Resident Evil 3: Remake (2020, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 3: Remake

In 2020 the world of gaming got what they asked for, a remake of the third Resident Evil game. Yes, Capcom released the remake for Resident Evil: Nemesis, the one that has you face off against one of the most badass tyrants in Resident Evil history. You play as Jill Valentine, our heroine from the first Resident Evil game as you try and survive a zombie outbreak on the streets of Raccoon City. With the help of Umbrella security agent, Carlos Oliveira, Jill must succeed against hordes of the undead and Nemesis who throughout the entire game is always hot on her heels.

Arghhhhh! (Zombie groan)

Resident Evil 3 is set around the same time as Resident Evil 2. Jill Valentine is in her apartment still traumatised after the events of the first game. Suddenly and out of nowhere, Jill is attacked in her apartment by a huge creature called a tyrant. The specific designation of this tyrant is Nemesis and it’s job? To hunt down all the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) members in Raccoon City and Jill is one of those members. Jill has to run through her apartment building and try and escape from the frightful monster that is Nemesis. Jill eventually escapes trapping Nemesis in the apartment building and from here she meets Brad Vickers, another member of S.T.A.R.S.

The BBEG himself, Nemesis.

As Jill and Brad make their way through Raccoon City the reality of what is going on really sets in as there are zombies all over the place and people are in a panic. Jill and Brad make it to a bar but zombies are trying to get into the building, while trying to barricade the door, Brad gets bitten by a zombie and tells Jill to leave, which she does reluctantly. Jill finds a car on top of a parking garage, but Nemesis shows up again. Jill uses the car to drive herself and Nemesis off the roof of the garage. Jill wakes up to see that Nemesis is starting to pursue her again and this is where Carlos shows up with a rocket launcher and hits Nemesis a number of times rescuing Jill.

Carlos bringing the heat!

Carlos brings Jill down into a subway where there are other Umbrella agents, Mikhail, Nicholai, Tyrell and a group of civilians. The Umbrella agents plan to use the subway to escape from Raccoon City but the power for the subway is shut off. Jill has to make her way through Raccoon City to turn the power back on and plot out a route for the subway, which she does while trying to escape from Nemesis. Jill makes her way back to the subway station only to realise that she is still being pursued, so Jill tries to buy the Umbrella team some time by going down to the sewers.

Dark and grimy sewers

Jill has to make her way through the sewers while dealing with zombies and other sewer monsters that have massive mouths that can kill you in one hit. As Jill goes to escape the sewers through a hatch, Nemesis catches her and almost ignites her with a flamethrower. Jill has to run through a building site to try and escape Nemesis as he tries to burn down the entire building site. Jill eventually has to fight Nemesis on top of the building site and when she defeats him, she makes her way back down to the city streets. As she is making her way back to the subway, guess who shows up? Yep, Nemesis! Jill must dodge a rocket launcher wielding Nemesis. Jill again escapes and makes her way to the subway which starts to leave with everyone on board bar Carlos and Tyrell who have another job to do. As the subway is moving, Nemesis attacks the subway killing all civilians on board. Jill tries to escape but Nicholai locks the door behind him, locking Jill and Mikhail in with Nemesis. Nemesis pulls Mikhail out of the carriage almost killing him but Mikhail sacrifices himself, blowing himself up destroying the carriage that Nemesis is on but causes the carriage that Jill is on to crash, knocking Jill unconscious.

Nemesis on subway

From here you play Carlos looking for a doctor named Nathaniel Bard, who is rumoured to have the vaccine for the T-Virus. Carlos and Tyrell make their way to the Raccoon Police Department where you see Lieutenant Marvin Branagh (Yes, that Marvin) getting bitten by zombie Brad (Yes, that Brad) which explains how Marvin is bitten when Leon meets him in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Carlos and Tyrell have to make their way through the Police Station looking for Dr. Nathaniel Bard until they come across a video call where Dr. Bard explains that he is actually in a hospital surrounded by creatures and that Umbrella are killing all the researchers and doctors.

