Resident Evil 3: Nemesis[a] is a 1999 survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom originally for the PlayStation. It is the third game in the Resident Evil series and takes place almost concurrently with the events of Resident Evil 2. The player must control former elite agent Jill Valentine as she escapes from a city that has been infected by a virus. The game uses the same engine as its predecessors and features 3D models over pre-rendered backgrounds with fixed camera angles. Choices through the game affect how the story unfolds and which ending is achieved.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is a survival horror game where the player controls the protagonist, Jill Valentine, from a third-person perspective to interact with the environment and enemies. The player takes control of another character for a brief portion of the game. To advance, the player explores a city while avoiding, outsmarting and defeating enemies. The player can interact with the environment in several ways, such as opening doors, pushing objects or climbing obstacles. Scattered throughout the city are weapons, ammunition and other items, which can be collected and put in the player's inventory. Items can be examined, used, or combined with others. The inventory is limited to a certain number of slots, and the player must often move items from the inventory to a storage box located in special rooms to manage space.
The player can use a variety of firearms to defeat enemies, ranging from pistols to a rocket launcher. Aside from enemies, parts of the environment, such as explosive barrels, can be shot at, causing them to explode and damage nearby enemies. The game also introduces the ability for players to dodge attacks or perform a quick 180-degree turn to evade enemies. The player has a certain amount of health which decreases when attacked by enemies. Health is regained with first aid sprays, as well as herbs, which can be used separately or mixed together to increase their healing effect. The game also features an ammunition creation system that allows players to create new ammunition from different varieties of gunpowder. In addition to engaging in combat, the player must often solve puzzles that focus on logical and conceptual challenges.
During certain situations, the player will be put in a perilous situation, where they will be prompted to choose between two possible actions or suffer a certain penalty, if not instant death. These choices affect how the story unfolds and which ending is achieved. Additionally, a creature called Nemesis is encountered multiple times throughout the game as a recurring boss. Nemesis is considerably more powerful than the player and has the ability to use a rocket launcher as a weapon, dodge incoming fire, and pursue the player from one area to the next. During one of these encounters, the player can choose to either fight Nemesis or run until he is evaded. A variety of encounters are possible, with some being mandatory, and some varying in nature and location based on certain choices made by the player. Even if evaded or defeated during one of these encounters, Nemesis will inevitably continue to pursue the player until the end of the game.
Once the player completes the game, a mode called The Mercenaries - Operation: Mad Jackal is unlocked. In this mode, the player must control mercenaries that Jill encounters during the main game and run from one side of the city to the other within a limited amount of time and resources. However, the starting time limit given is insufficient to actually perform this task directly, and the player must continuously receive time extensions by performing certain actions such as defeating enemies, rescuing civilians and exploring hidden areas. Depending on the rank received and difficulty chosen, completing the main game may unlock alternate costumes for Jill and epilogue files that detail the activities of different characters following the events of the game. The Mercenaries mode and alternate costumes for Jill do not need to be unlocked in the Windows and Dreamcast versions of the game.
Resident Evil 3 was developed by Capcom and produced by Shinji Mikami, who had directed the original Resident Evil and produced Resident Evil 2. After Resident Evil 2 was released, Capcom was working on multiple Resident Evil projects, with Hideki Kamiya directing what was planned to be the next main installment. This game would take place on a cruise ship and would involve HUNK attempting to bring back a sample of the G-Virus. However, Capcom cancelled the project after Sony announced the PlayStation 2, claiming that its development would not be completed before the PlayStation 2's launch. Because Capcom did not want fans to wait years for a new Resident Evil on PlayStation, it promoted one of its side projects as the third main game while Kamiya's team moved onto Resident Evil 4.
The selected project was a spin-off developed by an inexperienced team led by director Kazuhiro Aoyama. It was intended to introduce a new character who would escape from an infected Raccoon City. However, after the promotion, Capcom made Resident Evil protagonist Jill Valentine the main character and decided that Raccoon City would be destroyed. Unlike the majority of the early scripts in the series, the story was not created by Capcom's Flagship studio but by internal Capcom writer Yasuhisa Kawamura, who had little experience with Resident Evil. Kawamura played the original game to familiarize himself with its fictional universe. The story was proofread and sanctioned by Flagship to avoid continuity errors with other games, an issue that was also given attention in monthly meetings between all directors and producers.
Resident Evil 3 uses the same game engine as its predecessors. The environments consist of 2D pre-rendered backgrounds while moving objects, such as enemies and some interactive elements, consist of 3D polygon graphics. The developers chose this technique because having full 3D graphics would not allow them to create graphically rich and detailed environments. According to project supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto, \"the number of polygons allocated for the enemies would not be sufficient. We did not want to have blocky, pixelated zombies.\" Interaction with the environment was improved so that the player could shoot objects such as explosive barrels to damage enemies. The developers also added more zombie varieties, which can take the form of policemen, doctors, and ordinary citizens, among others.
Unlike previous Resident Evil games, which normally take place inside buildings, Resident Evil 3 takes place largely in the streets of Raccoon City. This allowed the developers to create more varied environments. Capcom introduced more action mechanics, which resulted in the addition of the 180-degree turn and a dodge feature to avoid attacks. Additionally, the developers designed the game so that up to nine enemies can appear at the same time, and improved their artificial intelligence to hunt the player up and down stairs. The Nemesis creature was inspired by the liquid-metal T-1000 from the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day. According to Mikami, \"I wanted to introduce a new kind of fear into the game, a persistent feeling of paranoia. The Nemesis brings that on in spades. When it disappears after the first confrontation, you live in constant dread of the next attack. The idea is to make you feel like you're being stalked.\"
Resident Evil 3 was featured at the Tokyo Game Show in March 1999. A playable version was available at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 1999. At the time, the dodging feature had not been completed and was absent from the demo. To promote the game, Capcom included a brief demo of Resident Evil 3 in the US shipments of their earlier game, Dino Crisis, which had a successful launch in Japan. Prior to the release of the game, Capcom spent US$20 million on advertisement campaigns for Resident Evil 3 and Dino Crisis, as well as the Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil 2. The marketing campaign included dedicated television advertising, print advertising, and incentives to the consumer. A double soundtrack album, composed by Masami Ueda, Saori Maeda and Shusaku Uchiyama, was released on September 22, 1999. A novelization, Nemesis, written by S. D. Perry, was published in 2000.
Resident Evil 3 was released for the PlayStation video game console on September 22, 1999 in Japan and November 11, 1999 in North America. The first 500,000 units of the game included additional demo discs of Dino Crisis. The game was a commercial hit, selling more than 1 million units worldwide by early October. According to NPD, Resident Evil 3 was the top-selling game for the PlayStation in the US during the first two weeks of November 1999. In Europe, the game was released on February 21, 2000 and became a bestseller in the UK, where it received a \"Gold\" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies. As of May 2008, a total of 3.5 million copies of the PlayStation version had been sold.
Upon its release on the PlayStation console, Resident Evil 3 received \"universal acclaim\", according to Metacritic. GameSpot editor James Mielke considered it the most sophisticated and accomplished Resident Evil game in terms of graphics and gameplay. Official UK PlayStation Magazine called Resident Evil 3 \"a modern-day classic\", concluding that the game \"creates a believable environment, populates it with a host of evil adversaries and uses Raccoon City's urban sprawl to enhance the fiendish puzzles.\" Computer and Video Games (CVG) remarked that the game preserves the best features of its predecessors and adds \"some exciting new elements\". Simil