Lords of the Fallen: Review

If you’re one of those players who turned away from Dark Souls in disgust because you wanted to have more fun than the brutal punishment in those games delivered then you might well want to turn your attention to Lords of the Fallen. The game admittedly borrows heavily from the Dark Souls games, but it makes the overall experience much less frustrating and more approachable. For some, that just won’t do… but for those who don’t gain gratification out of endlessly reworking the same sections over and over again, it will be a bit of a blessing.

Not that you won't grind in Lords of the Fallen, you will, as you try and build up skill and power levels to where they should be to take on the next boss. And you will repeat areas more than once. But you’ll do less of it, and the rewards will be far greater.

In the game you play the part of a prisoner, released to help save the world from invading demons. That’s pretty much as deep as the plot goes, and the personalities of the characters aren't much deeper. Initially you will be able to choose between fighter, cleric or rogue classes, each with four powerful associated skills. A second play through will allow you to add another class, and so on .

The whole character progression things is driven by a risk-reward system. Checkpoints are dotted around the maps, at which you will be able to replenish life and potions, as well as “bank” any experience gained to that point. However, if you don’t stash the experience, you gain higher experience point modifiers. And if you die while holding a whole bunch of experience, a “ghost” will appear. Find the ghost, and you get the lost experience back… but it’s on a timer, so if you take too long in getting to it, you lose it.

The main issue with the game is that, in later stages, the character becomes a true tank. That means that while it might take a few tries with earlier bosses, later on you can pretty much made through them like a super soldier.  It diminishes the challenge of the title somewhat, but there is still lots of fun to be had. The difficulty level ramps up with a New Game + play through, but later levels once again become a little easier as you add significantly to your character’s powers.

Lords of the Fallen is beautifully presented, with great graphics across the board. Best of all are the varied, often disturbing enemies, as well as the clunky equipment that the player finds along the way. And there is a lot of equipment, much of which can be modified with runes. This includes a magical gauntlet that takes care of the game’s ranged combat requirement.

While the earlier stages of the game can lead to some frustration, Lords of the Fallen is a surprisingly fun title to get to grips with. It is nowhere near as challenging as Dark Souls, as said before, and the player is allowed to develop the sense that they actually are a hero as their character’s abilities grow. The risk-reward system is fun too, but it does seem a little redundant once the character becomes powerful enough that banking experience no longer seems necessary. That snowballs into larger rewards, and more power for the character.

Still, it’s an enjoyable title that is good looking and plays beautifully, complete with a measured approach to combat that requires more thought than button mashing.


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