Everyone and their brother have heard of Resident Evil. There’s no denying the fact that the game series has paved the way for other horror games out there. Resident Evil was always known for their unique play style and puzzles integrated into a zombie survival game. As of late, the Resident Evil games have taken a different turn, leaning more towards action rather than survival horror. Code Veronica X was one of the last survival horror versions of Resident Evil and arrived on multiple platforms in the early 2000s. Now, in 2011, we get an HD remake of the zombie survival game.
You play as Claire Redfield, sister of S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield. After the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City, she is now in search of her brother. While trying to infiltrate an Umbrella Corporation facility, she is captured and transported to a prison on Rockfort Island. After a few days there, she is released by one of the guards and is informed that there is a T-Virus outbreak that has taken over the island. She later meets up with another prisoner, Steve Burnside, and they team up to escape the island.
As stated earlier, Code Veronica is one of the last survival horror Resident Evil (RE) games. This means there is limited ammo for your weapons, a constant feeling of fear and distress, and environmental puzzles. You equip a weapon in the menu and can aim up, down and straight ahead. There is no precise aiming in the game. Luckily, Code Veronica did offer up some big improvements to the auto-aim feature, as well as the ability to duel-wield certain weapons and target two enemies at once.
Of course, the biggest feature and to some, the worst feature of Code Veronica, is the movement. This game is one of the last RE games to feature tank controls. You move forward by pressing up on the D-pad/analog stick and in order for you to turn, you must press left or right and the character will slowly turn in that direction. Holding back will have the player walk backwards. Holding back and tapping the run button will perform a quick 180 turn around. This move is your best friend. I have to say, the controls take a lot of getting used to, but once you do, you won’t have too much trouble.
Of course, anyone who has played an RE game before knows you’re not just fighting off zombies. There are zombie dogs; giant boss monsters; and my most hated enemy, Hunters. All offer up a different strategy for taking them down, and always add to the tension of the game.
The puzzles in the game are rather standard, and if you’ve played Code Veronica before, you can solve many of them from memory. If you have never played this game before, don’t worry, the puzzles never get too difficult. Although, the limited inventory space can become bothersome even after getting the additional pack.
In many areas, there are save spots, but you can’t just save when you want. That’s right; the ink ribbons are in this game. You have to have an ink ribbon with you in order to save your game at a typewriter, and of course, there are times where you don’t have one. In most of these save areas, there is also a storage box where you can store all your inventory items and pick them up at other boxes in the game. This will really come in handy when trying to carry a lot of puzzle items at one time.
There is a special “time attack” mode that is unlocked after beating the main game, offering up a little more play time called Battle Game. Here, you choose a character to play as and proceed through rooms killing all enemies and then a final boss. It’s all about getting the best time.
The story is a decent one. Some of the well known characters of the RE series make a return, and the 2nd half of the game is played with Chris Redfield. The only thing I have to say is the voice acting is still hokey in a lot of areas, particularly Steve’s dialog. He has, possibly, one of the most annoying voices and poorly acted deliveries out of the entire Resident Evil series, and that’s saying something. If you’re a big fan of Resident Evil, you know this is normal.
The game has received the HD treatment. Yes, the game is in HD, but the game just looks too old to benefit from it. You can’t help but see that a lot of the textures are flat, and the characters themselves look somewhat blocky, but you can’t really ask much from a game that was originally released back in 1999. The FMV cut scenes look blurry at times and sometimes worse than the actual game play. It reminds me of how God of War looked in the HD collection. The game play looked great, but the cut scenes still suffered.
For those of you wanting to play one of the older RE games, Code Veronica was one of the best. The game does still offer up some pretty good jump scares and a fantastic creepy feel. The controls are cumbersome at times, and inventory management can become bothersome, but to be honest, that’s what defined Resident Evil. The story is solid if you don’t mind some bad lines every once in a while. The game still holds up, but it will take some getting used to in order to fully enjoy it. While the HD aspects of the game are nice, you can still tell this is an old game that really didn’t have that much to work with, so I give it a pass on the HD. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil, of course pick this up. If you’re looking to play one of the best old school RE games, this is the one to get.
Review copy provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.