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In its 24 year history, the Resident Evil series has delivered some exceptional games. 1996's original Resident Evil terrified gamers like never before when we first stepped into the Spencer Mansion and met that zombie. Then there was Resident Evil 2, an equally terrifying game that spread the undead chaos over a wider location, increasing the fear factor.
Then came Resident Evil 3, which was also great but in a different way, giving us more carnage but falling a bit short on the scary side. RE3 showed us that Resi was in a transitional period, finding its new style in a world where survival horror games were becoming more and more commonplace. From this, Capcom paved the way for Resident Evil 4, a true gaming masterpiece that can still be enjoyed to this day.
But if you want true survival horror, you won't find it in Resident Evil 4, and you'd be a fool for remaking that game just to change its genre. If you really want to scratch that itch, then look no further than Resident Evil - Code: Veronica, Capcom's last great survival horror before they started with their remakes, and the one game that deserves a remake now more than any other.
When Resident Evil 2 released last year, one of its many praised design choices was replacing the fixed camera and tank controls of the original with a third-person perspective. This gives the player more control over the camera and adds a layer of immersion to combat, and was first implemented by Capcom in Resident Evil 4.
RE4 marked the beginning of Resident Evil's 'action era', but still offered survival horror elements like inventory management and puzzles. The new style proved so popular that Capcom stuck with it all the way up until the first-person Resident Evil 7, and then reverted to it for the recent RE2 and RE3 remakes.
In other words, RE4 is essentially the first of the 'modern' Resi games, so it stands to reason that it doesn't need to be adapted for the modern audience. It's still there. It's on basically every console now thanks to its HD ports, too, so nobody is missing out on Resident Evil 4.
Code: Veronica on the other hand feels dated and less available to modern gamers. Yeah, it has an HD port that's accessible through Xbox One backwards compatibility, but it's clunky and awkward compared to the smoother, more modern Resident Evil games. It's time for Capcom to give C:V the 'REmake' treatment.
The recent remake of Resident Evil 2 delivers a near-perfect example of survival horror. The RE3 remake is more about action, and it's very enjoyable for it, but it isn't as scary as a result. Reactions from fans and critics alike have made it clear that when it comes to Resident Evil games, more action means less scares, and we all play Resi games to be terrified, right?
Code: Veronica embodies survival horror - and thanks to its larger, more ambitious environments, the horror hits harder. Each location feels huge yet claustrophobic, and adversity comes at you from every angle, just what you want from a good Resi game.
A remake in a similar manner to 2019's Resident Evil 2 would rightly be less about action, instead focusing on an even more nightmarish scenario than before, with more space to explore and survive in.
A remake of Resident Evil 4, a game that's very action-heavy compared to its predecessors, would move further away from the survival horror that Capcom do so well, and we've been down that path before. (*Shudders in Resident Evil 6*)
Following the huge success of Resident Evil 2, Capcom were working on several new projects for the RE franchise, including a potential Resident Evil 3 directed by Hideki Kamiya. However, that became Resident Evil 4 for a while, before ultimately becoming Devil May Cry, and Capcom had to find an alternative.
Enter Resident Evil - Code: Veronica, the logical follow-up to RE2 thanks to its starring that game's protagonist Claire Redfield, as well as her elder brother Chris who starred in the first instalment. However, this project was set to debut on the Sega Dreamcast, and Capcom had planned to release mainline titles on the PlayStation first.
This led to Capcom retooling an existing project, known as Resident Evil 1.9, a game using existing assets from Resident Evil 2 but favouring more action in its gameplay, similarly to RE2's 'The 4th Survivor' mode.
With that, Resident Evil - Code: Veronica became a spin-off title despite being a more in-depth game, and contributing more to the franchise's overall story. So Capcom, if you're prepared to remake RE3, why not remake Code: Veronica first and give it the mainline treatment it always deserved?
Claire is a full-fledged protagonist in Resident Evil 2, representing the Redfield family after Chris saved the day with Jill in the original Resident Evil. And yet, Capcom did Claire dirty by relegating her to spin-off games, starting with Code: Veronica.
Claire's presence in RE2 is because she's searching for Chris, and C:V is the continuation of that story. Sure Leon's story develops more thanks to Resident Evil 4, but it actually resolved at the end of RE2, including a nice admission of his feelings for Ada.
Now their continued story is a personal favourite of mine, but Claire's tale involves the direct resolution of the original Resident Evil, as she is still looking for her brother while he is simultaneously trying to eliminate all trace of the bioweapons that decimated Raccoon City and claimed the lives of his teammates.
Claire and Chris are finally reunited during C:V, and with that the series closes out the events of the first two Resident Evil games, while leaving open the prospect of continued adventures for our heroes. It's a key part of the franchise, and merits a remake on its own.
The iconic sunglasses-wearing, blonde bombshell of the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team, Albert Wesker immediately won fans over in the first Resident Evil with his cool-guy aesthetic and charismatic speaking voice. When it turned out he was a traitor, you could almost forgive him because of how impossibly cool he was - and then the Tyrant killed him, and that was that.
Only it wasn't, and Wesker came sauntering back into our lives in Code: Veronica as an enhanced, super strong, undead enemy. Wesker's return proves instrumental to the franchise's overall plotline, giving us a villain who's always working behind the scenes. Until he finally gets done in by Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar in Resident Evil 5 that is.
Unfortunate ending aside, Wesker's presence in the Resi series is huge, and Code: Veronica gives us arguably his best moment as a character when he pulls a cheeky Lazarus on us. Don't you want to relive that moment in a stunning remake?
After three successful remakes over the last two decades, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Capcom were to keep at it. Each one has its fans, and Capcom have shown how ambitious they can be with their reimaginings. But it's time to be even bolder, and remake a game that didn't get the love it truly deserved when it first released.
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