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The 2001 PS2 Horror Action Adventure video game

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(4.5/5) One of the Series Finest Achievements

  • Dec 30, 2009
In the year 2000, Sega's Dreamcast was doing fairly well in the hardware department.  Unfortunately things for the Dreamcast went south once the Playstation 2 hit the stores and as a result, Code Veronica wasn't really experienced by too many gamers.  That is, until CAPCOM decided to bring it to the PS2.  Once that happened, Resident Evil Code Veronica could be experienced for the very first time by a whole new audience, and be revisited by those who were fortunate enough to go through the Dreamcast outing.  There were minor tweaks (costume wise for Steve Burnside) and a few minutes of extra cutscenes sprinkled in, but for the most part, the PS2 outing isn't that incredibly different from its Dreamcast counterpart.

The story takes place with Claire searching for her brother Chris at Umbrella's main Headquarters.  Things go awry, of course, when she's arrested.  While being held in prison on Rockfort Island, however, there's an outbreak of the T-Virus, and that means plenty of zombies are now roaming around the premises.  Claire has to find a way to escape the island.  She teams up with another inmate named Steve Burnside who has a dark secret of his own (as well as a crush on Claire).  Yet she also encounters a man named Alfred Ashford who is also up to no good.  Last, but not least, there's Wesker to contend with as well, as he's also searching for something.  To explain the plot of Code Veronica would take a while, but needless to say it becomes so much more than being about escaping from Rockfort Island.  Of all of the game in the Resident Evil series, Code Veronica probably has the most plot within it as well as the most surprising and unusual twists to behold.  In terms of story, Code Veronica may have one of the best ones in the entire series.  It becomes a global conspiracy in the end, but a different kind than you might expect from Resident Evil.  You could refer to Code Veronica as Resident Evil being on an epic scale. 

The story is helped along because of its twists and turns and because halfway through you'll be put in the role of Chris when one of the game's many terms brings him into the story.  In short, it's more linear.  While the first two Resident Evil games had a "scenario" like sense to them, Code Veronica makes you go through approximately half the game as Claire and the other as Chris.  It adds a lot to the story.  The first time through you're guaranteed at least ten hours because of this dynamic.  While the story in and of itself is interesting, however, there is a moment where it slows down for a bit.  Mostly because once it comes to Chris's portion of the story, you'll have to replay through some of Claire's moments.  And in truth, some of it you just don't want to go through again. 

Resident Evil has always been about exploring, and there's plenty to explore in Code Veronica.  It's also about horrific thrills, but Code Veronica isn't exactly that scary.  Some of the cutscenes (especially the opening) give it an action like feel, but when you get placed into the midst of the game itself, the horror vibe sets in.  By now, however, many of the thrills of Resident Evil had long since ceased to be scary.  When enemies pop out of places it doesn't give you quite the same fright and surprise as say... The Dogs crashing through the windows in the mansion the first game, or the first time you encountered a Licker in Resident Evil 2... or the thrill of having to watch your back in case Nemesis should show up in Resident Evil 3.  That's not to say Code Veronica doesn't have it's scary moments, it's only to say the moments that are scary are scary for very different reasons.  Part of it comes from the games use of music, which is nothing short of breathtaking.  The other part comes from the fact that we're with two familiar characters who we like and fear for.  The journey through the game is, to say the least, a remarkable one.

Gameplay hasn't changed very drastically at all, however.  When it was released in 2000 and 2001 this wasn't so bad, however.  Code Veronica was doing other things, however that got it noticed.  While the gameplay was virtually unchanged there were certain tweaks that made it stand out from other Resident Evil games at the time.  The first was that for the first time we were put in a fully 3D Environment.  Nothing pre-rendered and no stationary camera.  You didn't get a chance to control the camera, but the views aren't constantly being switched on you.  For the time of its release it was also a very graphically powerful game.  All the textures are smooth, the environments are detailed and the characters facial expressions are gorgeous.  It didn't hit the same artistic merits of Devil May Cry and it wasn't as pretty as Metal Gear Solid 2, but it was definitely a pretty game.  At the time it gave Resident Evil a pulse that it otherwise couldn't have had on the original Playstation.  When you're running through environments it's hard not to notice the detail.  There are also plenty of creatures to behold.  Zombies, spiders, bandersnatchers (who are very annoying) as well as returning favorites like the Hunters and the Tyrant.  The music score is also incredible, being among the best in the series.  It has its horror moments, but some of its best tunes are those that rise to epic proportions or sometimes are dramatic (the Ashford theme, for example, is very nice).  Of all the Resident Evil games, Code Veronica's music may be the best in the series.  The voice acting isn't really that great, though.  Resident Evil has come a long way in terms of voice acting, but Code Veronica doesn't quite get it right.  The writing is a million times better than the first game, and some voice actors such as Wesker are good, but other times you still get cheesy lines (though as a Resident Evil fan, I kind of like those cheesy lines--anyone who played Resident Evil 1 would probably appreciate them too) and some bad voice actors.  Steve Burnside, for example, is such an obnoxious character that when the game adds in the (very crappy) love story you wish that Claire would pistol whip him instead of kiss him.  He's THAT annoying.

