Game Rant’s Jacob Siegal reviews Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X HD
It is always difficult to look back at games that were so beloved several console generations ago – and expect them to stand up to their successors. We recently reviewed the first of the two Resident Evil HD updates, Resident Evil 4 HD, which managed to hold its own – despite some failings that could have been worked out before the game’s release on PSN and XBLA.
Unfortunately, Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X HD does not fair quite as well. This HD remake of a Gamecube re-release (from the Dreamcast original) manages to both highlight the most impressive and the most impossibly frustrating aspects of the Claire Redfield-centric installment. Resident Evil 4 might be starting to show its age, but CODE Veronica just does not translate to a current generation release, at least in terms of gameplay. However, despite its issues, does CODE Veronica still warrant a purchase?
The original Resident Evil games were not only praised for their interesting and fairly unique gameplay, but also the wild stories that surround the Umbrella Corporation. This conspiracy-laden zombie outbreak can all be traced back to one terrible organization. As a result, the story is pretty gripping, slowly revealing just how deep Claire is – in a situation she cannot hope to fully understand. Although, the story is creepy and engaging, the god-awful voice acting firmly cements the drama in “B-movie” mode. Steve Burnside, a fellow inmate, might be one of the most over-the-top voices in the history of survival horror.
In the story of CODE Veronica – Claire Redfield, sister of Resident Evil protagonist Chris Redfield, is being held prisoner on a mysterious island called Rockfort. The T-virus (zombie outbreak) has begun to spread, and Claire needs to survive while fighting her way to her brother. The Ashford twins, the primary antagonists and children of the eponymous Veronica, notch the creepy factor up quite a bit – considering their failed experiment origins. All this melodrama between the two sets of siblings (Redfields and Ashfords) culminates to an exciting climax by the end of the story. Unfortunately, getting there might be harder than gamers remember.
CODE Veronica is an old game, a third-person shooter designed long before any of the current generation’s third-person games which now feature cover mechanics, sweeping dodge rolls, precise aiming, and the ability to move in a straight line. CODE Veronica uses the classic RE tank-style control scheme to move Claire and Chris Redfield around Rockfort Island. Pushing forward on the left stick runs forward no matter what direction the character is facing. Moving the stick in any other direction turns the character.
Even after spending hours and hours with the game, gamers are unlikely to ever get comfortable lining Claire and Chris up with even the straightest of hallways. The game often requires the player to run away from hordes of zombies and giant worms and worse – complicating matters much, much further. It is unfortunate to see so much promise in a game’s story and then be almost entirely unable to point the polygonal warrior in a straight line.
Shooting also takes time to re-learn. Much like in RE4, players have to hold a trigger to aim, and press a separate button to shoot. This might seem typical for a third-person shooter from eleven years ago, but the mostly-fixed camera angles can make simple shootings very frustrating – especially when a zombie ambles up slowly to Claire just off camera. Players will no doubt waste loads of bullets in order to gain proficiency with the weapons.
This is not to say that there is no fun to be had with Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X HD. The graphics might not stand up next to Skyrim or Gears of War, but this is not a shabby looking game considering its age. The graphics do their job, creating some fantastically terrifying scenery. Character models react accordingly, and there are few, if any, major glitches that had an effect on the experience.
Tense moments lie around every corner, from zombies breaking through windows when you least expect it, to the floor falling out from under you. It is clear why many people look back at this game as one of the standout Resident Evil titles – unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they need to rush right out and revisit it.
Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X HD is out now on the PSN and XBLA for $19.99 or 1600 Microsoft Points, respectively.