WARNING: Contains Game and Plotline spoilers!
Released 2001 (CAPCOM)
Platform: Sony PlayStation 2 / Sega Dreamcast
Genre: Survival Horror
BBFC Rating: 15
Other Information: 1 Player; 105KB minimum required to save on PS2
Originally released on The Sega Dreamcast (2 disc version) the game was transferred to the PS2 (Single DVD) with extra features (Now called Code: Veronica X or Code Veronica complete) including more bonus features and cutscenes giving greater insight into the plot. This was the first Resident Evil game to fully 3D rendered thus removing the characteristic pre-rendered backgrounds (A characteristic of the earlier Resident Evil games). This allows for heavy use of dynamic lighting and a more fluid gameplay as the number of view changes has been greatly reduced. This 3D revolution also allowed for a first-person perspective bonus mode once the main game is completed.
Claire Redfield is searching for her Brother Chris after the events of Resident Evil 2. She travels to a lab in Europe, but is captured and taken to a prison island. It is not long however before there is a T-virus outbreak on the island and a ‘kind’ guard releases Claire. You have to explore the island and try to find a method of escape. Whilst you are doing this you meet Steve Burnside who is also a prisoner along with his father (Steve’s father you meet later as a zombie!). He does not trust you at first, but finally you manage to convince him to work with you to find a route off the island. The island is run by Alfred and Alexia Ashford who are the mysterious descendants of the legendary Veronica Ashford. Alfred continually tries to hinder your progress by trapping you and unleashing monsters for you to face. To make matters worse you find out that Albert Wesker (The team leader from Resident Evil 1 who betrayed the S.T.A.R.S.) is on the island looking for something. Finally you board an aeroplane and (after fighting some sort of tyrant) you and Steve believe that you have escaped only to find out that Alfred has set the plane to goto another Umbrella facility in Antarctica. Once in Antarctica you discover that Alexia Ashford had developed a new kind of T-Veronica virus (Which Wesker is trying to steal) and after an unsuccessful test on her father she tested it on herself (15 years ago). In order for her to transform into the ‘super being’ which will control all the other infected life forms. She must stay in low temperature conditions for 15 years to accomplish this but obviously as soon as Claire arrives the 15 years has passed and she wakes up with her new powers! Claire and Steve are captured by Alexia when trying to escape.
The game then switches back to the prison island where Chris Redfield (Having been alerted to his Sister being in trouble) has arrived to help only to find the island in ruins. You then play as him and again manage to escape off the island (In a much more stylish way!) and head to the Antarctic. You free Claire and in classic Resident Evil style you have to defeat Alexia before the self-destruct sequence can be completed. Before you escape however Chris has a showdown with Wesker (His former captain). This is merely plot, and ties up some of the loose ends from Resident Evil 1. Chris and Claire manage to flee the crumbling facility to safety!
Code Veronica plays much like the other Resident Evil games with you being able to run/walk around areas then by holding a draw weapon button you can aim and fire (All third-person perspective). The Survival horror feel is still strong, with running away often a good alternative to facing the zombies. Investigation of all areas is crucial, as there are many documents and clues lying around to help you through the game. The fully 3D environment combined with excellent lighting and sound makes the game very atmospheric and almost chilling in places (even if the graphics look a little dated now). As in all Resident Evil games you can regain health by the use of special herbs and first aid sprays. Ammunition supplies are low and must be used wisely if you are to survive! The usual selection of monsters return (Hunters, zombies, dogs, spiders etc.) as well as some new ones (Like the large worm like creatures). Bosses appear fairly regularly through the game, some will go down if you manage to pump enough lead into them, however others require you to use some brain power to defeat. A nice new feature of the game is the character’s ability to hold say two machine guns at once (They can only hold certain weapons as a pair), this allows you to shoot at two different targets at the same time. Another nice feature is the ability to hold a lighter and move around with it lit to give you more light (although I believe that this was put in just to show off the new lighting and shadow effects).
There is a downside to the game however. There is a section (roughly in the middle of the island area) where it becomes quite tedious and slow moving (especially if you have not played it before). You find that for a while all you seem to be doing is running to and from rooms juggling the items that you are carrying and trying to get out of the area. This is by no means a huge problem, but if you are only a casual gamer you may get bored at this point. The door opening sequences are still there as well, and at certain times they go even slower than usual to build up the suspense! However these things do not spoil the game.
Overall Resident Evil Code: Veronica is a worthy edition to the Resident Evil genre and is a must if you are a fan of the series!
Resident Evil Code: Veronica has also been converted into book form by S.D. Perry as one of the Resident Evil novels