If there was anything wrong with Code Veronica it would mostly be that Chris's portion of the game gets off to a slow start and has you revisiting places you've already explored rather than exploring anything new.  With that in mind, it's hard to forgive the absurd amount ot backtracking that Resident Evil Code: Veronica puts you through.  It's to the point where some of it will feel really repetitive.  Going down the same hallways over and over again.  Backtracking has always been a big thing in Resident Evil.  It's part of the exploration.  You had a whole mansion in the first one, a police station in the second and a city in the third.  On the other hand, though, the amount of backtracking in Code Veronica borders on absurdity.  It was hardly a problem in Resident Evil 1 and 2, in part because those games weren't that long.  They could be completed in 2-3 hours (a little longer for 2 thanks to A and B scenarios for both characters), but with Code Veronica there are 10 hours to kill, and most of it will consist of you running from one location to another and back to a previous location.  It can be extremely tiresome when so much of that time is spent running between just two rooms constantly (this happens A LOT the closer you get to the end).  The story, boss fights (especially the finale) make it worth the effort, though.  It's just that it can make those ten hours feel more like they were inflated.

Resident Evil Code Veronica became a success on both the Dreamcast and the PS2.  In 2003 the game once again saw a release on the Gamecube.  It was virtually the same game as the PS2 version.  A straight shot port.  Unfortunately, even if you hadn't experienced Code Veronica, there had been so many Resident Evil releases that all featured the same old gameplay, not to mention ports of all the previous games to the Gamecube as well, an enhanced port of the first game and Resident Evil Zero.  Not to mention the Outbreak series which had debuted on the PS2.  All of these things had come around before the Gamecube release of Code Veronica X... and by then Resident Evil had been presenting us with the same Gameplay for seven years with almost no changes at all (Resident Evil Zero tried getting rid of the magic boxes and that turned out to be a disaster).  Code Veronica let you dual wield a specific gun in your inventory but that's hardly a change.  By 2003 many of Resident Evils follies had come to light.  The limited inventory, the backtracking, the tank controls... these were things that by 2003 fans ha grown tired of.  As a result, Code Veronica didnt make any sort of impact on the Gamecube.  It was even looked at as being a release that just wasn't necessary.  The core game of Code Veronica was still fantastic... but Resident Evil had stayed the same for so long that even two years later, Code Veronica's gameplay was seen by critics and fans alike as being dated.

Does that make Code: Veronica forgettable?  Certanly not.  The game is still a masterpiece, it just had one release too many.  If you're a Resident Evil fan you'll definitely want to check this one out.  It may not have aged entirely well when it came to the Gamecube, but that's mostly due to us getting a slew of what you might consider the same game over and over again.  Resident Evil Code Veronica definitely stands as one of the best of the traditional "Pre-RE4" titles.  It may have A LOT of backtracking, but the story is, at the very least, worth it.

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December 30, 2009
Hey Hey! My buddy just came out with a RE review. Never played this all the way through but I have assisted my friend get through its tough points. We call it 'group gaming' LOL! RE 1 and 2 still holds a special place in my strawberry tart. #3 and 4 were also good, but I am skipping on # 5.
December 30, 2009
My friends and I do a lot of group gaming too.  The Resident Evil series was our favorite to do it with, though.  We had the most fun with Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica.  We also did it with several JRPGs but they weren't nearly as fun.  No one screamed or jumped or was screaming, "What the f@#k!?" a lot.  I have incredibly fond memories of the Resident Evil series.

#5 is a good game, but ALL of the horror is basically gone from it.  I enjoyed it, but it's almost not even Resident Evil anymore.  #4 at least still held on to its horror roots, #5 abandons them.
December 30, 2009
Have you played the RE game in Nintendo Wii?
More Resident Evil Code: Veronica X... reviews
review by . June 05, 2010
The Last
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X was a good way was a good way to end the series, if it has truly died out because of Resident Evil 4 and RE 5. The game feels like all of it's predecessors, except that it has less of that horror survival "feel, but more of an adrenaline rush. The game keeps true to the games controls and actions, using the tank controls of the previous games. The game also has item boxes to keep all your goods in. The only thing I miss from this game is one enemy they took …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #1
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game



ESRB: Mature
Number of Players: 1 Player
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Console: PS2
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: August 21, 2001
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