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Bandai Namco’s ‘Code Vein’ is in the vein of ‘Dark Souls’

Why it matters to you

If you like Dark Souls, God Eater, and/or vampires, Code Vein looks to have a lot you might like.

Bandai Namco has followed up its recent trailer tease, with an official announcement of its next game: Code Vein. Although a brand new title and property, the game looks set to borrow from franchises like Bandai Namco’s own God Eater series and Dark Souls. We’re told that the game will involve dungeon exploration in a dark and foreboding action RPG setting.

Code Vein made its first appearance last week with a teaser release on Bandai Namco’s official YouTube channel. The clip was made up of various scenes of stylized 2D animation, prompting more questions than answers about what it was promoting, though it now seems clear that it was setting the scene for what the eventual game will be like.

Players will take on the role of vampires with supernatural abilities, known as “Revenants,” (thanks Siliconera) who work together to recapture lost memories and defeat the “Lost.” The Lost are monstrous vampires who have run out of blood and transformed into something far scarier.

We know that Revenants use various melee weapons, including Final Fantasy-like great swords, short swords, as well as spears and hammers. They also are equipped with something called a Blood Veil, which allows them to draw blood from the Lost. It is said to function as a form of visual and mechanical armor.

Blood Smelting is an ability that’s possible once enough blood has been acquired and opens up a number of actions for the player, including debuffing enemies and doing additional direct attacks. We’re also told that bringing a second player along on your hunts will be a major component of gameplay.

The game is being directed by Hiroshi Yoshimura, who worked on the original God Eater from 2010with Yusuke Tomizawa as acting project lead. He has also worked on and written for God Eater games.

With the game said to be only around 35 percent complete at this point, it’s perhaps no surprise we don’t know much more. Bandai Namco did tease a little extra about it in its earlier trailer, using the the hashtag #PrepareToDine, which appears at the end. This is an obvious reference to Dark Souls, a series that’s also published by Bandai Namco and that often utilizes the phrase “Prepare to Die” in its marketing materials.

While the inspiration is certainly there, the footage adopts a very different tone to Dark Souls, its sequels, and other associated From Software releases. It focuses in on a female character wielding an unusual weapon, and is presented in black and white with the exception of some arresting red highlights.

It seems likely that Bandai Namco is simply trying to capitalize on the popularity of Dark Souls to get people interested in a brand new project. From Software has previously indicated that the franchise would be put on hiatus following the release of the final piece of DLC for Dark Souls III, which came out last month.

Although we don’t know when more information about Code Vein will be released, we’re told that a new trailer for the game will release in the future. However, we shouldn’t expect a final release until some time in 2018.