Lords of the Fallen is an action RPG set in a Viking style world that was developed by Deck13 Interactive and CI Games and follows the story of Harkyn. The opening cinematic shows him fighting a massive demon and trying to summon a god to fight with his giant hammer. Right I thought, this is the business, let me fight that bastard and smite the holy shite out of him. But no, apparently that would be too much fun right of the bat, so we jump forward in time to where Harkyn has just been sprung from prison by an old mage.
So we start of in a monastery fighting demons called “Rhogar” and the first thing that came to mind was this game is very like Dark Souls, so with that in mind I approached it as such. I took my time, was careful, and if I’m being honest became cocky. That was until the first boss smacked me into the dirt to teach me a lesson in complacency. In my defence, Harkyn dodges like a three-year old showing off the tumble he just learned at pre-school and I, like a disinterested stepfather, am unimpressed.
The combat is pretty standard, light attacks, heavy attacks and shield-stun combos, it all gels pretty well together, however if you use your shield you sacrifice attack speed. So the player is left to decide if defence is the safer option. Once I worked out the attack patterns and timing I made mincemeat out of the First Warden and was well on my way to mastering this game.
So as we make our way through the monastery, we meet a number of NPCs, most of who just sneer at you because of your face tattoo and I was left wondering why in the name Odin’s arsehole am I helping these jerks? But hey we’re here to kill stuff and once you establish a good flow of combat the game can be quite fun, block-stab-dodge whey-hey, but any fun I was having with the game was short-lived as the game is riddled with gameplay issues.
One of the major bugbears I had with Lords of the Fallen is the camera, the further I got into the game the more of a bastard it became, it honestly felt like it was in cahoots with the enemies. The second I needed to doge or block in a narrow corridor, the camera would swing away from what I was aiming at and I would be left swing ineffectually at the monster that had since fucked off.
Another embuggerance is the spells, at least the first tier. I chose Cleric class and my first spell was prayer, perhaps I used it wrong but while it did distract my opponent, it also obscured my view allowing the enemy to get close enough to attack me. An additional spell is meant to daze and slow enemies, but if you hit them while they’re near it, you knock them out of effective range of the spell, making it worthless.
The game also has a nasty habit of starting boss fights with you right in front of them with bosses already launching an attack, taking a substantial chunk of your health off before you even start (which is a major dick move).
There were a few glitches and bugs as well like after I beat the second boss the dialog sound dropped out completely and a strange lag that interrupted gameplay and utterly destroyed emersion.
All in all Lords of the fallen is average at best and a pain in the arse at worst. The setting and story are solid and it is satisfying to finally beat an enemy that has been given you trouble, but the good points are outweighed by the bad. Shitty camera and bastard spell mechanics that don’t do what they’re supposed to, will turn players off. If you like Dark Souls this game is worth a go, but don’t expect the same replay ability.