Nemesis might be the scariest monster in all of Resident Evil, certainly my most favorite. When I first played the game over 20 years ago, it’s hard to express just how terrifying it was watching this big guy lumber toward you like Frankenstein’s monster, mindlessly repeating “S.T.A.R.S.” with only one thing in mind, complete annihilation.
An evolution of the monster’s voice over the years (done best in the original and remake I think):
Nemesis is essentially a cross between the aforementioned Frankenstein’s monster and The Terminator. It’s a frightening combination. Nemesis, it turns out, is actually a mutated Tyrant, and through these new remakes, I learned more about Tyrants than ever before, but you can also find an in-depth breakdown of Tyrants throughout the franchise here. Capcom did an amazing job with the Resident Evil 2 remake, and they’ve done an excellent job here as well. I’ve been waiting a long time to go up against an HD Nemesis, and they did not disappoint:
There’s even a new version of him, still wrapped in his packing and shipping materials from the crate he was being transported in, that has a uniquely unnerving feeling, reminiscent of sack head Jason, that’s slowly torn and burned off more and more through each encounter with him.
The development team did such a great job making the game feel unique, while respecting us fans of the original games, retaining important aspects of what made them so special, and also managing to subvert our expectations and give us something fresh. A delicate balance to strike I’m sure.
I was still spooked a few times by Nemesis, but mostly I was in awe because of the fact that I’d hoped for so long to go up against him again in the modern era of graphics, sound, and gameplay, so I was really soaking it in. As mentioned in my Resident Evil 2 remake review, I’m most surprised at how much just the plain ol’ zombies scare me. That’s definitely a testament to the power of sound and motion capture.
As for the live-action sequences, I’m a little confused actually. The game starts off with live actors for some cutscenes, but then they never use live-action again for the rest of the game, without any explanation. I don’t believe the original Resident Evil 3 had any live actors, but the first game was bookended by live-action cutscenes, so maybe they were just having some fun with a throwback to that, or maybe plans for more live-action scenes were cut short by the virus (how fitting for a Resident Evil game).
Concerning the voice-acting, obviously it was superior to the original, but it felt a little incomplete, and some of the lines were rough and delivered in a very campy manner. Especially jarring, the voice actor that voiced Carlos, sounded just like Keanu Reeves! It was super distracting, to the point of just focusing on that whenever he spoke, “Is that Keanu? No. Well, maybe he’s making a character choice with his voice. Also, he did a character in Cyberpunk 2077, so it could be? Serious actors are now doing video games more often because video games are being taken more seriously. Maybe Keanu is a fan of RE games and just wanted to get involved?” I’ll save you an IMDb search; it wasn’t him.
Anyway, a very minor observation in an otherwise excellent game. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil, it’s a no-brainer that you’ve got to play this one, and hopefully you already have if you’re reading about it. I think that might be it for remakes of RE games though (but they are rebooting the movie franchise). They’ve now remade 1-3, 4 doesn’t really need to be remade, plus Resident Evil 8 is looking to be a kind of hybrid remake/sequel to Resident Evil 4 and 7 already anyway.
It was a blast to revisit old RE games with a new polish, but I think all that’s left now is to look ahead (and I’m also excited to get back to playing RE in first-person):
Snaps of My Journey Through the Game
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