By Andrew Agney
FromSoftware struck gold with Dark Souls, the unique and difficult style of game quickly grew popular with many people, leading to several other game companies copying the formula to try and catch that same level of success. A lot of these copies end up just flopping or getting their 15 minutes of fame until fading back into obscurity, never quite reaching the same level of fame as Dark Souls. One of these games, however, deserves a look over if you have not yet: Code Vein.
Coming out in 2019 and developed by Bandai Namco, Code Vein takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the player as they take control of a revenant, a modern day vampire that needs blood to survive; if a revenant were to go hungry, they would lose their mind and transform into monsters referred to as “Horrors”.
As you explore the world, you will find and either befriend or battle other revenants, while on the search for a supply of blood beads, which revenants feed on. However, along the way you may uncover something much bigger…
Boasting a very expansive and detailed character creator and a class system more fleshed out than other Dark Souls-like games, Code Vein lets you make your revenant entirely personalized to yourself. Between the different choices of character customization and armors, weapons, classes and magic spells, called “Gifts” in the game, it is very unlikely you will find two revenants who are exactly the same. This leaves the game open to much more replayability in the form of trying new classes, weapon types or gift loadouts.
Another highlight of the game is the combat and the boss battles. Similar to Bloodborne, the combat is very fast paced and incentivizes the player to be very aggressive in how they approach battles. Pair this with giant, bombastic bosses who test your skills and how well you can utilize your gifts, you have a game that offers a good challenge to even the most skilled veterans of the genre.
However, this game does also have some of the same issues as Bloodborne, such as a high difficulty that can be off-putting to potential players. Although there is not much gore in this game, the concept of consuming blood and the Mad Max-like, post-apocalyptic setting and imagery might make some people uneasy with the game.
Overall, I think Code Vein is a fantastic game with a great story and is a good substitute for those yearning for a new dark souls game. I give it an 8/10.