Poor Brad, what a way to go

From here you take control of Jill again and she is underground, from here you kill a few zombies until you make your way above ground where you have to fight who again? Who was it? I can’t seem to remember his name, something beginning with N I believe…oh right, Nemesis. You defeat Nemesis for the 50th time so far but not before he hits Jill with a stinger which infects her. As Carlos makes his way to the hospital, Carlos spots Jill and brings her to the hospital and it is swarming with zombies and other nasty creatures.. Going through the hospital Carlos has to kill a lot of zombies, and I mean a lot to find Dr. Bard. Carlos eventually does find him, dead! Yes, Bard was murdered and it is here that Carlos finds a video of Bard saying that Umbrella developed the virus and wanted Bard to make a vaccine, but then they done a complete turn around and wanted to destroy the vaccine and all research for it. Carlos finds the vaccine and gives it to Jill. Tyrell bursts through the door where he shows Carlos a news broadcast that says that Raccoon City is completely overrun and the city will be destroyed by a missile strike in the morning. While this is happening a horde of zombies break into the hospital and Carlos has to defend Jill.

Hospital being overrun

Jill eventually wakes up and realises Carlos is gone. She meets Tyrell who tells Jill that Carlos is gone underground because Dr. Bard stockpiled a lot of the vaccine. Jill realises that Carlos needs help while Tyrell will try and contact someone to stop the missile strike. Jill makes her way underground where there are a lot more zombies to kill. As she makes her way through, Tyrell eventually follows her down and explains that he got through to the government. He tells Jill that if they can deliver the vaccine to the government then they will call off the missile strike. As Jill and Tyrell go to find the vaccine, a heavily mutated Nemesis attacks both of them and kills Tyrell.

Jill searching for the vaccine

Eventually Jill finds the vaccine but Nicholai appears and takes it off her, Jill pleads with Nicholai not to take the vaccine but Nicholai says that he wants Jill to fight Nemesis and he will record it and sell the footage for the combat data and if she puts on a good enough show, he might give her back the vaccine, forcing her to fight Nemesis again. Jill beats Nemesis using acid and basically dissolving him. As Jill chases Nicholai, the final form of Nemesis is shown as a massive tentacle monster. Jill must defeat Nemesis one more time, but this time with a rail gun. Jill beats Nemesis, for good! and both Jill and Carlos catch up to Nicholai who is just about to leave on a helicopter. Carlos and Nicholai get into a fist fight and Carlos restrains Nicholai which gives Jill a chance to shoot him. Carlos and Jill eventually leave on the chopper and Nicholai is left in the city where the missile strike is just about to impact.

Goodbye Raccoon City

So now onto the game play. The game play is pretty good, but I felt it was missing the atmosphere of Resident Evil 2 Remake. The openness of the game just made fighting the zombies a lot easier I found and with that the zombies became less scary and threatening. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had a ton of fun with the game, but there were a lot of sequences where I could just walk around things and that would be that. Also Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. What can I say? Was he as scary as Mr. X? That’s a big no. Nemesis was more of an annoyance to me than anything. I never found him that threatening throughout the game, just another obstacle to get through and that is very disappointing seeing as he is pretty much the hook of the entire game.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some sequences that I found deeply chilling, such as going back to the Police Department and the Hospital. Both those chapters were pretty nerve wracking because I was enclosed again in narrow corridors and tight rooms, which made every zombie fight pretty exciting, but other than that I pretty much walked though the game.

The game keeps the same inventory management system from RE2: Remake, which was fine with me because I liked that system. Again you also had to find hip pouches to increase your inventory slots. The combat was fluid and fun and exciting when I did decide to fight enemies. The zombies were quite tough again, no one shot to the head on these zombies, so the game made sure that you used bullets wisely. Overall I did have an enjoyable experience playing it.

