Watch me play vampiric action-RPG Code Vein badly


I blood SUCK

While I was at Namco Bandai's Level Up event in Paris, I had the opportunity to check out the exceedingly metal trailer for their upcoming release Code Vein, as well as get a few minutes with the hardcore action-RPG itself.

Absolutely dripping in Gothic aesthetics and leather-and-lace stylings, Code Vein is an anime adventure set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic universe. You play as The Revenants, vampire-like beings who fuel their "gifts" -- or special powers -- by drinking the blood of their enemies.

With blood being in limited supply, trouble brews when a mysterious being, known as "The Queen" shows up to claim what little resource remains for herself. This forces the Revenants to battle against her and her minions, lest they run out of blood for themselves and become "The Lost", mindless creatures wandering and rabidly attacking all, which is amusingly the same backstory for the Augers in Night Trap.

As you can imagine, combining Goth fiction with anime tropes has resulted in a fairly melodramatic narrative, all deep-thinkers, conflicted morals and betrayed hearts. Set against this backdrop is taxing gameplay which, unavoidably, draws instant comparisons with the genre recently dubbed "Soulsborne" Like other games within said genre, Code Vein features very specifically-paced gameplay, featuring slow, methodical combat and highly-damaging, resilient enemies. The protagonist, and supporting characters, journey through the remains of their battered world, taking down creatures with ornate weaponry and an array of powers, including projectile attacks, health heals and status buffs.

Code Vein requires patience in battle, tentative balancing of attack and defensive maneuvers and management of various resources if you are to overcome the ghastly creatures bearing down on all sides. Anyone who has played FromSoft's wares will instantly be at home with the intense combat, while those less-experienced with the genre (like myself), will probably find themselves on the business end of a beatdown.

The game has a nihilistic atmosphere, with doom and gloom to spare. The misshapen enemies look like they were created from some terrible Lovecraftian nightmare. Sound is violent and oppressive, with deafening impact and guttural screeching. The only bizarre misstep was the dubbing of my partner, sniper Mia Karnstein, whose sardonic, womanly tones don't match the model's anime child-face.

A game with such an intense atmosphere and deep control system is not best-suited to a ten minute demo. As such I don't feel I truly got the most of Code Vein. I did, however understand the game's intention: to present an apocalyptic Goth/anime storyline, featuring dark characters and grim intentions. All played out through its unforgiving combat and challenging gameplay.

Button-mashers need not apply.

Code Vein launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2018

You are logged out. Login | Sign up


Chris Moyse
Chris MoyseSenior Editor   gamer profile

Chris has been playing video games since video games began... still terrible at them. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. I ain't here to fight, so let's no... more + disclosures



Also on Destructoid: Code Vein   (31)   From our database:

  • Code Vein reveals the Frozen Empress - and I ain't talking Elsa - Chris Moyse
  • Code Vein celebrates over one million global sales - Chris Moyse
  • Hellfire Knight coming to wreak havoc in new Code Vein DLC - Chris Moyse
  • Code Vein DLC will arrive in early 2020, Holiday update coming in December - Chris Moyse
  • Review: Code Vein - Josh Tolentino
  • Review in Progress: Code Vein - Josh Tolentino
  • Bandai Namco will give you a copy of Code Vein for your blood - Peter Glagowski
  • Code Vein's demo to be updated with new area and character export - Peter Glagowski
  • Code Vein's demo is now available on PS4 and Xbox One - Peter Glagowski
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #Adventure Games #Anime #Bandai Namco Entertainment #demos #Hands-on #Hardcore #Impressions #Industry events #japan #PC #PS4 #RPG #Steam #vampires #video #Xbox One #YouTube



    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!