Jump to content

Code Vein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Code Vein
Developer(s)Bandai Namco Studios
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Director(s)Hiroshi Yoshimura[1]
  • Keita Iizuka
  • Takeshi Miyazoe
  • Yuta Yamamoto[2]
  • Kasumi Nakayama
  • Akihiro Kayama
  • Masato Ito
  • Kurumi Kobayashi
  • Koichi Itakura
  • Hiroshi Yoshimura
  • Masato Kurata
  • Yuta Yamamoto
Composer(s)Go Shiina[3]
EngineUnreal Engine 4[4]
ReleaseSeptember 27, 2019
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Code Vein[a] is an action role-playing game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was released worldwide on September 27, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One, and sold over three million copies but received mixed reviews from critics.


Code Vein is an open world action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic environment and played from a third-person perspective.[5] Its gameplay was inspired by the Dark Souls series of games with animation inspired by God Eater 3, both Bandai Namco properties with Code Vein sharing the staff of the latter.[6][7][8]



Code Vein is set in a post-apocalyptic near future containing the Revenants: undead humans with vampiric abilities and strength who can only die by destroying their heart, and require human blood to stop from entering a frenzy and mutating into the Lost - uncontrollable cannibals devoid of reason.

Participating in an experiment to stabilize the Revenant population and stave off the Lost, a girl named Cruz Silva volunteers to become the "Queen of the Revenants", though she later frenzies herself and goes on a murderous rampage. More Revenants are created to defeat the Queen in a mission dubbed Operation Queenslayer, led by Cruz's father Gregorio Silva.

Though they killed Cruz, the Lost remain, and the Bloodsprings (plants producing Blood Beads as an alternative to human blood) begin to dry up. Silva establishes a provisional government shortly after Operation Queenslayer, and the levy on Blood Beads that this government establishes worsens the shortage, leaving many Revenants to turn into the Lost.


The protagonist awakens within the ruined city of Gaol of the Mists, where they[b] meet Io and Louis Amamiya. They make contact with the vestige of a Lost without becoming frenzied, acquiring its memories and Blood Code, a unique property that grants Revenants their powers. Louis learns that the protagonist can use the Blood Code of whoever shares their blood. The group search for the source of the Blood Beads to remedy the scarcity. They meet Mia Karnstein and her near-frenzy brother Nicola, who is seemingly killed by a mysterious hunter. The protagonist later regains some of their memory, revealing their role in Operation Queenslayer alongside Silva and the hunter Jack Rutherford. The protagonist permanently killed the Queen, but was exposed to her blood and near-frenzy. Jack was forced and failed to kill the protagonist.

The group encounters a massive Lost, the Successor to the Ribcage, which the protagonist absorbs. They learn that the experiment that made Cruz into the Queen rendered her immortal. Silva decided to divide Cruz's body into pieces called 'Relics', each placed in a voluntary Revenant, becoming Successors who sealed themselves in crypts while resisting the Relics' corruption. The group finds Louis' sister Karen, a Successor. The protagonist learns that they became a Successor by defeating Cruz, and plans to soothe other Successors to prevent the Queen's resurrection. Jack is revealed to be a Successor and caretaker of the other Successors alongside his companion Eva Roux.

The group travels to the mountains and faces the real Nicola, revealing that the one who accompanied Mia was a clone that Jack killed as its existence hastened Nicola's frenzy. The group reaches and soothe Nicola as he was fighting the Relic's influence, reuniting with Mia. Jack is assaulted on the way up the mountain by Juzo Mido, a scientist who believes Revenants are the next step in evolution and is seeking Silva, now a Successor. Jack reveals that the Gaol of the Mists was created by Silva to contain the Revenants for the sake of humanity and needed constant blood to maintain which led to the Blood Bead levy system. Jack joins the group to secure more Relics, including Eva, a new Successor who joins the group after being restored.

They confront Mido, who reveals his plan of undoing the Gaol as he kills his men so the Relics in his possession merge into Silva, causing him to mutate into the frenzied Skull King with the Gaol briefly dropping enough to reveal the outside world is filled with monsters. Upset at Silva resisting the Relic, Mido explains though the Gaol started off as a prison for Revenants, it has become a shield from the monsters outside as he desires for Revenants to fight the horrors and evolve. The group defeats him before he can reach Silva, but the damage is done and the group's only option is the protagonist resolving to replace Silva as the Successor. The group make their way to Silva's crypt and learn Io is a clone of Cruz, one of many sisters acting on Cruz's desire to prevent her resurrection by attending to the Successors. The group battle the Skull King, who loses control of his Relic as it calls the other Relics who transform him into the newest Queen, the Virgin Reborn, before being defeated.

The ending depends on how many Successors the protagonist saved. If none are saved, the protagonist is killed by Louis when they begin to frenzy while attempting to absorb the Relics with the protagonist's surviving companions becoming the current Successors. If the protagonist only saves some Successors, they absorb Silva's Relic and take his place in maintaining the Gaol, with Io staying by their side. By saving every Successor, Io intervenes and takes the protagonist's place, absorbing all Relics. With the Successors restored, Io transforms into a new Bloodspring, the Weeping Tree, replenishing the Blood Beads and maintaining the Gaol as the city begins anew. Io produces a Blood Bead carrying her memory, allowing the protagonist and the group to venture to the outside world to save others, alongside their comrades almost a decade later.


