Lords of the Fallen Combines Dark Souls and Warhammer

Lords of the Fallen Combines Dark Souls and Warhammer

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen mixes the gameplay of Dark Souls with the aesthetic of Warhammer.

It doesn't take long to see that CI Games and Deck13 have their sights set for a very specific game audience with their upcoming action RPG Lords of the Fallen. It's all but Dark Souls steeped in a heavy dose of spikes and overly large pauldrons a la the style of the Warhammer setting, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. When we last got hands-on with the game at E3, we weren't terribly impressed with it, but I got the opportunity to play for myself the first time over the weekend at PAX.

A grim dark aesthetic wouldn't do without a sufficiently grim dark story to go with it. For Lords of the Fallen, 8,000 years ago, humanity fought and defeated their god. In the long intervening years, society has moved on and advanced, with their previous conflicts drifting into legend and myth. Then without warning, the god's monstrous armies reappear and start laying waste to the lands, and in desperation the convicts are let loose. In this world, a persons sins or crimes are tattooed on their face, and put it this way, Harkyn the player character, doesn't have a lot of face left. It's kind of like the Dirty Dozen, except with one dude and it's a fantasy world instead of World War II Germany. The demo I played focused on the combat gameplay, so I didn't get to see any of the story, which sounds at least serviceable enough to move the player along, but if the developers are able to inject their setting with enough interesting details there's potential for more than that.

The game isn't shabby looking either. The dark setting certainly had its share of grit and gray, there's some rich color infused with it. Lots of deep red capes and other colorful details, which helps to keep it from feeling too drab. The design is what really sells it though. Everything, especially armor and weapons, just oozes with ornate style. It's hard not to see the influence of Warhammer throughout, the developers even joked that there was "no such thing as shoulder pads too big".

Players will have the option to start the game with Harkyn as a cleric, rogue or warrior, but this decision really only locks you into a spell tree. The rogue for instance has spells based around creating decoys or dealing extra damage, but you're otherwise allowed to mix and match gear and develop your character however you see fit, as long as you invest the ability points for certain requirements. There are 11 different weapon types, and they each have their own special quirks besides just their attack pattern. Paired daggers can unleash a combo when attacks are properly timed and maces can be charged up to hit with even greater power. There's even a magic gauntlet weapon that you can craft special ammunition for, letting you do things like force an enemy out of the fight for a time while you deal with the others. According to the developers, the gauntlet serves as a way to help you past sections you're finding particularly challenging.

The real star of the combat is the gameplay itself though. It has that weighty action RPG feel to it, since even in the lightest gear and weapons Harkyn isn't quite that fast. The movement is supposedly all motion captured as well, every swing of a warhammer or sword was done realistically in studio, which may have contributed to the more grounded feeling despite the outlandish look of the weapons and armor. Proper timing of your dodges, blocks, and strikes are the only way to do well in the game. All too often I would get greedy and try to get the last few few points of damage in only to get punished for it. The section I played had a few mooks with their own tricks to learn, one that needed to smash and collect a nearby it to permanently kill it and another of a more magic sort that exploded upon death. It culminated in a mini-boss fight of sort, with some big dual flaming sword wielding dude. Apparently, picking rogue wasn't the best way to fight him, though I did adapt to the attack patterns eventually. Similar to Dark Souls when you die you're sent back to the nearest checkpoint and drop some stuff where you perished.

Difficulty is certainly at the forefront for Lords of the Fallen. The game only has the one difficulty mode, though there is a new game plus option that lets you retain your character and progress down another class spell tree. When questioned, the developers stated that they wanted to go for something more in the middle and accessible. It's still a challenging game, but a greater story focus is supposed to help the wider spectrum of players and gameplay elements like more frequent check points and the powerful gauntlet take some of the edge off. I can certainly see some merit in that, Dark Souls could often be arcane to a fault giving you little to go on other than trial and error, but that was also one of its strengths as well in a way. While I haven't seen all of Lords of the Fallen, I'd hope the developers skew more towards the audience that's going to enjoy this kind of experience rather than attempting to make it have more mainstream appeal.

Lords of the Fallen is coming to the PS4, Xbox One and PC on Oct 28, and there is bonus weapons and content available for those who pre-order.

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After watching the 11 min previous from the IGN video I can say my interest in LoTF has dropped to near zero, it involving Dark Souls elements/mechanics instantly turns me away from the game simply because I just don't like Dark Souls or the Soul series at all, the series isn't my thing and I don't like the fandom behind it for various reasons.

So yeah I was looking forward to this in the hopes it might have a hint of War in the North but I was sadly mistaken, the game is well on it's way to trying to be like Dark Souls and so I must look elsewhere for a game like LoTR that isn't trying to jump some niche train.

Shadow-Phoenix:
After watching the 11 min previous from the IGN video I can say my interest in LoTF has dropped to near zero, it involving Dark Souls elements/mechanics instantly turns me away from the game simply because I just don't like Dark Souls or the Soul series at all, the series isn't my thing and I don't like the fandom behind it for various reasons.