Uh-oh

The lighting! Oh the lighting! The lighting was so incredibly atmospheric. There are scenes where you are running through alley ways and you would see a hard shadow of Nemesis behind you chasing you. The dark empty streets lit up by some street lamps and burning cars and barrels, like RE2: Remake really add to the impact of what is going on, but in some cases it does a better job because you are outside a lot more in this game. The game is full of beautiful, realistic and very fluid graphics and atmospheric lighting. Definitely one to play with the lights off.

The soundtrack, same as RE:2 Remake is absolutely unreal. From unnerving, depressing and stark songs that really drive home that you are in a city full of the undead to peaceful soundtracks that have a melancholic undertone to tell you that while you are safe now, you still must go outside. The boss soundtracks are really exciting too and really add to the urgency of trying to defeat Nemesis, but knowing in the back of your head that you are only going to slow him down, that he can’t be truly stopped.

So let’s get into the scoring:

Graphics: Realistic, fluid and overall supremely impressive 10/10

Sound: Varied and exciting soundtrack. Everything fits and the right music is used at the right times. 10/10

Game play: Great game play but I found it too easy at parts. Still very enjoyable. 8/10

Worth: Oh yeah! A very enjoyable horror experience and especially for those who love zombies. You also get Resident Evil Resistance free with it, which is a 4v1 online multiplayer game. While it’s not my cup of tea, it’s still nice to get an extra game. 10/10

Story: The story was good, not great. Nemesis felt like a bit of a filler to be quite honest and overall I enjoyed it, but it is forgettable. 7/10

Total: 90/100 A

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 2: Remake (2019, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 2 Remake

In 1998, the masters of horror games, Capcom gave the world the masterpiece that is Resident Evil 2. 21 years later, like the undead, they return and with them comes Resident Evil 2 remake and my word did they do a great job with this game. From the unrelenting hordes of zombies and other nightmarish creatures, to the dark and atmospheric hallways of the Raccoon City Police Department, Resident Evil 2 is genuinely one of the creepiest games I have ever played, and I have played a LOT of horror games.

Warning: Zombies are ahead

Resident Evil 2 is set in the year 1998 and almost two months after the events of Resident Evil. Leon Kennedy is a rookie cop that is on his way to his first day as a Raccoon City police officer, but on the way he stops off at a gas station. While there he runs into his first enemy of the evening, chowing down on some good old cops. Leon deals with this threat and on his way out of the gas station he runs into college student, Claire Redfield. Claire is the sister of Chris Redfield, one of the main protagonists from the first Resident Evil.

Claire has come to Raccoon city to find her brother so shes tags along with Leon to see what is going on in Raccoon City. As they head into the city they realise that not all is well and they dead have come back to life to feast on the yummy innards of the living. After a car accident, Claire and Leon become separated, but they agree to meet at the Raccoon Police Department.

Raccoon Police Department. One of the most famous places in gaming history.

The game is played through from both Leon and Claire’s scenarios so I will briefly go into the story of each of them. Both have a lot of similarities, but some differences.

Leon’s Scenario

As Leon makes his way through the RPD he runs into a fellow cop named Lieutenant Marvin Branagh who was bitten earlier in the evening. Marvin explains to Leon what has been going on and gives him some missions to do but eventually perishes to his wounds. During all of this, Leon encounters more zombies, lickers, infected dogs and the now infamous tyrant, Mr. X. Leon is helped by a woman named Ada Wong, who explains that she is an FBI agent. While Leon is searching through the parking garage under the Raccoon Police Department he finds a man in a holding cell by the name of Ben Bertolucci. Ben explains that he is in the holding cell because the chief of police, a man named Brian Irons has put him in there for investigating a company called, Umbrella.

Mr. X

Umbrella, one of the most famous “evil” corporations in gaming history was a medicinal company that went into weapons development. Through this path they came up with the bio-weapon, T-Virus. Unfortunately the T-Virus is the thing that is turning Raccoon’s brightest into brain dead rotten corpses.

