Code Vein is the newest title from the developer behind the God Eater series, and since its announcement, it’s drawn some obvious comparisons to the Dark Souls series. It has the same kind of methodical combat, multiple weapon types, character creation, etc. However, there are quite a few systems in Code Vein that set it apart from the competition and provide an interesting wrinkle on the Souls formula. After getting some hands-on time with the game at E3 we found out more about these systems, and even said Code Vein was one of the most promising RPGs of the show.
The biggest, and most obvious, difference Code Vein brings is the addition of an AI partner. Most Souls games are a lonesome, tension-filled experience. In Code Vein though, at almost all times you’ll have an AI partner with you, a key character in the story, who helps you in combat and has their own background story.
Each of these partners have their own unique movesets, like the two-handed sword wilder Yakumo who acts as a frontline combatant that can shield you if you need to heal, versus Louis, a balanced character that can use combos to keep the pressure on enemies and easily swap places with you. Not only are these partners useful, they can change your entire strategy in battle and it’s easy to lean on their aid in battles. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can just let them do all the work, as our time with the demo showed if you just let them take on enemies alone they’ll quickly be slaughtered. If you die, your partner can use a portion of their health to revive you, and you’re able to do the same for your partner.
Code Vein is still a punishingly difficult game, and even in the 25 minutes I played I died multiple times, having to learn how to take on each enemy. The addition of a partner doesn’t change that level of difficulty, but it definitely changes how you approach a Souls-style game.