So yeah I was looking forward to this in the hopes it might have a hint of War in the North but I was sadly mistaken, the game is well on it's way to trying to be like Dark Souls and so I must look elsewhere for a game like LoTR that isn't trying to jump some niche train.

A game "like LoTR"? I'm pretty positive every fantasy-ish game we have on the market right now is "like LoTR". There's no gameplay mechanics inherent to LoTR :P None. It's a dang book series!

I must say I am a bit disappointed by the lack of power armor and hi-tech weaponry.

My brain defaulted Warhammer as 40k.

Hooray, because we needed more smugness in gaming culture.

Honestly, I don't care if it'll be hard. My only plea is that if you play this, and it is has hard as dark souls, and you get good at it, please try not to become an intolerably smug assface. We have enough of those.

Shadow-Phoenix:
After watching the 11 min previous from the IGN video I can say my interest in LoTF has dropped to near zero, it involving Dark Souls elements/mechanics instantly turns me away from the game simply because I just don't like Dark Souls or the Soul series at all, the series isn't my thing and I don't like the fandom behind it for various reasons.

So yeah I was looking forward to this in the hopes it might have a hint of War in the North but I was sadly mistaken, the game is well on it's way to trying to be like Dark Souls and so I must look elsewhere for a game like LoTR that isn't trying to jump some niche train.

Shadow of Mordor looks like it will quite a bit like War In The North.

On Topic: Have been waiting for Lord of The Fallen since it was announced. Nice to see it has New Game +. If I remember correctly isn't it made by a couple of guys that left CD Projekt Red?

Racecarlock:
Hooray, because we needed more smugness in gaming culture.

Honestly, I don't care if it'll be hard. My only plea is that if you play this, and it is has hard as dark souls, and you get good at it, please try not to become an intolerably smug assface. We have enough of those.

Especially if dark souls had the checkpoint system from other games anyone could finish it very quickly. I'm a fan of dark souls but the smugness of being a 'hardcore' dark souls player baffles me, its like xbox live cod.

OT: I was hoping for 40k but this may be fun. I'm guessing mediocre but maybe fun.

Ferisar:

A game "like LoTR"? I'm pretty positive every fantasy-ish game we have on the market right now is "like LoTR". There's no gameplay mechanics inherent to LoTR :P None. It's a dang book series!

I meant like WitN, it's the previous LotR game where it was an RPG with classes besides the MOBA Guardians of Middle Earth and the Lego LotR game.

I know it's a book series also but I was hoping for it to play a little like WitN but a bit more open world (which it slightly seems to have) and mechanics not like DS, the combat in the preview told me that it was clunky and repetitive with the enemies hardly flinching or reacting to most attacks from the player, that doesn't look fun to me, it looks just plain repetitive and boring.

Bat Vader:

Shadow of Mordor looks like it will quite a bit like War In The North.

On Topic: Have been waiting for Lord of The Fallen since it was announced. Nice to see it has New Game +. If I remember correctly isn't it made by a couple of guys that left CD Projekt Red?

Oh it definitely has the look like WitN has but the gameplay just doesn't feel right and looks repetitive to me along with it being clunky, like I said above it just isn't going to interest me, I don't want to play any game that feels it eneds DS elements in order to make it a fun game, there are people like me out there that just don't like/can't get into the Soul series.

That isn't the Warhammer aesthetic. That's the terrible aesthetic dreamed up by the developers of that terrible MMO. The Warhammer aesthetic is colorful banners and tunics, 15th century Gothic and Maximilian plate armor, and gloriously gaudy Landsknechte. The Warhammer aesthetic is one where art might be historical art, except for the giant Orcs and ratmen and lizard aztecs and zombie mummies.

If you want to attract people with the Warhammer aesthetic, you need to try again.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Ferisar:

A game "like LoTR"? I'm pretty positive every fantasy-ish game we have on the market right now is "like LoTR". There's no gameplay mechanics inherent to LoTR :P None. It's a dang book series!

I meant like WitN, it's the previous LotR game where it was an RPG with classes besides the MOBA Guardians of Middle Earth and the Lego LotR game.

I know it's a book series also but I was hoping for it to play a little like WitN but a bit more open world (which it slightly seems to have) and mechanics not like DS, the combat in the preview told me that it was clunky and repetitive with the enemies hardly flinching or reacting to most attacks from the player, that doesn't look fun to me, it looks just plain repetitive and boring.

Bat Vader:

Shadow of Mordor looks like it will quite a bit like War In The North.

On Topic: Have been waiting for Lord of The Fallen since it was announced. Nice to see it has New Game +. If I remember correctly isn't it made by a couple of guys that left CD Projekt Red?

Oh it definitely has the look like WitN has but the gameplay just doesn't feel right and looks repetitive to me along with it being clunky, like I said above it just isn't going to interest me, I don't want to play any game that feels it eneds DS elements in order to make it a fun game, there are people like me out there that just don't like/can't get into the Soul series.

