There will be blood
Despite featuring in some of the best gaming experiences to date, such as Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines and the Legacy Of Kain series, vampires have largely been overlooked in favour of the mindless, shuffling breed of the undead lately. Happily, Bandai Namco’s newest action-RPG looks set to bring the bloodsucking bunch back into style. Code Vein centres on members of a hidden society known as Revenants. These demon slayers traded their memories for ‘gifts of power’, which grant them special abilities in exchange for draining the blood of their enemies.
The game sports a challenging battle system wrapped in an anime-style post-apocalyptic world. In a definite echo of the Souls series, success relies on mastery of the stamina gauge, responsible for actions such as attacking, evading, and robbing enemies of their precious vital fluids. You can get more of the red stuff using an ability known as Special Drain, but you can only perform that under certain circumstances, such as after a successful attack from the rear, or parrying an enemy’s attack. You need to think carefully and use all your skills in a fight – no small task.
You can use up to eight of the aforementioned gifts during battles to grant temporary boosts to attack and defence. Characters’ abilities can also be briefly bolstered using the Focus System. In a demon-plagued pinch, this allows you to perform special feats like negating damage and flinging enemies into the air (helpfully, being surrounded is one of the things that will trigger the Focus system).
Combat is clearly no small matter, but at least you’re not alone in your beast-slaying endeavour. Other Revenant members can be recruited to offer AI-controlled aid to your customisable character. Companion choices include Io, a female warrior who knows a lot about the world but has no memories of her own, and Louis, a sword-toting young leader venturing in search of Blood Beads – an alternative to human blood.
If there’s a Dark-Souls-shaped hole in your heart following the departure of From Software’s stellar series, the complex combat, gruelling boss battles and freely explorable environments of Code Vein could be just the thing to sink your teeth into.
The protagonist is fully customisable – you’re given freedom over your hero’s gender, hair style, body, and even vocal tones.
This dystopian world is overrun by fiendish creatures known as the Lost, with humanity’s final few fighting for their survival.