The story in Nemesis covers the initial outbreak of the T-Virus in Raccoon city, and the bulk of the game centres around the day before Leon and Claire arrive. You get to see the grusome end to Brad, introduced to the UBCS (Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Unit) in a little more detail (Hunk was UBCS), and you are joined by Carlos Oliviera as an able support character.
Part way through the story, Jill is indisposed of, and takes 2-3 days to recover, or 20 minutes game time. This means the last third of the game takes place after Resident Evil 2, and focuses on the destruction of Raccoon City.
Throughout the game you are chased by Nemesis, a relentless killing machine, whose only aim in life is to wipe out the remaining S.T.A.R.S members. Nemesis will pop up at inopportune times, and will genuinely make your life a living hell.
Nemesis is also an upgrade on the Tyrant in Resident Evil 2 (T-103).
So, what is new?
Quite a lot really! You can see the gameplay features from Dino Crisis have been carried over, such as the quick turn, but you can now dodge attacks, which means using the knife is a bit more practical, run up stairs without autopilot, and slightly quicker door/box loading transitions.
You can also choose what weapons you want to use, as you find gunpowder, that depending on how it is mixed, will result in different ammo. Briefly, this is what the gunpowder gives you:
A: Pistol Bullets
B: Shotgun Shells
A+B = C
C: Grenade Rounds
C+C+C = Magnum bullets
There are loads of other ones, C+C gives you Freeze rounds for the grenade launcher for example, A+C, B+C all do fancy things too, but I just horde it all, and get SHITLOADS of magnum bullets. So with the gunpowder you get a choice. Do you make life easy early on, and use the C powder for grenade rounds, or save it, for magnum rounds.
The magnum method does mean that the game is pretty hard until around the middle of the clock tower. Once you get to here, and use your powders, you will have 70ish Magnum bullets, and these WILL see you through to the end of the game. Another good point on gunpowder, is the more you mix a certain type, (i.e C+C+C) you get better at mixing it, so the more you make the bullets, the more bullets you get. It isn’t exponential, but an extra few magnum rounds go a loooong way.
Weapon ammo spawns slightly differently now, it will always be in the same room, and same spot, but the type of ammo/health does vary. I only noticed this, on a section I got stuck on, and had to reload several times (Nemesis killed me…A LOT). In that one room, the ammo went through 3 alternates, of lots of gun powder, a First Aid Spray, and Mine Thrower Ammo.
Puzzles are also now randomised (between 3 or 4 possibles), so you can learn 3 codes and just randomly try, but it does encourage you to play the game properly.
The Mine Thrower is new, and it is actually pretty awesome in Nemesis. You fire the projectile, and it will stick to a surface, and then, will explode when an enemy comes too close.
While Nemesis lacks alternate endings, it does have several live choices, which affect the items, and immediate story.
Most of the choices you will get are fight or flee. Do you fight the Nemesis, or run away. This offers a bit of a dilemma for you, and introduces an excellent risk vs reward mechanic. If you fight Nemesis, you will burn through ammo, and health, BUT! You will get a cool item for killing him. If you run away, you’ll save ammo. But… it isn’t always that easy. If you run away, sometime Nemesis will still follow you. Also, the more you “kill” him, the harder he gets. He does end up with a rocket, so you know. Tough Choices!
Other choices are less obvious, in the clock tower, as an example SPOILER! You can blind Nemesis with lights, or kill him with Electricity. Now, most people will think killing is the best option here. But he comes back! If you blind him, he falls off the building. If you kill him, when you leave that room he will chase the fuck out of you. END SPOILER.
Nemesis and other additions
As I mentioned earlier, Nemesis is an improved version of the T-103 who is the main bad guy in the B scenario in Resident Evil 2 and this guy really is cool. The Cave Troll in Resident Evil 4 is awesome, but Nemesis is the best enemy across the series. He is just relentless, and he does what it says on the tin, he is your Nemesis. I admire anyone who does a full Nemesis run without saving, I died a lot playing this, and they were all from Nemesis in the first half of the game. So much respect to the speed runners, and no savers.
Resident Evil 3 sees the return of my favourite standard enemy, Hunters. I love the unpredictableness of them, I love the constant danger of “will they decapitate me”, “do I try and run past, or waste magnum/shotgun ammo?” They are just cool.
Chimeras reappear too, they are pretty useless now, but it is nice to see them return. It adds consistency.
One thing missing is Lickers, I feel it is a pretty big hole in the continuity. As they first appear in the Police Station in 2, and you are in the Police Station for a good 30 minute chunk, so it is strange they didn’t get included in this game.
This game does everything right for me, and it does it without a fancy remake. Things such as the on going destruction of Raccoon City just make it all feel like the perfect game. It shows that your actions are having an impact on the world. When that big ass worm destroys the park, you can see the damage, it stays, it isn’t just a cut scene, then the room is locked away. You can visit areas again, and see shit Nemesis has done. It makes it feel more real in a way none of the other Resident Evils managed.
While RE3 is missing the Zapping from RE2, I feel the live choices more than make up for this.
Plus the addition of a decent sidekick, and no pathetic damsel in distress tropes, mean the support/main characters are strong and believable.
Pros: Nemesis is AWESOME, re-adds Hunters/Chimeras, No Wesker, Terrain gets damaged, Live Choices, Gunpowder mixing, secret rocket launcher
Cons: I am scared of Nemesis, no Lickers, Brad dies…