Review by: Jason Purdy
Published: November 25, 1999
So, here’s the situation. Pretend you’re a huge, multi-million dollar video game developer and publisher. You have just recently shocked the world by releasing the most recent episode in what has become one of the most popular and best selling franchises in gaming history. You’re nearly drowning in critical acclaim as the populace floods into the little world you’ve created for them, gets scared witless, and then clamors for more. What do you do? Well, for Capcom, the answer to that question is a very simple one. Do the exact same thing you’ve done for the past two episodes, only do it bigger, scarier, and better looking. In other words, create Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
So what is it that makes Nemesis different from all of the other Resident Evil’s? The answer is right in the title, and in the picture to the right of this paragraph. That tall, dark, rocket launcher toting figure is known as Nemesis, and more so than the characters you control, he is the central figure in the game. He is a super-zombie of sorts, possessing a nearly human intelligence, super-human strength, and an arsenal of weapons that would have you running for cover if you weren’t so busy trembling in his shadow. His most deadly asset, however, is not one of steel and gunpowder, but is rather his sheer relentlessness. Within the first hour of your adventure you’ll meet him for the first time, and every step you take after that, you’ll know that he’s not too far behind you. He shows up time and time again, determined to send every STAR agent he sees to the grave, and that most definitely includes you.
The story of Resident Evil 3 (RE3) takes place in the period of time between the end of RE and RE2. It is in this time that the well-known Jill Valentine, after retiring from STAR, gets trapped by a horde of zombies and must fight her way out. Luckily for her, she won’t be on her own. She soon meets up with Carlos, who is a mercenary working for the Umbrella Corporation. Umbrella is the organization that first engineered the T-virus, which is the nasty little bug responsible for the creation of all of the zombies in the first place. Carlos and the rest of his squadron were called in by Umbrella at the beginning of the fiasco in an attempt to save the civilians, or so he’s been told. Umbrella’s motives are always shrouded in secret, and as Carlos slowly begins to learn the truth, he and Jill realize that they’re both on the same side. It’s good that they realize this, too, because about halfway through the game Jill has a close encounter with Nemesis that leaves her half dead, and puts Carlos in the unenviable position of having to find an antidote to the sickness that starts to devour her body.
Neither Jill nor Carlos will be heading into the fray unarmed. As they progress through the city they collect quite an arsenal of weapons, including assault rifles, handguns, shotguns, and grenades. Expanding their armory even further are the many different types of ammunition that can be obtained for each of these weapons. Magnum rounds can be made for the pistols, and acid, fire, or ice grenades can be concocted if you know the right formulas. In their explorations the duo will come across many canisters of gunpowder, which come in three flavors. Depending on how you combine the powders, different armaments can be made. An understanding of this particular form of alchemy is a virtual necessity in the later levels when Nemesis is really out for your blood. Nothing makes him change his mind about going after you faster than being fed a flaming hand grenade.