With great innovation comes great copycats; that’s just the way of the world. Still, that’s not always a bad thing. So long as the succeeding works adds to a previous formula, all’s well that ends well. This is somewhat the case with Lords of the Fallen. Taking a heavy page from the Dark Souls series, the imminent death and tense fantasy atmosphere is rampant here. Fortunately, following in the footsteps of the Dark Souls games does Lords of the Fallen some great favors. While it successfully incorporates some excellent ideas for combat, overall it’s not as satisfying.
One important aspect that all of these games focus on is control of your character. Lords of the Fallen is of the mind that you need to be in complete control of every action you take in order to survive the challenging enemies before you. The weirdest thing about it is that this game is both easy and difficult. Enemies may look very intimidating, but you can take a good number of swings from them before being killed, which is a relief for those looking for a lighter experience. Still, the general controls and combat don’t feel quite as robust as I would liked them to have been; it could use some more polish to make it feel more visceral. In spite of that, it’s still a pretty fun time.
The use of a stamina bar to gauge how many moves and attacks you can do adds tension to battles that can make or break you. Also, you can lure certain enemies into traps, which is especially satisfying. Specifically, there were some boards covering a large pit in the floor. While I was not heavy enough to fall through, there was one enemy that was, and he fell for it just as I hoped he would. It’s a nice feature, and I’m eager to see what other traps will be set up throughout the game that you’ll be able to use to your advantage.
In terms of presentation, Lords of the Fallen delivers with some very nice visuals, however armor doesn’t come in a lot of variety, coming across as more testosterone-pumped hunks of metal plates. It looks cool, but in the time I had with the game, all of the armor looked pretty similar. Still, the various weapons do lend towards different playing styles and offer a nice amount of variety for players looking for unique experiences.
I’m trying not to compare it so much to Dark Souls and instead view at it as its own separate game, but the similarities are all there and rampant. In that case, the experience is just not quite as satisfying at the moment, but it still offers more than your average clone. Fans of the Souls series who may want to take a break from the incessant and punishing difficulty may want to give Lords of the Fallen a try when it releases sometime later this year for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.