This time the story begins right after RE 2 ended. Yes that’s right, it’s a prequel or sorts to RE 3: Nemesis. The game begins with Clair imprisoned by Umbrella, the corporation behind the deadly T-Virus which wakes the dead, making them zombies. This next part gets tricky, because if I say the wrong thing I could really wind up spoiling the game. Let’s just say one thing leads to another and the base Clair’s imprisoned on has an accident and the T-Virus is released and the guard assigned to Clair is nice enough to let her go. But now she must fight to get off the island. That’s pretty much the basics, but Code Veronica is a lot more than it seems. It’s the game every fan of Resident Evil has been waiting for. It’s that one piece of the puzzle we’ve been missing, and boy does it feel good to finish the puzzle. But not only does the story complete threads from RE1 and RE2, it completes threads from RE3 Nemesis as well. This is the best Resident Evil game since RE1 and the new FMVs only help prove that. I recommend this game for its story alone.
It saddens me to say that the gameplay in Code Veronica is identical to its predecessors, except for a minor tweak here and there. Nothing significant has been changed or improved upon, which is a shame considering the vast improvements in gameplay in the excellent Onimusha:Warlords. The control still takes time to get used to. There’s still isn’t enough room for items, and there’s still never enough ammo. And yes, there’s lot of backtracking and searching and guessing but its all fun, especially when you get caught off-guard and scared to near death by a zombie. The game does need some improvements badly, such as some control issues but I guess the game was made like this for a reason. Like they say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. A good thing about the gameplay is the bonus you get for finishing the game - a first person view mode, which is amazing for the most part. Any fan of the originals will be pleased, but just don’t go expecting a whole new control scheme for the PS2.
Wow! The dreamcast version was great, but this one is much better. Unlike previous RE games, the backgrounds in RE Code Veronica X are all polygonal instead of rendered backgrounds, and the difference shows. The FMVs are amazing - some of the best ever and the actual in-game graphics beat even those found in The Bouncer (!). This is by far Capcom’s best looking game to date. The only problem I’ve experienced graphically is some very very slight pixelation in the top right corner that lasted for about 1 and half seconds. The music is great - it sets just the right tone for situations, making you feel more scared than you should. Truly a visual masterpiece.
The first time through the game is nothing but fun, even when you’re being killed left and right because you’re out of ammo. But by the second play, all the nasty backtracking takes its toll and you get frustrated and bored. On a brighter side, the bonuses you get do help quite a bit. For the most part it is a very fun game.
Overall, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X is what every fanboy has been waiting for. It’s almost like someone did an episode of the Simpson’s to make all the other episodes make sense. Not only does it complete the puzzle, it sets the ground work for a new one. This game is a must buy for any fan of Resident Evil, even those who swear it off after 3. To top it of, it looks good, plays good and feels good - a rare quality these days. And, most importantly, it’s way better than its Dreamcast brother. I guess that’s another reason to buy PlayStation 2.
Former owner and editor in chief of Darkstation.com