Lords of the Fallen Review

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Fans of the Dark Souls series will likely enjoy this hack-and-slash adventure.

Release Date: 30/10/2014

Lords of the Fallen Limited Edition for PlayStation 4 at GAME.co.uk

The Fallen have Dark Souls

The first thing most people will notice about the Square Enix published Lords of the Fallen is that the game design closely resembles the Dark Souls series. Several mechanics feel ripped from the popular franchise, such as combat, three different speeds of rolling/movement based on your equipment load and the ability to swing your weapon with two hands instead of one for more damage, just to name a few similarities. The one way these two games differ is in the difficulty. While Dark Souls is regarded as one of the toughest games of the last console generation, Lords of the Fallen is considerably easier.

A skilled Dark Souls player will likely get through the entire game with only a handful of deaths (if he or she dies at all). While that doesn't mean the game lacks challenge, people who enjoyed Dark Souls but wish it was a bit more forgiving should feel right at home with Lords of the Fallen. It feels almost as though the developers played Dark Souls, died a lot and then decided to make their game less intense.

Exploration and backtracking

Lords of the Fallen feels enormous, though the areas are considerably smaller than locations in Dark Souls. What makes them feel large is the fact that they're all virtual mazes. There are numerous shortcuts to make your journey a bit easier. Unfortunately, many of the environments look similar, which means you may get lost from time to time.

If you're in a castle, almost every room in the castle will feel similar. In addition, the castle might feature two towers that happen to be nearly identical. You may have to venture into both towers to unlock a puzzle so you can progress further into the game. While doing so, you'll most likely find a shortcut connecting the two towers, which will make it even harder to figure out which tower you're in and where you need to go. With that in mind, the Catacombs area is especially troublesome.

Unlike Dark Souls, there's no way to quickly travel from one area to the next, despite the numerous shortcuts. There are points in the game in which you need to travel back to a previous area you've already visited. Instead of being able to quickly teleport to the previous area, you must run back. It doesn't take a ton of time, but it's an inconvenience that could've easily been avoided. On that note, the game features large checkpoint Shards that allow you to frequently save your progress, upgrade your character and replenish your health potions. It wouldn't have been difficult to allow for teleporting between checkpoint Shards.

Customization and combat

Like the Dark Souls games, there are numerous sets of armor you can find and equip. Your starting class determines which armor and weapon you begin the game with, but you can quickly change that when you find new gear; you cannot change spell selection. However, playing through the game multiple times with the same character (New Game+ and New Game++) allows you to access the other two spell sets and find previously unobtainable weapons.

Each weapon type allows for a unique combat experience. Daggers (capable of being dual wielded) allow for rapid attacks but have minimal defensive options. With a sword and shield, you have the ability to parry or block attacks based on the shield equipped. You can even block with some two-handed weapons, although attacking with them is considerably slower than with other weapons. More than likely, you'll find a weapon type that you like and only switch between those weapons as you progress through the game.

To be or not to be

The story in Lords of the Fallen doesn't come up very often. There are a few NPCs to talk to that will offer side quests, but these rarely impact the main story. You don't receive many opportunities to advance the plot aside from the post mortem of a boss battle. There are very few instances in which you'll see the story unfold before your eyes until you reach the end of the game. Even then, the story feels light.

While there are a good number of side quests, they seem out of order. You'll collect quest items before you've reached the NPC who needs them. Then after you finally meet the quest NPC, you'll need to do some backtracking as you continue to find more quest items for the person. The rewards are nice, but sometimes do not align with the class of weapon type you're using, meaning you just did a decent amount of work for minimal payoff.

When it comes down to it, if you like Dark Souls games but feel they're a bit too challenging, Lords of the Fallen should be right up your alley. If you can go into the experience with an open mind the game is fairly enjoyable, despite a few hiccups. It also offers enough play time to enjoy the experience without becoming a burden that takes forever to complete. However, if you enjoy the Dark Souls games because of their challenge, you may be disappointed.

GAME's Verdict: 7/10

The Good

  • Large variety of weapons and armor
  • An assortment of side quests provide additional exploration opportunities
  • Several different combat play styles for all types of players

The Bad

  • Many areas offer nearly identical rooms, which makes it easy to get lost
  • Backtracking with no way to quickly travel around the world
  • Limited story elements
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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.



Customer Rating:

No rating yet



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