Code Vein Director Touches On the Game’s Difficulty, Character Development, and…Vampires

By Robert Ward . September 25, 2017 . 2:00pm


Did you really want to get into Dark Souls but just couldn’t get past its gritty, gothic art style? Code Vein, a new game from Bandai Namco that combines all of the color and flashiness of the Tales series with the face-palming difficulty and epic choruses of the Dark Souls franchise, might just be what you’re looking for.


Oh, did I mention that you’re a Vampire who uses the blood of enemies called “revenants” to acquire new abilities and stay alive? …Let’s start somewhere simple. We got to catch up with the game’s director, Hiroshi Yoshimura, and its producer, Keita Iizuka, at a closed-doors Q&A session held at Bandai Namco headquarters in Tokyo.


First, a disclosure from Yoshimura: “To begin, I have played through this demo twice today, and both times I have died at or before the boss…” a promising testament to the game’s difficulty which proved true for the third time as well. A voice peeped up from the crowd, “is there an option to change the difficulty? Like, if I don’t want to spend hours getting past a single part, can I just choose to make the game easier?”


The two exchanged cursory glances before Iizuka spoke, saying “…no, the game does not have an easy mode or difficulty slider, or anything like that. The game is made for you to build off of self-improvement and finding these strategies for yourself.”


You can assail enemies with light or heavy attacks, dodge with the X Button, or suck blood from your foes with the Circle Button. Sucking blood allows you to recover health and upgrade your character, and this is where they justify the game’s unchanging difficulty:




“The reason why we don’t have a difficulty setting is because you can change the main characteristics [of your character]. In Dark Souls game, for example, if you mess up developing your character and their specializations half way through the game, there’s really no way to go back, and it can feel like a waste of time. In Code Vein, you can explore lots of different character traits [like weapons and magic sets] without fear of having to stick to just one specialty or play style, and help you overcome challenges.”


Iizuka was talking about a system for leveling up and developing your character that sounded more similar to Borderlands 2 than Dark Souls, where you can re-assign points to explore branching ability trees that change the way your character approaches combat.


“I think by taking a different approach you might have an easier time getting out of places where you feel stuck. Also, you’ll be able to bring 1 NPC character along with you, who will not only support you in combat but help you in various ways along your journey.” The system sounded similar to Pawns from Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma.


My final question was simple: Why Vampires…? Yoshimura laughed, saying “I’ve loved Vampires ever since I was a kid. When we were thinking of a scenario for a game and wondered how the character might obtain new abilities or grow, we thought about them stealing blood from enemies, and having the characters be a vampire sort of fell into place. I haven’t seen a game that uses that kind of system before and it seemed like a really unique mechanic.”


I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d played Bloodborne. Stay tuned for more news about Code Vein right here on Siliconera.

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