Umbrella Corporation Logo

Back to Ben, Mr.X bursts through the cell wall and crushes Ben’s head. Leon escapes with Ada and they head to the sewers where they are encountered by a woman named Annette Birkin, wife of William Birkin, the creator of the T-Virus. Annette shoots at Ada, but Leon takes the shot for her. Leon and Ada agree to find a sample of another virus called the G-Virus to prove that Umbrella is corrupt.

Leon eventually catches up to Annette and finds a sample of the G-Virus in an underground secret lab called NEST. While in the lab, William Birkin appears as he did numerous times during the game. As I said, William was the creator of the virus, but Umbrella wanted him to hand the virus over. Umbrella sent in a crack team of special forces, lead by a man named Hunk to retrieve the virus. William refused to hand over his work and he was shot. In his final moments, Birkin injected himself with the G-Virus and mutated into a hideous monster.

One of Birkin’s hideous transformations

Annette tries to stop William but she ends up fatally injured. Leon defeats William and while he is comforting Annette in her last moments, she tells Leon that Ada is actually a mercenary not an FBI agent. Annette tells Leon that Ada only wants the G-Virus so she can sell it. Leon runs into Ada who eventually confesses to all of this, but she still demands that Leon hand over the virus. Annette, who still isn’t dead yet shoots Ada in the shoulder and the bridge that Leon and Ada are standing on starts to collapse. When Leon goes to catch Ada, he drops the G-Virus into the abyss below along with Ada moments later.

Ada Wong

After all of this Leon goes to escape from Raccoon city until Mr. X shows up in his final form. While on a lift going towards the train that will escape the city, Leon must battle the super tyrant. It is revealed that Ada didn’t actually die and she tosses Leon a missile launcher which he uses to finally and once and for all defeat Mr. X/Super tyrant. Leon makes it to the last train out of town and this is where he meets up with Claire and a child named Sherry Birkin.

Claire’s Scenario

Claire’s scenario plays out pretty much the same, having to go through the police station and what not at the beginning. Claire finds the child Sherry being chased by William as a monster. Down in the parking garage sequence where Leon means Ben Bertolucci, Claire runs into the chief of police Brian Irons. Irons kidnaps Sherry while pointing a gun at Claire and he brings Sherry to an abandoned orphanage. Irons rings Claire and tells her that Sherry has dropped a very important pendant and if Claire doesn’t retrieve it, then Irons will kill her. This is where you play Sherry, trying to sneak around and escape the orphanage yourself.

Sherry Birkin

Irons eventually catches Sherry trying to escape but father of the year, William Birkin comes in and implants Irons with a G-Virus larva, saving Shelly. Claire eventually comes and rescues Sherry. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape, but who shows up? That’s right, Mr. X. Mr. X chases Sherry and Claire into an elevator but William Birkin puts his big meaty claw through Mr. X. This is where it is also revealed that William Birkin is Sherry’s father. William transforms again and charges the elevator knocking it down into the sewers and knocking Claire unconscious.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this

Claire wakes up to find Sherry gone. Annette finds Claire and explains everything about William creating the G-Virus and how he wanted to sell it to the military. She also explains how he got shot and injected himself but through this you find out that rats ingested the virus and that is how it got out into the streets of Raccoon City. Annette explains that because Sherry is the William’s daughter she is the perfect host for the virus.

Claire finds Sherry is a trash compactor and realises that William has already infected her with the virus. Annette tells Claire to bring Sherry to the NEST lab where a vaccine is stored. Claire uses Sherry’s pendant to unlock the vaccine and Claire fights William while Sherry is being cured by her mother. Annette tells Claire that Sherry is free of the G-Virus before succumbing to her own internal injuries and passes away. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape before being confronted by William for the final time. Claire defeats William and boards the train where she meets up with Leon.

Ending

William returns one final time while Claire and Leon are on the train but this time he is a massive, horrid creature. Claire and Leon fight him while trying to unhook William’s carriage from the main train. As they do this, William descends back towards the NEST lab where a self destruct sequence has been initiated. NEST explodes, killing William and any other grotesque mass living down there. Claire, Leon and Sherry leave Raccoon city and never look back.

