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Code Vein

In the not too distant future, a mysterious disaster has brought collapse to the world as we know it. Towering skyscrapers, once symbols of prosperity, are now lifeless graves of humanity’s past pierced by the Thorns of Judgment. At the center of the destruction lies a hidden society of Revenants called Vein. This final stronghold is where the remaining few fight to survive, blessed with Gifts of power in exchange for their memories and a thirst for blood. Give into the bloodlust fully and risk becoming one of the Lost, fiendish ghouls devoid of any remaining humanity. Wandering aimlessly in search of blood, the Lost will stop at nothing to satisfy their hunger. Team up and embark on a journey to the ends of hell to unlock your past and escape your living nightmare in CODE VEIN.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

- Janky, anime souls-like. There's estus, i-frame dodges, bonfires and challenging bosses.
- Let's start out saying I played this for the first time after Elden Ring because I think hindsight from that whole series is important when judging what this game does well and what it does poorly.
- For the most part, areas and enemies are well balanced. Similar to the main souls series, you can adjust how challenging the game is by choosing to use or not use various components that the game presents to you.
- You have NPC companions in this game which follow you and help you with fights. The AI seemed to be fairly decent, with the companion being able to fight in a semi-helpful way, and the enemy AI being able to decently split focus between the pair of you. The constant narration from the companion did grate at times though: "You looking at your inventory?" "Ooh what's in the treasure chest?"
- Abilities similar to weapon arts in DS3 and Elden Ring appear in this game also. They range from damaging attacks to buffs and debuffs. I found myself using the buffs for bosses more as the game progressed - a sign of good scaling difficulty. There was also a huge amount of room for customisation since you could level up your abilities and use them to create customised builds and suites of abilities. For me this didn't really manifest because, being a bit of a completionist, I found myself constantly trying to keep up with the new abilities. I think it was only the last area or two of the game I actually caught up and decided to finally put together a build beyond a buff or two.
- The Cathedral area in this game is notoriously horrible. I would say it's about halfway through the game and if you're not invested I think it could kill momentum for a lot of players. The layout is frustratingly labyrinthine, and the enemies are very difficult (I died in this area more than any other). This isn't helped by the fact that it looks very very samey. I took a break out of frustration in this area at least once, which is rare for me.
- Aside from this, I found a few areas where character progression didn't quite keep up with enemies. If they kill you that's fine by me, but sometimes I felt they just had too much health at a couple of points.
- The story was fine and for the first half of the game I was getting into it. It got a little convoluted and dramatic in delivery towards the end and I found myself paying less attention to it. I think skipping the memory shard sequences is a great pro-tip.
- The female character designs are also very provocative with lots of skin showing and cleavage - I think that could be awkward for some players, but the game doesn't cross any lines or contain any nudity.
- Overall, I have highlighted a lot of negatives, but this game is a solid souls-like contender.

