VINE VOICEon December 17, 2002
"Resident Evil: Code Veronica" was originally released on the Sega Dreamcast in the UK back in 2000. It remains the most extravagant addition to the Resident Evil saga to date and is in my opinion the true sequel to "Resident Evil 2", following the game's heroin Claire Redfield as she comes up against Umbrella once more. I have broken down a review below:
(+) This game directly continues the journey that "Resident Evil 2" lead Claire Redfield experiences post the game's nightmarish events. The plot is strong, with three main characters fighting to save the world against three very well delivered villains, in particular, the character of Alfred Ashford.
(-) The plot takes an unexpected twist and reintroduces another character from the series to the game (I won't spoil it for those who haven't played it yet) which in my opinion was a big mistake. It shouldn't have been done.
(+) Still very impressive. The camera performs very well considering this is the first "Resident Evil" title in which the camera is able to roam freely (previous titles are pre-rendered). The textures are dealt with well. I'm sure that this game looked better on the Dreamcast, suprisingly enough it seems to have suffered very slightly from being moved to a better system.
(-) With the Gamecube editions looking so much better, this title has aged very, very quickly. It could be forgiven as the remake and "Resident Evil 0" are also pre-rendered but "Resident Evil 4" is on the way, which is the second game to employ a fully 3D engine AND it's on the Gamecube - so this game will age even more by then. Also keep in mind that "Resident Evil: Code Veronica" is getting a re-release on the Gamecube in 2003, despite it not having ANY cosmetic improvements, it may be better to get that edition anyway. Claire's shadow is horrible and turning around on the spot is laughable - there are a few faults and movement is mechanical, not fluid enough.
(+) The sound in the series is just as impressive as other games in the series. The rain, fire and zombie sounds that occur in the first ten minutes of gameplay really add impact to the game's opening, which is very good.
(-) There's little to criticise, perhaps alternating sounds for repeating footsteps or zombie-groans but who's really bothered? A few more zombie-groans would have been quite nice though...
(+) In my opinion, this game has the best soundtrack to any of the "Resident Evil" titles. The theme used when Alfred wakes Alexia is very, very scary. It employs a choir-like harmony which manages to haunt the player. Along with the standard action-music (which the series is very good at) the soundtrack adds a lot to the experience of playing through the game.
(-) Some of the tracks can be a bit dry. When you're stuck in the game, a track that sounds less like the humming of a fridge at night could help, but it doesn't matter, it's all part of that dark, eerie atmosphere.
(+) Good, the game isn't too hard, and there's a lot to do. The game is also suprisingly long, but it doesn't make the mistake of dragging on, it's just right. You'll be so eager to see if Claire finally finds her brother Chris that you will play to the end, there's no reason why you shouldn't. There are difficult moments (I have to say, that like most of the games in the series, the final battle is very difficult if you're not loaded with health and ammo) but it helps promote that awarding feeling of relief when you finish the game.
(-) The controls, as always, are the same. Once you are used to them, they're great. But if you've never played a "Resident Evil" game before, you will think they are rubbish - just be patient, you'll see why they're so strange once you are good with them.
(+) Lots of additional games and special features. This game itself is an extension of the Dreamcast original, featuring many extra scenes.
(-) You might not care much for the extras, and a game like this has little replay value unless you love it. A "Making Of" DVD would have been very nice with this package considering it's a re-release with a lot of history.
It might be getting on three years old, but don't let that put you off. For £15 you get a lot for your money. The game still looks very nice, with a few problems here and there. It's a new direction for the series and in my opinion doesn't quite reach the levels that both "Resident Evil 2" and "Resident Evil 3: Nemesis" managed to reach prior to it's release in 1998 and 1999. If you want to take my advice, follow the Gamecube's re-releasing of all the titles and experience the remake, "Resident Evil 0", "Resident Evil 2" and "Resident Evil 3" first, as I don't think this title represents the series fairly. However, if you own the Playstation 2 and are looking for a cheap but amazing thrill, buy this version now.