I Can’t Stop Playing Resident Evil 3

And I Don’t Really Want To


I absolutely love Resident Evil 3, or RE3, or #RE3R, or whatever you want to call it. When I wrote my day one review, I had no idea just how close to the end of the game I really was. The back end of RE3 is a brisk action-adventure, almost breezy at times. Despite multiple suggestions from the game that I consider sliding down to Assisted Mode (where the training-wheels-and-bumper-bowling vibe is heavy), I resisted and made it through my first playthrough on my usual, middle-of-the-road, Standard Mode, scoring a final “C” grade. That’s a decent grade—I suppose—considering I saved over 40 times my first time through and had a play thru time of twenty hours (!)—although I think many of those hours were just me paused, or in the item selection screen, while I was off doing something else.

When the game was over, and the credits rolled, and a bland (“That’s all you get for merely beating Standard Mode”) post-credit scene ended as quickly as it began, I immediately went to the newly unlocked Store to see what I could “purchase” and unlock, using the points I earned completing objectives in the game.

Glancing at all the items I could unlock, and all the achievements I could reach in order to earn the points needed to “purchase” them, I was hooked. For the low, low price of 2,000 pts. I could play again as Classic Jill Valentine, sporting her original Resident Evil outfit (complete with the cute little cap). I resisted purchasing it and instead began knocking out challenges in order to gain more points, in order to purchase more perks, items, and weapons. Usually I don’t replay Resident Evil games after I beat them, even though the speed run, “gotta do it again faster” replay factor is a big part of the series lifeblood.

The only game I replayed, over and over, was Resident Evil 4 on the old PS2. I even went back to last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake the other day and found that I had only completed it once as Leon, and was only partially thru the 2nd playthrough as Mr. Kennedy, and partially through Claire’s campaign.

On the RE2 front, I am actually quite excited about this prospect, because I can now continue to live in the somewhat-concurrent world of RE2/3 and not feel guilty about playing a game where I have nothing left to accomplish. I am at 90% complete in my trophy wrangling on the PS4, having only to complete the game on Inferno mode with an S ranking, before securing the elusive Platinum trophy. I am not a trophy hound, by the by. I’ve got less than 10 Platinum trophies across the PS3, PS Vita, and PS4. So the fact that Nemesis has its gory tendrils in me this deep is impressive.

I began searching for all the Charlie dolls I missed. I’m actually pretty good at knowing where to look for hidden items in games. I know that there is usually a visual clue when you are near such items, and the Charlie dolls do make a slight creaking noise when you are near them, but some of them still managed to be painfully hard to find (there is one Charlie doll that is hidden inside of a trash bin during the Hospital segment that I found especially lame). Still, after being stuck on 19 out of 20 dolls, I eventually found the final doll in an area I was sure I checked a million times before.

In the sewer, Jill spots one of the twenty Charlie dolls hidden in the game.
“Goodbye, Charlie.” And upon finding this sneakily hidden Charlie doll, I found all 20, and earned a shiny trophy.

Eventually, I had earned enough points to purchase the big-ticket item: The rocket launcher. This of course makes the combat in the game pretty perfunctory but doesn’t eliminate the challenge completely. It makes Assisted and Standard mode pretty easy, but once I reached Hardcore mode, I had to play through twice in order to get an S ranking. This mode requires that you beat the game in less than 1 hour and 45 minutes. As of this writing, I have completed all difficulty modes in the game, and need to S rank both Nightmare and Inferno (for my final trophy) before having literally nothing left to accomplish in the game.

John's rankings for all 5 modes of gameplay. S ranking for Assisted, Standard, and Hardcore. B ranking for Nightmare and Inferno.

Many of the rewards in-game are the same as PS4 trophies, meaning when you get the trophy bling, you’ve probably unlocked a reward as well. Most offer points for purchasing items, but they also offer cool concept art (the article header is my favorite) and character models you can view, pose, and take captures of.

The higher difficulty modes also change things up a bit. As is the case with previous entries in the series, you get less ammo, zombos are tougher, and downright speedy in Inferno mode, and key items are moved around.

Take poor Brad Vickers for example. When you encounter him on the easier modes, he’s a tough guy to take down. Once you do, you can take his ID card off his person and use it access lockboxes inside the station. However, his ID card (and other items) move in the harder modes. It’s not too far out of the way, but you do have to go elsewhere to get poster boy’s credentials.

Also, when you get to the Item Security Room, Brad barges in on you for one last scare.

Brad Vickers returns to get his ID card back. Carlos gives him a rocket to the face.
“Sorry, Poster Boy.”

You eventually get accustomed to where the scares are after playing through the game several times, but the harder modes change things up, through addition and subtraction. There is a part early on in the game when you leave the power station after getting it back online, and a zombie bursts through the front door. That actually doesn’t happen in all the harder modes, so you spend time slowly creeping waiting for a jump scare that never comes.

I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little cheap blasting through some of the game with a rocket launcher. You can temporarily incapacitate Nemesis with it (and he drops some good weapon upgrades too). However, when playing the three most difficult modes, the final fight in the game will require you to learn his patterns, dodge effectively (equip that S.T.A.R.S. Field Combat Manual, edited by Chris Redfield) and heal yourself quickly (if you even have the opportunity to do so).

Most of the perks you can acquire through the in-game store (and again, all purchases are made with in-game points, no actual cash transactions) will help shave time off your speed runs, and the progression system is such that you can always work towards some attainable goal at all times, meaning you won’t often feel like you’re wasting your time, or spinning your wheels.

Resident Evil 3 is not a perfect game. I do wish you could defend yourself once an enemy grabs hold of you, but defensive items like the dagger from RE2 are no longer in this game. The main gripe I’ve been seeing is that the game is very short, and it is. An S ranking often means clocking in a complete game in under 2 hours. Personally, I happen to love that I can sit down and bang out a playthrough in the amount of time it takes to watch a movie. Others may want a longer experience. For those people, I would recommend going back to the Resident Evil 2 remake. It’s what I’m doing, and I’m loving it. Plus, I have all the locker and safe combinations memorized, and they’re the same as they are in RE3, so that’s pretty nifty.

Extra Herbs

  • I’m sure that “goddamned” Nathaniel Bard was a competent scientist, but he was also a bit of a toxic man-baby too. Unloading on nurses the way he did, very bad optics, now more than ever, Dr. Bard.
  • After playing through the game over a dozen times on various difficulties, I’m pretty sure there is no way to accidentally shoot the wrong person during the last part of the game. The only way to die is to simply not shoot at all.
  • I referenced that the post-credit scene I got once I beat the game on Standard Mode seemed like it was not the “true” ending. Turns out, it was. There is only the one ending.
  • I wonder if there will be DLC for RE3. I say this because there is one point where a citizen runs past you and ducks into the train station. I could see you following his adventure in a Survivors style mode. Time will tell.
  • The Quick Time events are kept to a sparse minimum and usually aren’t frustrating. Usually…giant rolling object…

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Written by Johnny Malloy

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