Resident Evil 3: Nemesis

Bad Dog! Sit, sit!
Bad dog! Sit, sit!
   When considering the list of landmark games that have aided the Playstation in its climb to the top of the console heap, the Resident Evil series is one of the first to spring to mind. The first Resident Evil was revolutionary in its own right, implanting the spirit of the moody and haunting atmosphere of the oft-reminisced of text-based adventure games of days past into a shiny new body. Excellent graphics, appealing charaters and foes, and above all else, an intruiging and suspenseful storyline all melded together to create one polished and highly enjoyable gaming experience. But let's be honest, Resident Evil was most popular because of its downright freaky premise, utterly repulsive zombies, and liberal spattering of moments calculated to scare the crap out of you. Resident Evil 2 improved upon the formula outlined in the original game in almost every respect, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is intended to do just the same.

   In the original Resident Evil, Jill Valentine escapes the Umbrella mansion, and all seems to be over when it goes up in a fiery explosion. However, when she, Chris Redfield, and Barry Burton return to town, they are met with only disbelief and ridicule. The mansion has been destroyed along with any evidence in it, and the police are dragging their feet on investigating the matter since the Chief of police himself is in an arrangement with Umbrella, as is later discovered in Resident Evil 2. While Chris Redfield heads off to Umbrella headquarters in Europe to take matters into his own hands, Jill resigns from her position as a member of S.T.A.R.S. and prepares to leave town (which also explains the casual attire she dons in RE3). Unfortunately, it seems fate simply isn't on Jill's side, as the G-virus sweeps the entire town of Racoon City, and Jill must once more face death at the hands of the hordes of mutants and zombies. But like the first two games of the series, Jill is not alone. A second character by the name of Carlos Oliveira, while not playable at the outset, is controllable at key points throughout Nemesis. Carlos is a member of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Force who has been sent in to rescue any Umbrella survivors. Carlos is at first unaware of the fact that his compay has created this horrible mess, but as the game progresses he learns his company's dark serets. Other characters known to be in the game at this time include two Russian men, Michael Victor and Nicholai Zinoviev, both of whom play supporting roles, and the Nemesis, of whom RE3's subtitle owes its name.

 Danger lurks... watch out!
Danger lurks... watch out!

   The Nemesis himself is one of several improvements and additions slated for RE3. He is not like the scuffling, moaning automaton-like zombies we've come to know and love -- or come to know and be repulsed by, more fittingly. Unlike his braindead brethren, the Nemesis is fast, smart, and exponentially more powerful. Not only is he not easily shaken and capable of crashing through walls at any given time, he also wields weapons of his own, such as a bazooka and a shotgun. In fact, Capcom intends to add a whole new degree of tension with the Nemesis, as he can show up anywhere at any given time. Imagine that you've just faced off with a boss, and are wounded and low on ammo as a result. You drag yourself away when suddenly the Nemesis comes breaking through the wall and running after you. He's faster than you, he's armed, and he wants to make a light snack out of your noggin. Not only that, once you had cleared a room of its decomposing inhabitants, you knew you could come back safely at any time. Thus going back and forth for puzzle items could become a chore on occasion. Now you have to worry that the Nemesis could suddenly be waiting for you in that room you thought was so safe. Of course, the Nemesis isn't the only addition. RE3 sports more interactive backgrounds than the first two games, with nearly everything able to be examined, and much cleaner, more colorful backdrops.

   Resident Evil 3 marks the series' last appearance on the aging PlayStation hardware. While the future of the series may lie in the likes of Code Veronica, Capcom wants to be sure to give the console that gave birth to what has become its most lucrative franchise a proper send off. RE3 is perfect for just that, as it serves not only as another step forward, but also as a culmination of the previous two games, sporting beasts and atmospheric and thematic puzzle elements from both.

Preview by Drew Cosner, GIA
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Developer Capcom
Publisher Capcom
Genre Adventure
Medium CD (?)
Platform Sony PlayStation
Release Date  11.99
Resident Evil 3 release moved up
20 assorted screenshots
5 character renders / Weapon and item renders / Rendered scene
Japanese advertisement and memory card case