Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 65
  2. Negative: 2 out of 65
Buy On
  1. Sep 26, 2019
    95
    You can literally customize your way of playing and it's worth every single second.
  2. Sep 26, 2019
    90
    I had very few issues with this game, and it was a great experience playing through it. There’s some hype behind it, but I think it’ll end up being one of the sleeper hits of 2019. It blends the right amounts of Souls-like gameplay, anime cheesiness, and excellent design to result in a satisfying package that should please just about anyone.
  3. Sep 26, 2019
    90
    The story goes some surprisingly emotional places, and the sheer variety of gameplay styles is a huge strength. Code Vein is easily one of the sleeper hits of the year, and it's an experience that's a joy to sink your teeth into.
  4. Sep 26, 2019
    85
    Code Vein is some fun anime nonsense is a slickly designed package with some minor failings.
  5. Sep 26, 2019
    85
    Code Vein is an anime soulslike with a huge focus on character build and an endearing story that could relate to the God Eater series.
  6. Oct 7, 2019
    84
    If you're looking for a different spin on the Soulsborne series, Bandai Namco offers up their take with gameplay that feels inviting rather than punishing.
  7. Sep 26, 2019
    84
    Code Vein is a good dark anime-style action RPG. There are some flaws like the AI or various technical/graphic imperfections, but the articulated combat system, the versatile gameplay, the co-op and a plot that holds up to the end despite stereotypes and clichés manage to give to novices and experts 40+ hours of brutal souls like fun.
  8. Sep 30, 2019
    83
    Code Vein fulfills what was promised after several launch delays, offering an RPG with anime aesthetics with remarkable gameplay and history, but ballasting several mistakes that make it difficult to stand out among other games of its kind.
  9. Oct 8, 2019
    82
    An entertaining story, extensive character customisation and stylish anime presentation elevates Code Vein above just another Souls-like.
  10. Oct 14, 2019
    80
    Code Vein is the anime-style Dark Souls we've been waiting for. A game that is not perfect, but that will make the lovers of anime and Souls very happy.
  11. Oct 2, 2019
    80
    Code Vein is unique between all kinds of souls-like games because of its anime style but fails to stand out.
  12. 80
    This combination of clever and original gameplay elements, and heavy storytelling in a genre not overly known for that makes for an excellent experience that stands out from the pack. From Software has been a tough bar to beat, however, with competition like this and Koei Tecmo's Nioh series, From can't rest on its laurels. We're spoiled for choice now, and from top to bottom, Code Vein is worth every moment.
  13. Sep 30, 2019
    80
    Code Vein mixes the popular Soulsborne formula with an anime look and mostly delivers on the lofty expectations its hype machine created. The AI's a bit wonky though, and co-op could use some improvement.
  14. Sep 27, 2019
    80
    The AI ​​guides and the minimap have made the game a bit too easy at times, but that's ultimately a matter of taste.
  15. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    With its unique style and intriguing story, Code Vein adds its touch to the Souls-like genre.
  16. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Ultimately, Code Vein can be considered an ambitious and very successful experiment.
  17. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Code Vein on PlayStation 4 is a hybrid between an action-RPG and a Soulslike, but a valid one.
  18. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Code Vein is a perfect RPG for newcomers. It keeps every element in the "souls like" genre, but combat is easier (thanks to a second character) and narrative seems more traditional. Anime style and vampires perfectly suit this kind of gameplay.
  19. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Code Vein manages to become a possible gateway into the difficult world of the Souls-like games. Bandai Namco, thus, gives way to an appealing title that is full of possibilities when it comes to the gameplay, and that it also possesses a well crafted environment that can sometimes become a huge labyrinth. However, those in search of the usual challenge will be forced to forfeit one of its main novelties.
  20. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Ultimately, Code Vein is a somewhat campy, but fun, breath of fresh air in a genre that has felt a little stale outside of games like Sekiro. The companions are fun, if a little one-note at times, and the combat is brutal, but exhilarating. If you like what you’ve seen so far of Code Vein, there’s no reason not to try it out.
  21. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Despite a number of performance issues and combat that feels just a little too loose and mashy compared to its genre-mates, Code Vein presents a unique take on the Soulslike formula.
  22. 80
    Code Vein feels like it wants to take the idea of community and important AIs and marry it with the gameplay and ideas prevalent in Soulslikes. It is a story-heavy affair that wants you to care about its characters, while also helping you find your way in a demanding world with thoughtful combat. There are some technical hitches along the way, such as frame rate drops, but they’re the sort of problems that could very well be eventually fixed with patches. For now, it’s a largely successful experiment into some new ideas.
  23. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    There was a lot of potential for Code Vein to end up little more than a mediocre Dark Souls clone dressed in anime clothing, and yet, it’s actually kinda, sorta, pretty good. The game mixes some long-established gameplay qualities with a totally engrossing class system and a story that’s more enjoyable than it has any right to be. Code Vein won’t be for everyone, even if you’re a Souls fan, but if the overall idea sounds appealing, the execution might surprise you.
  24. Sep 26, 2019
    80
    Code Vein is an exciting, rewarding, and tenebrous venture into the Souls-like space with a fantastic class system, explosive combat, and dark narrative - hindered only by its lack of visual prowess and odd UI design.
  25. Oct 3, 2019
    79
    All in all, CODE VEIN is great for those who enjoy RPGs and want to feel like they’ve earned the win. Even though I died a lot and there were slight quality issues, CODE VEIN is a game I definitely see myself going back to again and again.
  26. Oct 1, 2019
    79
    Code Vein is an uninspired derivative of everything that made Dark Souls legendary, but at the same time is the perfect example of the ancient cliché that imitation is the best form of flattery and sometimes it’s better to steal something, than to make up something bad.
  27. Oct 5, 2019
    77
    Bizarre Souls-like with an interesting anime-design, but flaws in terms of visuals and storytelling.
  28. Oct 6, 2019
    75
    Ironically for a game about undead vampires, there's a strong pulse and beating heart at Code Vein's core.
  29. Oct 6, 2019
    75
    Though Code Vein starts off slow, nearly every aspect develops over time, gradually becoming more interesting and engaging. The environments and enemy designs leave much to be desired, but it also introduces intriguing ideas with its AI companions and Blood Code system. It’s not breaking any new ground, but there’s a solid game here if you stick with it.
  30. Sep 27, 2019
    75
    Code Vein is a pretty good clone of Dark Souls, but it's own ideas, dose not work that well.
  31. Sep 27, 2019
    75
    Code Vein doesn’t make any improvements on the "soulslike" genre but as an alternative and new option to play, consolidates itself as a fun and addictive title not only by its gameplay, but also its characters design and development and the intriguing story.
  32. Sep 26, 2019
    75
    While this is a rather niche title given the anime graphical style and Soulsborne type of gameplay, Code Vein sticks a decent landing. But with some performance upgrades and further refinements to the combat via patches, this could be a much heavier hitter.
  33. Sep 26, 2019
    72
    Code Vein is an interesting mix between a soulslike and an anime, but fails to stay close to the top of the genre.
  34. Sep 26, 2019
    72
    Code Vein has been able to surprise by trying to compete with From Software titles but still knows how to find its own identity. Its narration allows for an accessible and complete understanding of the story, and its rich, original gameplay brings freshness to the genre. In addition, the personalization gives the player the impression of being in a shōnen, with a sense of power. The dark atmosphere of the title is clearly successful, and the world is fascinating. Unfortunately, it suffers from its linearity and technical limitations. Code Vein is a good title on which we had an enjoyable time. However, we just hope that the follow-up content will be more effective, and that the developers will be able to push essential patches to correct its defects.
  35. Oct 21, 2019
    70
    Code Vein is going to be divisive. Out of the box, it's not a very good game. The balance in difficulty is a mess, with certain classes and abilities feeling hugely overpowered; the partners making even the most challenging encounter easy, until the difficulty spikes massively towards the conclusion. It's in that conclusion that Code Vein shines at its best. For the players willing to invest the time to get there, and good enough to learn how to master the considerably complex system, there is a superb experience waiting. It's just a shame it takes so long to get there.
  36. Oct 9, 2019
    70
    Code Vein is a new soulsborne like game that gives a different take on the genre. While it has some great elements to be enjoyed, it also falters in some areas.
  37. Oct 8, 2019
    70
    Code Vein has a good approach, changing the classic level system with a new one that allows multiple configurations and presets. However, the challenge is too easy and ends up not taking good advantage of this system. This added to a very loose story that constantly interrupts the action and a level design that is too simple for the genre, takes a lot of interest away from the game.
  38. Oct 4, 2019
    70
    Code Vein tried to differentiate itself with its anime aesthetic, and at least it partially succeeded in its world building and characters. On the other hand one can’t help but notice that the level design is quite repetitive and disorienting, and the combat system, although with great variety, stumbles in some unfair fights and most importantly in the utter lack of enemy variation.
  39. Sep 30, 2019
    70
    Code Vein is a good Dark Souls Like, in a sexy and post apocalyptic manga universe. The RPG mechanics and the level design are pretty decent, but the fights are boring.
