alex9234’s Sunday Review
Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review. This time I’m going to review a Resident Evil fan favorite. This is by far the most difficult game in the series, this was the last Resident Evil game to feature Claire Redfield as a main character until RE: Revelations 2, and this was also the last ever mainline Resident Evil game to come out on a Sega platform, as Sega discontinued the Dreamcast in 2001 and went software-only. This game is Resident Evil CODE: Veronica, which came out on the Sega Dreamcast in 2000, and was ported to the PS2 a year later.
CODE: Veronica follows the story of Claire Redfield, who heads to France to find her brother, former Raccoon City Police S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield, who had also went with other S.T.A.R.S. members to Europe to investigate the Umbrella Corporation, the main culprit in the Raccoon City incident. She then raids an Umbrella facility in Paris in order to gain information on where her brother is, however, she is captured by Umbrella forces and imprisoned on Rockfort Island, located somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. She is then knocked out cold by an Umbrella soldier and when she comes to, an Umbrella security guard named Rodrigo Juan Raval frees her from her cell, but warns her that she has little to no chance of making it off the island alive. Why, you ask? Because a T-Virus outbreak suddenly occurred on the island. After leaving her cell, Claire manages to get a gun, and she runs into another inmate on the island, Steve Burnside. She and Steve decide to figure out a plan to leave the island. After splitting up for a while, Claire investigates a mansion on the island, only to run into Rockfort Island’s mentally unstable commander, Alfred Ashford. He reveals that he is the grandson of Edward Ashford, one of the founders of Umbrella Corporation. He is intent on hunting down Claire, because he believes that she played a part in the T-Virus outbreak on the island. After escaping from Alfred, Claire then runs into Steve again. While plotting their escape, the both of them run into a zombie who reveals himself to be Steve’s father, and Umbrella researcher who tried to sell information. Steve tells Claire that his father was exposed, that his mother was killed by Umbrella as a result, and that him and his father were imprisoned on Rockfort Island. A while later, the two of them investigate another mansion located right behind Alfred’s mansion, which supposedly is the home of Alfred’s sister, Alexia Ashford. After fending off someone who looks like Alexia, it is revealed that it was Alfred who was pretending to be his sister, and that he has developed two personalities – him and his missing sister, Alexia. Shortly after, the two of them steal a plane and manage to escape from the island, as well as Alfred’s grasp – or have they?
After a while in the air, Alfred hijacks the plane from a computer, sets it into autopilot, and flies Claire and Steve to an abandoned Umbrella facility in Antarctica. There, Alfred hopes to free Alexia, who has been in cryogenic sleep since 1983 because she injected herself with the T-Veronica virus and hoped to counter the flaws of the virus. Alfred then fights Claire and Steve again, only this time he is defeated by the both of them and supposedly falls to his death in a crevice. Moments before his death, he manages to find Alexia’s sleep pod and frees her. He dies shortly after. Then, Claire and Steve leave the facility in a digger, and decide to head off towards an Australian base that is nearby. However, Alexia, using the powers of the T-Veronica virus, summons giant tentacles, crashes Claire and Steve’s digger and captures them. A while later, back on Rockfort Island, Chris shows up, having received information about Claire’s whereabouts from Leon S. Kennedy. However, when he arrives, he finds the island in shambles because Alfred set off a self-destruct system which destroyed many of the facilities on the island. Chris then runs into Rodrigo, who tells him that Claire made it off the island okay, but is then killed by a giant worm. After investigating the island some more, Chris runs into his nemesis, Albert Wesker, who was responsible for the T-Virus outbreak on the island. He and Chris get into a fight, but Chris is no match for Wesker who has managed to develop incredible strength since their last encounter. Before Wesker is about to kill Chris, Alexia appears on a monitor, laughing at Wesker. He then lets Chris go, and heads out to Antarctica, due to the fact that she carries the T-Veronica virus. Chris also makes his way there eventually, and is reunited with Claire. The two of them then set out to find Steve. Claire then manages to find Steve, and is shocked to find out that Alexia injected him with the T-Veronica virus. Steve then mutates into a giant monster due to the effects of the virus, and Claire tries to escape, but is captured by one of Alexia’s tentacles. Steve nearly kills Claire, but he comes to his senses and frees Claire from the tentacle. He mutates back into his human form shortly after, he confesses his feelings for Claire, but he dies due to a negative effect of the virus. After fighting off Alexia once again, Chris finds Claire who is trapped in the room where Steve died. Chris activates the facility’s self-destruct system, freeing Claire from the room. As the two of them try to escape, they run into Alexia again, who has mutated into a insectile form. Can Claire and Chris fight off Alexia and escape in time?
