How a Resident Evil 3 Remake Could Be Even Better Than Resident Evil 2

How a Resident Evil 3 Remake Could Be Even Better Than Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 is just feeding our hunger for more.

Resident Evil 2 is only a few days out from release, but it's already a hit for Capcom. It's a critical success with a Metascore around 91 and has already shipped 3 million copies since launch. Resident Evil 2 actually raises the bar on remakes, bringing a 1998 classic into the year 2019.

Naturally, folks are already turning to the next thing. In an interview with Game Watch (translated via DualShockers), Resident Evil 2 producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi said that a potential remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was in the hands of fans. Resident Evil 2 was remade because players had been consistent in their desire to see it. (In response to that statement, some members of the community started up a petition.)

It wouldn't be surprising if a Resident Evil 3 remake (R3make?) was already on Capcom's radar. Back in August during a financial earnings report, the publisher noted that Resident Evil 2's remake was seen as a major release for 2019 and it was looking at other remakes in the future. "Further, regarding remakes and rereleases of titles in our back catalog, we expect to explore these further with a variety of properties as a part of our strategy to utilize our library of IP," said a Capcom spokesperson.

While we might have to wait a long time for a Resident Evil 3 remake—likely after a proper Resident Evil 8—it's not difficult to look at Resident Evil 2 and come up with a wishlist of new and returning features.

Nemesis doesn't have to be invincible. | Alan Chan/MobyGames

An Improved Nemesis

In the original Resident Evil 2, Mr. X was a scary antagonist, but he wasn't a living freight train intent on hunting you throughout the entire map and crushing your body with his meaty fists. He was just Tyrant from the first game with more screen time. Resident Evil 3's eponymous Nemesis actually improved upon Mr. X, making a mutant horror that protagonist Jill Valentine had to constantly avoid.

The remake of Resident Evil 2 brings Nemesis' gameplay back to Mr. X, but this actually weakens Nemesis himself. Nemesis was seen as something new back in 1999, but for a remake, he'd be seen as a rough copy of Mr. X. Rebalancing Nemesis would give the player more options: in the new RE2, it's better to not face Mr. X at all. It'd be better for the player to be able to really weigh taking on Nemesis, and perhaps offering special weapons and items for actually downing him.

B.O.W. Down to the Best

You may not realize it unless you've played the original, but the new Resident Evil 2 actually cuts a few of the enemy types. The giant spider, giant moth, cockroach, and crow enemies are all missing in the remake, replaced with rejiggered encounters.

For Resident Evil 3, it would be great to see some of those enemy types return, considering the crow and giant spider actually exist within the original. I'd hope that Capcom would take the time to update the Hunters, Drain Deimos, and Sliding Worm creatures. In addition, since the online-enabled Resident Evil: Outbreak games probably won't be getting a remake, some of the enemies from those games could be repurposed for RE3, including the Scissor Worm, Queen Leech, or Neptune shark. (Bringing out stuff from Outbreak is going to be a recurring theme.)

Oh, spider where art thou? | Alan Chan/MobyGames

Hit That Dodge Button

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was actually designed to be more action-oriented than the more methodical Resident Evil 2. It wasn't as far down the line as Resident Evil 4, 5, or 6, but the pace was noticeably quicker. Keep that: I'd split the difference between Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 4. Faster play, more enemies, but not the absolute action-heavy madness of facing Ganados or Majini civilians. (Bring back weapon mods from Resident Evil 2, because they're fantastic.)

If Nemesis is going to be stalking Jill throughout Raccoon City, then she needs to be light on her feet. In the original Resident Evil 3, Capcom added a new feature called the Emergency Dodge, letting Jill quickly bounce away from enemies. If you pressed the Action button at the right time while aiming at an enemy, Jill would either push away her target or dodge them completely. Dodge could even be used against the hulking Nemesis.

The trick with the dodge mechanic is the execution was fairly tight. Resident Evil Revelations 2 kept the tighter timing, but made the dodge slightly easier to perform by giving it a dedicated button. I'd like to see Revelations 2's dodge brought into the Resident Evil 3 remake, and perhaps slightly loosen the timing constraints. It would save the skilled players from some of the no-win situations you find yourself in Resident Evil 2, like being trapped in a hallway with Lickers and Mr. X.

Realizing Raccoon City

This is another area where it would be nice to utilize some of the content from Resident Evil: Outbreak. I wouldn't make the Resident Evil 3 remake an open-world game, but I would expand the scope of Raccoon City a bit more. Resident Evil 2 is fairly linear, but I think RE3 would benefit from something like God of War (2018) or The Evil Within 2, offering a mix between linear and open-world play.

Again, Outbreak maps could be used to flesh out Raccoon City here. Add in J's Bar, the Underground, the University, or Apple Inn to really ground the player in the virus outbreak. These don't need to be mandatory locations for the main campaign, but one of the things missing in Resident Evil 2 and the remake, is a feeling of the state of the city and the scope of the outbreak. Instead, you spend most of your time indoors.

A larger version of Raccoon City also lets Capcom beef up the Live Selections. These branching story paths were time-sensitive in the original Resident Evil 3, sending Jill to different parts of the map and changing which survivors she encountered where. More choices means more replayability, and gives players a chance to share their versions of Jill's adventure with others.

