unlikely heroes, but it didn’t always translate into their actions. Most of the time, they displayed visible signs of fear and general lack of experience, particularly during the initial segment at the gas station.
But on a few occasions, they acted blissfully ignorant of the surrounding chaos. Like the fence scene: would you really hold a flirtatious conversation while having dozens of zombies right behind your back? Events like that led to some confusing inconsistencies in the character writing and the plot itself.
Contrarily, Jill, the heroine of the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 3, is a member of S.T.A.R.S. Being trained for extreme situations and having experienced the mansion incident, she should definitely act more calm and composed. In the original, she was portrayed as a complete badass and always in control of the situation; she blew up a restaurant, jumped out from a running tram and later unloaded a full revolver barrel into, you guessed it, Nemesis himself.
Protagonists of Resident Evil 2 weren’t always convincing, but hopefully, we get to see the Jill we all know and love.
In the original Resident Evil 2, Mr X posed as a mysterious and stalwart tyrant villain. He approached the protagonists slowly, steadily, and with confidence, but got halted by something as simple as a door. More importantly, with enough resources on hand players could actually kill him. In the remake, his character received a substantial upgrade; Mr X became much faster, stronger, and no longer limited by doors.
This new and improved version of Mr X scared the shit out of almost everyone. Most players resorted to a desperate sprint in the opposite direction after witnessing the hulking tyrant lift a helicopter with one hand and approach. And that turned out to become the only viable option throughout the whole game. Fighting him was futile; at most, several magnum bullets would incapacitate him for 30 seconds.
Playing a constant cat and mouse with him felt exhilarating, especially when you tried to move the shelves in the library, with a 7-foot tall trench-coat-wearing freak roaming around. But after a while, his imposing presence wore off and he became somewhat predictable. He followed a certain pattern and took players by surprise only once: by smashing through a concrete wall.
Nemesis, simply put, is an improved variant of Mr X: with the added benefit of venomous tentacles. Also, unlike Mr X, he employs conventional weaponry during combat: a minigun, a rocket launcher, and who knows what else. Capcom should take the improved version of Mr X and use it as a blueprint in creating a new Nemesis. But making him less predictable and perhaps even temporarily killable could make combat more rewarding. Much like in the original: make us unload every last bullet into him, but reward us with a unique weapon.
Operation Mad Jackal
Like many other entries in the series, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis featured an additional mode called The Mercenaries. This involved the three members of the Umbrella cleanup team: Carlos, Mikhail, and Nicholai. Each boasted a different loadout and, upon selecting one of them, players were sent into a heart-pumping battle against the clock through Raccoon City streets.
As one of the mercenaries, players were supposed to reach the indicated room on the map within a set time limit. Killing zombies and other monsters along the way – including Nemesis himself – awarded valuable seconds and points. And these points were then used to purchase unique weapons for the main story mode: a powerful Gatling gun, for instance.
Seeing this iconic mode make a return on modern consoles would serve as an excellent throwback to the original. But how about going the extra mile with short, separate scenarios for each character? We already got to briefly play as Carlos, but other characters, particularly Mikhail, were neglected. These scenarios could explain how exactly Mikhail got gravely injured, or portray Nicholai’s deception in greater detail. Similarly to Separate Ways in Resident Evil 4, but in much shorter, bite-sized portions.
Finally, though multiplayer doesn’t quite mesh with the series, multiple characters provide an opportunity for a potential co-op. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis begins with a brief, action-packed cutscene depicting the Umbrella Corp’s battle against swarms of zombies. Developers could turn this scene into a co-op wave mode for up to 3 or 4 players, each playing as a different mercenary.
Resident Evil 2 featured a decent amount of costumes, but most of them were only obtainable via paid DLC. Cool costumes from the original version were missing and even though the later released pixelated models from 1998 left a memorable impression, other free costumes: not so much. More importantly, many of them were simple variations of the same costume.
On the other hand, the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis featured a boutique, which players could access by obtaining the key after completing the game once. Inside, players could don Jill into various costumes: disco, a sexy police officer, or even as Regina from the Dino Crisis series. Given its significance in the original, its inclusion in the remake would certainly bring back the nostalgia.
With a likely bigger and more detailed city, developers could even include multiple stores with different clothing selections in each. And with so many great games released since, these stores could feature costumes of characters from other franchises. Like an attire of Nico from Devil May Cry 5, or a classic – Chun-Li from the Street Fighter series.
Alas, many of these will likely force you to cough up the cash, but one may dream.
Free From Fear
Of course, those were all mere speculations, but we would love to see at least a few of them in the remake.
In conclusion, let’s bring up one final point – the soundtrack of Resident Evil 2. While certain parts of it brought back pleasant memories, it did lack an integral component: a save room theme. True, it did play at certain parts in the game, but briefly and only once. By improving upon this, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis could bring back one of the best save room themes in the series: Free From Fear.
For now, let us know what you would like to see in the remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis in the comments below. And for the love of Jill’s sandwich, Capcom, don’t lock the original soundtrack behind a paywall!