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Resident Evil 3 remake review: fun while it lasts – The Verge

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If Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect game to play in self-quarantine during a pandemic, the new Resident Evil 3 remake is quite possibly the worst. This is a game that begins with live-action footage of a reporter saying “This pandemic has spread faster than any disease in modern history,” depicting burning buildings and chaos in the streets even before the zombies show up. It is not what I would describe as a relaxing escape.

If you’re of a similar disposition to the countless viewers who’ve been helping put things like Contagion in my Netflix recommendations, though, Resident Evil 3 might be just the ticket. It’s another blockbuster Resident Evil release from Capcom that does its part to continue the revitalization of the franchise.

Unfortunately, Resident Evil 3 can’t quite live up to its predecessor. Last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake was incredibly good, blending old and new to create what I’m now comfortable calling my favorite Resident Evil game yet. Resident Evil 3 follows that same blueprint, but it ends up managing to feel both overly familiar and not familiar enough.

Resident Evil 3 sees the return of original Resident Evil protagonist Jill Valentine in a story that plays out at the same time as Resident Evil 2. The PlayStation release was called Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, a reference to the iconic, unstoppable creature that pursues Jill throughout the game as she attempts to escape Raccoon City. That’s very much still the defining feature of the latest version’s plot.

I really like what Capcom did with Jill’s character in this remake. Her visual design is, shall we say, considerably less ‘90s, and her sarcastic, irritable personality feels cathartic given both her situation and our own. Like its predecessor, the Resident Evil 3 remake script leans into the schlocky nature of its source material and comes out sounding far smarter and more confident. That’s on full display in the phenomenal one-shot opening sequence, which begins with Nemesis attacking Jill in her collapsing apartment building and ends with a spectacular flameout.

Resident Evil 3 doesn’t really let up from there. It’s a much faster-paced game than Resident Evil 2, with a greater emphasis on action and far less focus on puzzle-solving or exploration. Ammo is in more plentiful supply, and the environments aren’t particularly creepy. I was expecting Nemesis to be more of an ever-present threat, like Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, but its role is mostly limited to scripted jump-scare sequences and boss fights.

Beyond a couple of additions like a dodge move, Resident Evil 3 looks and plays more or less identically to 2. On the technical side of things, that’s not a bad thing; this is a visually stunning game, and Capcom continues to do amazing work with its RE Engine. But with its straightforward structure and reduced scope, Resident Evil 3 feels much less substantial. There’s nothing like the police station in Resident Evil 2, a satisfyingly sprawling area that you’d get to explore a little further with each solved puzzle or found item. In comparison, Resident Evil 3 tends to rush you through its small, linear stages. It looks and plays like Resident Evil 2 but sometimes feels more like Uncharted.

To some extent, this was to be expected. The original Resident Evil 3, after all, was also a more action-oriented game that focused on Jill and reused certain environments from 2. Capcom’s shift in tone and design has been mirrored here in the remake. But there are also things that didn’t make it through. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis had several branching paths and different endings based on your decisions made in cutscenes, and those elements are totally absent here.

That’s particularly unfortunate given the remake’s brief running time. Last year’s Resident Evil 2 wasn’t a long game, either, but it was very replayable. In fact, you really had to play through several times in order to get the full story, with multiple protagonists, story paths, and game modes. This is not so much the case with Resident Evil 3, which I finished in around five hours my first time through. Another person with early access to the game told me one of their later playthroughs took about a fifth as long. (I should note that, unlike a lot of games, this one does stop its timer whenever you pause, use the menus, or reload after dying. Steam tells me I spent closer to eight hours with Resident Evil 3 running before the credits rolled.)

To be clear, Resident Evil is a series with a long history of speedrunning, something Capcom often encourages with scores and unlockable rewards. I wouldn’t hold 3’s short length against it if there were good reasons to get to the ending more than once. As far as I can tell, though, there kind of aren’t.

Resident Evil 3 does include a separate asymmetrical 4-on-1 multiplayer game called RE Resistance, which could add some longevity to the package. I haven’t had a chance to check it out extensively, though, so I’d recommend waiting to see whether it takes off before considering it a selling point. It’s tough to turn games like this into a success, as evidenced by the likes of Evolve.

Resident Evil 3 is an entertaining, well-made game that brings one of the series’s less-heralded entries right up to date. But almost everything it does right was part of Resident Evil 2 as well, and many of that game’s qualities are no longer present. Overall, the package is a lot less appealing. It feels more like an expansion to 2 than an entirely new game. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing, but it does mean you should know what you’re getting into before pulling the trigger.

Resident Evil 3 is out on April 3rd for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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Microsoft says Skype users surge amid coronavirus outbreak – Financial Post

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Microsoft Corp said on Monday its video calling platform Skype saw a 70% jump in usage in March from a month earlier, as more people shift to working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The platform is being used by 40 million people, the company said in a blog post, adding that Skype-to-Skype calling minutes jumped 220% from a month earlier.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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Resident Evil 3 Remake Review – CGMagazine

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Kojima Productions is the latest development studio to close their doors after a staff member was diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the site’s release, the employee was quarantined since March 20 while no other person in the office is affected.

“All other Kojima Productions employee was not in the office at the time of symptoms onset,” the team wrote. “Employees are not considered ‘close contacts’, meaning that it is not mandatory to close the office.”

Despite initial thoughts, the Death Stranding team shut its buildings down while following instructions from public health authorities.

The studio also stated it independently took measures to have the teamwork from home and sanitize all of its facilities. This also included keeping an eye on staff during the worldwide pandemic and COVID-19’s two week incubation period for symptoms.

Its safeguard notice was also tweeted out, with fans and other users wishing the team safe.

Kojima Productions on Twitter

Important notice: KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS EMPLOYEE DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19, ENACTS SAFEGUARD PRECAUTIONS https://t.co/o1X2UukiDX https://t.co/K6FJtq5Tpx

The studio’s latest project includes porting Death Stranding for PC in a partnership with Steam.

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Microsoft Teams is coming to consumers — but Skype is here to stay – TechCrunch

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Microsoft today announced that later this year, it will launch what is essentially a consumer version of Teams, its Slack-like text, audio and video chat application. Teams for your personal life, as Microsoft likes to call it, will feature a number of tools that will make it easier for families and small groups to organize events, share information and get on video calls, too.

As Google has long demonstrated, there can never be enough messaging applications, but it’s interesting to see Microsoft preview this direction for Teams when it has long solely focused on Skype as its personal chat, audio and video call app. But as Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Modern Life, Search and Devices, told me, Skype isn’t going away. Indeed, he noted that more than half a billion people are using tools like Skype today.

“Skype continues,” he said when I asked him about the future of that service. “We remain committed to Skype. Skype today is used by a hundred million people on a monthly basis. The way I think about it is that Skype is a great solution today for personal use. A lot of broadcast companies use it as well. Teams is really the more robust offering, as you will, where in addition to doing video and chat calling, we also bring in rich communications and templates […], we have things like dashboard and it also helps you pull in a richer set of tools.”

With the more personal Teams only launching later this year, Skype remains Microsoft’s main consumer chat service for the time being. Indeed, about 40 million people currently use it daily, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company is seeing a 220% increase in Skype-to-Skype call minutes.

While Microsoft thought about giving this new personal take on Teams a different brand, the company decided that Teams had pretty broad brand awareness already. In addition, the focus of today’s updates was very much on bridging the gap between work life and home life, so it makes sense for the company to try to combine both enterprise and personal features into the same application.

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