Resident Evil 3 seemed like a sure-fire hit due to the success of its predecessor, but the majority of early reviews suggest otherwise. While the game looks and plays largely the same – albeit with a stronger focus on shooting and action – critics say that it’s a step back from Resident Evil 2 and feels more like a piece of DLC.
Eurogamer: The Resident Evil 3 remake, like the original upon which it is based, is inferior to its predecessor.. I finished my playthrough in just five-and-a-half hours, and I think it’s worth unpacking why it felt even breezier than that. This is a more action-oriented game than the Resident Evil 2 remake, and while it does contain traditional horror sections, such as skulking through the creepy corridors of a hospital, you spend less time tiptoeing around corners and listening for thuds, and more time blasting beasts to smithereens.
Gamespot: …as the game goes on, it becomes clear that Resident Evil 3 struggles to maintain its poise when the scope begins to narrow, and how blatantly the game relies on recycling many of RE2’s tricks and tropes, which now feel less interesting. This has to do with the game’s focus on momentum. Just when you’re getting accustomed to a location, particularly the extensive and varied Downtown area, a story beat will occur that brings you to the next area, preventing your return. The series’ penchant for puzzles are also infrequent in RE3 remake, putting more focus on exploration and combat which can eventually become exhausting. (6/10)
PC Gamer: …what happened to the combat? One of the most surprising things about the Resident Evil 2 remake was how it made slow, shambling zombies exciting again. Its undead were brilliantly physical and clumsy, tripping over each other, tumbling down stairs, flopping into comical ragdoll heaps. But here they seem strangely disconnected from their surroundings, and shooting them just doesn’t feel as satisfying. It’s like the physics that govern them have been severely reduced, or removed altogether. (58/100)
VG247: It’s still worth playing, but Resident Evil 3 Remake is a step backwards for Capcom, coming off the back of one of the best games of last year. It’s gorgeous to look at, the jump scares will get you, and it’s like stepping into a comfy pair of slippers. But even though your feet are cosy, it never feels like home. (3/5)
Yikes. How did Capcom screw this up so badly when it already had two solid foundations (the original Resident Evil 3, and the Resident Evil 2 remake) for what should have been an excellent re-imagining? IGN seems to be one of the few major publications that enjoyed it.
IGN: Like Resident Evil 2 before it, Resident Evil 3’s 2020 remake does an amazing job of recapturing the horror and tension of the late ‘90s original while completely modernizing its gameplay. It plays like a 2020 game because it is a 2020 game. The classic world is brought to life in glorious detail, and smart level design makes exploring it a delight and replaying it almost compulsory. If only all remakes could be this good; bring on the next one. (9/10)