Resident Evil: Code Veronica Review

For Dreamcast

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Awesome
   If you're one of those people who haven't bought a Dreamcast because you 
don't think there are any must-have games for it, your wait is over.  
Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the best Dreamcast game yet, and one of the 
best overall games I have ever played for any system.
   If Code Veronica doesn't convince you that the Dreamcast has some 
serious muscle under the hood, nothing will.  The opening cinema is 
absolutely incredible in many ways, and the in-game graphics could very 
well be the best in any game currently on the market.  Saying that a game 
has good lighting effects has become an over-used cliché in the video game 
press, but it's true in the case of Code Veronica.  The best lighting 
effects come from using the lighter, which helps you find your way around 
dark corridors and find items hidden in dark corners.  
   The zombies are also worlds above anything you've seen on the 
PlayStation, not just in terms of detail, but in terms of life-like
movement.  For instance, it's simply amazing to shoot a zombie and then 
watch the whole cycle of it crawling back up to its feet.  Other creatures 
in the game also look much better because everything is so much more 
detailed and realistic.  For example, you can actually see parts of the 
hell hounds' flesh torn off, which is a lot better than the multi-colored 
polygons of Resident Evil 1-3.
   I was concerned when I heard that Code Veronica was going to be 
completely polygonal rather than having pre-rendered backgrounds like the 
first three RE games.  My concern was that there was no way the developers 
could possibly make the environments as detailed as they should be.  
Thankfully, Capcom and co-developer Sega proved me wrong with some of the 
most detailed environments seen in any game.  All of the backgrounds are 
still filled with lots of objects, and not one area is lacking in detail.  
It's mind-boggling to think of the time and effort that went into the 
creation of each and every room in Code Veronica.  
   Code Veronica's story line is probably the best this series has had 
since the original Resident Evil.  The stories of Claire and Chris are 
melted together like butter, and there is even some romance in Claire's 
scenario.  There are plot twists in the game every 10-15 minutes, and they 
are presented in the form of well-done, real-time cut scenes.  When you 
think you're finally on a roll, something goes wrong, or another dangerous 
creature is discovered, or something from your past catches up with you... 
the list goes on and on.  The plot is surprising from beginning to end, 
making it almost impossible to predict the next event that will take place.  
   If you were disappointed with the lack of difficulty in Resident Evil 2 
and especially Resident Evil 3, you'll be happy to find that Code Veronica
offers the difficult gameplay you've been craving.  Code Veronica's 
difficulty level resembles the original game's, which is the way RE2 and 
RE3 should have been in my opinion.  The difficulty (and tension) comes 
from the fact that there is very little ammo and a whole lot of demonic 
creatures on the loose that could kill you at any moment.  Code Veronica is 
also the longest Resident Evil game yet.
   And no, you can't just run past all the zombies and have lots of ammo 
saved up by the time you're half-way through the game.  All of the enemies 
in Code Veronica seem to be much smarter and faster than they were in 
Resident Evil 3.  Some of the zombies start to walk at a much quicker pace 
if you piss them off in some way, which makes it a lot harder to escape 
from them.  It also seems to take a lot more ammo to kill the enemies, 
especially the spiders.  Not once in the entire game did I say to myself, 
"Oh, that's just a (insert enemy name here), nothing to worry about." 
Every single one of the enemies is a serious threat in some way, which is 
the way it should be in a survival horror game.
   Another thing that I really like about Code Veronica is the way it goes 
back to Resident Evil's roots.  I was reminded of the original Resident 
Evil many times throughout Code Veronica, which is great because it's one 
of my favorite games of all time.  Code Veronica features past characters, 
story lines, enemies, and themes, all without compromising its own unique 
feel.  It's also very cool to play as Chris Redfield, one of the characters 
from the original game.  If only Capcom had brought back Barry Burton as 
   All of the sounds in Code Veronica are crystal clear and scary as well.  
I was really freaked out the first time I heard a spider because they don't 
appear in front of you right away.  All you hear is a light thud noise that 
gets louder and louder as the spider comes closer.  The zombie moans are 
also well done and not the least bit cheesy.  The voice acting is very 
serious and convincing throughout the game, with the only exception being 
Steve's voice a couple of times.  An argument could be made that Capcom 
should have gone in the opposite direction towards the way the voice acting 
was in the original game (cheesy and funny), but they did an excellent job 
with the choice that they made.
   Not only does Resident Evil: Code Veronica set standards on the Sega 
Dreamcast and other next-generation consoles, but it also sets standards 
within the Resident Evil series itself.  And that's saying quite a lot 
considering that Resident Evil is one of the best game series in existence.

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