Code Vein - F**k I bought a lot of games this week

Oh hey guys! It's CG here with another Souls-like game for you guys today. And I just wanna let you know how hard this week has been for me. I mean two hard Souls-like games in the same week. I wanna just rip my hair out.

Today's game is the long awaited Anime Souls, aka Code Vein, a game about anime vampires killing mindless ghouls, abominations, and sports bras.

So the first thing on the agenda with this impression post, is that this game isn't really like a souls game. I mean...okay...look yes the are bonfires, souls as currency, everything comes back when you die and you have to go pick up your lost souls or lose it forever, the maps curl back on top of each other, and the combat thrives on whiff-punishment. It's basically Souls then right? Well except the combat itself is more combo driven sort of, in a way that makes it feel more like Nioh than a Souls game.

Like Nioh the Souls framework is certainly there, but Code Vein does a lot right out of the gate in order to make itself stand out from what you typically see from Souls-wannabe games. The attack buttons are maps to the X and Y button on the controller (or Square and Triangle depending) not the shoulder buttons. These attacks do what you'd expect, light and heavy attacks respectively, however the should buttons activate what are calls gifts which act like action abilities and magic attacks. The shoulder buttons act like a modifiers to your face buttons for example R2+X will do an ability instead of a basic attack.

These gift spells/attacks/buffs, can be used in conjunction with regular attacks to form combos and lock down enemies or just melt away their health. It's a unique system that is highly customizable as you can hotkey in up to 8 gifts at a time.

The trick is of course managing your stamina and your Ichor (aka MP). Stamina is used for the same stuff you'd expect and your gift attacks use up Ichor. Each bonfire reset gives you a certain number of Ichor that is hard to recover without resetting at a bonfire again. Some attacks and items can restore a limited amount of ichor but it's essentially a very limited resource to use as you explore a map. Early game you are not going to use Gift abilities much because you don't have the build load out available to do so.

Additionally to all of that combat stuff is character classes. These act like jobs would in a typical JRPG ala Bravely Default, Final Fantasy 3,5,12,13, and Guild Wars. You start the game with being able to pick between three jobs, Warrior, gunner, caster, and each job changes your stats on the fly. You get more jobs from what appears to be killing bosses, however i've only killed and gotten one boss and one extra job (Bezerker) so far so there might be other ways to get more. Each job has it's own set of Gift powers, and weapons that they can use. So combat and character builds seem to have a SHITLOAD of options. I'm sure there are going to be crazy build guides for this game soon enough.

Code Vein also does something that no other Souls-like game has done to date (that I know of), and tells a pretty detailed story. Like playing through an Uncharted or Devil May Cry game, there are lots of cuts scenes, voice acting, characters, and a lot of plot just given to you in much the way a normal action game would give it to you. Which makes it more like Nioh in that way.

Despite the depths of the combat system on offer here, I regret to inform you that the combat isn't very good. That's mostly due to how slow and stupid the AI seems to be. Almost every enemy will roar at you before they start to do anything and you can just walk right around them and one-shot them with a backstab. Or if the backstab doesn't get them in one, just walk around them and backstab them again because the first thing they do when they get up is roar at you again. It's totally idiotic.

Oh and top that off with you almost ALWAYS having an AI companion to help you out in a level, they can distract the bad guys so you can walk up and backstab them. It's a backstab festival. Even the first boss couldn't do anything because between me and my AI buddy just beat the daylight out of him. Which is an issue further compounded by the fact that you can play this entire game co-op and hopefully your friend is smarter than the dumbass AI.

Which means that I've never needed to look at the complex character build system because I just backstab everyone that gives me a funny look.

The maps are very hallway based too. They do wind around and double back to bonfires and have a couple of shortcuts here and there, but they all just boil down to winding hallways. The areas themselves are drab, the post apocalyptic setting had potential when you consider the vampire theme but it's just ruined samey city, or cave tunnels.

Frankly if you were looking forward to a Souls-game with an anime theme, this really isn't gonna cut it for you. There are better anime games, and there are better souls games. Like The Surge 2, go check that out because that's fun as hell.

Code Vein should NOT be bought at full price. 50% on sale, then you can probably get your money's worth from it.

