Bandai Namco’s upcoming anime-themed, Souls-like Code Vein looks like it’s going to be an incredibly intense experience if this newly released Opening Cinematic is any indication. In the almost 4-minute long footage we got a better taste of the mood and atmosphere of the game as well as a few more hints at the lore and story of the post-apocalyptic world that its set in.
The cinematic opens on a shot of the a post-apocalyptic city ravaged by strange spires with eerie lights that jut from the ground and out of dilapidated buildings. We then see a party of three people making their way through the city. These are most assuredly members of Vein, a hidden society of Revenants that remain in the post-apocalypse to fight against the horrors that plague it. As the party’s leader keys into a sound in the distance we catch a glimpse of her high-tech gas mask, a metallic black covering on her face with conspicous red canisters. This is no doubt an essential component in traversing throughout the dangerous wasteland they’re currently in.
Off in the distance a young boy with a similar gas mask, runs across the streets being chased by feral humanoid creatures. These are most certainly the Lost, fiendish ghouls devoid of humanity who wander aimlessly in search of blood. As the boy looks back at his pursuers, we get a better look at his mask. It is indeed similar in make to the group earlier albeit with black canisters instead of red.
Before the Lost is fully upon the boy a gunshot rings out, stopping the creature in its tracks. Then another. and another. and another. The party leader emerges from behind the boy and empties her clip into the ghoul as it disintegrates to fiery ashes. From there the rest of the party appear and take down the group of ghouls all while the eerie melody of the wind hums in the distance.
After the melee, the group starts to move on without so much as a word to each other and to the boy. But then, the party leader stops in her tracks as something about the boy catches her attention. His black canister mask. She turns around and gives the boy a glowing red egg-shaped container before leaving. The boy’s mask was empty.
From there, the song ‘UNDERWORLD’ from “VAMPS” begins to play followed by a montage of scenes and action sequences that you find in a typical anime opening. There’s a shifty looking mystery man stabbing someone and shots of the three Revenants from earlier gearing up for battle. There’s also some bleak war-time imagery thrown in via a resting soldier looking at an old timey photograph and a commander rallying his forces. There’s even a few shots of our heroes brandishing new powers that take the form of dragon heads and scorpion tails that burst forth from their bodies, acting as additional limbs in combat.
Watch the Opening Cinematic here:
Overall, it’s a gorgeously-animated cinematic that shows a bit of the lore of the world as well as their beautifully sleek and stylish anime art-style. However, what is truly remarkable about the cinematic is its tone and feel, especially in its first few minutes. This first arc feels eerie and barren with only the sound of the wind whistling ominously through the hollow cityscape serving as background music for its events. Even as the action ratchets up, the music is relegated to the sounds of weapons powering up and clashing with the low drone of the wind howling in the background.
The action itself is very stop-start and methodical. Characters linger silently on-screen even as their foes are vanquished, as if in anticipation in case other foes to spring out from the shadows in ambush. There’s something about how every bit of combat in this opening part feels like a fight for survival against a relatively unknown threat. Everything from how the lead character empties her musket’s clip at the pursuing foe, to how the party takes down the Lost by with surprise attacks from different angles tell us that the Vein Revenants still know very little about their for The Lost and they are not to be taken lightly.
Of course, going forward through the trailer, the prospect of developing new powers will probably end up evening up the scales a little bit in the final game. At the very least, the scorpion tails and dragon head will make for badass accessories if Fashion-Vein will be a thing.
CODE VEIN is slated for release on 27th September 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam for Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia).