In the past, I’ve played many early builds of Code Vein. Once marketed on being the “anime Dark Souls,” Code Vein found it’s own footing, and that messaging has since faded away in my eyes. What’s left is a game from the developers of God Eater that resembles previous titles they’ve worked out, but a little more focused. I say this after playing around 9 hours of the game’s campaign. Although Code Vein doesn’t hit that anime Dark Souls mark, players will find some huge steps forward in terms of storytelling and world-building. However, the visuals might leave other players wanting more.
Code Vein has players assume the role of a unique Revenant. These vampire-like humans are left to suffer a terrible fate without access to what’s known as Blood Beads. If they go too long without sustenance, they will snap and turn into uncontrollable creatures known as Lost. It’s here that the player enlists in a group of other Revenants who set out to discover a way for them to survive without the need to be fighting over resources.
Code Vein focuses heavily on its story. Each character has a personality and a place in this world. Even the shop keepers have backstories found by collecting Lost’s memories. These scenarios go into a depth that I wasn’t expecting to see in this game, and I appreciated the amount of time that each character received. A lot had happened to this group before you joined them so learning about that through old memories was a great experience. Additionally, players can give gifts to their Revenant friends in exchange for powerful items.
Dungeon crawling in Code Vein is where the gameplay kicks in. Players will find themselves running through cities, tunnels, and other creepy environments as they set out in search of hope. Code Vein’s settings are unique and ever-changing depending on where you find yourself. You can find rare items by exploring, but a powerful enemy may be on guard.
In the past, I remember Code Vein being a lot harder. The final build is challenging, but I never felt powerless against an enemy like I have in previous versions. With that said, I enjoyed not dying so much. Action in the game is responsive and fluid, and there is a pretty extensive list of enemy designs to fight. There are multiple different options to have the character fit your playstyles, such as changing the class and weapon type. I enjoyed the fighting mechanics very much, and I felt that the NPC AI was extremely helpful in battle. I especially liked that they can revive you using some of their health.
Where Code Vein lack is in the visual department, God Eater fans are well aware of hair clipping through clothing and swords going through walls. I wish that they fixed this during the cutscenes because it’s tough to focus when weapons and hair are just poking out of clothing. Also, the load times are long in this game. Teleporting between levels is enough time to go downstairs, get some water, find a snack, and go back to your game before the loading screen is over.
Code Vein does have some beautiful environments, but there were moments when enemies would get stuck behind objects, or random textures will take a while to load. There are also strange moments where fog blocks your way. At first, I thought I was supposed to hit it with something or use my powers, but it turned out to be just another loading screen.
Code Vein’s characters and story are indeed what is keeping me playing. The battles are enjoyable, but they don’t present anything new to the genre save for a helpful NPC campaign. I’m loving how the developers made it truly feel like I was discovering new things with these players and making memories together while exploring memories of their past. It’s an excellent motivator to want to stick through the weak visual and dumb enemies.
At least when I want a break from all the action, I can chill in the hot springs. We’re going to post our full review after spending time in the online mode and post-game offerings. So expect that soon.
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