Code Vein is by the God Eater people so you shouldn't go in the game looking for a souls sort of experience, it's more like a more actiony monster hunter with a real story worth caring about and cool vampire themes. Way more about the loot and powers and so on. Also you can play solo if you don't like how the game works with the AI helper.

Dreiko:
Code Vein is by the God Eater people so you shouldn't go in the game looking for a souls sort of experience, it's more like a more actiony monster hunter with a real story worth caring about and cool vampire themes. Way more about the loot and powers and so on. Also you can play solo if you don't like how the game works with the AI helper.

Except the entire foundation of the game is to emulate Dark Souls. From what the items you pick up do, to the systems in place in the game, everything is very very Souls based. I have not seen any actual loot in the game yet outside of what you would expect from a Souls game. A sword here, a piece of armor there, that sort of thing.

Though it is good to know that you can turn the AI partner off, the game sets that partner in place by default. So I am playing the game the way they originally wanted it presented and basing feedback on that.

Now that I think about it, maybe they were trying to go for an easier Souls-like experience due to wanting people to be able to play the story. And maybe there are hard modes after you beat the game. It's entirely possible. However that doesn't off-set the fact the combat is really flat feeling. With the way they've done builds, I imagine it is going to be a pretty easy game to break with a good build too.

I'll probably pick it up on discount and play without companion AI. I'm a bit afraid the story will be too anime (how long until someone dies for entirely avoidable reason and the main character yell at the sky?), but then maybe I'll be able to enjoy it in a B-movie way.

Meiam:
I'll probably pick it up on discount and play without companion AI. I'm a bit afraid the story will be too anime (how long until someone dies for entirely avoidable reason and the main character yell at the sky?), but then maybe I'll be able to enjoy it in a B-movie way.

Your character is silent. So that wont happen. But

Meiam:
I'll probably pick it up on discount and play without companion AI. I'm a bit afraid the story will be too anime (how long until someone dies for entirely avoidable reason and the main character yell at the sky?), but then maybe I'll be able to enjoy it in a B-movie way.

If this is like any anime, it's more like hellsing rather than a b-movie style one. It has that overly stylized count dracula mixed with steampunk aesthetic I just love haha. It also is a bit reminiscent of Tokyo Ghoul due to those face masks you wear when you go out.

Clearly my definition of 'Similar to Dark Souls' is not the same as people who describe Code Vein.

Watching my brother play it, and it looked boring, and not at all what I like from Dark Souls. No interesting environments, no real exploration, just generic hallway after generic hallway. The combat looked mediocre too. Like, I get it, you have bonfires and if you die you lose xp, but there is far more to Dark Souls than that.

Saelune:
Clearly my definition of 'Similar to Dark Souls' is not the same as people who describe Code Vein.

Watching my brother play it, and it looked boring, and not at all what I like from Dark Souls. No interesting environments, no real exploration, just generic hallway after generic hallway. The combat looked mediocre too. Like, I get it, you have bonfires and if you die you lose xp, but there is far more to Dark Souls than that.

Game's more like an Arpg with an emphasis on story and a job system rather than a souls game. I think it was more like meme marketing that made it be known as anime souls.

Dreiko:

Saelune:
Clearly my definition of 'Similar to Dark Souls' is not the same as people who describe Code Vein.

Watching my brother play it, and it looked boring, and not at all what I like from Dark Souls. No interesting environments, no real exploration, just generic hallway after generic hallway. The combat looked mediocre too. Like, I get it, you have bonfires and if you die you lose xp, but there is far more to Dark Souls than that.

Game's more like an Arpg with an emphasis on story and a job system rather than a souls game. I think it was more like meme marketing that made it be known as anime souls.

You know, I showed the game to a friend of mine who is a diehard fan of things like Gundam, and he remarked that it looked like, and I quote "generic anime wallpaper."

It wasn't meme marketing, at least not all of it. The game's style is very..."typical homogenized anime."

Is it possible to coop this seamlessly with a buddy or is it a whole load of jankiness with soapstone equivalents?

Wings012:
Is it possible to coop this seamlessly with a buddy or is it a whole load of jankiness with soapstone equivalents?

The thing with co-op is that someone has to be the "host" who is the one progressing through the game so if you wanna play through everything together you'll need to go through everything twice with you and your buddy alternating as the host. The cool thing is that the host can still bring their AI partner so you can have 3 fighters taking down something which is hype though.

erttheking:

Dreiko:

Saelune:
Clearly my definition of 'Similar to Dark Souls' is not the same as people who describe Code Vein.

