By now, most people (especially Dark Souls fans) probably already know about Code Vein. On day two I got to Makuhari Messe (where TGS has been held for years now) a bit early just to make my way to play this game. Even as a member of the press you still have to line up and wait just like everyone else. So you have to be strategic about planning.
The doors swung open and as soon as I got through the door I ran straight to the Namco Bandai booth. The Code Vein demo area only consisted of about 5 PS4s to play on. I didn’t even have to wait, I was given a nice Code Vein bag to hold TGS goodies and a Code Vein handkerchief. After that I was given a short explanation and was told how long they were giving me to play.
Upon starting the demo I was met with a glowing plant, that for the purpose of this demo acted like a bonfire. I was presented with 2 choices. I could traverse an underground area or I could go straight to a boss battle. I chose to go through the underground area to get a feel of what the core gameplay will feel like. I was paired with the girl that’s seen in most trailers and she served as a support throughout my short journey. When I would run out of HP and fall she had a limited number of revives to dole out. The enemies I fought would remind someone of something like what I hunter resembles in Bloodeborne.
After getting through some normal size baddies, I was finally met with a couple of beasts larger than myself. I used the same kind of tactics one would use in a Dark Souls game, and by that I mean lots of rolling…LOTS of rolling. If you’ve ever played a Dark Souls game you’ll definitely be at home here. There were also a couple of special abilities that included a ranged fireball attack (one small and one large) and also the ability to heal your support character by sacrificing some of your health. The were other abilities I wasn’t able to try out with my limited time, and one of those seems to be a key factor in what makes the game different. On the card I got in English to play the game it said “Blood Drain”, sadly I can only speculate as to what that means at the moment. Considering your some kind of vampire, I assume you can drain some health perhaps. Another ability I didn’t find myself using a lot was a charge up attack that used the claw that’s featured in many trailers and screenshots.
I only spent about 10 minutes on the cavern, and after dying I decided to give the boss a shot before I got booted off. The boss I fought was the “Queen’s Knight” boss. IGN has a 10 minute piece on a more detailed fight and different weapons below. I stuck with the same sword weapon for the entirety of my playthrough. However, the video below shows some different weapons off. The boss battle was what you’d expect, HARD. I’m a veteran Dark Souls player (100% in all games), and I didn’t feel like it was overwhelmingly hard; but it was a challenge. The boss bar has 3 lines in it. While I can’t say one hundred percent, I think after you tick the bar off past one of these bars the boss starts to change its tactics a bit. For this boss I found that after the first 1/3 of health was knocked off it would start to teleport around doing sneaky attacks and often disengaging my lock-on. After 2/3 of health is gone it starts to pull out more ferocious attack and more teleportation.
All in all this was one of my favorite games to play at TGS this year next to Monster Hunter World. There didn’t seem like a multitude of things that really sets it apart from the game it attempts to mimic, but it definitely fills that bit of a void that will be there after Nioh’s DLC is done and gone soon. I definitely recommend checking this one out as we get closer to it’s 2018 release.