June 28, 2000

Resident Evil: Code Veronica - Review

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Click To Enlarge ImageThe Resident Evil series has finally arrived on Dreamcast with a brand new adventure called Code Veronica. Capcom have spent several years developing the title, which has been one of the most anticipated Dreamcast titles to date. The game has finally made it's way to Australia thanks to Eidos who are now distributing many Capcom titles since the demise of Virgin.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the continuation of the Playstation series. The story follows Claire Redfield's attempts to discover what happened to her brother, Chris, several months before in Raccoon City. This journey leads Claire to Europe where she spends time hunting for clues about the Umbrella Corportaion. She is soon captured by guards and placed in a prison on remote island which is where the game begins.

Click To Enlarge ImageGameplay in this title remain faithful to previous versions. Items can be equiped, there is a limit to the number of items to carry and the game can only be saved with a ribbon at a typewriter. Fighting enemies is the same as in previous versions of the game. Aiming a weapon is done by holding down one button while another is pressed to fire the weapon. One of the most exciting features in Resident Evil: Code Veronica is the abiliy to carry one gun in each hand so you can shoot at multiple enemies at the same time.

Controlling the characters, which has always been a hotly debated issue in the past, is still the same as in the past. The left and right buttons are used to rotate the character while up and down to moves them forward or backwards. While many people complain about this system I find it easy enough to get used to.

To say that Resident Evil: Code Veronica is a great looking game is an understatement. It's awesome. The in-game graphics are as impressive as the pre-rendered graphics on the Playstation. But it's not just the quality of the graphics that are so impressive, its the incidental details. As soon as the game begins Claire is in a corridor which has several cockroaches scattering around. It adds so much more to the realistic look of the game. The explosions are also excellent, and zombies catch on fire if caught in the blast.

Click To Enlarge ImageThe in-game cut-scenes are absolutely brilliant. The graphics are a mixture of rendered and pre-rendered graphics with more shocks and surprises then all the previous games combined. If only more companies would take a leaf out of Capcom's book, the gaming community would be so much better off. But the cut-scenes aren't just there to distract from the game, but each adds a great deal to the overall story.

If you've ever played Resident Evil in the past you will know exactly how much atmosphere the sound adds to the game. Hearing the noises of an approaching zombie can be nerve wracking, especially if you health is critical and you are almost out of ammo. The sound effects are great with each weapon having a distinctive sound. The music is also atmospheric although it still annoys me that the music that starts when you are being attacked stops as soon as the last zombie is killed. Keeping this action music going a little longer would retain more suspense for the player.

Click To Enlarge ImageWhile everything may sound great there are a couple of minor niggles. The first problem is the familiarity of the game. Although Resident Evil: Code Veronica contains some first person elements the majority of the game has a familiar 3rd person feel to it. The other minor niggle is the fact that you can't throw items away from your inventory. On too many occasions I found something I need to pick up to finy my inventoy full with items I don't need. Fortunately you can eat the herbs for health withough putting them in your inventory. But these are only minor niggles in an ultimately superb game.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica is another must have title on the Dreamcast, and only gets beaten by Rayman 2 in the "must have" status. Capcom have gone all out to make this the best version in the series so far and it doesn't disappoint. I plead with you to run, not walk, to the shops to pick this one up. Oh if you don't have a Dreamcast yet, wait for the price drop on July 1 and then buy the system and this game.

Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall