Resident Evil 2 showed the beginnings of the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City, but the drama was mostly confined to indoors, perhaps as a way to emulate the confined suspense of the original. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis goes in the opposite direction, with the ‘Master of Unlocking’ Jill Valentine trying to escape through the city, giving a picture of the larger scope of the outbreak. Chronologically, the game partially takes place before RE2. The first half occurs before Leon and Claire even arrive and the second after they’ve already left. RE3 also shows us that in order to successfully escape a zombie-infested city like Jill, you have to wear a tight skirt and tube top, which were faithfully reproduced by Sienna Guillory in the second RE film.

Jill, trapped in Raccoon City with a ton of zombies hungry for her brains, obviously decides it’s a good idea to get the hell out. Making her way through downtown Raccoon, she meets up with Carlos and Nikolai, paramilitary Umbrella operatives, while visiting such sights as a clock tower, city park and yet another ‘secret’ Umbrella facility. This is made much harder by the dogged pursuit of the Nemesis, a massive and intelligent version of the Tyrant whose sole purpose is to eliminate every remaining STARS member. At one point, it even infects Jill with the T-Virus, prompting Carlos to find a vaccine. The US government attempts to cover up the truth by laughing a nuke at Raccoon City, showing that gigantic missile strikes can solve problems. Jill and Carlos escape, with the former Umbrella guy going the way of Billy Coen and completely vanishing from the series.

The Nemesis is the biggest gameplay addition and helps keep the tense, survival moments of the previous games intact by randomly appearing from nowhere to attack Jill, sometimes going into overkill and bringing along a rocket launcher. It’s signature ‘STARS’ growl is one of the most recognizable things about the series. A departure from previous games is that Jill is the only playable character, but the addition of ammo mixing, random item and enemy placement, as well as story branching moments are included as a way to compensate. The unlockable Mercenaries minigame set a trend and a version of it has been included in every subsequent title. These additions pale in comparison to the inclusion of the 180 degree turn. There are numerous times when the player is running along and…HOLY S*** THERE’S A ZOMBIE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Instead of getting nommed on, you can make a swift escape. The ability to dodge incoming enemy attacks also adds a tactical alternative to just blasting away.

STAAAAARRRRSSSS

RE3 opted not to make small changes from RE2 but instead shook things up a bit to give the game its own character. However, it’s not without its flaws. The story branching points, while an innovative addition, aren’t really all that great. The ones that supposedly can change the story mostly just re-arrange the order of events to arrive at the same waypoint. The puzzles and their integration into the game world continue to confound. Would a water treatment plant really force you to line up little lines of blocks in order to check the quality of a water sample? At least instead of collecting crests or chess pieces to advance beyond the first big area, you’re instead hunting down items to repair a tram car. Jill’s choice of outfit has become the brunt of many jokes, plus wouldn’t you want to cover your skin in case a zombie does get to you? At least you’ll have some sort of barrier for them to chomp on.

Next time on All Sorts Of Evil, Claire is still looking for her brother, the origins of Umbrella are further exposed and sibling rivalries ensue in Resident Evil: Code Veronica.