Resident Evil 3 remake fails to live up to fans’ high expectations

Jill (left) and Carlos (right). Courtesy of,

Jill (left) and Carlos (right). Courtesy of,

Danielle Dix, News Editor

Following the massive success of the Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom, a popular Japanese video game developer and publisher, decided to bring back another fan favorite from their survival horror series: Resident Evil 3 (RE3).

RE3 remake was released on April 3, 2020, and is a reimagining of the cult classic that came out in 1999, “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.” It brings forth amazing graphics, exhilarating gameplay, and nostalgic moments for long term fans, but also sparks some criticism.

Set right before a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City, a small city in the midwestern United States, RE3 remake follows Jill, a police officer of the R.P.D. and an elite operative of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.).

Jill is investigating Umbrella, a pharmaceutical company that centered its operations in the city. This is a continuation of the story of Resident Evil 1, which follows Jill and a few other characters as they investigate a zombie-infested mansion in the Arkay mountains near Raccoon city.

The opening of RE3 remake begins by laying out the setting, letting you explore Jill’s apartment and observe all the little notes she has left to herself.

However, the investigative introduction is short-lived once a hulking, dangerous bioweapon deployed by Umbrella named Nemesis bursts through her wall and begins to chase Jill.

Jill narrowly avoids Nemesis’ attacks and escapes her apartment building, only to find Racoon city in total chaos and overrun by zombies.

After that, the game is full of fast-paced action, as Jill tries to escape Nemesis while also dealing with a variety of dangerous enemies. The game is described by YouTube channel “Gameranx” as “very cinematic with constant action set pieces always pushing the game forward.”

Jill Valentine 1999 vs. 2019 : residentevil
Jill Valentine 1999 vs. 2019: Resident Evil. Courtesy of


RE3 follows the typical zombie-shooter gameplay, but there are some aspects that make it special.

Similar to RE2 remake, the zombies walk in an unpredictable limping gait, making it difficult to land headshots.

It also takes multiple shots to down zombies, and they hardly stagger, so close encounters can be particularly stress-inducing as they get closer and closer to Jill in third person. 

A blocking mechanic was introduced to the game, which allows players to have a more dynamic way to fight enemies.

If a good block is performed, the game gives the player an opportunity to deal a powerful strike, which rewards the use of this mechanic. 

Inventory space is limited, which forces players to make tough decisions such as, “bring more healing items or bring more ammunition?” This is a huge part of what makes RE3 remake, and other Resident Evil games, survival horror.

The main objective of survival horror: survive despite the less-than-adequate circumstances. The genre focuses on choosing your battles, strategically planning how to proceed, and managing resources. Players cannot just shoot their way out of every problem in these types of games.

Overall, RE3 remake is one of the more action-packed additions in the series, which, depending on the fan, can be a fun experience or a let down by Capcom.

Fans of the Resident Evil series have criticized Capcom in the past for moving to more action-packed games that focus on shooting targets more than strategy, deviating from their survival horror roots.

Gameranx, the aforementioned Youtube channel that reviews games, commented on the nature of the game, saying “this is still survival horror. You’re still managing items, but the game lets loose far more often and gives you opportunities for the big moments.”

The big moments he is referring to are the multiple boss fights with Nemesis and the sections of the game that throw hoards of zombies at the player. 

The game also replaces the tight alleyways and hallways reminiscent of RE2 remake and the original RE3 with more open spaces with hordes of enemies.

Nick930, another Youtuber reviewing the game, said “the layout of the city isn’t quite the same as it was in ’99. It’s much simpler overall; there aren’t as many interconnecting alleyways and the paths are a bit wider, allowing for greater maneuverability with enemies.”

In turn, this takes away some tension from the game by creating less of a chance that there will be zombies that cannot be dodged due to limited space. Instead, the player needs to worry about being cornered by multiple zombies. 

However, zombies are not the only enemy to watch out for, as there are multiple enemies that move much faster and do much more damage than a typical zombie.

Enemies like Gammas, Drain Deimos, and Hunters are grotesque, mutated monsters created by Umbrella that roam the city and sewer system. 

As is a notable trope in Resident Evil games, zombie dogs roam the city as well, moving much faster than zombies, and ruining their reputation as man’s best friend.

“Pale Skins,” as they are called, have intense regenerative abilities, meaning that no matter how much a player damages them, they heal quickly and continue their assault. 

Resident Evil 3 Enemies That Should be in the Remake | Game Rant
Carlos vs. Hunter Beta. Courtesy of  Resident Evil 3 Enemies That Should be in the Remake | Game Rant.

The most notable enemy is Nemesis, which, like Mr. X from RE2 remake, stalks the player throughout the game.

