Does blowing the heads off of zombies ever get old? No, it just gets more detailed with better graphics. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the new Resident Evil game on Dreamcast. The game plays very much the same way as the original Resident Evil, but with a much-improved graphic engine.
The story and feel of the game is very much the same as the original once, and rewards those who have followed the Resident Evil game story by offering a glimpse into the origins of the corrupt company, Umbrella. Umbrella is the one responsible for the chemical weapon experimentation that has resulted in the creation of a multitude of zombies. The game starts on a desert island in a prison of a secret Umbrella complex. Claire Redfield has been captured looking for her brother Chris. Unfortunately something has gone terribly wrong and (wouldn't you know it) there are zombies running around everywhere. As the story unfolds you will find that it is the best, by far, of all of the RE story lines to date. The characters are well developed, and the voice acting has taken a step away from the cheezy horror acting to something a bit more respectable. Apparently all of the characters are from Canada though.
The problems with all of the RE games are still present in Code Veronica although they are reduced. You still cannot rotate any of the environments even though they are all 3D. You are trapped with the camera angles that the game give you and are at the mercy of the changing directions. There is still the annoying control of having to press forward to go in any direction and worse of all you cannot shoot and run at the same time.
However there have been improvements made for the more advanced system. The environments can now move with you making those long corridors not seem so bad. Most of the rooms offer ways to position your character so that you can kill the zombies without having to worry about them backing you into a corner where you cannot move. Plus there is a quick turn around feature which allows you to run away, turn back and shoot without having to make a slow unnatural turn.
Even if you have never played or really liked the RE series you should still check out Code Veronica. It is the most cinematic game ever created, using glorious video, great camera angles, and a movie caliber soundtrack. I set a new personal record for gasps and "ewws" resulting from the numerous times a disgusting creature would reach out and try to grab me. The cut scenes are so seamless with the gameplay that it really makes you feel like you are controlling the characters in a movie. What's more is that all of the puzzles are logical and correspond to the environments. They do not seem like random puzzles put in there just so the game could have puzzles.
If you are lucky enough to complete the entire game you will be treated to a first person battle mode where you can use some of the best weapons in the game to blow away a bunch of creatures while navigating through the environments seen in the game. It is the greatest RE themed treat ever. They should make the entire first game over again using that perspective.
Basically if you do not have this game yet, you should go out and get it. It will immerse you from the opening movie and never let you go. It shows what the Dreamcast is really capable of as far as character modeling and animation. On top of that it is a scary, well designed, well conceived story that will simultaneously intrigue and disgust. A must have for Dreamcast owners.
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