New gameplay has been shown of Code Vein during the ongoing Japanese convention Anime Expo. While short, the gameplay trailer provides the closest look at combat in Code Vein yet, beyond some of the exclusive direct feed footage from the E3 2017 demo. Bandai Namco also took the opportunity to provide an overview of Code Vein‘s main features, which may have been lost in the noise of E3.
As implied from the Xbox E3 media showcase trailer, the combat features the slow and deliberate action the Dark Souls franchise is well known for. The player circle strafes around the enemies he faces, carefully managing distance, dodging, and attacking when the enemy appears vulnerable. The gameplay trailer also showcases two different weapons, a one-handed sword and a two-handed spear. As one would assume, the sword offers a faster attack but must be used at close range and the spear is slower but can be used at range.
What’s strikingly different about Code Vein is the visuals, which carry all the characteristics of the style of Japanese animation but also manages to create huge open spaces that are colorful and wonderfully lit. The player and his opponents cast dynamic shadows that shift as they dodge around burning barrels, and objects are often limned in light based on camera position.
Code Vein is, as is apparent, a third-person action game heavily based on the Dark Souls franchise. The E3 trailer even goes out of its way to highlight themes of darkness and the soul, verbatim. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world, though the cause of the end of the world remains mysterious. A society of Revenants named Vein remains, where people sacrifice their memories in trade for power and a vampiric thirst for blood. Giving into those vampiric tendencies can drive one to become a mindless, hungry Lost. The Dark Souls parallels should be extremely clear.
To be fair, Code Vein does pave its own way in many regards. Code Vein is making clear that it features a story-driven experience, which will be exciting to see in the genre. And while Code Vein does allow players to customize their characters, it also lets them choose a buddy as well. The buddy will support and fight alongside the main character, fully-voiced and with story beats of their own. The player will also have a customizable set of Gifts based on unique Blood Veils, which are used to drain enemies of their blood.
Code Vein is planned for release worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018. Expect more information on the Bandai Namco developed action game in the months to come.