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Game review: Code Vein

07 Oct 2019
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When Japanese developer FromSoftware made Demon’s Souls several years ago, the game spawned out a surprisingly new and popular genre. The popularity of the game encouraged the developer to make the Dark Souls trilogy as well as the well-received Bloodborne.

The genre throughout the years was dubbed by fans ‘Soulsborne’ and they are essentially open world action adventure games that have a very steep difficulty curve. Other developers have followed suit over the years as I’ve managed to complete the likes of Nioh and Sekiro recently.

Well another game in the genre enters the arena now as publisher Bandai Namco with developer Shift presents to us something new called Code Vein. The game is set in a post dystopian world where vampire-like beings called Revenants roam the world. If these Revenants don’t get enough blood, they will turn into even more monster-like beings called ‘The Lost’.

The main story sees a group of Revenants trying to find the source of Blood Beads so they don’t have to feed off of humans ever again. There’s more to the plot once you progress, although I’m not going to spoil anything for you here.

The player themselves create their own main character, but the protagonist does not have a voice or any dialogue scenes. It’s pretty much one of those games where the main character is mute and everyone else around them carries the narrative forward.

Speaking of customisation, Code Vein gives players a lot of options when it comes to your main character. The cool thing about the game is that you can change your class type (called Blood Code) at any time. You can focus on melee attacks, or you might want to use skills like magic if you want to.

More Blood Codes are unlocked the further you progress into the game which is neat. I sometimes dislike games where you are stuck using only one class type all of the time. Players can also change and equip many different weapons throughout their journey as well.

I usually used heavy swords as my main weapon, but you can use hammers and other sorts of close ranged equipment too. It pays to play around with many different weapons since you will encounter a variety of different enemy types in the game.

In terms of combat, Code Vein isn’t as fast paced as Sekiro or Nioh, but it’s challenging like the aforementioned Dark Souls series. It’s a type of game where you can get killed by normal baddies all of the time forcing you to repeat sections of the levels multiple times.

Some of the bosses are huge and epic, although they are hard to kill off as well. You really need to learn many skills and patterns of bosses in order to really get a good crack at them. If you are under-levelled, you are going to have a tough time finishing this hard game.

The most important thing you want to collect in this game is the currency called Haze Points. Haze Points allow you to buy new weapons, level up and even get more skills too. If you die and don’t collect Haze Points, you’re not going to level up properly.

It uses the same feature as the Dark Souls series. Haze Points can be earned by killing enemies and if you die, you need to retrieve them back from your dead body. If you fail to collect the Haze Points from your dead body, you’ll go back to zero points.

Even though Code Vein is a hard game, the one thing I like most about it is that you can have an A.I. partner. Having a partner to help you kill off enemies is really helpful. The A.I. partner can even revive you one time if you somehow lose all of your health.

 Your A.I. partner is really useful and I’m glad it’s a feature in this game. I usually die lots of times in the other games of this genre since you have to do everything solo. Code Vein also does not have weapon degradation which is always a major plus for me.

Graphically, Code Vein looks very atmospheric and has decent 2D style anime graphics. The game looks similar to Bandai Namco’s God Eater series. This makes sense since this game is made by the same developer.

The only flaw I can think of about this game is that casual gamers should avoid Code Vein. Code Vein might not be as hard as Dark Souls, but it’s not a gentle walk in the park either. You really have to be a huge fan of action RPGs if you want to succeed in this game.

Another flaw that some people might experience is some confusing level design. There were times the game got frustrating because the levels act like mazes sometimes. It’s not always bad, but it gets annoying when too many enemies are blocking your way to the next save point!

Overall, Code Vein is a great new addition to the ‘Soulsborne’ genre in my opinion. The combat is fun and the story is interesting as well. Just make sure to have a lot of patience because death is sure to come at you constantly!

Verdict: 8.5/10