Lords of the Fallen comes from developers CI Games who aren’t a particularly big well known company and neither are Deck 13 for that matter, between them their most well known titles have been Alien Rage and the Sniper Ghost Warrior games (CI Games) and Jack Keane 1 & 2 (Deck 13). Earlier this year Enemy Front was released by CI and they just didn’t quite hit the mark with it getting average reviews and feedback from players, Jack Keane 1 & 2 seems to be loved by some and hated by others, it is an adventure game though so that could be the reasoning behind this.
CI also have a bit of bad luck with their games in them being buggy upon release, Sniper Ghost Warrior for example was slated for the bugs and closed off areas, this is never good on a game about sniping, you want to be able to examine what is going on from different points on the map. CI actually listened to players and they actually fixed Sniper Ghost Warrior, no more bugs and removing invisible walls etc. I purchased it around a year after its release and must admit enjoyed it from start to finish and it works absolutely perfect. This shows that they care about their user’s experience.
Today sees the release of Lords of the Fallen, a game I can see has been heavily inspired by the Souls series of games by From Software and it also looks like they have taken inspiration from the Darksiders games and Kingdoms of Amalur. The lead on this project has been none other than Tomasz Gop who was the former senior producer of The Witcher 2.
Lords of the Fallen tells the story through narration of an evil god who was banished from the human realm many thousands of years ago, this evil god has amassed an army known as the Rhogan and they are now attacking the human realm, and this is where you the player comes in. Harkyn, a notorious prisoner has been released and tasked with stopping the evil that is happening around the world. Kaslo his mentor in all of this gives vital information on what is to be done next through cut scenes and chat options, he is usually around an area that needs to be investigated and to move the story forward. You will notice on the load screen and during cut scenes that Harkyn has tattoos all over his face, each marking / rune represents a crime he has committed, you get the impression immediately that he is just a nasty piece of work; going on this quest could possibly lead him to a path of redemption. You will also get a good idea of his personality through the narration driven cut scenes and when you talk to one of the few NPC’s dotted around the various locations.
The gameplay revolves around 3 locations, each of these locations are huge and there is plenty to explore and see. Initially you will be taken through a linear type route which takes you to the first boss and through various battlements and smaller towers in the Monastery Citadel, you will also start collecting a few extra weapons, shields and picking up the ranged Gauntlet. There is also a large maze like set of Catacombs under the monastery to explore a bit later in the game and there is a large demonic realm that is behind the Rhogan’s and Lords crossing over to the human realm.
Like most Action RPGs, you will be revisiting different parts of the map as the story unfolds. Initially when you start playing you will encounter numerous locked doors that require a key and portcullis style doors that require opening with a lever from the other side. At times within the first few hours of the game it does feel like you are a little limited as to where you can go and you are being pushed forward. Eventually though you will come across the various keys and levers needed to unlock the doors which in turn will lead to an area you have yet to explore even if it is off the beaten track a bit, I must admit I have enjoyed going back through the earlier section of the monastery to see just what I can find! These unlocked doors also create shortcuts if you don’t want to fight the lower level enemies again and giving quicker access to sections of the map that you may need to revisit later in the game.
The game itself works in a similar way to From Software’s Souls series of games; the layout on the controller is very similar. The only real difference is the item selection; in your inventory you set your consumables as favourites and the same can be done with your weapons. To change from something like a health potion to magic resistance you can cycle through them by tapping the X button and to use holding same button, magic is the same, select the spell by tapping B and holding to use. If you add weapons to your favourites you cycle through the different items by tapping right on the dpad, tapping left on the dpad selects your gauntlet function which is either a projectile similar to a magic missile, a shotgun style blast or it throws out a mana ball that explodes a few seconds after it hits the ground for some decent area of effect damage. My only gripe with the way the weapon selection works is that you cannot create a weapon set, if using a 2 handed weapon like a Polesword then you won’t have a shield equipped as you cannot use the weapon single handed. So if you set a 2 handed weapon and a single handed weapon like a short sword or axe as a favourite then you need to have a shield equipped which ups the overall equipment burden. I would have liked to see a way of creating a secondary weapon set so if you change on the fly it will swap to something like sword and board instead of having to tap Y to select and start using the shield.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game.
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!