A Resident Evil Retrospective Part 4: Resident Evil Code: Veronica
With Resident Evil 6 less than a month away, once a week I'm going to be taking a look back at all the main Resident Evil games, leading up to the October 2nd 2012 release of Resident Evil 6. The Resident Evil series is arguably one of the greatest video games series ever, and its influence can be seen, and played in movies and games ever since the release of the first one.
Last week focused on Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. This week A Resident Evil Retrospective will focus on the fourth game in the franchise, Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Code: Veronica is the first post-destruction of Raccoon City game in the franchise and the first to use 3D backgrounds instead of pre-rendered ones. It is also the second best reviewed Resident Evil in the series, behind Resident Evil 4 which we will look at next week.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica was released on February 29th 2000, immediately following the release on Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Code: Veronica was only released on the Sega Dreamcast making it the first Resident Evil in the series to debut on a non-sony platform. It wasn't until August 21st 2001, under the name Resident Evil Code: Veronica X, that the game made its debut on the Playstation 2.
Code: Veronica takes place 3 months following the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3, with Claire Redfield searching for her brother Chris in an Umbrella Facility in Europe. She is captured and imprisoned on Rockfort Island, another Umbrella Facility. After the island comes under attack, releasing the T-Virus upon the people of the island, Claire is set free from her prison cell by an injured guard, Rodrigo. While attempting to find a way to escape off the island she meets up another person being help prisoner by Umbrella, Steve Burnside. They find a computer, and Claire sends an e-mail to Leon alert him to her situation, and asking him to relay the message to her brother Chris. After maneuvering throughout the island Claire stumbles upon a mansion manned by psychopath Alfred Ashford and his sister Alexia.
Alfred tries numerous times to kill Claire, once by sending you into a maze like area filled with creatures called Bandersnatches, but fails each time. Claire and Steve come across Steve's father as a zombie, and Steve explains to Claire that his father was caught trying to sell information on Umbrella, and they both were imprisoned. Steve takes off, and with some more searching Claire comes upon a second mansion behind the first, and being to explore. After heading back to the other part of the island, Claire brings medicine to Rodrigo and in return receives a lock pick.
Around this time Claire runs into Albert Wesker who admits that he was the one who attacked the island, that he is there to retrieve a sample of the T-Veronica virus, and that he is also there to kill her brother Chris. After digging a little deeper Claire finds out that Alfred has developed split personalities, one that is himself and the other that is his twin sister Alexia. An alarm on the island is sounded, and planes can be seen leaving the island, supposedly other survivors. As you are to trying to ready a plane to take off another alarm goes off, alerting you that there is 5 minutes until the islands self-destruct system blows everything. Alfred then unleashes a Tyrant in order to stop you from leaving. After knocking him down you make it to the plane and escape the island. The Tyrant ends up on board the plane, and you are forced to destroy it. Alfred, determined to not let you survive, takes off from the island in his jet, and overrides the manual controls of your plane setting it to auto-pilot.
After the plane crash lands on another Umbrella facility, this one in the Antarctic, Claire and Steve begin searching for a way to escape. During her search of the facility Claire comes across the creature Nosferatu, Alfred's father who Alfred used to experiment on, chained up in some sort of cage. Attempting to escape using an ice digger, Claire and Steve are attacked by Alfred who is shoved off a ledge to his assumed death. By doing this they anger the creature Nosferatu, who breaks free from its chains. After breaking through the ice on the digger Claire and Steve make a run for it, seeing an escape route. They are attacked by Nosferatu, but Claire dispatched it, and they both escape on a snowmobile. Alfred, barely still alive, activates and releases Alexia, who for 15 years was used to perfect the T-Veronica virus. Alexia uses one of her giant tentacles to overturn and seemingly destroy the snowmobile.
