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Resident Evil 3 remake better on a second playthrough



A survival horror game developed and published by Capcom, playing the Resident Evil 3 remake a second time and beyond, shows just how good a number of its design decisions are. But multiple playthroughs also throws light into its pacing flaws. Certain sections of Resident Evil 3 feel great to master on subsequent playthroughs, while others quickly become a repetitive slog.

Resident Evil 3 is far more action-focused than the Resident Evil 2 remake, a bit like its PS1 predecessor was more action-oriented than the first Resident Evil 2. Its short run time – only about six hours or less on a primary playthrough – has caused controversy among fans, many of whom feel its changes and cut content make it a poor remake, albeit it is a solid game on its own.

But even that much is debatable. Resident Evil 3 reviews from critics were mostly positive but less so than Resident Evil 2 reviews. A part of what disappointing is its relative lack of replay value compared to other games within the series. While Resident Evil 2 had two campaigns, each with A and B scenarios, and therefore the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis had “live selection” story choices to shake things up, Resident Evil 3’s story is that the same every single time. There’s still fun to be had whenever it’s played, but certain elements of that unchangeable set of events eventually become grating.

Replaying Resident Evil 3 Reveals its Linearity

When beginning a second Resident Evil 3 playthrough, players are set loose within the small but winding Raccoon City area after the brief linear opening section. What was initially an intimidating, measured crawl through the game’s first open area gives thanks to a sense of mastery. Players know when the scares are coming, where the keys are hidden, and what’s behind every door. This becomes somewhat boring on the third and fourth playthrough (except on RE3’s hidden Nightmare and Inferno difficulties, which switch up item placement and alter enemy encounters), but it’s just plain satisfying on the second, as players are ready to get through the world at a way quicker pace, this point with a far better grip on RE3’s great combat and with the knowledge to correct their mistakes from the primary run.

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Resident Evil 3‘s open-ended sections are even more satisfying to require on with the bonus items from RE3’s post-game item shop, which may provide players bonuses like early access to weapons and additional inventory space, ensuring each playthrough feels unique. But all of those joys – the mastery of an open area, the chance to correct past mistakes, and therefore the knowledge to be smarter about collecting gear – fade once players encounter Resident Evil 3’s more linear segments. After a boss fight and a couple of mostly on-rails chase sequences, the player is thrust into Carlos’ shoes, which resets their inventory collection and halts RE3’s sense of progression. Jill takes once again just for the duration of RE3’s most frustrating Nemesis boss fight, there are a few cut scenes, then it’s back another Carlos section.

The first time through the sport, of these moments, desire cool set pieces that tell an enticing story. But then the story has been experienced already. They lose much of their appeal, and therefore the game’s middle section becomes an exercise of skipping cut scenes, making it through many small chunks of gameplay as quickly as possible. Resident Evil 3 was at its best when it gave players the liberty to explore and master its twisting environments. That is no more clear than when experiencing the fun of traversing its open locations a second time. But doing so also means trudging through a bunch of same, challenge-less chases and boss battles, over and once again.

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