Code Vein: Network Test First Impressions

Code: Vein, this Dark Souls anime version game pretty much got me on the hook upon their trailers which came out a couple of years ago was definitely captivating. However, during the Network Test came out, admittedly said that my perspective view on this game becomes quite, indifferent.

Character Customizations

Like any other RPG, the first thing that was required to do was creating the character and Oh my God the audacity Bandai Namco have to provide way too much variety in character customization. It’s definitely appealing for those who wanted to create their own waifu as a playable character.

Despite numerous options for hairstyles, accessories, facial features and etc, the attention of character customization become less appealing in term of the character’s physique. Not much can be changed. Let’s be honest, if they have the amount of time to make a variety of choices for facial features, why not body features right?


The cutscenes in this game are well animated, that much I can admit. Your appearance that you’ve set in character customization, the outfit that you choose to wear in-game, as well as the weapon that’s currently equipped, all carry into cutscenes. This ensures a steady gameplay pace, as well as to maintain immersion throughout the game.

Besides that, the companions that you’ll encounter throughout the game definitely serves a purpose. Not only do they aid you in combat, but they also give you helpful tips throughout the game. This is just one of the many ways how Code Vein introduces its various game mechanics to the player.

These companions also talk about the lore from time to time, slowly immersing you into the overall story, as well as the many different environments you’ll encounter throughout each level. They also praise you for victories and efforts during combat, which is pretty good.

I like how the weapons look in this game. From greataxes, swords, to rifles. It really does look like they can deal massive damage when used properly. On the other hand, the outfits look mediocre. Maybe, I’m just getting into the early levels of this game, so that might explain why the outfits I find look like common rags rather than uniquely individual outfits.

Parries exist in the game. Which sounds cool at the beginning, but they can sometimes randomly trigger its own cutscene. Other times, they can just casually play out mid-combat. Which is, for the most part, even worse. The way these animation works is that tentacles or ‘tendrils’ come out of your character’s body and flings the enemy into the air, leading you to perform a mid-air kill (imagine Tokyo Ghoul) and each of the weapons has their own animation. Cool but they come with a cost.

These animations themselves can occasionally take up the whole screen and in my opinion, it’s just blatantly designed with a cutscene purpose in mind, so either way, it really takes a hit to the pacing of this game, or lack thereof.

Resting points. The way the menu itself pops up on the screen is by flashing a bring light that covers the entire screen beforehand, which lasts for a few seconds too. This also takes a hit to the pacing of the game and I really just wish for the developers to fix these pacing issues because, in all honesty, I really feel like they have something going on here. That much I can admit.

Issues Encountered

The mere existence of GAME LAG. Yep, that’s it. Apparently Unreal Engine 4 is really struggling to keep up with this low-powered six-year-old console. The game was barely able to catch up to a constant 30FPS. In the entirety of my playthrough. Thus proving that the game may be very unoptimized during the Network Test.

Adding up, destroying smashable objects or whenever your character goes anywhere near to a light source, the tool-tips popping up on the screen indicates the game is lagging behind. However, the game may run differently on Windows but hopefully, it’d be significantly better especially on both platforms after the release.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, Code Vein isn’t inherently a bad game. Somewhere deep down, there are hours and hours of fun to be had here. Even with all its faults and shortcomings, Code Vein does provide a great challenge in its gameplay, especially during the many boss fights and confrontational level designs that existed as you progress further into the game.

The most important thing to note is whether this new IP is trying to become a Dark Souls clone or has the game earned or proved to have its own unique identity in the genre? These are the answers I’m looking forward to discovering later on release. Due to the game which lacks its own individuality, then Code Vein really is, just a slower-paced Dark Souls.


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