Reviewing a PS2 game in 2017? As a big Resident Evil fan I, along with everyone else, questioned why this wasn’t the PS3 remaster but instead a straight up PS2 classic but at the end of the day, the game is just as good as it’s ever been and it’s another title in the series to add to the PS4 collection.
Set three years after the events of Resident Evil 2, Code Veronica follows Claire Redfield as she searches for her brother Chris. Both are involved in the fight against bioterrorist corporation Umbrella with Claire trapped on Rockfort Island, where she’s unexpectedly set free due to an equally unexpected zombie outbreak — well, I’m not so sure it’s unexpected for any of them at this point! Your first playthrough can run you a good 12-15 hours, whereas subsequent playthroughs if you remember puzzle solutions and where to go might only take a couple of hours — as always, the series is great for speed-running, and it’s thrilling each time.
With the release of the Resident Evil 0 and 1 remasters, it’s difficult to not want all of the older to be recreated in the same way. Sadly, Code Veronica keeps the series’ traditional tank controls where headshots are down to luck rather than skill, and the camera will do its best to throw you into unseen dangers. This isn’t to say that the game plays badly but it does feel dated, and it’s notable when compared to the other Resident Evil games on PS4. Once you’ve eased into the games unique groove then you’ll find yourself breezing through, although some of the puzzles and backtracking might halt you for a bit. And as annoying as it is, I still love Resident Evil’s item management system, although I do dislike having to search for a safe room so I can exchange items — it’s an understatement to say I get lost a few times!
Code Veronica may be in 4:3 ratio only (yes, that means black borders) but it certainly looks more crisp and detailed thanks to extra work which Capcom put into it — there’s even a Platinum trophy to earn! I’m always blown away by how good a PS2 game can look when ported to PS4, and it feels a lot smoother too due to its increased framerate. I’m not sure if this or the PS3 remaster would be considered the definitive version of Code Veronica, but if you don’t want to revisit your PS3 then you definitely can’t go wrong with picking up the PS2 Classic on PS4. Its voice-acting is laughably awful but it has its own charm which I wouldn’t want changed, although the Resident Evil series has come a long way since Code Veronica. Overacted and generally unnatural, Code Veronica’s voice-acting will crack you up, but at least it doesn’t detract from the overall experience — if anything, it’s a vital part of it.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica is showing its age and it’s a shame that it hasn’t received alternate controls to make it feel a little less dated, but it’s still a brilliant PS2 game which is great to have on PS4. I’m unsure as to why they didn’t just port the PS3 remaster over but having played both, I’m pleased with this PS2 Classic and the inclusion of a proper trophy list is nice. At only £11.99, you can play one of the best games on PS2 and a very important title in the Resident Evil series, despite it not being a main numbered entry. I’m now hoping for the Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles games to make their way over, along with the Outbreak games!