Lords of the Fallen Preview
If you’re into dark, fantastical action extravaganzas that offer a formidable challenge, you’re probably lying in wait for Bloodborne. But there’s a similar title that will be ready to go much earlier, and it has a ton of promise. It’s Deck 13’s Lords of the Fallen and if you wish to be successful, you’ll have to be a vigilant observer and a skilled executor of carefully timed maneuvers. This isn’t for the faint of heart; rather, it’s for the serious gamer who takes great pride in his ability to explore and conquer. If this sounds like you, keep reading.
The developers have compared the style of combat to a fighting game, and they don’t like comparisons to “button-mashing” titles that may appear similar on the surface. In other words, running around like a madman slamming on buttons won’t get you very far in Lords of the Fallen. It’s all about timing, spacing and dexterity and those who make the appropriate decisions will be richly rewarded. All this being said, the designers don’t want to scare you too badly. They have no interest in producing an impossibly difficult game, just a challenging one. Here’s hoping they successfully walk the line between tough and hair-pulling frustration…
In an effort to make the game feel more accessible, the developers will offer you tools with which to battle the denizens of hell. You won’t be left out in the cold, desperately trying to figure out how to bring down a seemingly invincible foe. Deck 13 will provide you with a few helpful hints here and there, which should ultimately give you that necessary edge. On top of which, it’s important to note that you won’t be underpowered; you will indeed have plenty of formidable abilities. However, those who wish to bypass the more powerful abilities will receive better rewards.
As an example, if you defeat a boss without using magic, the loot will undoubtedly be better. This is because magic will be exceedingly powerful in the game; the developers have referred to spells as “Smart bombs.” Obviously, you’ll want to save these for the stronger enemies and again, don’t forget that defeating your opponent without magical aid could prove highly beneficial. Either way, you will receive hints and clues if the game determines you’re having trouble, and you can choose to accept that help or reject it. It certainly isn’t hand-holding but it’s not total abandonment of the player, either, as it is in games like Dark Souls.
The bottom line is that you have to learn. You have to figure out how best to approach and attack enemies, and this might include sneaking up from behind. Once engaged, you’re supposed to observe your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, very much how you’d approach a fighting game. The developers swear you’ll never feel hopelessly outmatched because of the assistance you’ll have, but it’s clear that true success will be measured by your perseverance and overall skill. I’m sure hardcore action aficionados are already drooling.
Lords of the Fallen is scheduled to arrive on October 28 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We’ve heard reports in the past that the designers were faring slightly better with the PS4 version, but don’t take that as gospel. The good news is that it’s a fully realized next-gen production. There’s no need to tone things down so it’ll fit on older consoles, and that’s always an encouraging situation. Here’s hoping this one is a diamond in the rough for the holiday rush!
9/4/2014 Ben Dutka