  40. Sep 30, 2019
    70
    Code Vein tries so hard to be more than a Dark Souls clone, and it succeeds when it comes to the story and character design. But gameplay wise, it fails to execute the successful Dark Souls formula and eventually lands somewhere between Soulslike games and Japanese Action RPGs, unable to fully satisfy fans of either genre.
  41. Sep 27, 2019
    70
    Flawed, but not a failure, Code Vein offers the same hardcore Soulslike action with less of a barrier of entry, making for a decent gateway into a growing genre.
  42. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    Despite building itself on well-tread ground, Code Vein definitely moves to the beat of its own drummer, but that beat can lose its rhythm when you need it to be steady. 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. If you’re 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, Code Vein is worth sinking your teeth into.
  43. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    The average story is well represented through a plethora of cutscenes and even has alternate scenario outcomes based on your exploration efforts, even though it brings with it numerous anime tropes and long drawn out scenes. There’s a broad number of locations to visit with their own creative designs, but their size and complexity are inconsistent. There’s so much holding Code Vein back, yet I felt entranced and excited to continue playing all the way through. While it will continue to live in the shadow of Souls games, it doesn’t mean that it’s some cheap knockoff, as the number of distinctions allows for it to differentiate itself from the herd.
  44. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    Code Vein is addictive, yet frustrating. It's promising, yet unpolished. There are a lot of interesting ideas here that come together to craft a unique and engaging experience. I just wish that the flaws here weren't so glaring, because they keep Code Vein from being a great game instead of just a good one.
  45. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    Code Vein features anime vampires and fast combat, but it's too reliant on the exact Soulslike formula to stand out on its own.
  46. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    Code Vein is a stylish JRPG with an interesting combat system that just falls short in a few areas. Its inspirations are clearly worn on its sleeve, but it brings enough to the table to stand out on its own. This title has promise, and we think the developer could iron it out into a worthy franchise if it’s given the chance to make future instalments.
  47. Oct 8, 2019
    68
    Code Vein is the kind of game that makes you think it could have benefited a lot from another delay. Animations, sound effects and more are heavily inspired by Souls-like games and definitely feel cheap. The game is not well balanced either, and the level design is especially lacking. Still, it brings interesting ideas to the table, such as a buddy system and the freedom to switch between a wide variety of builds. While there’s certainly a lot of bugs and other issues, if you keep playing, it does actually become fun.
  48. Sep 26, 2019
    65
    Code Vein is disappointing take on the Souls genre, with many design flaws but an enjoyable core. There are many contenders in the Souls battle, and this isn’t one of the strongest.
  49. Sep 26, 2019
    65
    It promised more than it has finally become. Neither history nor difficulty are up to expectations and, in addition, it comes with technical problems that ruin the experience. It's sad, because we expected more from Bandai Namco's game.
  50. 65
    The Souls games are some of my fondest gaming experiences ever, and while I never expected Code Vein to surpass them, it’s hard not to be disappointed by its middling results. It’s far from a bad game, it has systems and ideas that push the genre forward in exciting and innovative ways, but fumbles on the execution on some of the others that are core to the experience. If you have an interest in Code Vein’s world or characters, or can’t get enough Souls, you might find that the positives outweigh the negatives, but I can’t recommend it to someone looking for the next transformative Souls-like experience.
  51. Sep 26, 2019
    65
    Code Vein has some cool things to enjoy along the way and some nice ideas that shake up the core formula, but they are all incidental details. The heart of Code Vein remains overburdened by stale scenery, boring bosses, and tiresome trudging, and all of that is beyond what some nice touches can redeem.
  52. Sep 26, 2019
    65
    Code Vein looks spectacular, but plays badly. Again it is clear that a soul borne needs a layered level design and a precisely thought out fighting system. Code Vein is okay in these areas, but it does not really leave the best impression.
  53. 65
    Code Vein does a few things well, like the amount you can customize as well as how enjoyable it is to explore the world proper. However, combat lacks the kind of refinement needed for such a complicated battlefield, and companions prove either useless or render you useless. Code Vein features many heavy inconsistencies that hide away a few good ideas.
  54. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Oct 22, 2019
    60
    This souls-lite with an artful anime sheen impresses visually and presents an accessible take on the winning formula but fails to endear us with its bland environments and toothless story. [Issue#168, p.84]
  55. Oct 7, 2019
    60
    If you were waiting for a Dark Souls inspired game to set your heart aflutter with vampiric themes and pulse-pounding combat…then you might want to wait a bit longer, as Code Vein definitely isn’t that game.
  56. 60
    Although it attempts to try some new things to set it apart from other Soulslike games, Code Vein ultimately feels like just another wannabe in an increasingly crowded genre. But anime fans who love attractive, moody vampires will adore it.
