Code Vein Bleeds Quality

Cod Vein

Code Vein is here and you’re probably curious as to whether or not the anime-themed RPG will make you want to open up your own veins because it is so hard an inaccessible.

No need to worry:

Code Vein is accessible enough without being off-putting in terms of handholding and modern “conveniences” that JRPG gamers absolutely loathe. Coming straight to you from Bandai Namco Entertainment, Code Vein is a post-apocalyptic Japanese role-playing game with vampire themes and the more traditional fantasy elements associated with the genre. It is a unique blend of what is familiar and what is new and it reminds this reviewer of Sekiro: Shadows Die 10,000 Times and Dark Souls, among others.

There’s even a heady dose of Bloodborne’s From Software gothic phase here. Those are some pretty big influences and it would be easy for Code Vein to fall short of the mark. In this article, we’re going to let you know whether Code Vein is worth your time or not and why we think that is. We’re not going to delve into the nitty-gritty of production values and fluff – we’re going to tell you whether this is a good game or not because, let’s face it, a great soundtrack has never saved a piece of garbage from the rubbish bin of history.

Cod Vein

The Long And Short Of It

Long story short (literally), Code Vein is about an apocalypse that forces humanity to transform its dead into fighting Revenants in order to combat the demons bent on destroying the world. As we said, there’s not a lot different going on here but there’s nothing offensively tropey. The narrative is serviceable and, indeed, one of the more creative aspects of this game.

Gamers that thrive on a good story will find a lot to love while those of us that don’t really care won’t be offended. In many ways, this is the best outcome one could expect because, trust us, Code Vein could definitely dive deep into Japanese anime fare without getting a sideways glance. But even with liberal coats of manga and anime paint, Code Vein is, at its basest point, a From Software clone and this is why it is glorious.

Gamers that love the Dark Souls games should pick up Code Vein. Everything about it, from the combat to the layered systems to the weird atmosphere, speak to that series and its aims. There is a class system here – referred to as a blood code – and there are an absolute ton of ways to mix and match your character so that you can play the game the way you want to do that. Additionally, the non-player characters and other accompaniments in Code Vein make combat understandable and a compelling thing to do.

It’s Fun

Really the game went out of its way to make this part of it fun as can be and it shows. Code Vein won’t have you tying off your arms out of frustration, but you might want to keep the morphine drip that is this game’s action away. It is addictive, compelling, and utterly fascinating.

Perhaps a lot of this has to do with the unique presentation we have going on here. Code Vein looks like an animated epic and it uses that art style to its advantage. From dark corridors of pitch black that open up into epic scenes to the gritty, dystopian world the players inhabit, everything is done with a certain kind of style and flair that would make Zara jealous.

Final Fantasy, eat your heart out. This is joined by a soundtrack that is equally experimental and atmospheric. In this area, the sound and the graphics come together in what we call a complete package. They could never make a bad game good, but here they make a good game that much better.

Code Vein
Players will encounter several different enemy types in “Code Vein” and they’ll need different strategies to take them on.

Some Issues

Yet, with all that is glorious, there are some issues that you should know about. Don’t get us wrong, Code Vein is incredibly compelling, addictive, and a lot of fun. We promise it will take away hours upon hours of your time; however, Bloodborne and Souls fans should know something before they get too excited.

The game is a lot easier than you might think it should be. While some people have said this encourages exploration and immersion in the lore, others have pointed out that it cheapens the experience needlessly and does the inspirations disservice. After all, Souls and company do not care about your feelings and that’s why people love them Code Vein does because it wants you to finish the game and figure out the story. A lot of Code Vein’s appeal is in trading on its manga trappings.

The Souls games (and Bloodborne and Sekiro) have stories, but they’re not nearly as important as they are here. The stories in those games serve as plates upon which the feast of the game is enjoyed. Here, the story is part of the feast. It has to make sense and the world you inhabit has to become familiar in some way. Whereas From Software puts a premium on keeping everything weird and ethereal, Code Vein wants you to explore its world and become a part of it – possibly because Code Vein’s arc is somewhat more complex and involves more people than just the silent protagonist to make sense.

Code Vein

Right For You?

Is Code Vein right for you? If you are a fan of the From Software titles, then, yes, Code Vein is the perfect game for you. It is refreshing in that it has a compelling story and it is further addictive when it comes to its absolutely cool gameplay. We can’t see many things to complain about with Code Vein other than it ends too soon and might come off as too easy for gamers used to the challenges of other titles in this genre.

Its core strength is a level of gameplay customization – presented in the way of a pseudo-class system – and it is this that not only gives the game hundreds of hours of replay value but also configures it in endless ways depending on the player’s choices. We totally recommend it to anyone looking for a solid action JRPG that takes up the helm of the From Software titles.

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

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