The first bite is the deep­est

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Our OPM Souls-borne jar is fill­ing rapidly. Every time we com­pare a game to From-Soft­ware’s two se­ries we need to stuff a note or two into its needy face. But when we’re deal­ing with Code Vein, there’s no avoid­ing the fact: This is an an­ime Souls-alike wrapped in vampire lore, but with enough new ideas to re­sist be­ing a me-too also-ran. First, you’re not alone in the game’s post-apoc­a­lyp­tic world. Along for the ride is an AI char­ac­ter who will fight by your side, and how you in­ter­act with them will de­ter­mine the game’s end­ing. We’re promised a var­ied cast of side­kicks too; for ex­am­ple there’s Io, a fe­male Revenant (vampire) who has lost her me­mory but mys­te­ri­ously re­calls a deep knowl­edge of her peo­ple’s cus­toms.

In bat­tle they all be­have dif­fer­ently. Some are sup­port char­ac­ters who of­fer health and even a one-off res­ur­rec­tion spell, while oth­ers get stuck in and bat­tle along with you. The AI re­acts to your fight­ing style as well – if you guard, your ally runs to your side. And just like your cus­tom char­ac­ter these com­pan­ions’ buffs and abil­i­ties can be un­locked and up­graded.

There’s a tac­ti­cal edge to choos­ing who to take with you, and cou­pled with the op­tion to change ‘Blood Codes’ (classes), such as from war­rior to caster, on the fly, there’s al­ways a chance to re-en­gage with the en­emy in dif­fer­ent strate­gic ways. This is shap­ing up to be Code Vein’s dif­fer­en­tial: it prom­ises to con­stantly of­fer new ways to ap­proach de­feat­ing an un­de­feat­able en­emy, just like, ahem, Dark Souls. [ That’s a fiver – ed.]


Com­bat is the fa­mil­iar blend of dodge-based con­fronta­tions with the fo­cus on flex­ing your combo mus­cles and well-timed coun­ters. Key to suc­cess, though, is man­ag­ing your Ichor (blood) points, which en­able you to use Gifts – pas­sive and ac­tive abil­i­ties to im­prove the speed and power of your char­ac­ter, or launch pro­jec­tile at­tacks.

In order to col­lect Ichor you’ll need to master Drain and Drain Special at­tacks. It’s a risk-and-re­ward sys­tem that en­cour­ages you to con­stantly look for an open­ing to drain your en­emy; a well-timed parry will leave your foe vul­ner­a­ble. Char­ac­ters have dif­fer­ent Drain meth­ods – Ogre, Stinger, Hounds – that man­i­fest with an an­ime cutscene if timed with fi­nesse. You took a risk, you got your re­ward.

Gifts can be used co-op­er­a­tively with your part­ner, and the ef­fects vary de­pend­ing on who they are and how you’ve lev­elled them. Ul­ti­mately this is what makes Bandai Namco’s Souls-alike [ ten­ner­inthe­jar– ed] so en­gag­ing: you’re not alone in your live-die-re­peat spi­ral.


Char­ac­ter mod­els PREVIEWare stun­ning, and fully cus­tomis­able. This sort of cap­tion which sits on the im­age doesn’t have the lit­tle coloured box at the start. 4 lines.

Above Chang­ing classes, items, weapons, and more can be done on the go.

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