Firstly, for clarity… This is a slightly revised version for the Gamecube of Code: Veronica, it featured slightly better graphics, and about 9 minutes of extra cut scenes. The original version of Code: Veronica was release in 2001 for the Dreamcast and PlayStation2, but for the purposes of the review I am referring to the Gamecube version (Code: Veronica X).
For the Normal Code: Veronica review, click here.
This was the first game to use 3d backgrounds, rather than pre-rendered backgrounds. This allowed for a tracking camera shots, and pans within rooms to emphasise certain elements of the room. It was the first Resident Evil game to not debut on PlayStation, and is the FOURTH game, FIFTH chronologically in the series. (Which would make Resi4 either Resi 5 or 6…).
Differences between this and original
I’ll be honest, I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference when I played through them both. But some helpful chap on Reddit has summed it up well enough that I screenshotted him.
Code: Veronica is set 3 months after the events of the first 4 games. Claire is searching for Chris (clearly mobile phones didn’t exist) and has gone to an Umbrella facility in Spain, she is caught, and sent to Rockfort Island, and because this is a Resident Evil game, there is a zombie outbreak, you must escape… blah blah blah…
This time though, you team up with a skeevy perv called
Steve Skeve, who basically spends the entire game looking at Claire’s tits/arse, Chris also makes a welcome return to the series, after getting a tip from Leon, that Claire was being held prisoner. Seriously, Chris has Leon’s phone number, not Claire’s? Surely after Resi2, Claire and Leon would have swapped numbers!!!
The game ends in another Umbrella laboratory in Antarctica, and looks at the T-Veronica virus, an early precurser to the G-Virus from Resi2, and after some zombie related shenanigans Wesker turns up, gets bitch slapped by a monster, and then disappears again… Other things happen, but I’ll avoid spoilers.
The focus of the day here is ACTION. There is very little “Survival” going on here, you equip yourself with more ammo/weapons in the first 3/4 rooms of Code: Veronica, than I had in the whole of REBirth.
This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but it does raise a few issues I’ll talk about later.
The game follows the same template as previous games, advance, find key, unlock door, advance, find key, backtrack, etc…
With this being Gen 2 PlayStation, the graphics are superior to Resi 1 to 3. However, there is an issue with the animation. It is VERY weak at times. It is strange to describe, but the animation is much more fluid than Resi 1-3, but at the same time, it is oddly clunky. There is no weight to your movements, you seem to hover above the ground in many places, zombies seem to get up ridiculously fast, if you are near them, and fire into their backs, they get up in between shots. So you WILL take damage.
While you seem to swim in ammo, the bullets seem to be pretty ineffectual. The pistol bullets take around 10 to kill a zombie, the shotgun take 5-6 to kill a hunter 4-7 to kill a spider.
The character model for Claire is a little strange, and she doesn’t seem to be in proportion, she seems to be made almost entirely of legs…
Also, for some strange reason, Chris is pottering about in his S.T.A.R.S unifrom. Doesn’t he quit S.T.A.R.S after 1, before 2? You would have thought he would have changed his clothes after 3 months,
What’s good then?
Don’t get me wrong, it is a good game. I guess with playing it immediately after REBirth, means it looks bad in comparison. So I am going to focus on the positives here.
Alexia/Alfred Ashford, these, for my money are the best antagonists in the SERIES.
SOME PLOT SPOILERS
The duality of Alfred, the twist straight from Psycho, and then the (re)twist when you find out that Alexia is actually still alive, for me this is the best thought out, and is certainly the best scripted bad guys in Resident Evil.
While this is the game Wesker starts to appear like a bad rash for his cameo (Zero adds him in, but is after this in terms of release), I would have liked to see Alexia or Alfred make some return.
The Nosferatu boss is also cool as hell, and it is a little disappointing that it has no adequate closure to this story-line, and is somewhat a loose-end in the story.
Other more subtle differences?
The Bow Gun makes an unwanted return to the series here, and like in the other games, it is shit.
The game plays much faster than the previous games too, I mentioned the floaty running, and the faster zombies, this carries through in everything. It just feels faster. At 5-6 hours to complete, it is relatively long, but it feels quicker.
I may have been unobservant in the other games, but in Code: Veronica your health seems to go on forever. On normal difficulty, you seem to be on green forever (5-6 hits) then go to red after 2-3 hits. In all Resi games it is 50-100% health Green, 25-49% yellow 1-24% Red health. In Code: Veronica it seems more like 0-20, 21-39, 40-100%. It isn’t much of a difference, but it does make boss planning a little more difficult, as you can got from yellow to dead in one hit in a lot of cases.
Zombie heads no longer blow up! I guess this is Nintendo being wimps, and wanting a lower rating for the game (a 15). But it is slightly disappointing to not see a head blow off. You do get added splat, and a louder noise if you headshot with the magnum/shotgun, but the head remains.
When Wesker comes into the game, and releases Hunters, it seems to suggest they are now robotic. I might interprate this wrongly, but he releases sensors, which if you trigger, releases Hunters. Now, to me, that suggests they are controlled by the sensor, which suddenly, makes them a bit lame.
There is a new enemy called the Bandersnatcher (terrible name) it is big bulbus and yellow. They have one arm, that is really long and rubbery, and will punch you at great distance, and unless I am mistaken, never appear in the series again.
I avoid guides, I see no point in them. I want to enjoy the game, and while I have played Code: Veronica before, I don’t remember everything about it. This caused me some issues, as I felt as though I should have been warned, or planned a head.
At a few points in the game, you swap from Claire to Chris, usually after a boss fight. Now, Claire and Chris share an Item Box, but if Chris is carrying an item, Claire can’t use it, and vice-versa. This meant… I fucked up. I couldn’t complete the game.
As Claire, I knew the 2nd Nosferatu boss was coming up, (forgot the format of fight), I equipped the Grenade Launcher, and bow gun with explosive rounds. After the fight, you switched straight to Chris until the end of the game.
Now, due to two levels of shear incompetence, I couldn’t kill the final boss. I left the fire extinguisher in the metal detector box at the start of the game, which meant no Magnum. I missed the assault rifle, as I forgot I could just use a lighter to open the Weapon Case, and due to Claire having the Grenade Launcher and Bow gun, Chris went into the Final boss fight with… 18 pistol bullets, and 12 Shotgun Shells. Needless to say, I failed, and had to start the game from scratch, as I didn’t have a backup save point anywhere.
Now, I know these are all my fault, and I feel as though there should have been some warning, I did like this as a feature. I also can’t believe I fell for it, I have played this game a dozen times since it came out, and never missed the magnum before!
At the time, this was a great advancement of the series, it hit all the right buttons, and didn’t involve any bullshit Quick Time Events, which was a staple of the Dreamcast (and Resi4…). It is still a great game, but I am wondering if it’ll make it into our top 5.
Pros: Alfred/Alexia are the best baddies EVER, more action orientated, requires some though, and planning. The final puzzle uses the game title.
Cons: Animation is a little shonkey, character model is very strange, Steve is skin crawllingly creepy, Wesker begins his gamely cameo