The series bids farewell to its tank controls with its most infuriating entry of all time.
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Full disclosure l: I have attempted to best this game twice now in the past and have been unsuccessful. At the time of this writing it looks very possible. That is solely with the help of a guide. The game’s design has flaws that will basically make it unplayable if you are unprepared for impossible to predict scenarios.
Descriptions I would use to describe Resident Evil: Code Veronica X vary. The game itself is gorgeous. The graphics are very strong BUT the play areas are small and repetitive (a constant issue with the series beginning entries). The voice acting is the best in the series to that point but the writing and characters often times just don’t make any sense. The gun aiming is more intuitive than ever but the series still seemed snagged on its bulky tank controls. ￼
Taking place in December 1998 (only a few months after Resident Evil 2) heroine, Claire Redfield takes the fight to Umbrella Corporation at their Paris headquarters. Breaking in, she searches for any clues to the whereabouts of her brother, Chris – who was involved in the mansion incident (original Resident Evil).
Unfortunately, for Claire, this decision proves to be a royally dumbass move. Not only does she manage to get herself caught by literally the most evil corporation in the universe but they also take it upon themselves to ship her off to Rockfort Island. An incredibly isolated prison island located in the Southern Ocean. But wait! Theres more! Once on the incredibly lame-named island, big surprise, there is a T-Virus outbreak, that mutates just about everyone on the island into fleshy zombies. OSHA and the FDA would have a fucking field day inspecting just how in the world the same company just keeps unleashing terrible viruses on its employees/the rest of the world.
Even more unlucky for our friend Claire is, after the outbreak she learns that she isn’t the sole survivor on the island, after all. There is another inmate trying to break free and his name is Steve Burnside. He is also the worst character ever introduced into the RE canon. Making Bruce Mcgirven look like the biggest badass on the Planet.
And yes, inevitably- if I’ve learned only one thing from decades of horror movies and video games it’s that running for your life and being chased by monsters makes people horny. So somehow, through all of this, Claire doesn’t see the shithead that Steve really is and ends up falling for him, despite being way out of his league. To compare the unlikelihood of this relationship, Steve and Claire being together is as likely as me taking Salma Hayek on a date. (One of these days she’ll read one of my Twitter proposals, I’m sure of it!)
When it comes to retrospective reviews, time is an interesting thing. Nostalgia and our false memories generally place more value on certain things that are now long gone. We tend to forget that just because you remembered something doesn’t necessarily make it valuable. Which is another thing I’ve noticed as retro gaming prices have shot up over the past 2-3 years. Code Veronica, like everything else it offers, is hit or miss. With some sellers rating it as high as $170 and other much closer to a reasonable $20-30 range. I can’t say much as far as resale value goes, however I will add that I ended up with two different copies of this game for absolutely free twenty years ago. One copy because my friend hated it. (Understandable.) and another as a kind of gift, knowing I was into the Resident Evil series.
At the end of the day Resident Evil: code Veronica X delivers depending on who you ask. It is the most exciting and intricate story line in the series to that point. The voice acting is the strongest it has been to that point and the graphics still hold up today. But for everything RE: Code V gets right it also was everything that was wrong about the first era of Resident Evil games and the final straw before Capcom would seriously shake the formula up four years later with Resident Evil 4.
If you want to have a great, old school Survivor Horror experience then I suggest this game but with the help of a guide. If you want to hate and resent it for twenty years, go in blind like I did.
Overall: 85% (SILVER)