With its anime-style and vampiric, post-apocalyptic theme, Code Vein represents a fresh take on the popular Soulslike sub-genre. As Bandai Namco's first foray into the world of tough-as-nails bosses, limited saving and high-intensity combat, Code Vein has seen a decent amount of success, with players praising its unique style, emotional story, and innovative class-system.
In a city of feral vampires, blood-wars and dark magic, often the only thing standing between a Revenant and certain death is their Blood Code, a skill-set which specializes them in anything from hammers and heavy armor to guns and magic. Blood Codes are fully flexible, and can be swapped out at any time, giving players versatility, but also an overwhelming amount of choices. To help with that, here's our selection of four of the best Codes that are available by the mid-game:
The Hunter is one of the first new Codes that players can discover in the game, and features a strong focus on ranged combat, with a few handy Passives and Gifts that pair well with the Bayonet Rifle weapon-type. This high-damage Code also includes the Passive Gift Dark Sacrifice, which allows players to exchange their own HP for Ichor. Although risky, this technique can melt some of the toughest early-game bosses, just so long as the player can keep themselves out of harm's way as they kite around their target and deal ranged damage.
The Hunter Code Core can first be discovered in the Ruined City's Parking Garage, and then must be fully unlocked by hunting down the 4 Vestige parts in the same area.
With its low HP pool and focus on dodging and parrying, Prometheus may be the Blood Code which is most familiar to fans of the Dark Souls series. This high-skill choice is an all-rounder melee Code that encourages good mobility, boosting strength and dexterity, and contains Gifts to buff dodges, parrying and one-handed weapons.
The Prometheus Code Core is received from Louis when players first reach the Home Base, and then fully unlocked through the discovery of the 4 Vestige Parts, the first of which is acquired automatically in a cut-scene.
For those players who prefer to stand firm and endure rather than dance around, there's the Atlas Blood Code. With a huge weight allowance, which allows for the heaviest armor to be equipped, Atlas is all about damage mitigation and powerful counter-strokes. Gifts such as Resilient Focus, Firm Stand, and Foulblood Barrier make Atlas one of the tankiest Codes around, while Two-Handed Sword Mastery, Tormenting Blast and Flashing Fang make sure it's not lacking in damage either.
The Atlas Code Core can be acquired by talking to Yakumo after the player has defeated both the Butterfly of Delirium and Insatiable Despot bosses. The Code is then fully unlocked by finding its 4 Vestige Parts, all of which are located in the Howling Pit area.
Specializing in ranged combat and with a strong focus on high-damage Dark and Active Gifts, Isis is a mid-game Blood Code that forms a natural progression to the starting Caster Code. Barrage Gifts are a powerful part of Code Vein's caster-style combat, and Isis contains three in Blast Bolt, Indra's Coil and Fourfold Edict. This reliance on Active Gifts comes with a heavy Ichor cost, but fortunately Isis' Vow of Ichor Passive Gift allows players to lower max HP in order to increase their Ichor capacity.
The Isis Code is unlocked by first collecting and restoring all 5 of its Vestige parts, and then defeating the Successor of the Ribcage boss and restoring her after the fight.
Code Vein is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.