By Benny Carrillo / July 2nd, 2018
Code Vein is an odd game for me to write about. Action games are rarely my cup of tea. While I do play the occasional Action RPG, I’ve never even considered delving into something like Dark Souls because of its difficulty. Throwing myself at the same obstacle several times isn’t my idea of fun. However, I decided to give Code Vein a try at E3 in order to see if maybe I was missing out on something. So, what did I think? Well, let’s start this off by talking a bit about what Code Vein is.
Code Vein takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where “Thorns of Judgement” dot the landscape and even grow out of skyscrapers. It’s in this world where the surviving humans have become vampiric creatures known as Revenants. The story focuses on a group of Revenants known as Vein. Vein exists in order to fight the Lost, which are Revenants who have given into their bloodlust. Which basically means we’re in a vampire-zombie Apocolypse. Certainly, an interesting premise and setup and it ties into the game’s look.
Code Vein is a very dark looking game. There’s not a lot of bright colors in this title. Which makes sense when you’re dealing with the collapse of humanity and using blood as a source of power. If you were to tell me that this was the end of the world as we knew it, I’d believe you. Aside from the general aesthetic, graphically the game seemed fine. There were no issues that I could see everything looked smooth. That then brings us to the gameplay. And to start that topic off, let’s talk about E3 demos in general.
Many E3 demos are timed. In this case, I only had 15 minutes with Code Vein and wanted to spend as much of that playing the game as I could. So imagine my surprise upon learning that the tutorial area consisted of picking up notes on the ground and reading them. Since this would consume time I needed to get a feel for the game, I skipped it. Plus there was a helpful controller schematic at the kiosk. So, at least I would know what button would do what. Thus I set out on my quest… and promptly died. This is where a game like Code Vein differs from something like Dynasty Warriors.
Dynasty Warriors is very much an offensive-based game. Yes, you do need to defend and counter properly, especially on higher difficulties, however, you can often brute force your way through a problem. Games like Code Vein, conversely, seem to be defensive-based. You need to know an enemy’s pattern and every safe spot in each attack. It’s through lots of repetition and practice that you’ll master each section and make progress. In short, it’s the action-game equivalent of a bullet-hell or danmaku game (think Touhou or anything by Cave). So, if you like challenges then I’d recommend this. Still, this was only the first death. Surely, I would get better, right?
Try as I might, I never made it far into Code Vein. While I made a little progress every few attempts, I never really felt like I was accomplishing anything. A lot of this just stems from the fact that Code Vein is not a type of game I play. While I could certainly pick it up and beat it (with enough practice) it’s not likely I would for one main reason: the difficulty.
E3 Demos tend to tone down the difficulty a bit to give the player a fighting chance and allow them to see as much of the game as they can. I could barely stay alive for two minutes while healing. So, I’d assume that the retail release is going to be a mountain I do not want to climb. However, does that make Code Vein a bad game or demo? Absolutely not.
Everything in Code Vein does work and you can tell the dev-team put a lot of work in the title. Like I mentioned, I’ve never played the Souls games, but I can easily imagine this fitting in with fans of those games. After all, the challenge is something they adore. It’s part of the fun and only serves to make a hard-fought victory all the sweeter.
In the end, Code Vein is very much a game made for a particular crowd. That crowd being the Dark Souls crowd. If you love these types of games, then I certainly think this is worth looking at. However, if it’s your first foray into the gene then I’m going to recommend picking up Dark Souls or Bloodborne first to see if this is something you’d enjoy. Just be aware that practice and repetition are core to these types of games. You’re going to die… a lot.
Code Vein is scheduled for a September 28th, 2018, release and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.
Bandai NamcoCode VeinE3E3 2018ImpressionsOperation Rainfalloprainfall