Capcom couldn’t have timed it better.
Their remake of Resident Evil 3, a game about a virus wreaking havoc on humanity, releases just as we face the same crisis in reality. Except in Resident Evil 3, the virus turns people into zombies.
The good news is that, unlike Covid-19, there’s a much easier solution in Resident Evil — shoot the virus in the face. Who doesn’t want some of that catharsis right now?
The Resident Evil remakes have been a resounding success for Capcom.
No one could have expected the level of commercial success and critical acclaim the first two entries received.
Now, with everyone desperate to fight boredom as well as the virus, the third remake is likely to sell even more.
So what has changed from the original?
Let’s start with the obvious. The graphics and presentation are simply top notch, a universe away from the original’s muddy textures and pixelated charm. Atmosphere plays a huge part in horror games and Resident Evil 3 Remake is worth playing just for those upgrades alone.
The key changes, however, are accumulative.
The controls have been completely refined and a new version dodge feel much more responsive and satisfying when you nail it.
The locations have been largely reworked, making Raccoon City feel like a new place.
The Nemesis, the poster boy for the game, has also seen a completely overall, now appearing more at random to take you by complete surprise.
All these small changes ultimately make Resident Evil 3 Remake feel like a new game.
There are some losses along the way.
The multiple endings of the original have been discarded, as have the branching story options.
The additional multiplayer options don’t add much to the experience if you wanted more single player content instead.
Overall, however, Resident Evil 3 Remake is a perfect antidote to what’s going on in the world right now.
In the real world, you are being asked self-isolate and keep away from the virus at all costs. In Resident Evil 3, you can always eat a green herb, load your gun, and face your fear head on.
Sticking with the Resident Evil series, let’s look ahead to the future for a moment.
Leaks have been swirling that the next new Resident Evil would be announced very soon.
On fact, there have been some very interesting rumours doing the rounds.
For a start, we have been warned to expect the ‘biggest departure yet’ for the series from its horror roots, with leakers claiming that some fans will not be pleased, despite internal quality testing ‘indicating the game is high quality’.
In addition, rumours seem to corroborate that werewolves will feature heavily in the new Resi, that it won’t be called Resident Evil 8 and that it has been in development since 2016.
Our guess? Resident Evil will go open world, in first-person mode, with a completely different style of gameplay to before, with more action and RPG elements than ever.
Based on when development started, open world games were still very much the modus operandi for studios. If the rumours prove true, then consider us first in line to purchase.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for gaming on the go, then — well, maybe that’s not going to happen for a while.
Still, mobile gaming is just as much fun on your couch as on the train.
Square Enix can prove the point, if you take up their offer of downloading Lara Croft GO for free on the Android and iPhone store.
A highly-entertaining puzzle game, featuring our (second) favourite Tomb Raider, Lara Croft GO remains free for one more day only.
She may not be Indiana Jones, but Lara’s good company during a quarantine.
Finally, Switch gamers can also enjoy a bit of free entertainment right now, if they download the Bravely Default 2 demo from the Nintendo store.
While the demo only contains a few hours of gameplay, those hours are pretty challenging and require you to dive into the deep RPG mechanics to understand how different job classes can lead to victory.
The Bravely Default 2 demo is colourful, has great music and may whet your appetite for more when the game releases later this year. Something nice to look forward to, when life returns to the default setting.