DJ Arruda, ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Like any first season television show, Capcom’s episodic series finally gets things right after time, here with the third installment. As enjoyable as the first two episodes are, it’s not until now that the pacing feels just right, and the length of the two parts seems adequate. This time, Claire and Moira finally track down the Overseer after losing Natalia in the last episode’s cliffhanger. Involving a creative fetch quest and a thrilling and explosive action sequence, their plot also features some more atmospheric treks through sewers and a meat processing plant, allowing for some well-timed scares and the tension that comes from being outnumbered with low ammo and low health. Though the plot twist involving Neil as the traitor isn’t that surprising and though his monologuing is nothing new, there is something familiar in the end-of-chapter boss fight with the Uroboros-infected turncoat. The theme of father-daughter relationships remains at the heart of the story and broadens even more to trust issues. Claire and Moira have certainly grown closer, and organically so, during the story; when things switch over to Barry and we finally get the details on what drove him and Moira apart, the narrative is able to hold together despite the cheesy lines and over-the-top monstrosities.
Indeed, Barry’s section of the episode involves more puzzle-solving with Natalia, as Claire and Moira’s does, and there is that grim satisfaction present when you figure out how to get to the next area, knowing it will be just as macabre as the last. The retread of the sewers and investigation of the abandoned mine are both engaging set pieces, offering moments of fear and victory. The balance between puzzles, shooting, and running from scripted encounters meshes together into what has become the mainstream Resident Evil formula of late. The horror is stronger here than in other recent entries, but not dominatingly so, and though that may be a source of disappointment, the way it combines with the more action-driven parts makes for an enjoyable session that leaves your heart racing because of both jump scares and adrenaline-fueled escapes. The twist of Alex Wesker, sister of the infamous Albert, being the Overseer works here, though we still do not learn too much more about her and her mission. We get enough answers to previous questions to allow the finale to presumably bring all the characters together for one gripping conclusion. The skill settings and weapon upgrades continue to allow for more customizable play, and though the enemies are the same, the way in which they are presented to the player offer more options in combat. And the two bosses offer tougher, more methodical fights, which in turn allow for more satisfaction from their defeat.
Overall, this episode shows the progression of the episodic series to a point of definitive enjoyment, and seemingly pays off the gamble Capcom took with this experiment. All that truly matters is that the finale sticks the landing and keeps the gameplay as varied and well-rounded as this episode. The Kafka backdrop has added a literary authority to the narrative and does not seem forced, and the true nature of Natalia’s transformation should become apparent in the fourth and final episode. Raid Mode also continues to be a presence, offering a Mercenaries-esque game mode for players to fight waves of enemies as other series regulars in the same levels as the campaign. With co-op coming to that mode (and still present in the campaign), Capcom can rest easy with bringing the game to as many fans as possible. The final episode will say a lot about the series, and looks to finish strong.
Episode Rating: 9/10