by: Sam "Samaoza" Tyler
When Resident Evil 4 was released it was like a breath of fresh air. The Evil series was reinvigorated with new looks, new controls and new environments. However, for a franchise to need reinvigorating it first needs to have stagnated; was the last ‘traditional’ Resident Evil game really so poor that it broke the series? If the high definition remake of Resident Evil: Code Veronica has anything to go by, the answer is a probably yes.
Before going further, some cards must be laid on the table. I played the original version of Code Veronica on the Dreamcast back in the day and I didn’t like it much then. Therefore, it would take more than a simple high-res reskin to impress me. So what have Capcom done to Code Veronica? Taken a bucket of matte Hi Res Paint™ and slopped it all over. The tank-like controls that date the game tremendously are still present. Want to move forwards? Easy enough, just press forward on the joystick. Want to go over to that area in the corner behind you? Turn the character around on their axis so that they are pointing in that direction and then press forwards. People may have struggled with Resident Evil 5’s controls, but they are nothing when compared with the strange turn and move controls of Veronica. At times death became a blessed release from you grinding along a wall trying to escape a horde of zombies.
Graphically, the game does look better than ever before, but it is by no means in keeping with modern games. The bizarre puzzles are also in abundance (even more so than in RE5). The concept of finding two pieces of a strange medallion to open a door is odd to begin with, but when that door is situated within a modern industrial complex it is just plain wrong. Some retro games take on an awkward charm as they age, whilst others make you question why they were popular in the first place.
Fans of the original Resident Evil: Code Veronica will probably enjoy going back and reliving (redeading) the same experience as before, but in a better looking world. However, this is probably the most obscure game in the main cannon and it should probably remain so; some of the side characters are awful, even in terms of the Resident Evil franchise. In the end, it is not the collecting of strange objects or annoying characters that undermines the game, but the fact that it is almost uncontrollable to a gamer accustomed to 2011 controls.
This is one remake for the hardcore Resident Evil fans only.