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Retro Corner: 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'

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First released: 2000 (PlayStation, PC, Dreamcast), 2003 (GameCube)
Now available for: N/A

Retro Corner: 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was a less ambitious sequel than the previous two entries. Instead of a sprawling new location to explore, it was once again centered around Raccoon City, seeing returning favourite Jill Valentine attempt to survive a city-wide zombie outbreak.

Building upon the popularity of Raccoon City as a location, it was set both before and after Resident Evil 2, providing more locations to explore, and further insights into Umbrella's shady dealings, as well as a whole new enemy to outsmart and survive against.

Although it did reuse some of the same locations as Resident Evil 2 - players could explore the police station at the start of the game before Leon would reach it, for example - there were more than enough enough new locations that it didn't feel like a cheap follow-up. A hospital, clock tower, and yet another Umbrella facility were all to be discovered, as well as a different structure than previously.

Retro Corner: 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'
While the other Resident Evil games allowed players to choose between two different characters, each with their own abilities that would open up different routes and weapons throughout the game, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was centered around Jill, with fellow STARS member Carlos given a short playable role partway through the game.

Instead, players could discover branching paths as part of a more linear adventure. These were through 'Live Selections', essentially choice-driven cutscenes prompting players to choose actions that would change both story elements and what path you would take for the upcoming area. Between this and the randomisation of enemies and items in the field - another new element - further replays become an enticing prospect despite the lack of different characters to play as.

Perhaps most important was the introduction of an entirely new enemy, Nemesis, a bioweapon that would hunt down the player throughout the course of the game. While Resident Evil 2 toyed with the idea in the guise of Mr X, Nemesis was a far more relentless enemy, armed with a rocket launcher and capable of bursting through walls to chase players through multiple locations.

Retro Corner: 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'
While he could be temporarily downed, he would continue to reappear throughout the course of the game, both in pre-set locations and at random intervals - creating a new tension that hadn't been seen before in a Resident Evil game.

The game also introduced a few other small mechanical changes: the ability to turn 180 degrees on the spot came to the series for the first time, a handy tool for escaping sudden Nemesis appearances; players could create their own ammunition through gunpowder found in the environment; and they could make use of explosive barrels to injure or kill enemies.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis also introduced Mercenaries, an arcade mode that sees players kill enemies in various story locations to rack up points. Its tactical, high-score nature made it highly replayable, providing a welcome addition to an otherwise tense and slow-paced adventure, and one that would be a series staple from then on in.

Retro Corner: 'Resident Evil 3: Nemesis'
While Resident Evil 3: Nemesis could be regarded in some ways as a safe sequel that builds on many of the ideas seen in the second game, a powerful and persistent adversary in the unstoppable Nemesis, branching paths, random encounters and the Mercenaries mode make it somewhat of a forgotten gem in the series.

Do you have many fond memories of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis? Add a comment to the space below!

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