For some reason, the term Dark Souls-like has been used to describe Bandai Namco’s upcoming action dungeon crawler-RPG Code Vein. While it’s true that in previous marketing material the game had seemed to borrow a lot of what the Dark Souls series has, the game seems to have evolved into something that is a little more similar to what fans of the developer are used to seeing, and that’s exactly what we wanted.
After playing the Network Test this past weekend, we found a few similarities between two series, but ultimately Code Vein is very much its own game and we are very much excited for it.
Where the similarities between Code Vein and Dark Souls ends is found in the action combat that can be difficult. The game features light and strong attacks along with the ability to dodge attacks. This, along with the stamina meter, are what fans of Dark Souls will quickly recognize and feel comfortable with, but that’s pretty much where the two titles go their separate ways.
Where Dark Souls puts all it’s focus on telling a story through its environments and text, Code Vein uses its characters and partner system to take the player on a unique adventure that only the developers of the God Eater series could tell. Players create their character, either male or female, in a robust and deep character creator system. Things like eye color and shades of hair can be fine-tuned by players to create their perfect character to explore the depths in.
The story of Code Vein revolves around a silent protagonist who has a unique power that could save humanity from being consumed by an evil presence which transforms humans into beasts known as the Lost. Throughout the game, players will meet a group of characters known as Revenants who fight back against the threat of this evil and search for a way to survive in this world. To do so, these characters will need to research the power of Blood Beads, which is humanity’s current only hope to not become Lost.
Code Vein’s dungeons, so far, aren’t really anything too impressive, but God Eater fans will feel right at home in this world. However, the generic environments in the game make the unique and terrifying enemies stand out more. I enjoyed fighting against these Lost creatures, but I thought they were rather dumb sometimes such as when I would kill enemies only feet away from another enemy and they wouldn’t bother to come after me.
What Code Vein has the power to do, though, is introduce anime-action games to a larger amount of western Dark Souls fans that have looked over these games in the past. It has a nice blend of difficult and challenging combat features, but also an anime story full of waifus and husbandos that could potentially make new fans of the genre. The multiplayer features are also a nice addition that lets players play through dungeons with their friends and take on some pretty difficult fights.
Code Vein is not Dark Souls. The game has its own unique features and a story that is rolled out right in front of the player with a large cast of characters to meet and understand. The world in Code Vein is unforgiving, but there’s hope at the end of this journey to save humanity and look badass doing it.
I’m excited to explore more of Code Vein’s multiplayer offerings as well as dive deeper into the game’s weapon customization features and lore. I don’t expect the game to feature the same environmental storytelling as the Dark Souls series, but I am excited to experience what the God Eater team has to offer in this new adventure.
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