Planning for Code Vein started around 2014, with about 200 developers involved at one point.[9] The game was announced in April 2017 and was originally set to be released in September 2018, until it was delayed to September 27, 2019.[10][11][12] The game's opening sequence was created by animation studio Ufotable.[13] In January 2020, the game's first downloadable content pack, Hellfire Knight, was released. The second, Frozen Empress, was released a month later.[14] The last DLC titled Lord of Thunder was released on March 25, 2020.[15]


Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game a good score of 32/40.[21] The game received "mixed or average reviews" for Windows and PlayStation 4, and "generally favorable reviews" for Xbox One according to review aggregator Metacritic.[16][17][18]

Game Informer Daniel Tack said that it has "some nice ideas that shake up the core formula, but they are all incidental details", with the game being "overburdened by stale scenery, boring bosses, and tiresome trudging".[22] Hardcore Gamer called the game "surprisingly delightful," but said that the "story, combat, difficulty, visuals and world all suffer from a variety of issues."[26] IGN stated, "Some changes like being able to easily switch around and experiment with classes on the fly are great, while others like its inconsistent AI partner could be more trouble than they were worth at times. But in both the good and the bad, I appreciated its enthusiasm for mixing things up and getting a little weird.", recommending it to those who are "looking for a unique take on a familiar type of challenge, and are open to loving and hating a game for its many mechanical quirks in the same breath."[27]

Reception to the game's story was mixed. Electronic Gaming Monthly found the "utter ridiculousness" of the game's story fun, though considered it "hard at times to appreciate the deeper story that’s woven throughout."[20] GamesRadar+ was interested in the game's themes and considered its characters "endearing" but the Vestige segments required to learn their backstories to be "cumbersome."[25] VideoGamer.com considered the game to be lacking in narrative cohesion, and the presentation of the dialogue and cutscenes to be subpar.[29] Anime Feminist writer Tessie Alina Corwin criticized the game's treatment of its female characters, saying that all of the game's important female characters either are or become passive in the story compared to the male characters.[30]


The PlayStation 4 version of Code Vein debuted at number two on the all format video games sales chart in Japan, selling 60,843 copies within its first week on sale.[31] The game sold over a million copies by February 2020,[32] with that figure increasing to over two million by September 2021.[33] As of March 2023, Code Vein has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide.[34]


  1. ^ Japanese: コードヴェイン, Hepburn: Kōdo Vein
  2. ^ The protagonist can be male or female depending on the player's choice. This article uses singular they to refer to the protagonist.


  1. ^ Donaldson, Alex (July 25, 2017). "Code Vein is more than just anime Dark Souls, explains director Hiroshi Yoshimura". VG24/7. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Code Vein gameplay video explains Blood Veil system". PlayStation Universe. September 11, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Romano, Sal (September 13, 2019). "Code Vein 'Behind the Scenes' developer diary, part five". Gematsu. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  4. ^ "Code Vein Is Being Made With Unreal Engine 4, Developed On A Separate Line From God Eater", Siliconera, June 19, 2015, retrieved April 21, 2017
  5. ^ Peñaflorida, Rexly (April 20, 2017). "'Code Vein' Is Bandai Namco's New Title, Coming In 2018". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (April 20, 2017). "Here's a look at Code Vein, Bandai Namco's new anime vampire action RPG". Polygon. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Wallace, Kimberley. "Hands-On With Code Vein – A Bloody Difficult Time". Game Informer.
  8. ^ Wen, Alan (September 4, 2019). "Discussing How Code Vein Builds Upon the Dark Souls Experience With Producer Keita Iizuka". GameSpew. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  9. ^ "Day in the Life of a Japanese Game Programmer". YouTube. November 29, 2019. (7:56). Archived from the original on February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  10. ^ Romano, Sal (June 5, 2018). "Code Vein launches September 28". Gematsu. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Donnelly, Joe (July 11, 2018). "Code Vein delayed to 2019". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Jones, Ali (June 11, 2019). "Code Vein release date set for September". PCGamesN. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "ufotable Animates Code Vein Game's Opening Cinematic". Anime News Network. December 7, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  14. ^ Winslow, Jeremy. "Code Vein Second DLC Launches Tomorrow, Introduces New Boss And Weapons". GameSpot. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Romano, Sal (March 25, 2020). "Code Vein DLC 'Lord of Thunder' now available". Gameatsu. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Code Vein for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Code Vein for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Code Vein for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  19. ^ Tolentino, Josh (October 6, 2019). "Destructroid Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Patterson, Mollie (September 26, 2019). "EGM Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Romano, Sal (October 2, 2019). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1609". Gematsu. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Tack, Daniel (September 27, 2019). "Game Informer Code Vein Review". Game Informer. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  23. ^ Faulkner, Jason (September 26, 2019). "Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  24. ^ Wakeling, Richard (October 3, 2019). "Gamespot Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Wood, Austin (September 26, 2019). "GamesRadar Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Beck, Adam (September 26, 2019). "Review:Code Vein". Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "IGN Code Vein Review". September 26, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  28. ^ Donaldson, Alex (September 27, 2019). "VG247 Code Vein Review". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Wise, Josh (October 1, 2019). "Code Vein review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  30. ^ Corwin, Tessie Alina (August 5, 2020). "The Post-Apocalypse Which Enforces Gender Roles: Code Vein". Anime Feminist. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  31. ^ Romano, Sal (October 2, 2019). "Famitsu Sales: 9/23/19 – 9/29/19". Gematsu. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  32. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (February 4, 2020). "Code Vein has sold over one million copies since September". VG247. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  33. ^ Palumbo, Alessio (September 27, 2021). "Code Vein Has Shipped Over Two Million Units Since Launch". wccftech. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  34. ^ "Code Vein shipments and digital sales top three million". Gematsu. March 20, 2023. Retrieved March 23, 2023.

External links[edit]