Given the commercial and critical success of the Dark Souls series, it’s a surprise that more games haven’t copied the From Software formula in creating their own combat-heavy dungeon crawlers. Bandai Namco seems to have been taking notes, however, as the new trailer for vampire action-RPG Code Vein shows. The clip showcases Code Vein’s towering bosses and huge weapons, as well as a measured, tactical combat system that seems to rely more on dodges and timing than long strings of button combos.
While both games are set in gloomy worlds, Code Vein seems to borrow more from anime than the medieval-ish Dark Souls. Bandai Namco’s game features perfectly coiffed protagonists, melodramatic music, and skimpy bikini armor, as well as a portentous voiceover that tells us that in this world, all the regular humans are dead. That’s due to the “Thorns of Judgment” — big spikes that stabbed up out of the ground — a calamity that also left red-eyed monsters to wander the land, their minds lost to bloodlust.
The game’s main character has his own vampiric weapon: a spiky gauntlet that can suck out the souls of the dead. Those souls can be used to increase the player’s strength or weaken enemies, a bit like they’re used in Dark Souls, as well as using them to power heftier attacks. The protagonist will also be able to enlist a companion from Code Vein’s other characters, bringing them into battles against bosses and regular enemies alike.
Bandai Namco has encouraged the comparison to Dark Souls, using the phrase “Prepare to Dine” in its teaser material, riffing on From Software’s “Prepare to Die” tagline. It may be perfect timing for those craving their Dark Souls fix, too, after that series wrapped up this year — Code Vein is due for release in 2018.