Name: Bio Hazard: Code Veronica (76.00% in 5 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
Many people will probably miss out on this great game because they don't own a Sega Dreamcast. Quite unfortunate as this game is certainly one of the best of the infamous Bio Hazard series. Those who are unfamilar with Bio Hazard are probably sleeping under a rock or have been too full of Final Fantasy. Bio Hazard or Resident Evil as known in the western markets, is the most popular survival horror adventure game in gaming history. Taking roots second to Alone In The Dark, Bio Hazard pits your main character against a flurry of incoming zombies, government conspiracies, and mellow dramatic B-movie acting. If you're a fan of any of these, you'll more than likely love Bio Hazard Code Veronica.
Without revealing too much, the story takes place right after Bio Hazard 2 with Racoon City totally destroyed by the T-Virus. (T-Virus is a government genetically engineered virus fashioned to alter elements of living organisms for physical enhancements. As usual things like these go awhack.) Code Veronica comes as 2 GDROM's much like Bio Hazard 2; the first for play as Claire Redfield, and the second one mainly as Chris Redfield. The plot begins as Claire, while in search for her brother Chris, is captured and is brought to a prison island. The island is attacked by an unknown force and she manages to escape from her cell. Unfortunately, in order to escape from the island, she'll have to fight through zombies, solve puzzles, and gain items to reach her goals. This is all very typical of an adventure game, and there's nothing surprising in all those areas. However, the game performs extremely well in ambience, mood, story, and oh yeah; the scary stuff as well. Much like earlier versions of Bio Hazard, there is a lot of stuff that jumps at you scaring the bejeezus out of you. There is much tension at climatic events and surprisingly enough, one can feel sympathy for lesser characters and understand emotional situations even if the acting is cheesy. Most of these aspects are only in RPG's, but Code Veronica provides a very powerful cinematic experience and makes me blood thirsty for what Capcom intends to do for their upcoming Bio Hazard movie.
Knowing that how the game plays, and how the puzzles are like, people probably want to know what the heck they're going to get after they beat the game. Rarely does one go back and play the game all the way through immediately after they've kicked the booty out of it. Well thank the Dreamcast for having a long trend of including extras in their games after completing a game. In Code Veronica, there is a battle mode which is pretty typical, but quite fun if you've always wanted to run aimlessly around just blowing zombies away. You're able to select from a number of characters; none that I will name to keep from spoiling, and attempt to beat time by running through a fixed level while killing zombies. At the end of the level, you'll be given a rank determining how good of a zombie killer you are. There are also other secrets in the game which I don't know about yet, but can be unlocked by completing the game within a certain time period with other parameters met.
The graphics are incredibly good but nothing less than what can be expected of the Dreamcast. Lighting is realtime and is totally insane. As one watches Claire run through a hallway with a lit lighter while the lighting fluxes, truly adds to the immersability that the player can achieve. What's unique about Code Veronica though, is that all the backgrounds are in 3D now. Fully modelled and textured in high res, the game has a much more dramatic and cinematic feel relative to earlier Bio Hazard games. Also, I felt that having everything 3D made everything consistent enough between realtime and pre rendered cinematics, that one wouldn't have a jittery feeling in the flow of the game and plot. Everything is so detailed in the game that, it surpasses detail in bitmapped backgrounds and even goes down to the smallest of the detail like scurrying cockroaches.
Sound is marvelous as it contributes to the game quite nicely as does the music add to the spooky mood of the game. Music isn't anything to scream about but it does the job ingeniusly as it noticeably picks up during climatic events, and dies down during dull investigative parts. For sound effects, we have tons and tons of variety; from zombie grunts to environmental humming of machinery, it provides the ambience required of a survival horror game and more.
All and all, I must say that Code Veronica isn't anything superiorly innovative, yet it uses the old formula and builds upon that. It is said that "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" and I believe it applies to Code Veronica quite well. For those who doubt the Dreamcast's power, I suggest picking this game up as I guarentee that you won't be disappointed. If you're a long ongoing fan of Bio Hazard, or want to get into the series, then definitely play this game as well. If you don't, well you're going to be missing out on a great story and a great game.
Graphics (technical) - 5/5
Graphics (creative) - 5/5
Sound (technical) - 5/5
Sound (creative) - 4.5/5
Technical Gameplay - 4/5
Fun Factor - 5/5
Diversity of Features - 3.5/5
Story - 5/5
Overall Value - 4.8/5
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