Review from Steam

Code Vein is not a game for everyone, or even all fans of Soulslikes. If I had to use a single word to describe CV, it would be "fine." It's okay. Is it worth playing? Maybe.
I've seen people call it "Anime Dark Souls" but I think a more accurate description is "Horny Dark Souls." From character designs to bosses, everything has that shonen anime lewdness which characterizes everything people who hate anime dunk on. Like there's a boss who is basically a mini-giantess with a pole arm she uses as a stripper pole mid-battle. If that sounds bad to you, then maybe you should just skip this game, I won't judge. Outside of that, the characters are generic anime tropes, but aren't bad. They're mostly fine, especially the Yuki Nagato clone clad only in tattered rags that shows off her breasts. She's probably my favorite character in the game, despite her outfit.
If anything, Code Vein is an exploration heavy version of God Eater with Dark Souls elements. You've got your equivalent to Estus flasks, which can be further enhanced with Estus shards and undead bone shards. There are animations like crushing lifegems in DS2. Dying results in your not-souls staying where you died, allowing you to pick them up if you can make it back. The aesthetics are generally closer to God Eater's post-apocalyptic setting, and the game is visually at its best when it's not trying to be a fantasy souls game. It does have an in-game map, though, which is usually useful. There is also no PVP, which might be a deal breaker for some FromSoft Souls fans; you can still engage in jolly cooperation with other players, but it's far less prominent than in DS. The story is closer to God Eater than Dark Souls too, with everything being told to you explicitly rather than through item descriptions, environmental details, and NPC interactions.
Exploration is probably the highlight of the game, but some areas are much better than others. Some areas have great interconnected paths to get to mistles/not-bonfires with secrets hidden around the map. Others are a pain to navigate. A lot of people complain about the Cathedral, and they're right. It's a bad attempt at recreating Anor Londo without the visual identity and design of Dark Souls 1's most iconic location. It's fairly easy to get lost because everything is a whitish cream color without any landmarks. Imagine if Anor Londo didn't have any of the dark inner sections lit with moody flame, the rotating towers, or the giant hall with a certain painting in it. Now make every part of the architecture look exactly the same. This is probably why the minimap was implemented, and some people still got lost. It doesn't help that, like Anor Londo, there's a mid-point where you can go to a side area and then return later, meaning you get a brief reprieve before returning to an overly long area. There's another area later on that is essentially Cathedral 2: Only Towers Edition, too. Of course, I also have to mention the fire biome where touching the walls knocks you back, often into other fire walls. Look, this all sounds negative, and it is, but there are some decent areas too. These three, especially the Cathedral, are just worth knowing about before you get into the game.
Again, this might sound really negative, but you should know what you're in for if you do decide to play this game. I still had fun with it, and I think it's a solid 6. If you're not completely turned away from this game by now, maybe get in a sale. Just don't get the DLC, it adds basically nothing of value to the game outside of three cool, difficult boss fights that probably aren't worth the effort of actually reaching.
Oh, and the character creator is great and probably the best part of the game. The devs should be proud of it.