CODE: Veronica has many similarities to it’s predecessors when it comes to gameplay. It still retains the tank controls, the same Metroidvania formula as its predecessors – you explore Rockfort Island and the Antarctic facility, and save at save points, the item boxes are still around so you can store items, tons of puzzles that require certain items to complete, and what have you.
However, this is the first Resident Evil game to use 3D backgrounds instead of the per-rendered ones of past games. For the first half of the game, you play as Claire with some segments where you play as Steve, and in the second half, you play as Chris with an occasional segment where you play as Claire.
Claire Redfield – Age: 19 – Claire is the main character of CODE: Veronica. She is the sister of former R.P.D. S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield, who trained her in military combat techniques and has learned how to handle herself in hand-to-hand combat, as well as being able to master tons of weapons such as combat knives and firearms. She has a strong bond with her brother, and she is dead set on finding on her brother throughout the entire game.
Chris Redfield – Age: 25 – Chris was a member of the Raccoon City P.D.’s famous S.T.A.R.S. unit until the Raccoon City incident. He is the older brother of Claire, and has trained her in military combat techniques. After the events of Resident Evil 2, it is revealed that he and other former S.T.A.R.S. members had traveled to Europe to investigate the Umbrella Corporation, and by doing do, Chris has made himself a wanted target of Umbrella Corporation. He is determined to find Claire as well as bring down Umbrella in retaliation for their involvement in the Raccoon City incident.
Steve Burnside – Age: 17 – Steve was a prisoner of Umbrella on Rockfort Island. His father was a researcher for Umbrella who was caught selling information about the company and both he and Steve were imprisoned on the island, while his mother was killed. He joined forces with Claire when the T-Virus outbreak took place on the island, and, like Claire and Chris, was determined to take down Umbrella to avenge his parents’ deaths, but unfortunately for him, was killed by Alexia Ashford as she injected him with the T-Veronica virus.
I first played CODE: Veronica when a friend of mine got a copy of the original Dreamcast version of the game a while back, and I enjoyed it very much. Though the camera angles can be a problem at times, the controls were very good, the puzzles were challenging, and the music was very chilling at times. The plot was very good, as it leaves you guessing the whole way through, and the in-game files were very entertaining to read. I like how you can find upgrades to some of the weapons in the game, for example, you can upgrade Claire’s handgun so it can fire multiple rounds at a time. Another plus is that your character can fire their weapon at a faster rate than in the previous games. Also, you can view the status of your character’s health bar thanks to the Dreamcast’s VMU screen, so you don’t have to go into the inventory to view what level your character’s health bar is at. However, the voice acting, in traditional old-school Resident Evil fashion (with the exception of RE3), is cheesy as hell. Especially for Steve and Chris, who somehow have developed Canadian accents in this game – words that have the letter “O” in them like “Sorry” are pronounced in typical Canadian fashion, if you know what I mean.
Remember when I said that CODE: Veronica is the most difficult game in the series? Well, I’m not kidding. Enemies in the game deal out serious amounts of damage to your characters, items are even more scarce than in previous games, so not only do you have to conserve your resources, you also have to frequently use them at the same time to heal your character and fend off enemies. Believe me, there are a lot of enemies in this one and you’re going to need to save your ammo, as well as heal frequently because you will take LOTS of damage playing this. What’s worse, there are even some areas where enemies RESPAWN!!! I’ve had tons of moments where I would just ragequit at a certain part of the game because there were a ton of enemies that I had to dodge because I was trying to save ammo, as well as the enemies that respawn in certain areas. If there is any game that can put you in a really bad mood, it’s CODE: Veronica.
But don’t let this game’s difficulty intimidate you, because it’s still beatable, and all the other positives about this game outweigh the negatives, so if you have a Dreamcast or a PS2, check this game out (only downside to the PS2 version is you have no VMU to see the health bar).
My score: 9/10