Lords of the fallen is the alternative to Dark Souls that we can all enjoy
Dark Souls has left quite a mark on the games industry. It’s one of those games that wasn’t hugely successful from a monetary standpoint, but as a benchmark by which all combat-centric RPGs are measured, it stands alone. Lords of the fallen is a game in the same vein, a game that embraces the core mechanics of Dark Souls, but it also manages to craft a unique experience of its own and to simply dismiss it as a Dark Souls clone is selling it short.
So what is Lords of the Fallen? It’s an action RPG set in an icy world that’s not unlike Darksiders in art style. You play as Harkyn, a bald badass who’s also a criminal (an honourable one, mind you) and is let out of prison to help fend off the Lords, a race of defeated Gods who’ve returned to the human realm for reasons unfathomable. At your disposal are your colossal strength, a handful of spells and a head that’s harder than a rock (more on that in a bit).
As mentioned earlier, drawing comparisons with Darksiders is bound to happen. The armour, weapons and environment have the same chunky look with pointlessly pointy bits scattered around for good measure. Darksiders’s War is, of course, a God of sorts and while you don’t get that God-like strength, you do get very similar looking armour.
If you’re familiar with Dark Souls, the mechanics of LotF will be simple to pick up, though there are a couple of new mechanics that do add more depth to the gameplay. Ditto the XP and leveling up systems.
Combat is beefy and heavy, even a bit clunky if you will. Finesse is required as stamina management and timing are key to winning any battle, but as die-hard fans of Dark Souls, we did miss the more agile gameplay. That’s not to say that LotF’s combat is bad, on the contrary, it’s a lot of fun and infinitely more approachable than Dark Souls’s “here’s a blade, now kill that 50ft monster” approach. When you see a group of enemies in LotF, you don’t hang back and come up with a plan, you just bow your head and charge into the mix (this is where that rock-hard head comes in), knock the baddies off their feet and finish off the remainder with a single-sweep of your two-handed greataxe, confident that the attacks that do get through will do no more than mildly scratch your ridiculous armour.
The bosses that you occasionally encounter (Lords, in this case) can be interesting, but most of them are a bit generic in their fighting styles and it’s not that difficult to figure out their attack patterns. Each boss also has one glaring weakness which, if you can take advantage of it, makes for a much easier fight. The bosses do get more interesting towards the end of the game, however, and you will occasionally encounter one that will throw a curveball at you, but overall, it’s not hard to get through most of them in one attempt though.
There’s a lot of hard work that’s gone into Lords of the Fallen and it shows. The environments are intricately detailed and the combat is fleshed out nicely. This is a game for someone who enjoyed Darksiders and found Dark Souls to be too challenging, it’s the perfect training ground for a journey through the darkness and despair of Lordran. LotF is an entertaining ride that’s just shy of challenging, but good fun nonetheless.
It’s a gorgeous game and an almost perfect meld of Darksiders and Dark Souls. If that’s a combination that appeals to you then this is among the best games you’ll play this year.
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Mad "r4gs" Zombie
Deposited on this planet sometime in the late 1980s, this being was quick to discover the joys of binge-gaming and has long since mastered the art of the 16-hour game session, and evolved to survive on a minimum of food.