Love/Hate: Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica

Welcome back to the Resident Evil love/hate series! In this entry we’ll be going over one of the most obscure titles in this franchise, Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica! The original Survivor is, by far, one of the worst games in this entire franchise. However, this was largely down to the execution being really poor, so the prospect of seeing the concept of “first person shooter Resident Evil game” get another try was an intriguing one at least. Could Survivor 2 do what its predecessor could not? Read on to find out…

Note: I did not play this game with a light gun. This may colour my opinions on this game somewhat, but I honestly doubt it. This is not a game where precision matters (even moreso than the original Survivor), and I just can’t see how a light gun would make an appreciable difference compared to a controller as a result. All opinions here are made under the assumption that I’m experiencing this game using a controller.


Umm… this is a first for the Love/Hate series. Nothing. There’s nothing I love about this game. In every other piece of media I’ve covered, no matter how much I hated that media, there was always something nice I could say about it. This is the first time where I sit down, try to think of anything nice I could say, and cannot. Any positive thing I can think of is then immediately spoiled as I remember some major caveat that pushes it into “mixed”.

So, yeah, buckle in…


  • The Controls – Survivor 2 came out right before Halo: Combat Evolved released and nailed down how to design a shooter for console. Unfortunately, that means that Survivor 2 has a really weird control scheme by modern standards. Left analog stick moves your character, right analog stick… does nothing. No, you need to use L1 and R1 to turn your character, and then square to shoot. I kinda see what they were going for, and in a vacuum it’s a reasonably ergonomic layout, but it feels so foreign to a modern gamer’s mindset. In fact, I had to go into my emulation settings and change all my button inputs to make it more natural to me. Even then, I managed to break the R2 button on my RP4+ playing this game from the constant gunfire spam. All the more reason for me to hate it I guess.
  • AI Partner – Survivor 2 lets you have an AI-controlled partner with you at all times, which is helpful for providing some extra fire or drawing enemy aggro. I legitimately like having them there, but their AI is also dumber than a sack of bricks. In particular, if you end up against any kind of strong enemy (particularly against end-of-level bosses or Nemesis), they’ll run right into them and die very quickly because they don’t know enough to run.


  • Pathetic Playtime – Look, I’m not someone who rags on about gameplay length. I tend to prefer a short game so I can move on to something else. However, even I have my limits: Survivor 2‘s campaign lasts approximately 40 minutes. I’VE LASTED LONGER THAN 40 MINUTES! Like, I’ve legitimately lost more time in Fallout 3 forgetting to save and then dying than I would get from the playtime of this game. The reason it’s so short? There are only five levels and they all last mere minutes.* I had to think about how much I’d hold this against the game – it was, after all, designed as an arcade cabinet game first and foremost. There’s a different sort of design philosophy there and a shorter runtime would be expected. However, even with that in mind, I can’t give Survivor 2 a pass. First of all, it was released as a full boxed game in Japan and Europe, so it should be treated like any other full release title. Even taking into account its arcade game status, it’s not even good when compared to other arcade games. Furthermore, it’s not like they adapted the entirety of Code: Veronica in those five levels and that’s the length the game had to be as a result. No, they only adapt the first half of the game! We never even go to Antarctica! Did they develop this game in six months…? All I can say is “What the fuck?” over and over again.
  • Mindless Gameplay – Survivor 2 is about as mindless as a game can get. At least the original Survivor was trying to stick to the classic Resident Evil gameplay formula, but Survivor 2 is straight-up as mindless a shooter as you can get. Gameplay consists of going from point A, to point B, to point C, all while shooting every single thing in sight and trying not to get hit back. Levels are very short. There are no puzzles. There is no real reason to explore, other than finding gem collectables. The game doesn’t even want you to explore, as it has painted the floors with arrows pointing to your objective. It’s just a mindless gauntlet that becomes more frustrating as it goes.
  • Enemies Are Wasted – Perhaps the weirdest thing about Survivor 2‘s length is how much the game actively avoids stretching it out. For what it’s worth, Survivor 2 has a fantastic roster of enemy types which could easily support a much longer game’s runtime. However, most games will slowly introduce you to new enemy types so you can learn to get good against them. Survivor 2 is playing like a meth addict, throwing new enemy types at you every 30 seconds, only for them to die in mere seconds and then never be seen again. It’s baffling, I don’t know what else to say about it.
  • Feels Recycled – This is a weird thing to say about a game, but trust me, if you played Survivor 2, you would feel it. As far as I can tell, 99% of this game’s assets are taken directly from Code: Veronica and the Dreamcast ports of Resident Evil 2 and 3, with the menu UI and the map system being the only parts that I can see which are wholly original to this game. On the one hand, this is kind of a cool way for Resident Evil fans to see Code: Veronica up close in a way that was impossible before. However, this also means that every stage in this game is literally played on Code: Veronica’s existing maps. THEY’VE FRANKENSTEINED A SHOOTER OUT OF A GAME WORLD DESIGNED FOR SURVIVAL HORROR. This means loading screens every five seconds as you go through a door. This means constantly seeing in-game models which were never designed to be seen this close. This means finding yourself asking why the hell Lickers and Nemesis appear in this game. All I can think is that they just used what they had and didn’t do a single thing more than they had to to ship a minimum viable product.
  • No Voice Acting – It’s really awkward when you start playing this game and see Claire and Steve meet up and their lips are moving… but nothing’s happening. On the plus side, this does mean we’re spared Steve’s voice acting again, but it’s very jarring not being able to hear them speak after I just got done playing Code: Veronica proper.
  • No Stage Select – Much like the original Survivor, if you die in Survivor 2 and run out of lives, it’s game over, back to start. Even though you’re likely to only lose about 15 minutes of progress, that’s still 15 minutes of bullshit to get back where I was. You either get gud, or stop playing. Well, I’ll be honest here, I got through four levels and then died. I was done, I don’t even feel the need to see this final level. The whole thing’s the bloody same shit over and over, there’s no reason for me to believe it will change at all.

Despite all my rage, I honestly don’t think that Resident Evil Survivor 2 is the worst Resident Evil game. Umbrella Corps is still the reigning champion, due to how much more baffling it is that it was bad, and also because the state of its online mode even shortly after launch hampered it significantly. That said, when, in comparison, I find myself suddenly saying nice things about the original Survivor, you know you fucked up badly.

*Your mom lasted mere minutes.

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