The game then cuts to Chris's part of the game, who ends up at Rockfort Island searching for Claire. He meets up with Rodrigo who tells him that Claire escaped off of the island. Chris continues to search the island, now for a way off and ends up running into Wesker. Before Wesker is able to kill him, Alexia appears on a screen laughing, distracting Wesker and causing him to leave Chris for the time being. Chris then continues his search for a way to escape, fighting off Hunters and other creatures along the way. Chris finds a jet, and determined to save Claire takes off for Umbrella's Antarctic facility.
After arriving at the facility Chris begins his search for Claire, going through the entire facility. Chris stumbles upon the room where Alexia was being held only to find her gone and Alfred dead. Chris eventually makes to a part of the facility that resembles the mansion from the first Resident Evil game. Here he finds Claire who this she has been poisoned, and also tells Chris that they can't leave without finding Steve. Chris heads out, finds, and brings back a serum for Claire. Alexia shows up, and when they go after her one of her tentacles separates them. You now take control of Claire again who heads out in search of Steve. When you find Steve he has already been injected with the T-Veronica virus and mutates into some creature, attacking Claire.
Claire locks herself in a jail cell to escape from Steve but is attacked by one of Alexia's tentacles. Steve, still containing some of himself inside the monster, kills the tentacle but is impaled by the end of the tentacle before it dies. Steve, turning back into his human form professes his love for Claire before he dies. The game the cuts back to Chris who is looking on as Wesker confronts Alexia about retrieving the T-Veronica sample from her blood. They fight, and Wesker escapes leaving Chris there alone with Alexia. After a short fight, Alexia falls and Chris heads off in search of Claire.
Chris eventually finds Claire, although they are on opposite sides of a locked door. Claire tells Chris that Steve is dead, then hands him a file that should make it possible to unlock all the electronic locks. Chris does, which also begins a 5 minute countdown for the self-destruct system.
Chris and Claire finally meet up again but their reunion is cut short when Alexia attacks. Chris tells Claire to head for the emergency elevator while he takes care of Alexia. After a battle with Alexia Chris finally kills her using the Linear Launcher. You take off after Claire but discover that Wesker has already gotten to her. Wesker and Chris fight, while Claire heads to get the Jet ready for escape. A bunch of a pipes and beams fall between Chris and Wesker postponing their fight for another time. The facility beings to self destruct as Chris races to the hanger to escape with Claire. They take off just as the facility blows. As they are flying away Chris promises destruction of Umbrella.
The gameplay for Code: Veronica is relatively the same as it was for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis aside for some minor changes. Code: Veronica features the ability to hold two pistols at once, as well as aiming at two different targets at once. Other gameplay changes/additions include the ability to continue from certain points in the game when you die instead of having to load from the last time you saved the game, the ability to use herbs you find while your inventory is full, and some new weapons such as explosive bow gun arrows.
Code: Veronica X
When the game was released for the Playstation 2 it was released under the name Resident Evil Code: Veronica X. The game featured very minor changes, with the addition of Chris having to get Claire a serum if she is poisoned by Nosferatu, mildly updated graphics and 9 minutes of additional cut scenes spliced into the game. Everything else about the game remained exactly the same. A port of Code: Veronica X was released for the Gamecube on December 3rd 2003 while an HD version of the game was released for the Playstation Store and Xbox Marketplace on September 27th 2011.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica is the true fourth installment in the Resident Evil series although it is not attributed as the fourth. Code: Veronica is a wonderful addition to the series providing tons of new information and background into Resident Evil history, as well as the last one to feature the traditional zombie, although that will change with the release of Resident Evil 6 less than a month away.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica is currently available in HD at the Playstation store for the PS3, the Xbox Live Marketplace for the Xbox 360, and will be bundled in the Resident Evil Anthology which comes out October 2nd 2012. If you still own a PS2, Dreamcast or Gamecube Resident Evil Code: Veronica is available for sale on Amazon and Ebay.
Thank you for reading! Check back next week for A Resident Evil Retrospective Part 5: Resident Evil 4!