The Ending

Now onto the game play and my, oh, my is the game play great. Don’t get me wrong, Capcom have went down the third person route long before this with Resident Evil 4 back in the year 2005 but in this game it is absolutely seamless. The third person view really adds to the claustrophobia of the Raccoon Police Department, not knowing what is around every corner and realising how tight the corridors are and how little room you have to maneuver.

You have to do a lot of item management in the game but believe me when I say, it is a lot easier then the original Resident Evil 2. During the game you will find hip pouches which increases the amount of stuff you can carry in your inventory. Also through out the game there are safe rooms where you can save your progress, each safe room has an Item Box which you can store items until you need them, which makes things very handy.

The enemies in Resident Evil 2 aren’t the most diverse roster of enemies in a video game but they are some of the most intense you’ll ever meet. You have your typical zombies, which are actually really hard to take down. No more one bullet to the head nonsense, you could empty your entire clip and the zombie will still be walking, this really brings in a fight or flight aspect to the game on whether you waste ammo to kill a zombie or try and avoid it but it could be trouble later. Also you can’t dodge the zombies, so if a zombie attacks you, unless you’re lucky you are going to be bitten. Lastly, zombies can follow you through doors, which makes it even more terrifying.

Resident Evil 2 Zombie

You will also fight lickers which are grotesque monsters that crawl around with their brains hanging out. The reason they are called lickers is because they have a giant tongue that they attack you with. These lickers make for some really intense moments as they are blind and you have to be super quiet to not attract them. Getting into a fight with a licker is something you must avoid as they are tough enough to deal with. Other than that you have zombie dogs which are what you would expect, fast, agile and hard to hit but they aren’t too strong. Finally you have the bosses, Birkin and Mr. X. William Birkin will show up every now and again to further the story, but Mr. X will show up again and again and he is absolutely unrelenting on how much he chases you throughout the game. You can outrun him if you’re quick enough and there are some safe places but otherwise he will pursue you through this whole game which makes it even more intense.

The lighting in this game is so atmospheric from the dim streets lit only by the fires of burning vehicles and whatever street lamps survived the catastrophe to the couple of bulbs still working in the Raccoon Police Department and sewers the game done a great job of looking really dark, but in a good way and in a way that definitely added to the all round creep factor of the game.

Almost pitch black

The sound track to the game is something you wouldn’t want to listen to in a dark room, alone at night; or maybe you would because you’re mad. The hair-raising and spine-chilling sound track is enough to send any RPD rookie and college student screaming for their mammy. Between this you have epic boss battle music that really makes what you’re doing come alive and makes it very exciting and draws you into the game even more than you would be with the incredible visuals and anxiety ridden game play.

So let’s get into the scoring:

Graphics: Incredible, dark, atmospheric, claustrophobic and horrifying. Superb job. 10/10

Sound: Unsettling soundtrack, horrifying monster sounds and excellent voice acting 10/10

Game play: Amazing game play. Challenging but not the hardest game I’ve played. Enjoyed it immensely through out. 10/10

Worth: Definitely! Even after you beat the game, you get a few extra modes to keep you busy. Really worth it. 10/10

Story: The story was fantastic, one of my favourite horror game stories. 10/10

Total: 100/100 A+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 5 (2009, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 5 (2009)

Resident Evil. The horror series is legendary amongst gamers. From the dreaded halls of the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil (1996) to the long awaited remake of Resident Evil 2 (2019), Resident Evil has always been at the forefront of gaming. Resident Evil 5 is another chapter in Capcom’s survival horror franchise. While silly at times and the horror being a lot to be desired, Resident Evil 5 is still a very strong game which is a lot of fun to play.

