We had an opportunity to interview Bandai Namco’s Code Vein producer Keita Iizuka and director Hiroshi Yoshimura during a special presentation just before TGS 2017. We were also treated to a live demo, and hands-on time with Code Vein. Check out our gameplay capture here, or read on to this interview!
Code Vein Developer Interview: Open World, Multiplayer, NG+
There won’t be difficulty settings. We are aiming to have players improve their parameters and level up in order to apply their tactics on the field. Companion stats are somewhat improved by the main player’s parameters, but our main objective is for the player character to have the lead role in combat situations.
If a player finds themselves outmatched in their current leveled-up state, they can use the Blood Code system to change their fight style and approach the battle with different techniques. We want to make it possible for players to overcome “walls” of difficulty by simply trying a different approach.
There’s a desire to do it, but we don’t have a schedule yet. It’s a difficult feature to implement so we are slowly working on how it could be done. So, for now, we have no official information.
Further, adding multiplayer or online features must be done within the setting of the game, where we already have a companion. We must consider the setting and gather information on how to approach this aspect and test it thoroughly before we can confirm if we can include it, and ensure smooth user communication in the process. We want to create a vibrant community.
There is vampire equipment that provides protective effects, but it’s not necessarily armor. There are specific “Mantle” and “Cover” slots that can be changed to grant different properties. In the two provided with the demo, the motion and effects of parrying change drastically from one to the next.
Gifts are found on the right side of the game screen, on a “Gift” menu. You may activate specific ones such as player’s attack power increase, companion’s physical strength recovery, magic attacks or elemental damage. You can change your alloted gifts by changing the “Class” system on the Blood Code screen. This opens up multiple possibilities, and the combinations of Gifts and Blood Code are the main build system for Code Vein.
Much like Bloodborne, Bullets and Gifts are limited by “Stock”, which you may recover by dealing melee damage. The upper limit of stock can be increased too by performing special attacks after a parry, backstab, or even after defeating a powerful enemy.
Blood Code changes the game style, and the Blood skills and gifts available. The gifts then change the player’s actions such as steps, or your special action or effects when you fill your focus bar. This is intended to give players customization over their approach, allowing them to attune their preset parameters or “classes” such as “Fighter type” on the fly. Your Blood Code increases in level as you level up.
We have 5 categories of weapons, and there will be many individual weapons within them that should be satisfying, but we don’t have a determined total number of weapons to reveal yet. We want players to find the weapon that suits them, so if someone likes a Japanese sword they can upgrade that weapon.
We wanted to give players a lot of freedom to customize their characters, including details such as changing only one eye color, or applying scars on the face, changing their faces and appearance. We wanted to have everyone be ready to make their own ideal and cool character, without falling into the trap that other games have where players end up sharing a set slider pattern to try and make their characters look good. We gave lots of freedom so people can start from a clear template.
We haven’t determined the specific total number of areas yet, but it’s an interconnected world where several sub-areas look distinctly different so players may explore this world. Players may also progress in any way they like within the world. Since bosses are tied to areas, we cannot reveal that either (laughs)
We haven’t decided on NG+ yet, but we want players to enjoy creating their own Blood Codes, and enjoy multiple playthroughs as multiple different builds and classes, which increases replay value as well as multiple choice options or a no-companion run.
We cannot reveal the total number of companions yet, but we are planning on providing enough variety so all kinds of players can be satisfied with their choices. You recruit companions by clearing quests in the field, so you will unlock more as you progress
And yes, players will find certain moments where they must make choices that affect the story and events that unfold. They are not just story related choices, but sometimes depending on the player’s approach to events they will see branching effects on their game. Companion and solo players will experience events a little differently.
We are expecting people to have wide differences in gameplay depending on skill, particularly against tough bosses or depending on whether players explore and pick all items, but it should be more than 30 hours of base gameplay.
It’s really early to think of that, so we are investigating options and will see what we decide later
CODE VEIN will launch for the PS4, Xbox One and PC in early 2018. You can keep up with Code Vein at TGS 2017, as our hands-on footage in this article
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!
Visit the Code Vein Wiki!