‘Code Vein’ embraces the weird, features giant knight with moose antlers

Code Vein, publisher Bandai Namco’s upcoming action role-playing game that looks to continue the legacy of From Software’s legendary Souls series with a healthy dose of vampires and anime, certainly isn’t skimping on the “weird.” The game’s first full trailer showed off a bit of strategic, violent combat, as well as some brilliant enemy designs.

“The end came without warning,” the trailer’s narrator says as we travel down a barren street with spikes jutting out of the buildings above. “The age of the immoral, pierced by the Thorns of Judgment. The human race as it once was is no more. To resist destruction, humanity must be thrown away.”

That’s where the player comes in. As a “Revenant,” you must battle in a “final stronghold” and attempt to uncover an “exit out of this demented reality.” Essentially glorified vampires, Revenants can use “Blood Veils” to drain enemies and enhance their own abilities to improve strength or improve their weapon handling.

The trailer shows off a varied selection of environments, including both dark urban areas and an icy, mountainous region that looks like it was pulled from Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Combat appears to be quicker and more intense than most of Code Vein‘s contemporaries, with extremely fast dodges and attacks that allow you to get in numerous hits — with each, naturally, gushing forth a geyser of blood. Special attacks, which we see in one of the game’s cinematics, causing the player to quickly sport a terrifying face mask and glowing red eyes before striking into an enemy’s heart.

Boss design is also top-notch, with the weirdness we expect from both a “Souls-like” and a game with such clear anime influences. If you were hoping to fight a giant armored knight with moose antlers coming out of his head, you’re in luck.

“The price for power … intense bloodlust,” the narrator continues. “Those who succumb to the thirst risk losing their minds and become the Lost. Forced to wander the land, slaves to their own bloodlust … eating one another.”

Let us hope that we aren’t cursed to such a fate. Code Vein launches “on major home consoles” in 2018. It’s being directed by Hiroshi Yoshimura, who previously worked on God Eater.