Resident Evil 2 VS 3 – Which Remake Is Better?

I recently played the Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remakes back to back, and as such I have fairly fresh opinions on the two. Instead of making individual reviews for each, I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast them.

It’s worth mentioning that I haven’t played the originals, so I don’t share some of the gripes that hardcore fans have (and as such, my opinions might be different to what you’re expecting!).

I’m sure the Resident Evil 4 Remake will blow both out of the water, but for now – which game reigns supreme?

You can check out some of my related blog posts below:

Plot

Straight off the bat, we’ve got a really tricky comparison. I think both games start off strong, but I was a little disappoited by the end – for completely different reasons.

RE2 goes on for way too long if you play both scenarios, and RE3 is nowhere near long enough. I think I like RE3 more for the fact it has a more consistent narrative, but the first half of RE2 was definitely worth the investment.

RE2 = 7/10 RE3 = 8/10

Protagonists

I don’t think either game has particularly interesting protagonists, but they’re solid enough to make them serviceable.

I really appreciated the fear and terror that Leon and Claire showed, and Claire especially had some great moments with Sherry. RE3’s Jill Valentine is probably the most interesting of the lot, but then they ended up spending way too much time on Carlos and both characters felt diluted as a result.

RE2 = 7/10 RE3 = 6/10

Horror

This is the least fair match-up of the lot – RE2 is one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. It’s setting and tyrant made every trip through the police station’s corridors terrifying, and I loved every minute. It loses some of that charm in the later areas, but those first few are iconic.

RE3 is certainly a more intense game, and the first encounter with Nemesis in the Raccoon City streets was on par with RE2’s Mr X, but then the rest of the game relied more on action than horror. It’s good, but definitely not as scary.

RE2 = 9/10 RE3 = 7/10

Puzzles

Since I’m not too familiar with the Resident Evil series, I was surprised to find such a reliance on puzzle-based gameplay. Even more shocking was the fact it worked so well in the horror settings.

RE2’s puzzles were fantastic, and the threat of Mr X on your tail meant that you had to go in with a plan of action. It’s a shame the 2nd playthrough has effectively the same puzzles, but at least they changed some of the solutions to mix things up a bit.

One of the biggest let-downs of RE3 was that puzzles were all but removed. There are some good ones here and there, but it pales in comparison to RE2.

RE2 = 8/10 RE3 = 6/10

Exploration / Setting

Both games have really strong starting areas that would be 10/10s on their own – RE2’s police station blew me away with its interconnected-ness, and RE3’s streets were vast and packed with activity.

Unfortunately, both games also have their own problems with the areas. RE2 gets off to the best possible start but then dwindles as the game goes on, and RE3 is consistent but the areas are too linear and quick. Neither game has a perfect setting, but the attention to detail made exploring them a blast.

RE2 = 8/10 RE3 = 8/10

Bosses

I’ll definitely get flamed for this, but RE2’s bosses sucked. All of them. Whether it was running away from a fish in a sewer, or pumping round after meaningless round into William Birkin, I was desperate to get back to the real gameplay. On top of that, the part where you have to hit William with the storage container is one of my least favourite boss fights ever. And you have to do it again on the second playthrough!

To my surprise, RE3’s bosses ended up being decent. They were still nothing sensational, but Jill’s conflict with Nemesis felt like a proper grudge match each time, and the final one where you fire a rail gun was decent fun. Pretty solid on the whole.

RE2 = 4/10 RE3 = 7/10

Tyrant

One of my favourite aspects of both games was the formidable tyrants that pursued you throughout – the games wouldn’t have been half as terrifying otherwise.

RE2’s Mr X has become iconic for a reason – his relentless pursuit is absolutely spine-chilling, and it reminded me of The Terminator. There was never a point in time where I felt safe (other than when you had loads of space to safely run around him from a distance), and 80% of my favourite moments directly involved him.

Nemesis, on the other hand, isn’t quite as terrifying, but he’s far more capable. I just about crapped my pants the first time he jumped over me and landed with a boom, and the times he patiently waited for me outside a shop on the Raccoon City streets made my skin crawl.

In summary – Mr X was scarier, but Nemesis was more thrilling.

RE2 = 9/10 RE3 = 8/10

Fun

Arguably the most important category of all, the amount of fun I had with the game will massively affect the final score.

RE2 was an absolute blast on my first playthrough with Leon, and it would have been comfortably pushing for a 9 or even a 10 rating. Unfortunately, the second playthrough with Claire was a complete slog (although still about a 6 on the fun scale), so that knocks the overall score down a peg.

I definitely had more fun during RE2’s peak, but RE3 is more consistent across the board. The gameplay never got stale, and the fun score stayed at a respectable 8/10 throughout. Nothing special, but nowhere near the lows of RE2’s second-run slog either.

RE2 = 8/10 RE3 = 8/10

Total Scores

Let’s see what the total scores are for each game:

RE2 = 60/80 RE3 = 58/80

To be honest, this result isn’t surprising. Both games are excellent (yes, even RE3) but RE2 just edges it out for the victory in my mind. If you’re looking for a solid horror game full of unease and tension, you need look no further than Resident Evil 2’s Remake. If you want pure action and adrenaline, Resident Evil 3 is the one for you.

Aaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

Persona 5 Royal – Every Palace Ranked

After 80 hours of Phantom Thieving, I’ve finally finished Persona 5 Royal! It’s a phenomenal game across the board (and would probably now make my top 5 games of all time!), and it improves upon its predecessor in every way. One of the biggest improvements since Persona 4 Golden, I think, is the dungeons (orContinue reading “Persona 5 Royal – Every Palace Ranked”

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