Nemesis has moments where he suddenly moves faster, sometimes running full speed at Jill. This behavior is unlike Mr. X, whose pace stays at a brisk walk always. This change forces players to be even more conscious of the space between their character and Nemesis, as his movements can be unpredictable.

Nemesis also has a tentacle on his arm which allows him to do long-range attacks, and even grab Jill and pull her towards him.

While Mr. X’s physical appearance stays the same throughout RE2 remake, Nemesis has multiple forms that get larger and more grotesque as the game progresses.

Both Nemesis and Mr. X are frightening, but in different ways. In RE2 remake, Leon was forced into a game of cat and mouse. You could hear Mr. X’s footsteps a floor above or passing the door you just went through, giving the player a constant reminder that he is there and can jump out at any second.

With Nemesis, it is almost like a game of tag. Jill is constantly being chased by Nemesis and has to do quick maneuvers in order to avoid his attacks.

Now, which is scarier depends on what scares the player more: being stalked or being chased. 

Nemesis vs Mr. X - Who's the Better Stalker? - YouTube
Nemesis (left) and Mr. X (right). Courtsey of Nemesis vs Mr. X – Who’s the Better Stalker? | GamingBolt on Youtube

While the storyline mainly follows that of the original RE3, there is some criticism regarding sections that were changed or cut out entirely, as well as the length of the overall game.

Many sections were combined into fewer, but larger, sections of the game.

According to Youtuber Nick930, some iconic sections  from the original were cut out entirely, including the clock tower, the water treatment plant, and the graveyard. Enemies like the mutant spiders and crows from the original were also cut, and the length of the remake ends up being around 4-6 hours.

Popular “letsplayer,” Markiplier, stated in his final video playing RE3 remake that it is “a bit short, very short. That’s sad. I thought there was going to be more.”

Jacksepticeye, another popular “letsplayer” even went to say,  “It felt like I shouldn’t have paid sixty dollars for this.”

The RE3 remake being a much shorter game could be attributed to the fact that it came out only a year after RE2 remake. That is not a lot of time to make a fully fleshed-out game. Capcom may have rushed production to meet the demand of a competitive market.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Stuttering Zombies Fix | Why are enemies ...
Jill fighting zombies. Courtesy of Resident Evil 3 Remake Stuttering Zombies Fix | Why are enemies …

Jacksepticeye commented on the fact that because the game is so short, he had trouble connecting to Jill as a character.

“Leon I really cared about because he felt like an underdog, same with Claire. They felt like people that were going about their time and all of this s**t started to happen and they had to adapt to it, but for Jill, s**t was kind of happening all the time and I didn’t get that sense of overcoming obstacles as much. I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions.”

Gameranx said, “I wish we spent more time with the characters, but at least there was no filler.” 

As well as being short, there were some complaints of there being no replayability for RE3 remake. In the original, there were three endings available, but only one in the remake. Having multiple endings encourages players to go back and try different routes, enabling longer gameplay.

Markiplier stated in his video, “that’s disappointing because the game is very short, so without that replayability incentive for a story beat thing, I’m left with just a six-hour game.”

Jacksepticeye said in regards to Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 4, and Resident Evil 2 remake, that “as soon as I finished them, I wanted to play them again. I could refine my playthrough of them.” 

Capcom did try to add some refreshing content to the game by adding a multiplayer spin-off game called Resident Evil Resistance.

Up to four players can work together to best a “mastermind” played by another person. While the mastermind spawns enemies and lays traps, the teen characters work together to open locked doors and kill enemies.

It provides players the choice to be either the underdogs trying to escape the horrors of Raccoon City, or the villain trying to kill the teens. This spinoff does provide some replayability, as each character has different strengths and weaknesses, but it does not feel like a Resident Evil game.

There are no traits that make it “survival horror” and, instead, it plays like a round of “Call of Duty: Zombies.”

Resident Evil: Resistance Review - IGN
Resident Evil: Resistance. Courtesy of

Due to the popularity of the RE2 remake with gamers, it is understandable that Capcom had trouble meeting the expectations of fans.

At the end of the day, the original RE2 and RE3 were also very different, so players that were expecting the RE3 remake to be just like the RE2 remake were setting themselves up to be a little disappointed.

However, what many are disappointed about the most is the fact that RE3 remake had so much potential to be a great game.

What fans received felt rushed and unplanned. RE3 remake has trouble adequately blending the action and survival horror themes. And with a game that is only five hours long, players are left craving more.

Capcom has learned its lesson in the past, using their criticism to make critically acclaimed games like RE7 and the RE2 remake, so there is hope that moving forward, Capcom will listen to fans once more.