I thought the backtracking in RE2make was good enough and I've logged 140+ hours into it. Making the city a labyrinth makes it interesting. If all Claire had to do was walk down the street to get to the orphanage, that's boring as fuck. Yeah we all joke about how RE makes no sense, but no one called it a bad game because you had to take a detour to get to your destination.
Having a variety of environments would indeed be cool and that's what I'm most excited to see in RE3make. But open world design is inherently dilute and watered down and the majority of open world games suffer from programmatic level design, etc. It becomes less memorable and less thought out.
I disagree with the "RE3 is a short game" mentality people have. HowLongToBeat says a blind playthrough of RE3 is 6 and a half hours, which is pretty fair for a standard survival horror, it's only 1 hr 30 min if you speedrun it.
I'm not a speedrunner by any degree and I'll even take the longest and most drawn out routes in The Hive to extend playtime, but it's still fucking short. To put things into perspective, here is a screenshot of a casual Claire A run I did on Gamecube a while back.
I took my sweet ass time and still beat it within two hours. That's pretty fucking short. Any game I can beat within my 3 hours of freetime before bed is short to me. I didn't even save.
I also disagree with the notion that "no backtracking =/= survival horror". All survival horror requires is survival and horror, and it's very much possible to make a linear survival horror game, as long as you don't make it like RE4 and give incentive to kill everyone. Zombies should NOT drop items.
I never said backtracking was survival horror. But it certainly plays very much into the SURVIVAL aspect of the game. Learning the most efficient routes to get from point A to B while minimizing enemy encounters is a huge part of the original trilogy. Left a couple zombies alive in a hallway? Well, you can either go through that hall, or take the upstairs route with less enemies but it takes longer. They can also use that against you too. Cleared a room full of zombies? Well now that a certain story event has occurred, hunters have populated the area. Hell the entire concept of Crimson Heads fall apart if backtracking is eliminated. As for the sewers in RE2make, what backtracking is there? You can claim all three plugs relatively quickly and book it out of there. The only backtracking (that I actually find cumbersome) is developing the film to get the weapon upgrades and extra ammo for the flamethrower/sparkshot. That's honestly the only out of your way backtracking. Literally everything else is within your path and required by the story. Which is fine, because the weapon upgrades for the film aren't even that noteworthy or worth it. It balances out imo.