With Tokyo Game Show in full swing, we were fortunate to not only get interview time with Code Vein developers Keita Iizuka and Hiroshi Yoshimura yesterday, but we also got over an hour of hands on game time with the Bandai Namco title launching sometime in 2018. We were able to capture footage from the game to share with everyone, and you will see things you have not seen before! Read on as we answer many of the questions you may have had about this vampire-souls ARPG coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC.
10 Things We Learned About Code Vein
10. The Game is Open World
In our interview with Iizuka-san and Yoshimura-san we learned that Code Vein will be 100% open world, with players being able to pick and choose when and where they go. Much like Dark Souls, not every way you can go is as easy as others, and if you’re not up for the challenge one area presents you will have to try another. Luckily the game features some checkpoints that facilitate fast travel for your convenience even if we don’t know how many or how often they will be spread through the game. Something we loved and hope stays the same is that there was zero load time when teleporting, it was literally instant.
9. Adventure With a Companion, Optionally
Code Vein features something that neither Souls or Bloodborne has, and that is the optional player companion that assists you and speaks to you through out the game. The one featured in our demo was named Mia, but we were informed there would be many more Companions to pick from and that more would be unlocked as the player progresses the game. Players can swap out Companions at will, and unused Companions will return to the “Base” and wait for further notice. Players with and without companions may experience the game story a little differently.
8. The Game has no Multiplayer (Currently)
During our interview, we asked if the game would feature online multiplayer or co op of some form. And although the devs said that it doesn’t presently, they did mention that they are working on ways to incorporate it into the game. Because of the Companions being very much story related, and the way the game is presently designed, they said they were unsure just how this would take form and they don’t quite know how to pull it off. One can only hope they can get it figured out by launch, because it would be a huge boon to the game.
7. There is Only One Difficulty
Like Souls and Bloodborne, Code Vein features no difficulty modes, either you can beat an enemy or you can’t. Since the game doesn’t dictate which order you go where, players may discover that they should have gone right when they went left. Some players will find that annoying, but Souls vets like myself think that’s all part of the fun and what makes the experience of these types of games so unique. Regardless of how you feel, you’ll just have to Git Gud or GTFO!
6. You Can Be Revived by Your Companion
During combat, if you die to an enemy or boss, your companion can revive you or you them using an ability. It isn’t unlimited, and it only resurrects you with about a quarter of your health, but it can be a tremendous life saver (pardon the pun). It certainly takes some getting used to, and some players won’t appreciate this feature, but there you have it.
5. Magic Uses a Some Form of Meter and Has Costs
Magic in Code Vein (called Gifts), allows the player to heal, increase their damage, take less damage and so on. Each Gift has a cost and it pulls from a pool of an unknown resource that builds up as you hit enemies. Every 3 strikes you will gain 1 of this resource up to whatever your cap is. My guess is that one of the stats that players have will raise this cap, allowing the player to store more resource and thus cast more spells. Some Gifts cost 1 resource, others may cost 6.
4. The Game Features Some Sort of Poise
It’s entirely possible to stun-lock enemies or be stun-locked by them, but doesn’t always occur. What the determining factor is must be poise, and when you wield a large weapon you will find that after a certain point in the wind up, much like Souls, you will follow through no matter if hit or not. And, like Dark Souls 3, it would see at first glance this is tied to the weapon, not the armor you are wearing. There are “stun” parameters on Weapons. However, since we weren’t given access to any other Armor, this needs more testing to determine exactly how it works.
3. I Could Parry, But Couldn’t Backstab
When facing enemies I tried to Parry and Backstab to see if these are possible and found that parries are very much doable and use the “L2” button just like Souls. However, they are rather difficult to pull of, you can take a lot of damage very quickly if mistimed and there didn’t seem to be a way to Riposte. Backstabs, I could not seem to do for the life of me. Not only did there appear to be no window, but enemies don’t seem to give you much of an opportunity, so even if you were able to you won’t be able to very frequently. What I mean by that, is that enemy AI simply doesn’t give you it’s back easily and seems somewhat smarter than Souls games.
2. NG+ is Still up in the Air
When asked about whether or not there would be a New Game Plus, the developers responded that they were still unsure about this aspect of Code Vein. They mentioned that they want players to enjoy multiple playthroughs with many different builds since there is great variety in the Blood Cores. Given the game has choices that can be made and different companions, there are many things you’d miss in a single playthrough.
1. Choices Can Affect the Game and World State
Unlike Souls or Bloodborne, Code Vein is a much more story driven experience, and with that comes decisions the players must make about certain plot related things. Not all decisions will impact the world state, but depending on how a player approaches a scenario he or she may see branching paths that make the player wonder what would have happened if he/she chose differently. Players will also see slightly different scenarios depending on whether or not they are playing with or without a Companion.
All-in-all Code Vein is shaping up to feel much like a combination of Anime, Souls and Bloodborne with some wrinkles. The combat feels fast and tight, and besides a few camera-related bugs here and there, it just feels good. It’s got that sort of combat that makes you want to keep playing and you learn from your mistakes. It certainly has a learning curve, and even as a Soulsborne veteran I had a hard time getting used to some of the new concepts, that I have no doubt will become second nature to many of us would be Code Vein players. All this game really needs in my opinion is some polish and multiplayer and it will certainly keep players occupied for months. I look forward to seeing more from this title really soon.
If you would like to see how Code Vein relates to Dark Souls in a summarized fashion, you can check out this batch of GIFs showcasing CODE VEIN‘s gameplay in action!
Read our interview with Keita Iizuka and Hiroshi Yoshimura, Code Vein’s Producer and Director at TGS 2017.
Visit the Code Vein Wiki!