  57. Sep 27, 2019
    60
    Flawed though it may be, sometimes a distinctly B-tier game is exactly what the doctor ordered – especially at this time of year, in a sea of mega-hyped triple-A. You have to know what you’re getting into, accepting the poor narrative and slightly botched execution of some of its cleverer ideas, but Code Vein still has a recent amount to like. Come for the combat and the intriguing blood code system – and stay for it. The rest? Well, hopefully it’ll be better next time.
  58. Sep 26, 2019
    60
    Code Vein adopts the Souls-like formula in its structure, presenting a familiar cycle of progression and basic combat similarities, and there are some interesting ideas here, too, built around the use of various Blood Codes and their distinct Gifts. You can see the fragments of a fantastic game hidden within these systems and its meaty combat feedback, but the mundanity of its enemies and the effect they have on nullifying the combat's enjoyment prevent Code Vein from ever realizing its potential.
  59. Sep 26, 2019
    55
    It’s a shame that Code Vein doesn’t achieve what it’s trying to do with its very cool class system. With its skimpy environments and dated visuals, Code Vein as a nice gameplay but it never really shines.
  60. Oct 1, 2019
    50
    I can’t speak for anime fans, but die-hard FromSoftware devotees, as well as those who thirst for a really good vampire game – currently a malnourished bunch – are both parishes to which I belong. And I suspect both will wish for more bite.
  61. Sep 27, 2019
    50
    Code Vein has some good ideas and starts out with a lot of promise, as it tries a different take on the Souls formula, but it ended up taking the wrong lessons from that series. Gamers who want a co-op Dark Souls experience might find things to enjoy in Code Vein, as well as those seeking a truly masochistic gaming experience, but Code Vein has too many frustrating aspects to recommend to anyone else in its current form.
  62. Sep 27, 2019
    50
    A muddled and underwhelming Dark Souls clone that has a few unique ideas but fails to back them up with compelling combat or exploration.
  63. Sep 26, 2019
    50
    As it is, it’s hard for Code Vein to stand out in a group of games that have attempted to be more than just a Soulslike. With good ideas in terms of gameplay that are poorly executed and interesting themes that go completely unexplored, Code Vein ends up being unfortunately just another average Dark Souls clone with a slightly different flavor that it doesn’t even try to offer in spades.
  64. Oct 18, 2019
    40
    Code Vein fails to feel as intense, exciting and genuine as its best competitors, but delivers a combat system which comes across as fresh despite lacking the weight of its betters.
  65. Sep 26, 2019
    40
    A ruined, post-apocalyptic anime future could have made for a fantastic game, but it falters at every genre it attempts to ape. Code Vein is clearly attempting to spin a lot of plates. But unless you’re into playing a great character creator with a bad Dark Souls clone attached to it, we’d say steer clear.
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  1. Sep 30, 2019
    With its focus on player flexibility and experimentation, backed up by tons of special abilities and character classes, Code Vein offers something engaging, even if its combat can be a little on the irritating side.
  2. Sep 26, 2019
    In 2019, I don’t need any more revisionist celebrations of high difficulty and tight dodge timings. I don’t need games without room for silliness or self-expression. What I’ve needed more of, and what Code Vein is happy to give me, is more of that good jank, and permission to have my own fun with it.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 332 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 332
  1. Sep 27, 2019
    10
    I am having a blast with the game great character customization options liked the story and I’m really having fun building different classes
  2. Sep 27, 2019
    10
    Go ahead and ignore the critic scores. You know how it is, these people play 1 hour of a game and they can hardly get past a tutorial.

    My
    Go ahead and ignore the critic scores. You know how it is, these people play 1 hour of a game and they can hardly get past a tutorial.

    My favorite game of the year yet! AMAZING!!!
    Combat is near flawless in my opinion.
    The graphics are just good enough that they don't cause any slow down (least for me) and I play on line with regular ps4.

    Switch between so many classes on the fly, so much depth to the levels, upgrades, weapons and NPCs.
    Character creation alone is worth the price of entry! So fun!
    On-line is similar to monster hunter with distress calls-easy and fun to get a game.
    Good story, characters, settings-such a cool aesthetic.
    I'm tired from playing since I got it on pre-order, but had to get my vote in to make up for these corrupt ignorant critics.

    I am not the best at souls games and I can play this, at the same time you can get a challenge too.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 27, 2019
    10
    There are users complaining about the sexism of the game. That is not what you are asking to be evaluated. Do not mix.

    Code Vein has the
    There are users complaining about the sexism of the game. That is not what you are asking to be evaluated. Do not mix.

    Code Vein has the best character creation, and has good and fun gameplay, deserves to be respected.
    Full Review »