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Code Vein plays it too safe with its characters and motifs

Content of the article: "Code Vein plays it too safe with its characters and motifs"

Disclaimer: I just got to The sewers underneath the cathedral and this game has been underwhelming in its story and characters. Especially the characters. And I feel like they were trying to do something interesting with them, by incorporating the recovery of their memories into their character development. But they are constantly failing to do interesting things with the scenarios they set up. For example, Riki started off by hating Yakumo, but it turned out that this hate was just the only way he felt he could relate to the "I wish I was just like you" sort of respect he actually held for Yakumo. At no time did Riki ever interrogate why he couldn't simply admit his admiration, it was just accepted that his outward dislike was a natural way to do so. And Yakumo, for his part, just acted surprised that Riki felt this way. It didn't feel like he changed as a result of this revelation. And that's it, that was the end of that little story.

Another example, the player character enters their own memories, which they have forgotten this entire time. After going through a level and boss, we learn that it was our character who first defeated the Queen, only to be taken out by our partner, Jack. This should have been a blockbuster moment, a moment that drew a gasp from me. It Especially should have been a moment of revelation about Jack, who we met in the present as "The Hunter." But our one interaction with The Hunter prior to this just set him up as a mysterious dude who puts cages into women. So there was no character expectations to be subverted by the events in the Player Character's memories. Knowing that Jack killed the Player Character doesn't change anything about Jack because when this happened, I had no prior conceptions about the character.

And these sorts of characters are fine, but I thought that, for a game focused on the theme of memories, there would be more of a focus on how memories, their lack, and their reclamation all shape a person. It just doesn't feel like they're taking advantage of the motifs they set up.

Read:  I just played Steins;Gate and It felt like a colossal waste of my time. Here's my review :

I'm not stopping because I'm still interested in what I have here in this game, but I'm still surprised at how little I feel this game has tried to innovate or experiment.


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