It's a stylish action RPG that replicates the structure of Dark Souls while leavening its strict attitude towards mastery with fallbacks and safety nets, making it easier to pick up and persevere with. Players willing to embrace its over-the-top aesthetic and narrative sense - while overlooking its shortcomings in level design and combat tuning - will find an enjoyable, relaxed romp, a fun trifle whose spirit elevates it from crude clone-job to loving send-up. Ironically for a game about undead vampires, there's a strong pulse and beating heart at Code Vein's core.
Flawed though it may be, sometimes a distinctly B-tier game is exactly what the doctor ordered – especially at this time of year, in a sea of mega-hyped triple-A. You have to know what you’re getting into, accepting the poor narrative and slightly botched execution of some of its cleverer ideas, but Code Vein still has a recent amount to like. Come for the combat and the intriguing blood code system – and stay for it. The rest? Well, hopefully it’ll be better next time.
Despite a number of performance issues and combat that feels just a little too loose and mashy compared to its genre-mates, Code Vein presents a unique take on the Soulslike formula.
Code Vein is addictive, yet frustrating. It's promising, yet unpolished. There are a lot of interesting ideas here that come together to craft a unique and engaging experience. I just wish that the flaws here weren't so glaring, because they keep Code Vein from being a great game instead of just a good one.
Code Vein takes some interesting chances with Soulslike mechanics and finds mixed results, but there’s something worth sinking your teeth into here.
The average story is well represented through a plethora of cutscenes and even has alternate scenario outcomes based on your exploration efforts, even though it brings with it numerous anime tropes and long drawn out scenes. There’s a broad number of locations to visit with their own creative designs, but their size and complexity are inconsistent. There’s so much holding Code Vein back, yet I felt entranced and excited to continue playing all the way through. While it will continue to live in the shadow of Souls games, it doesn’t mean that it’s some cheap knockoff, as the number of distinctions allows for it to differentiate itself from the herd.