Review from Steam

Its nice that they added a souls like minigame to my character customizer

Review from Steam

Boobasouls or something more?
Before we start, you should know you aren't getting a deep narrative, with rich and extensive lore, using the exceptionally detailed enemies, bosses, equipment, and environment filled to the brim with seemingly unimportant items to convey its vague story to the player. No, Code Vein has plenty of cutscenes, shouting, questionable camera angles, edgy baddies, spiky collars, surfer haircuts and the power of friendship.
But while all of that anime cheese is good and all, it's not what made Code Vein such a blast to play. That honour belongs to its excellent gameplay. Playing the likes of Nioh, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, when I was perplexed about defeating a boss, there really was only a single choice - learn his attacks. It's either not possible to respec or very inconvenient. Thankfully, Code Vein is having none of that and lets the player tinker with the build at any moment, free of charge. At first, this system may seem convoluted, complicated, hard to grasp. But have no fear, your friendly neighbourhood slav is here.
At the heart of it all lie blood codes, Code Vein's quasi classes. You obtain them from bosses, companions or in the wild. What makes them unique is the customization freedom they offer and their fixed stats. Strength, dexterity, etc., all are more or less set in stone. The only way to boost them is by using certain passive abilities. But you'll spend your time mostly buying new abilities with haze, the game's currency. Also, it's used for levelling up, which only improves your health and damage. But that's not all; Almost every ability can be inherited, thus making it usable with any compatible blood code. To inherit one, you have two choices - kill enemies to gain mastery XP or use rare items to skip that grind. But there are restrictions in place, such as having a stat be a certain level, that "decide" what ability you can and can't use with a particular blood code.
Pro Tip: Do not power level. Each area has a level cap. You'll receive an insignificant amount of XP towards mastery if your level is too damn high. So use haze to unlock new abilities and master them. Be smort!
Now, using these fun abilities requires ichor, the game's mana. The cost varies (3,10,20+); the better the ability, the more it demands. And if you think there's some magic ichor recharging bottle, sorry to disappoint: you'll have to sweat for it. There are two ways to regain ichor: the simple way - basic attacks that drain enemy blood and slowly recharge your ichor supply. Or the chad way - backstab/parry enemies, giving you a large quantity of ichor instantly while simultaniously inflicting massive damage. Plus, this is the only way to increase your max ichor capacity. While this may seem insignificant, ichor capacity varies by blood code; Those more melee-focused (e.g. berserker) have low reserves, unlike their caster brethren. So using those fancy abilities is impossible if thou is not a true chad.
Speaking of blood, each blood veil, or armour in laymen's terms, has a stat that affects your succ. The higher it is, the more blood your enemies volunteer to you. Blood veils can also change your parry animation and are the root for magic scaling, because just like blood codes, they have self-imposed fixed stats, as well. Thus, they impact the buffs for dark and light magic. They also have specific stat requirements that your chosen blood code needs to meet before you can get your swag on.
Class? ✔️
Abilities? ✔️
Ichor? ✔️
Sexy armour? ✔️
Then it's time to show off some mad skillz. For that you have twelve slots; Four for passive and eight for active abilities. The active slots are where the fun is. They have shortcut keys assigned, making using multiple abilities mid-combat super easy, barely an inconvenience. And this was such a breath of fresh air from the endless scrolling of the other souls-like games and made combat so enjoyable. But I've yet to speak about weapons. Some are chunky and slow, others lean and mean. But in the end, they all accomplish the same thing - kill. There is a decent variety in both looks and moveset within a certain weapon category. I personally went with swag over practicality. Looking snappy takes precedent over combat efficiency, always!
And I saved the best for last - the AI companion. Yes, yes, I can already hear your eye rolls. But please consider this - Shut up! Anyway, it's optional, and I likes it. It didn't make the game a cakewalk, but having my waifu watch my back allowed me to adopt a more proactive approach, unlike the more calculated ones in my previous masochistic solo adventures. Plus, now I do the ganking.
However, reckless play will still earn you a trip to the cemetery, especially since locations tend to be tight, restricting your movement. The last area, in particular, will demand your full undivided attention. The bosses felt fair, for the most part. Some I liked; Like the big, fast, aggressive furry. Some I didn't; Like the edgy main baddy. Overall, they were decent and even with a companion by your side, they are no slouches.
But what's the endgame like you ask? Well, it's good, but...not as good as it could have been. The problem mainly lies with armour customization, as there is none. You can only equip a top. I appreciate all the different kinky weapons on offer and the insane freedom the character creator gives you, so it's sad to see such piss poor armour customization. But you can change your character appearance (not gender) at any moment, free of charge. So that's nice, I guess.
And this sense of "what could have been" is also embedded in world design. While locations are diverse, they fail to leave a lasting impression. I still remember climbing out of the depths of the catacombs, only to lay my eyes on the Boreal Valley. But here, that moment of pure awe as you take in the scenery is absent. It's just differently coloured city ruins in various biomes, with spiky things shooting up from the depths. It made exploring dull and didn't satiate my Indiana Jones cravings.
As for the enemies, I really liked their design. There is plenty of diversity and representation, with many demon races finally getting their five minutes of fame. As for the bosses, I really dig their looks. Could it be that my dig was, perhaps, influenced by most bosses having big sweater stretchers? Indubitably.
And lastly, the mini-bosses, or lack thereof. Imagine if Havel from Dark Souls was present in 2/3rds of the game. He wouldn't emit that same aura of absolute chadness, losing his uniqueness and scaled back to a mere common fodder mob thou slaughter. There is no singular enemy that when you spot, you know, good times a' comin'. I saw a big chungus looking demon lady that I thought was a mini-boss until I saw her cousin down the road. Definitely something the sequel should fix.
There you have it folks! Code Vein is awesome. I went in expecting a semi-decent Souls clone with an anime aesthetic slapped on top. But I was wrong. It's far more than a mere clone; It's a stellar ARPG that's more than capable of holding its own against any of the heavy hitters, even surpassing them in certain aspects. So while Sekiro is still top bae, Code Vein is a very close second.
If you enjoy this review, come and read more wisdom from the Gospel of Sv. Prolivije.