Watching my brother play it, and it looked boring, and not at all what I like from Dark Souls. No interesting environments, no real exploration, just generic hallway after generic hallway. The combat looked mediocre too. Like, I get it, you have bonfires and if you die you lose xp, but there is far more to Dark Souls than that.

Game's more like an Arpg with an emphasis on story and a job system rather than a souls game. I think it was more like meme marketing that made it be known as anime souls.

You know, I showed the game to a friend of mine who is a diehard fan of things like Gundam, and he remarked that it looked like, and I quote "generic anime wallpaper."

It wasn't meme marketing, at least not all of it. The game's style is very..."typical homogenized anime."

Gundam is like, the one thing I'm not into haha. I like mech series that are not about the mechs lol. (loved Darling in the Franxx for example)

But yeah, people are free to have their opinions and all. I dunno how this stylish as hell (or as hellsing XD) design and all those twisted monsters seem generic to someone but ah well. Maybe they need to see more of the game?

Dreiko:

Gundam is like, the one thing I'm not into haha. I like mech series that are not about the mechs lol. (loved Darling in the Franxx for example)

But yeah, people are free to have their opinions and all. I dunno how this stylish as hell (or as hellsing XD) design and all those twisted monsters seem generic to someone but ah well. Maybe they need to see more of the game?

Gundam is very much not about the mech, they're practically incidental to the story (to my great disappointment). It's mostly about dumb teenager, some war philosophy and more dumb teenager (I swear Kamille must exclusively eat lead paint for breakfast).

CritialGaming:

Dreiko:
Code Vein is by the God Eater people so you shouldn't go in the game looking for a souls sort of experience, it's more like a more actiony monster hunter with a real story worth caring about and cool vampire themes. Way more about the loot and powers and so on. Also you can play solo if you don't like how the game works with the AI helper.

Except the entire foundation of the game is to emulate Dark Souls. From what the items you pick up do, to the systems in place in the game, everything is very very Souls based. I have not seen any actual loot in the game yet outside of what you would expect from a Souls game. A sword here, a piece of armor there, that sort of thing.

Though it is good to know that you can turn the AI partner off, the game sets that partner in place by default. So I am playing the game the way they originally wanted it presented and basing feedback on that.

Now that I think about it, maybe they were trying to go for an easier Souls-like experience due to wanting people to be able to play the story. And maybe there are hard modes after you beat the game. It's entirely possible. However that doesn't off-set the fact the combat is really flat feeling. With the way they've done builds, I imagine it is going to be a pretty easy game to break with a good build too.

Nah the basic enemies drop weapons regularly in this game.

The game only sets of with a partner during the tutorial level (think the prison in DS1) and as soon as you reach your base and are about to go to a new mission it tells you that you can remove your AI helper as soon as you talk to him.

As for combat, you wanna drain the enemies early on to expand your Ichor pool and then use multiple gifts during fights as well as parrying and so on. During the tutorial level you only have a few classes worth of skills to play with so you won't grasp 1% of the actual depth. This game is all about maxing out skills from various classes, making them usable in any class, and then mix-and-matching various class skills to create your own playstyle. You can for example use the teleport dodge from the speedy ranger while hefting the gigantic berserker greatswords and hammers to make up for their slowish recovery or use the scorpion tail blood drain with its excellent reach to make up for a short range weapon.

It gets pretty nuts the more you explore it and I'm pretty early too, only got like 6 classes so far.

I was probably underprepared for this fight but I was stubborn, this was exactly the same in Sekiro with Lady Butterfly haha. I guess I have something for butterflies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU5twvJ17gQ&t=1s (vid posts don't work for some reason)

Also, no vid for this but this game has certain bits where hordes of enemies attack you, 4 at a time in some cases, and you have to fight them to get a reward. Well, I got stuck in one such encounter for a good hour until I solved it by literally becoming Guts from Berserk and hitting the enemies with a huge sword, 3 or 4 at a time, while soaking hits and barely hanging on. I tend to always like the huge sword archetypes due to my fondness for Berserk but this game has for the first time captured the actual feel of fighting hordes of enemies with your life slowly being chipped away as they keep falling down around you.

This game is very hype.

 

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