Anyone reading this has probably already heard of or played the latest remake of Resident Evil 2 from Capcom – a complete overhaul of the classic survival-horror game from 1998 that’s arguably one of the franchise’s best. The newly retold stories of both Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield has been rebuilt from the ground up, taking away its aged-out controls and replacing them with a clean, tight third-person perspective that keeps the suspense close, and the moment-to-moment experience as engaging as possible.
With RE 2‘s release, though, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is now left as the only mainline game from the series that isn’t playable on current consoles. However with the success Capcom has had in recent years, and the yearning of fans and newcomers to sink their teeth into the newest zombie-infested hallways of Resident Evil 2, there are many reasons why the third game of the illustrious Resident Evil franchise needs the call-up it rightfully deserves.
This article won’t touch on any rumors or speculation of a possible Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake currently in the works. Rather, the focus here will be on why it needs to be remade, from acknowledging the game’s confinement to older consoles, to the potential the third game has as a reimagined experience.
Revamped Gameplay Mechanics
A huge issue with 3D video game environments built in the mid-to-late 90s is almost none of them have aged well. The majority of games from this time period relied on the idea of tank controls, where players can only turn by rotating their character first before they can move forward or backward. Even though Resident Evil 2 fell victim to the earliest of 3D environment tropes, it did little to harm the overall experience. Just under two years later in 1999, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation 1, and while it added a few “quality of life” features, it played almost exactly like its predecessor.
Seeing the success of the Resident Evil 2’s reimagining thanks to its “One-Shot” demo, Capcom should have little trouble taking Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and retooling it to work in its new RE Engine, which first debuted with 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Also, allowing a chance to play the game with modern, dual analog controls further adds to the dynamic of exploring the destroyed streets of Racoon City.
Part of the Game is Already Made
Sometimes it’s tough to define what games are “remastered” versus what games are “remade.” In the case of Resident Evil 2, it very much has been remade from the ground up to follow the major beats of the original story while not feeling like a direct copy and paste experience. One benefit Capcom would have, should they ever decide to give the same treatment to remaking Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, is the development team already has a head start on the project.
A good portion of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis sees returning protagonist Jill Valentine venture into and throughout the Racoon Police Department, the primary setting for Resident Evil 2. There are notable changes between the original versions of the franchise’s second and third games, with the latter seeing players more likely to run into blocked off doorways and large sections of the Police Department unavailable entirely. A good portion of what would be expected from a remake of Resident Evil 3 will already be experienced in Resident Evil 2‘s remake, which offers a development foundation Capcom can work around.
A New Twist on the Lore
The way the remake of Resident Evil 2 pulls the best beats of the original, while still finding ways to feel fresh, is a testament to Capcom’s wanting to appeal to both long-time fans and newcomers hoping to get their first taste of Capcom’s survival-horror franchise. Even before launch, early gameplay footage showed promise, from changing the layout of the Racoon City Police Department to how zombies have become more difficult to kill or escape from.
A common criticism of Resident Evil 3 Capcom could tackle is its campaign length. While Resident Evil 3 was well received when it first launched, a reoccurring issue was the game’s short completion time. A remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis would offer Capcom a chance to right the original’s biggest wrongs by expanding on what it did well while finding new ways to add to the full experience.
Completing the Resident Evil Set
With the launch of Resident Evil 2, this now leaves Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as the only mainline title in the franchise not playable on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. While porting the likes of Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5, and Resident Evil 6 to PS4 and Xbox One was an easy task for Capcom, the glaring omission of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is noticeable. Given its dated mechanics, the only way Resident Evil 3 would be a worthy project is if Capcom decided it wanted to give the game the same remake treatment it has for Resident Evil 2.
With last year’s late reveal of The PlayStation Classic, we hoped for Resident Evil 3 to make the list of games included for the retro system, but it didn’t make the cut. Still, Capcom has been vocal for the past few years of wanting to pursue remakes for a number of its established properties. One of the company’s best opportunities is sitting right in front of them, and a remake of the third entry would complete the full set of mainline Resident Evil games on modern consoles.
Capcom Has Momentum
Since the start of 2017, Capcom has been on a roll when it comes to successful AAA releases. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard surpassed five million copies in just over a year. Monster Hunter World became the best-selling game ever for Capcom in just a few short months. And now Resident Evil 2 looks to be another Game of the Year contender
During its opening weekend, the RE 2‘s “One-shot” demo surpassed over one million total downloads, showing that interest was high in the remake. Specifically talking Resident Evil, Capcom has found a way to successfully launch back-to-back franchise hits with both Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and its remake for Resident Evil 2. If it wanted to use that momentum to its advantage, a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis would be welcomed with open arms should Capcom ever choose to do so.
Any chance of a Resident Evil 3 remake is likely years away, and maybe impossible on current systems given the remaining life span of both the PS4 and Xbox One. But with Capcom bringing back the thrills and suspense the infancy of the Resident Evil series was able to achieve, a modernized version of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis speaks to Capcom’s desire to reimagine some of its earlier games, and would give fans even more reason to reinvest in the return to form Resident Evil has seen in recent years.