Bandai Namco is trying its hand at a different style of Dark Souls experience, mixing anime, vampires and a post-apocalyptic theme together in the recently released action title, Code Vein. In this world, players take on the role of a revenant, a vampire of sorts, who are fighting over the dwindling supply of blood. While the game retains a familiar Souslike gameplay experience, it does offer a few notible differences including special abilities known as Gifts, greater character customization, as well as AI companions that players can adventure with. For those looking to create a formidable team, here are a few characters to look out for.
Inside the world of Code Vein, companions serve a bigger purpose than simply assisting in combat. They're there to call out useful items and hints, alert the player to possible enemy ambushes, point out dropped loot, and more. However, the trade off for this help is that they're not very customizable. Each one comes with their own abilities and armor, so it's up to the player to pick and choose the best one to compliment their playstyle. Thankfully, players have the option to swap out companions as often as needed from the home base.
While the game has a bunch of companions to pick from, some are more useful than others. Mia, Louis, and Yakumo are the first three companions players will likely come across, but of the three, players are finding the most success earlier on in the game with one in particular.
The second companion character that players will come across, Yakumo is the first tank character and hits equally as hard. He can be recruited as soon as the player arrives at the home base and specializes in two handed weapons. While this makes him an even better partner for a player who favors range, the fact that he can take a beating and dish out punishment makes him valuable to all players.
His Blood Code is called Atlas and he has an active Gift called FoulBlood Barrier, which reduces all incoming damage as well as a move called Guard Reversal that gives him a free stagger against enemies guarding. He is capable of knocking enemies off of the map, killing them instantly as well as soloing certain enemies on his own. He's also able to revive the player, though Yakumo does have a tendancy to use his relative small Ichor pool quickly, which may result in him not having enough left to revive the player.
Towards the second half of the experience, the following two companions make even better allies.
Io is a character the player will come across once they relive the memories of Leda, a certain mission in the game. After this point, Io will automatically join the party and players should seriously consider adding her immediately. The biggest reason is that Io is the only companion in the game who will heal the player when their HP is low. She's also capable to curing debuffs and adds increased resistance to them as well as all elements. Combat-wise, she's capable of dealing lots of damage through spells or the use of two-handed polearm weapons.
Io also synergizes well with abilities that can heal as she increases their overall effectiveness. So players who have a Life Steal passive or Cleansing Light will benefit even more from having Io as a companion.
Jack the revenant hunter is seen as an alternative to Yakumo as he's another hard hitter tank type ally, though his damage output isn't quite as high. What makes Jack work is his ability to stunlock enemies, making them much easier to kill. Players can recruit Jack after finishing a mission called Crown of the Sand. He has higher evasion stats than other companions and can deal damage from close range or from his long ranger gift attacks as well.
Unfortunately, Jack has a harder time dealing with enemies that are further away than a character such as Yakumo.
Just like a traditional Dark Souls experience, Code Vein has a lot of intricacies that aren't explained well. Co-op is a supported feature, making some of the tougher parts of the game more manageable when a friend is brought in to help. Unlike summoning stones, players will instead need to use the Distress Signal feature from the multiplayer pause menu. However, in order to play with a friend in Code Vein, there's a few more considerations to think about including a special 8 character password code.
Code Vein is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.