What that said

Resident Evil 5 is set in a fictional African country of Kijuju. BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agents, Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar are sent to investigate and apprehend a black market dealer named, Ricardo Irving before he sells some bio-weapons. When they get there though, all is not what it seems. The citizens of this African country seem to be more aggressive than would be usual. This is when the agents find out that they are in fact infected with the las plagus from Resident Evil 4. Things are going from bad to worse until Chris and Sheva are saved by a BSAA Delta Team, lead by Josh Stone who taught Sheva everything she knows. Irving escapes but Chris finds information on his old partner, Jill Sandwich-sorry Valentine. Chris thought that Jill died while fighting Albert Wesker, the main antagonist of the game. Chris and Sheva go to the marshlands where they find Irving again, though he injects himself with Las Plagas and becomes a giant sea monster. Chris and Sheva defeat Irving and he tells them to head to an area filled with ancient ruins to find their answers. There they find a few things.

Majini and Chris
  1. A company called Tricell is conducting this whole operation
  2. There are special flowers that are being used to create the virus
  3. There are hundreds of bodies in capsules, waiting to be tested on
  4. The new strain of Las Plagas is called Uroboros

Chris and Sheva find out that Wesker wants to load the virus into missiles and launch them all over the world with the help of Tricell CEO Excella Gionne. When Chris and Sheva finally confront Wesker, he has a hooded partner which turns out to be none other than Jill Valentine, though she is under some mind control device. Chris and Sheva remove the device and Jill tells them they must stop Wesker.

Excella as the monster

Chris and Sheva make it onto the ship that Wesker is on and they find out that he has betrayed Excella and she too becomes a massive sea monster. After defeating her, Wesker then tries to fight you himself, but seeing that its not going to well, he tries to escape on a plane. Chris and Sheva bring down the plane in a volcano which leads to the final fight. Wesker infects himself with Uroboros and fights Chris and Sheva but eventually falls into the lava. Josh and Jill fly in on a helicopter and rescue Chris and Sheva but just as they are about to escape, Wesker launches one last attempt to bring down the helicopter. Chris and Sheva both fire a RPG at him and that is the end of the game.

Wesker in his final form

Resident Evil 5 is played over 16 chapters, some long, some short. The game is a third person shooter that is full of action from the get go. So much so that it loses a lot of the horror element. From being surrounded by weak but numerous enemies to dealing with the tough and strong ones, you really have to change your strategy depending on the situation.

The game has an inventory management system which allows you to carry 9 items into a mission, this includes weapons, ammo and health, so have a good balance of each. There are a wide variety of weapons and the gun play is pretty good. You can upgrade your weapons with the gold you have found and turn that dinky pistol from mission 1 into a lethal handgun capable of literally blowing enemies heads off.

An example of the inventory

The game is the first in the Resident Evil franchise to do co-op play and boy is co-op fun. Don’t worry though, even without a player, Chris or Sheva become AI which you can use as a mule to carry 9 more items you need which is very good as space becomes limited very quickly. But as I said the co-op was a lot of fun, tactical and enjoyable and it is up there as one of my favourite co-op games. The only thing is, you and your partner need to watch each others backs. If one of you die, you both die, which can get annoying. Also you need to share resources which at times can be tough to decide who gets what.

The graphics were crisp and clear and had a lot of detail which I found nice. Some of the landscapes looked beautiful, even though they were filled with creatures wanting to eat my face. There are some additional modes to the game such as Mercenaries which was trying to score the most amount of points in a set time by killing enemies. Slayers which was another mode to kill Majini and other enemies to earn points and lastly Versus, which was PVP.

Resident Evil 5 is a game that I have a long history with. I have completed it 5 times now but each time it’s becoming more of a slog. The game is enjoyable and the story line is strong but I find that some of the missions just drag out too long. The environment changes from an African Village to a Marshlands to Ancient Ruins and more, so at least the background changes. Overall a fun game, but one that I find doesn’t have a lot of replay value unless you REALLY enjoyed the story/action of the game. As far as I am concerned, Resident Evil 5 gets a strong 7.5/10 from me.

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!