Carlos just trying to get that shine. | Alan Chan/MobyGames

More Carlos to the Rescue

Carlos Oliveira is a part of Resident Evil 3 and a fan favorite. Unfortunately, while he's a part of Jill's story, he doesn't really get to do much. Carlos should be playable in the Resident Evil 3 remake. Capcom can flesh out more of Carlos' journey through Raccoon City, including his squad's entry into the city and what he did during the two days that Jill was unconscious after one Nemesis encounter. I wouldn't give Carlos a campaign equal in length to Jill—making it somewhat similar to Ada's Separate Ways campaign from Resident Evil 4—but adding a bit more meat to Resident Evil 3's story isn't a bad idea.

I'd also let Jill have a bit more interaction with the survivors of Raccoon City, bringing some of the side characters from the original into the main story while allowing saving them to be optional tasks. Bring in some of Outbreak's survivors as nice Easter Eggs: I wouldn't make them playable in RE3, but you can check in and help them. Long-time fans would appreciate the nod, while new players would just see them as an enhanced supporting cast. And if Resident Evil 3 Remake has downloadable content similar to Resident Evil 2's Ghost Survivors, Capcom already has Outbreak characters and campaigns to draw from.

Mercenaries - It's All For the Squad

This would go on to become a larger part of Resident Evil games, but Mercenaries actually first appeared in Resident Evil 3. (Technically, the first Mercenaries was an improved version of 4th Survivor, but this was better.) Players would step into the shoes of Carlos and his squad, killing zombies for time and points. I'd lean on the more arcade-style Mercenaries from later Resident Evil games, with cooperative play and multiple characters and costumes to unlock.

The Knife

Stop messing with my knife, Capcom. That ain't right.

Assuming Capcom sticks with the rough release cadence it has established, Resident Evil 8 would be a 2021 release, putting Resident Evil 3 way out in 2023. That's well in the middle of a potential next console generation. We have a while to wait, but if Capcom puts in the effort it did with Resident Evil 2 (2019), a newly revitalized Resident Evil 3: Nemesis could be another benchmark game in the series.

If you enjoy reading about great video games, you'll find a neat collection of more in our ever-growing list of the best games of 2019. It's easy to lose track of new releases, so use this list to make sure you don't miss the games we think are essential.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

Read this next

The Best Games of 2019 After Six Months

Our ongoing list of what we believe are the best video games of 2019.

Some Of The Best Runs From SGDQ's Record-Breaking 2019 Marathon

A few personal picks from a phenomenal week of charity fundraising.

Capcom Still Wants to Make New IP, Even as Established Franchises Find New Life

Capcom hasn't given up on new franchises, but older ones are doing better than ever.

Summer Games Done Quick '19 Starts This Weekend—Here Are Some Runs To Watch For

The Link to the Past-Super Metroid randomizer mash-up is sure to be a blast.

The Best Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best

In this ranking of the best Resident Evil games, we decide which ones are Tyrant-grade and which ones are basic, brain-dead zombies.

The 25 Best Steam Games: Now Updated for 2019

A rotating list of the best games on Steam may seem impossible on the surface, but against all odds, we've done it!

Capcom Says RE Engine Will Power Its Next-Gen Game Development, Numerous Titles Already in the Works

The RE Engine is Capcom's next-gen flagship game development tool.


Raids, Loot, and Balance: Ubisoft Massive on The Division 2's Challenges Six Months Later

Ubisoft Massive is beginning to firm up the ongoing foundation of The Division 2.

Thinbloods and the Politics of Living Forever: An Interview with Bloodlines 2 Writer Cara Ellison

We talked love, loss, and lots of blood with one of Bloodlines 2's writers.

Borderlands 3's Endgame Fights for Position Against Destiny 2 and The Division 2

Gearbox is not letting Borderlands 3 get lost in the MMO shuffle.

Sega Genesis Mini Review

Sega revisits the 90s with its ode to the system that made the company big in the United States.

More on PC

The Next Total War Saga Heads to Mythological Troy

The land of gods and monsters seems to be the next saga locale.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Story Previews Tease What Eris Morn’s Been up to All This Time

She may have met the expansion's true Hive villain already.

FIFA 20 Best Defenders: Best Players For CB, LB, and RB

Defenders are the core of any team in FIFA 20. Here are the best defenders that you should absolutely be keeping an eye on.

Man of Medan Endings - All the Endings Explained, How to Save Everyone

In this complete Man of Medan endings guide, we'll be going over the best and worst endings, endings explained, and how to save everyone.

Raids, Loot, and Balance: Ubisoft Massive on The Division 2's Challenges Six Months Later

Ubisoft Massive is beginning to firm up the ongoing foundation of The Division 2.

Overwatch's Bastion Gets an Adorable Lego Skin for New Event

Just be careful you don't step on him.

Rockstar Debuts New PC Game Launcher with GTA: San Andreas as a Free Title

In the immortal words of CJ: here we go again.

More Survival Horror Games

Project Resistance Gameplay Trailer Shows How Four Players Fight Against One 'Mastermind'

The Mastermind can place enemies, traps, and take direct control of zombies.

New Resident Evil Game Teases Cooperative Survival Horror

Hey Project Resistance, you got your Left 4 Dead in my RE2!

Ikumi Nakamura, the Cheery Director From E3 2019, Leaves GhostWire: Tokyo Studio

The creative director is leaving the new Shinji Mikami project behind.

Remnant: From the Ashes is Quickly Becoming 2019's Breakout Hit

A multiplayer Souls-shooter is picking up steam.