Lords of the Fallen, a reboot-sequel to the 2013 game of the same name, is the newest addition to the soulslike genre. The game brings the newfound concept of dual realities, and initial reactions have found it to be “well-thought”. The greatest strength of Lords of the Fallen, combat has also been up to par for the most part.
A lot of complexities are involved in a soulslike game, and it is expected that the playing experience of such a game comes down to the player’s subjectivity. Some people prefer a robust storyline or compelling combats, while some like the concept of “get good”.
So how are the Lords of the Fallen reviews looking so far? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular reviews for the game.
What The Industry Is Saying About Lords Of The Fallen
“Two versions of the world to solve puzzles and slay enemies is an excellent twist”: IGN
IGN mentions that among the plethora of soulslike games over the years, the all-new Lords of the Fallen is well worth the time for any action RPG fan. The new concept of dividing the worlds has hit the bullseye, and even though the game is riddled with some performance issues for now, the satisfying combat style borrowed from some FromSoftware classics such as Dark Souls makes up for it.
The new developers Hexworks have only taken the basic elements from the original 2013 game, making the new Lords of the Fallen much more of a reboot than a sequel. Many recognizable things from the previous game, such as the outstretched hand of a fallen god that is visible in the distance, are not present. Even though the NPCs are not spewing nonsensical terms, the storytelling and world are much more fleshed out.
Lords of the Fallen’s Dual Reality, Explained
One of the differentiating factors is the novel idea of dual realities. There is the Axiom, the physical world, but beneath is the Umbral, a bane shadow of the Axiom filled with creepy and dark abominations. To progress, you need to navigate around both worlds and sometimes switch in between to complete tasks.
What makes this mechanic even greater is the fact that you don’t always have to enter Umbral to interact with it. With your lamp, a small portion of the Umbral is visible, allowing you to peak and maybe walk over an already-formed bridge, or pass through a gate. You might also be pulled into the Umbral by an enemy while you are lighting up the environment.
All of these dual-realm shenanigans are great, but the developers may have gone overboard with those ambitions since the game’s performance may take a toll even on a fully jacked system. You might find yourself rebooting your PC constantly to get rid of frame drops while dealing with some eye strain caused by the stuttering. These issues could be fixed with a patch, but for now, remain a problem.
“Design and pace frustrations that plague the entire experience”: Polygon
Polygon appreciates the concept of having the Umbral, an alternate dark reality. Among all the compelling ways to enjoy the dual realm lies the frustration of its artificial attempts to trap you into overstaying your welcome. You find yourself curious to explore the world but are met with needless restraint at every turn.
Bosses are a constant presence, and once you have learned their patterns, they don’t offer a big challenge, making back-to-back fights exhausting. Sometimes you defeat a boss, and voila, it’s now a regular mob that you will take down frequently. Breaking the monotony were some surprise attacks from the Umbral, but even those were senselessly repeated.
The world of the Lords of the Fallen is made in such a way that you will enjoy visiting it even after spending quite some time. However, you will feel disheartened when you have just used up a rare resource to create your own checkpoint, but later find an actual one just beside two houses. Magic classes, which are ‘advanced’ in the character creator, are integral, but the powerful spells are simply unaffordable for knights and archers.
Polygon’s verdict is that the game has ignored the roots of its genre, which is to create a perfect pacing and sense of challenge. But rather the game tries with artificial attempts to keep you in the realms of Axiom and Umbral longer.
“For those who want something to tide them over until that Elden Ring DLC finally comes out”: GamesRadar
GamesRadar starts off with shedding some light on the fundamental plot of the game. Lords of the Fallen begins with a generic plot: A tyrant god named Adyr was defeated years ago. But now, it’s only a moment of time before Adyr breaks through from whatever is keeping him outside. Now it’s up to you to do the needful to keep him away (bear in mind that you’re not qualified to do so).
Unimpressive Narrative & Gimmicky Mechanics
But the issue arises when the second part of the plot never comes through; it’s simply a narrative based on magical and mystical things we don’t even see. The reviewer says that they were not able to build a personal connection to care about the actual outcome anyway, partly because the NPCs themselves did not really have a huge problem with Adyr coming back.
So, we are just back to combat and fighting, and of course, there are no major issues with it. The game provides a nice range of attack patterns, a smack-to-regain health system, switching between the weapon grip in the middle of your combo, and all that stuff. Great.
Being a soulslike game, it comes with its tendencies, specifically the gimmicky naming practices. The in-game guide says, “Use your Umbral Lantern to Soulflay a foe and inflict Wither”. Now, do you really get what it means? Well, it’s a mechanic enabling you to pull an enemy’s soul out of their body and bash it for little to no gain at all. It’s almost similar to hitting them normally, and would not work on stronger enemies and bosses. This mechanic turned out more as a gimmick, than a specific solution to a problem.
All the reviewers, including GamesRadar, also faced the same performance issues even on robust systems. Visual errors, glitches, and the game putting you into lower graphical settings are all part of a frustrating experience.
Have you played the game? Tell us your experience in the comments below.