Review from Steam

it's dark souls, but every boss got big anime milkers

Review from Steam

Code Vein.
Relevant for the Steam version of the game. The absolute majority of the game was completed in a co-op with my homeboy.
Cons:
- Atrocious tutorial, which immediately dumps an enormous amount of information on the player, but at least gives you an opportunity to test everything in the process. Thankfully you can return to the tutorial later on and read text notes about how things work, nonetheless such an introduction to the basic abilities is unacceptable for a 2019 game.
- You're very likely to get lost in a few locations.
Neuter:
• Just another soulslike with all the usual suspects: bosses, shortcuts, bonfires (mistles), stamina, souls (xp points), etc. You can probably fill in the rest of them by now.
• The game's storytelling is far more comprehensible in Code Vein than in other representatives of the subgenre.
Pros:
+ Without going into confusing in-game terminology, the player can switch between character classes an unlimited number of times on the fly, whenever they want, even during the fight. Not only it creates infinite replay value and opportunities for experimentation with the build, but in general it's nice to have such a wide variety of choices.
+ Convenient online co-op, which allows you to summon specific players by setting the same password.
+ The combat system is deep thanks to a flexible character class management system. As long as the player fully grasps the nuances of the combat system, the fun is almost guaranteed to be had.
+ You can go on a solo journey through the game, or team up with a friend online. You can also bring AI companions with you (both in solo and co-op modes) and they're hella useful: they can single-handedly dismantle the majority of the enemies and, what's really surprising for a souslike, they can also revive you multiple times. There are 7 companions in the game and you can switch between them at the mistles. Some of them are better, others are worse, but each of them makes tangible contributions not only during the fights, but outside of them too: they react to everything that's happening in the world and make their remarks, and thus participate in the storytelling.
+ Some abilities are unlocked by collecting certain items and by watching mandatory interactive scenes, which shed light on the past events. This is a rather interesting concept, especially for the fans of the lore and players who get invested in the characters. For those who don't, there is an option to skip these cutscenes with memories entirely.
Code Vein is one of the best representatives of the soulslike subgenre with its own story presentation and gameplay features, which unfortunately doesn't make it any less unoriginal. At least give it a shot.
Recommendation - use a controller for a better experience.
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The Editor

