Resident Evil Code: Veronica X Hands-On

Resident Evil Code: Veronica has undergone a number of changes in its port over to the PlayStation 2. We had a chance to sit down with the import version to check out these improvements for ourselves.

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Resident Evil Code: Veronica, which was praised as the best chapter in the series, has undergone a number of changes in its port over to the PlayStation 2. While the story, graphics, audio, and gameplay remain essentially unchanged, a few of the additions promise to be substantial enough to attract even those who played through and thoroughly enjoyed the Dreamcast version. We had a chance to sit down with the import version of Resident Evil Code: Veronica X and were able to check out these improvements for ourselves.

To the untrained eye, the opening cinemas seem virtually identical to those found in the Dreamcast version of Code: Veronica. While only the smallest of details separate Code: Veronica X from its namesake, the hardware capabilities, and limitations, of the PS2 make themselves readily apparent. The loading screens, which feature doorways and stairwells as the survival-horror genre dictates, take a bit longer than suspense would require, although not by any means longer than those found in the Dreamcast version. In addition, jagged lines were noticeable along the side of Claire Redfield's face during a few of the opening cinematic sequences, and a strange blurring effect seemed to saturate the entire look of the game. Many of the outdoor sequences appeared to have an almost washed-out look, where the lines that separated the environments, the backgrounds, and the like-colored zombies were fuzzy. Whether this haziness was intended, or simply a byproduct of the PS2 architecture, is unclear. However, it goes without saying that the quality of the FMV and environments remains on par with that of the Dreamcast version, which is more than impressive. The lighting effects throughout the game are impressive, and your ability to seamlessly shed additional light on any area of the game in real time remains as noticeable a feat as ever. The textures have been improved slightly, mostly noticeably so in the prerendered sequences. Overall, the graphics seem slightly less sharp than those found on the Dreamcast, but they make up for it with a smooth look that one might feel adds to the atmosphere. The camera work is scene-to-scene identical in placement and transition to that found in the first trek through Code: Veronica, while the analog control on the PS2 controller performs as well as can be expected but still ends up being a bit clunky for those not used to Resident Evil-style controls. The same excellent sound and palpable atmosphere from the original Code: Veronica can be found pervading this port, which should do much for the pleasure of those with a Dolby Surround sound setup.

The diabolical Wesker, best remembered for his deception in the original Resident Evil, receives some eagerly anticipated attention and hands-on treatment in Code: Veronica X. The approximately 10 minutes of new FMV in Code: Veronica X mostly concentrates on revealing more about this character and his involvement with Umbrella and their shady dealings. Fans of the Resident Evil series who haven't had the chance to play the amazing Code: Veronica would do well to look into Code: Veronica X when it's released for the PS2. Whether or not the additions are enough to merit a second look by fans of the Dreamcast version will of course be dependent on how much survival-horror they're looking for. A stateside release is expected in July 2001.

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