This is my only complaint. The gameplay has not evolved all that much over the 4 games. Those familiar with the game will have little difficulty picking up the game and immersing themselves right away. I was looking to have full analog 3D control, but NO it is still the old same push forward to walk forward with a separate button for running. Ugh! Shame on you Capcom for not changing the control. While it does not hamper the game, it does nothing to make the game more immersive.
With control aside, the game still follows the same formula found in the other games in the series: search for keys, solve puzzles, kill anything in the way. The inventory boxes are still present whereby you store a number of supplies and weapons. The ink ribbons and type writers are still used for saving the game at specific locations. The difference here is although it is an old formula, it takes the best of the genre and packages it in such a way that you are never bored. There is a very intricate balance of action, puzzle solving and story development. Where I found myself bored in some parts of the previous games, not once was I bored in CODE Veronica. In fact I was drawn to for hours and hours on end in order to get through it.
Throughout your journey, you will take control of three of the main characters: Claire Redfield, Steve Burnside and Chris Redfield. Each has their own unique set of objectives. It is not a simple case of covering old ground. As in the last two games in the series, what you do with one character will effect what can be done with the others. This is what Capcom coined "Zap" system.
The game has 3 difficulty settings: Very Easy, Easy and Normal. Very Easy gives you all the weapons to start and a ridiculous amount of extra ammo and healing herbs. Normal mode is the original mode whereby you must earn everything and take care in fighting the undead. Easy mode is in between Very Easy and Normal. Interestingly it does not matter which mode you choose. In the previous games you could only access the bonus games by playing Normal. In Code Veronica even completing Very Easy will allow you to access the extra Battle Mode. It turns out, it is not the level of difficulty that effects the bonus modes, but rather what you do and collect during the main mission will determine what secrets you uncover.
Code Veronica should take the average gamer anywhere from 30 to 40 hours to complete. Even upon completion, the game is so engaging that many gamers will want to play through the game three or four times. In addition there is a great bonus Battle Mode which has a set number of objectives within itself.
Code Veronica is one of, if not the most anticipated game of 2000 and rightly so. The long wait has been well worth it. The Resident Evil series finally has been done justice by coming to a superior system in the Dreamcast. This game deserves all of your anticipation. Although the control system still could have been tweaked to take advantage of the Dreamcast controller and after careful cogitation, I cannot find any reason why every single Dreamcast owner should not go out and purchase this game with complete confidence. It is survival horror at its finest.
Resident Evil: CODE Veronica Correction Sorry folks for a minor error. My review was based on the Japanese version, as the folks at Capcom declined to give us a US copy. When I finally did get a look at the US copy, I noticed a slight change. The only difference is the difficulty settings. In the Japanese version you can choose among Very Easy, Easy, and Normal. In the US version, you do not have this option. It is defaulted at Normal. Why the change? We can only assume that gamers would have burned through the game on Easy Mode. As a result, the US version is more challenging and will cause some players frustration in defeating some of the more difficult enemies.
Review By: Mike Weatherup