Review from Steam

Introduction
Now that I have absolutely milked everything this game has to offer, it's time to make a proper review. This is the first game I bought on Steam, so it holds a special place in my heart. However, for a review, my feelings matter less and I have to look at the game in an unbiased view. I haven't played Dark Souls (yet), so I won't be comparing Code Vein to Dark Souls. Instead, I view this title on it's own. New players to Dark Souls in general or to Code Vein, this review is for you.
Easily Overlooked Title
Code Vein seems to fall victim to the assumption that it nothing more than a Dark Souls clone with anime waifu characters. Although the game takes inspiration from Dark Souls, there is enough that it does differently, and in some areas, much better to really stand out as its own game giving players an experience worth checking out.
Character Creation System
This is one of the best character creators I have ever seen, it's like Skyrim with all those anime mods you are too shameful to admit using. It has a ton of accessories and whatever ones you pick, you can place them anywhere on your character, with options to reposition and resize it. See the glasses on my avatar? I can place them on my hair just like how I would in real life. You can now engineer your own catgirl/catboy or waifu/husbando.
World Building Lacking in Depth
The world design is linear, and I don't feel like everything is interconnected. You move from one area to another to progress, only needing to return to a previous area to do side quests or unlock the door to move to to a different area. Some zones don't even make sense as to how they are connected in the world: Home base is totally separated from everything despite being in the same city of Vein. Most areas have the same theme - everything is rusty, old, and falling apart. Only after the fifth area (my favorite area in the game), will everything look better. It's a bummer that the game takes place in a big city but you can barely explore it or even just one building.
Your actions don't have as much impact as I'd like them. There's a quest involving you taking a map to an NPC to help them make a shelter. After completion they just reward you and stand there for the rest of the game instead of going to that taking, or even letting you go there. Overall, world building is superficial, instead of a being deeper.
Companions Are Your Life Saver
One of the best companion AIs I've ever played with. They react and perform even better than some players I met. They aren't a liability and can actually carry you. Going with one will make the game a lot easier, so I suggest going solo if you want a real challenge.
Combat is Fun and Fast-paced
Code Vein takes inspiration from Dark Souls in these aspects: Stamina-based action, lock-on target camera, and parry and back-stab leave you invincible.
What differentiates Code Vein from Dark Souls is its own class and skills system called Blood Code and Gifts, these are what defines your character build. Blood Code is basically a class, with its own attribute distribution and Gifts. The latter are skills, they can be passive, weapon-based or active, with the latter ones requiring Ichor (the equivalent of mana) each time they're performed.
This is what defines Code Vein's rapid and flashy combat style. You can change your Blood Code and Gifts instantly, making combat flexible and adaptable. One moment you could be a DPS Halberd glass cannon, the next moment a tank build, blocking 100% of the damage from almost anything comes to you.
Weapons Look Cool But Not That Interesting
There are five weapon categories in the game, each categories has more than ten varieties. However, there is not much difference between them.
For example, the companions' weapons are just a re-color of the regular weapons, there's no unique model that makes them stand out from the rest, some weapons' movesets are just mix and match of the normal ones. There's only one companion's weapon that has a Gift activation when using charged attacks.
Some of the weapons dropped from bosses look unique but still have the same moveset as normal ones. There is only one truly unique weapon, in a sense that its own model, exclusive moveset, in just one category, which i think is disappointing, considering there is a total of 74 weapons in the game.
Blood Veil is Your Armor and Fashion Style
Blood Veil isn't separated pieces like in other RPG games, instead there's only one piece of armor equipped on your character. There are four categories, each has its own charged drain attacks that gain Ichor, parry and back-stab animation. Armors have dyed variants so pick one that suits your clothing, otherwise you can recolor your clothing to suit the Blood Veil.
Enemies and Bosses: Not Enough There
The lack of enemy diversification is one of Code Vein's downsides. The ones you see in the second area are also in the last before the final boss. Most enemies react slowly, so you can walk behind them and chain back-stab with ease, which is something you can do even with the mini bosses. The only enemy in the game that really intrigues me is the Recently Converted Lost, both in design and attack pattern. They genuinely look and sound like revenants who are turning into the Lost and fight like so. They are the same size as you but hit hard and wildly, can detect you while cloaking, do range attack, perform a charged attack much faster and parry you. It's a shame there aren't more enemies like this.
Except for the story-related bosses, neither the bosses in the game don't have any backstory about their origin. They have an introduction cutscene, but after defeating them, you continue the story like if they were just another regular enemy, nothing more special, just beefier or prettier. Their designs are either tough big looking monster-guys or tall big sexy monster-ladies. There are only two bosses that I really like because their models aren't either of those, one of them is in the fifth area, the other one is the final boss.
Multiplayer Somewhat Active
There's only Co-op, no PvP, which is a downside. Surprisingly, there are still few people who play in Co-op mode. During my latest playthrough, I received helps from five different players in just one area, which is unexpected from this game. Not only that, I met some new friends thanks to the Co-op, and had a blast with them. Really recommend playing with friends or finding some strangers to befriend.
Underrated Soundtracks
Dramatic and emotional, especially in important cutscenes; however, still lack diversity. The bosses' theme is the same, even though it is good, hearing the same track again and again can be boring. Main Menu and Code Vein's theme (Memory of the Lost) are 10/10.
DLCs
Overall really bad for their prices. DLCs are just three extra dungeons with a single side story that isn't relevant, you can skip it and it won't make any impact. New Blood Codes are very powerful in late game. Weapons and Blood Veils added are just recolors, no unique models, some are good, many are indolent. Main bosses' designs are distinctive and outstanding. Only buy DLCs including in Deluxe Edition ON SALE, which is much cheaper and justified considering what they add to the game.

Final rating: 7/10
Code Vein is a solid game but it could have been much better. Get the Deluxe Edition when it's on sale, you will not regret it.
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