As Capcom comes off their latest success in the Resident Evil franchise with the release of Village, fans are looking forward to what’s next. When the remake for Resident Evil 2 came out, it, along with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard two years before, proved to be the shot in the arm the franchise needed when winning a number of fans back. Though Resident Evil 6 still remains one of the best-selling entries in the franchise, its critical reception was downright bad. This course correction with a new approach, first-person, and a return to old in Resident Evil 2’s remake, allowed fans who might not have gravitated towards the new to instead get something out of the old.
While Resident Evil 3 didn’t capture audiences like the second remake, there were still a lot of positives to come out of it. As an action game, it was a great time. It had the best representations of Jill Valentine in the entire series, and the updated version of Carlos makes you wish he was present at all in the rest of the franchise. As they wrapped up that remake, it seems the logical choice would be the next major entry in the franchise: Resident Evil CODE: Veronica. Instead, rumors continue to swirl that the next remake that Capcom has lined up is for the widely praised Resident Evil 4.
The first remake in the series takes us all the way back to 2002 when Resident Evil was remade and released for the GameCube. So why is Capcom now seemingly overlooking CODE: Veronica? The game was designed and essentially unfolds as Resident Evil 3 in all but name. CODE: Veronica honestly does more to advance the plot of the overall series forward more than most games, and unlike past titles, it pushes a new visual identity as well. It seems like a perfect opportunity for them to remake it since they have already released 2 and 3.
There’s no doubt that a remake for Resident Evil 4 is a no-brainer. It’s one of the most acclaimed games of all time, and also one of the most influential. Its revolutionary use of the over-the-shoulder camera is something that’s still utilized heavily throughout the third-person genre. However, there’s a case to be made as to why Capcom shouldn’t get ahead of themselves when remaking this classic first, and instead revisit CODE: Veronica.
Set three months after the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3, in CODE: Veronica you once again take on the role of Claire Redfield. As she continues her search for her brother, Chris, you’ll try to escape from a prison island, while also uncovering further mysteries surrounding the T-Virus. In the game, you’ll also get to play as Chris, a first for the series since his debut in the original Resident Evil.
In the same way that Resident Evil 4 has many varied locations, so does CODE: Veronica. Rockfort Island itself is a great setting for an entire game, as you’ll find various different facilities to search through, as well as a mansion that harkens back to the original title in the series. However, just when you think the game might be wrapping up, there’s a whole other section to uncover as you crash land in Antarctica. Where the Spencer Mansion in the first Resident Evil takes you on a journey that would remind you of classic black and white horror films, the back half of CODE: Veronica feels like a direct homage to both the original and remake of The Thing.
Similar to how RE 4 would have you revisiting Leon for the first time after RE 2, remaking CODE: Veronica seems like a perfect opportunity to once again play as Claire. You get to spend the majority of the game playing as her, and for fans of the Resident Evil 2 remake, it’ll act as a nice continuation of her story. It just seems incredibly odd for Capcom to skip over this game in favor of RE 4, especially when it’s a direct continuation of the second-highest selling game in the franchise. Remaking CODE: Veronica would also allow for the many fans who might only know Chris Redfield from RE 7 and Village to get a better understanding of him and his relationship with both his sister, Claire, and his ex-captain, Wesker.
CODE: Veronica has had several re-releases over the years, some of which were sorely needed to get it off the doomed console that was the Dreamcast. However, the re-release, which is called Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X, wasn’t what one would hope for after playing the remakes of 1, 2, and 3, as they only really touched up the game with a better resolution and additional cutscenes.
Unlike the past titles in the series, which utilized the pre-rendered backgrounds that the series would be known for, CODE: Veronica used 3-D environments. With that being said, it wasn’t the large leap forward that Resident Evil 4 would be, making it another reason why it’s a prime candidate for a remake over RE 4, as those who might not have originally played it might see it as a difficult place to jump into for the first time.
If Capcom were to go in order with CODE: Veronica and then RE 4, just as they were originally released, it would also allow fans that started with RE 2 a great opportunity to see Claire and Leon’s time outside of Raccoon City unfold in a natural way. Instead, if they were to skip CODE: Veronica, fans who would have played through Claire’s campaign in the remake for RE 2 would completely miss her presence if they were to just play through RE 4.
Though Sega’s Dreamcast was a great console, it was still an overall failure, meaning that much of the core audience that would have loved to play CODE: Veronica missed out on it at its time of release. It’s a game that has always felt like an outcast in the series, even if it’s more important to the overall story of the franchise than many other numbered entries. CODE: Veronica mixed up the series in various ways in the same way that RE 4 did. It was one of the last of the mainline games to truly try and innovate on the fixed cameras and pre-rendered backgrounds that the franchise was known for, slowly bringing the series to a fully 3-D experience.
Capcom clearly has a good thing going on with their remakes of Resident Evil. The way they’ve been able to keep a 25-year-old series relevant for so long is truly impressive. The resurgence the series has seen over the past few years is also fascinating, especially now as continued rumors point to a Resident Evil 4 remake. Though no one can refute the success that a remake for the game would bring, there’d still be a number of missed opportunities if they were to skip over CODE: Veronica.
KEEP READING: ‘Resident Evil Village’: Let's Break Down the Game's Genius, Zealot, and Big Bad, Mother Miranda
“Eight years. And the time keeps ticking.”
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