Resident Evil – Code: Veronica is considered by most fans as the black sheep of the franchise. Originally designed to be a port of Resident Evil 2 to the Sega Saturn, Capcom decided the port would be underpowered compared to the PlayStation version and decided to make a new game instead. Veronica was a planned exclusive for the Dreamcast but was instead released on the GameCube, Dreamcast, and PlayStation 2. With the hype surrounding the Resident Evil 4 Remake, I want to make an argument for why Code: Veronica deserves a remake.
Next in Chronological Order
When I heard the rumors that there is going to be a remake of Resident Evil 4, I felt somewhat confused. Code: Veronica is the next in line when it comes to the series story. It follows the story of Claire Redfield after the events of Resident Evil 2 as she continues the search for her brother. The game even has dual protagonists with Claire and Chris Redfield. RE fans often call Code Veronica the “Real Resident Evil 3” as it feels like a continuation of the story rather than a side story.
So, it confused me when they skipped Code: Veronica for Resident Evil 4. If the remakes intend to retell the story of the older games for a modern audience, then why would you skip Code: Veronica? It makes it clear that Capcom is not remaking Resident Evil 4 because they have a creative vision but rather because it is more marketable. Resident Evil Code: Veronica is the culmination of the old-school games, so it makes complete sense to bring it into the Remake mold.
For as much as Code: Veronica was lauded at the time for its graphics and gameplay, there are lots of areas that could be improved with a remake. An aspect of the game often criticized was the voice acting and how it detracted from the experience. The voice acting in Code: Veronica is truly atrocious and has some of the worst performances in the series. The dialogue isn’t cheesy anymore, it is just plain bad. This is especially off-putting, considering how seriously the game wants you to take its story.
Steve Burnside is the crowning achievement of bad acting. Steve is actively one of the most annoying characters in the series and is one of the most disliked characters in the franchise. He constantly gets in your way and whines through every dialogue scene in the game. Steve steals items such as the golden pistols and complains about how Claire just doesn’t understand him. In a remake, Steve could get a second chance to be a good character. Get a good actor, rewrite some of his lines, and you got yourself a much improved Resident Evil character. We could also get some extra scenes where we learn more about his character and his backstory, which could help build his character arc.
One of the major issues with the game is the confusing map. Compared to previous titles such as Resident Evil 1 and 2 where you had some sort of mansion or police station to explore, Code Veronica has several locations with little cohesion. In Code: Veronica, you are exploring a whole complex with multiple winding paths and destinations that make it hard to navigate. I vividly remember multiple times when I just had no idea what to do or where to go.
It doesn’t help that the game went from pre-rendered backgrounds to 3D backgrounds either, as some of these made some sections of the map hard to navigate. With a remake of Code: Veronica, Capcom could easily condense parts of the map and make it easier to explore. They did this in Resident Evil 2 Remake, where they combined and connected rooms to make the gameplay experience smoother. A remake is a perfect chance to iron some of the wrinkles and make this game’s map easier to navigate.
One of the most admirable innovations that Code: Veronica made to the franchise was its story and presentation. The story was no longer through notes and journal entries. Code: Veronica told the majority of its story through cutscenes. The cutscenes were pretty impressive at the time and portrayed each character well. Additionally, we even got to see Albert Wesker in all his glory as he threatened Chris and Claire throughout their adventure.
With a possible remake, Capcom could iron out some of the major parts of the story, and improve on the presentation. They could fix Steve’s writing and make us care about his sacrifice at the end of the game’s story. They could even add a final boss fight between Chris Redfield and Albert Wesker as a fitting climax to the game.
Every Resident Evil game has left its mark on the series, whether good or bad. Code: Veronica was one of the last classic Resident Evil games before it transitioned to more of an action focus. Capcom, please don’t forget about Code: Veronica. Give it the remake treatment it deserves, as Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, and Resident Evil 4 have gotten.
What other games in the Resident Evil franchise would you love to see remade? More than anything, my fingers are crossed for Resident Evil Outbreak.