I know I was just posting my thoughts on the news in the article. Shadow of Mordor looks like it's going to have more of an Assassin's Creed/Arkham type of feel to it.

to be honest i think it looks pretty good, there's nothing i can find negative considering its got a very simular style to the souls games (that's fine with me)

This looks interesting, but unfortunately I am already going to be overwhelmed by games that are on my "cannot pass up" list. I simply will not have the time to invest in anything more at this point, which makes this game and Shadows of Mordor both casualties, at least for the time being.

Cue someone calling the game "Casul Souls" because it's more mainstream. :p

Keeping my eye on this.

Any game that takes some influence from the Souls series is great in my book. It's not surprising, either. The influence of the Souls series reaches quite far. I'd look to see even more of it in the future.

Dark Knifer:
Especially if dark souls had the checkpoint system from other games anyone could finish it very quickly. I'm a fan of dark souls but the smugness of being a 'hardcore' dark souls player baffles me, its like xbox live cod.

That's what got me about Dark Souls, it has a lot going for it for me... apart from the save system. Oh, that save system.

I won't apologise to anyone for having gotten used to auto-saving or being able to open the menu and click "save game" when I need to do so. So when Dark Souls only has fixed points that you can save at and either hides them or has worryingly long stretches of unsaved gameplay, all it does for me is serve to make the game irritating and tedious if I happen to slip up and am sent all the way back to the previous bonfire.

But getting back OT: I've only seen a few slivers of Lords of the Fallen here and there, but what I have seen has made me quite intrigued, and it's good to hear that the gameplay (from what you've experienced) seems fairly solid at the moment. I shall definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Qage:

Dark Knifer:
Especially if dark souls had the checkpoint system from other games anyone could finish it very quickly. I'm a fan of dark souls but the smugness of being a 'hardcore' dark souls player baffles me, its like xbox live cod.

That's what got me about Dark Souls, it has a lot going for it for me... apart from the save system. Oh, that save system.

I won't apologise to anyone for having gotten used to auto-saving or being able to open the menu and click "save game" when I need to do so. So when Dark Souls only has fixed points that you can save at and either hides them or has worryingly long stretches of unsaved gameplay, all it does for me is serve to make the game irritating and tedious if I happen to slip up and am sent all the way back to the previous bonfire.

But getting back OT: I've only seen a few slivers of Lords of the Fallen here and there, but what I have seen has made me quite intrigued, and it's good to hear that the gameplay (from what you've experienced) seems fairly solid at the moment. I shall definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Are you talking about the bonfires? because those arent save points.
At any moment you wish, you can press start to save and quit the game, and when you load back in, you'll be exactly where you were standing before, and any enemies you killed will still be dead.

Gundam GP01:

Qage:

That's what got me about Dark Souls, it has a lot going for it for me... apart from the save system. Oh, that save system.

I won't apologise to anyone for having gotten used to auto-saving or being able to open the menu and click "save game" when I need to do so. So when Dark Souls only has fixed points that you can save at and either hides them or has worryingly long stretches of unsaved gameplay, all it does for me is serve to make the game irritating and tedious if I happen to slip up and am sent all the way back to the previous bonfire.

But getting back OT: I've only seen a few slivers of Lords of the Fallen here and there, but what I have seen has made me quite intrigued, and it's good to hear that the gameplay (from what you've experienced) seems fairly solid at the moment. I shall definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Are you talking about the bonfires? because those arent save points.
At any moment you wish, you can press start to save and quit the game, and when you load back in, you'll be exactly where you were standing before, and any enemies you killed will still be dead.

Even on PC?

EDIT: Huh, apparently so. Me being a bit ignorant there then, I do apologise.

I think the point I was sort've trying to get at is that I can't save and then continue on from that point, and if I happen to die, go back to that point. It will always take you back to the last bonfire visited.

Maybe I'm just too reliant on saves these days and I am quite an impatient person, but having to trek all the way from the last bonfire to where I died (with the possibility of me dying on the way there and losing out on points) especially if the bonfire is really quite far, slaughtering my way through the same enemies again just got really tedious for me.

Qage:

Gundam GP01:

Qage:

That's what got me about Dark Souls, it has a lot going for it for me... apart from the save system. Oh, that save system.

I won't apologise to anyone for having gotten used to auto-saving or being able to open the menu and click "save game" when I need to do so. So when Dark Souls only has fixed points that you can save at and either hides them or has worryingly long stretches of unsaved gameplay, all it does for me is serve to make the game irritating and tedious if I happen to slip up and am sent all the way back to the previous bonfire.

But getting back OT: I've only seen a few slivers of Lords of the Fallen here and there, but what I have seen has made me quite intrigued, and it's good to hear that the gameplay (from what you've experienced) seems fairly solid at the moment. I shall definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Are you talking about the bonfires? because those arent save points.
At any moment you wish, you can press start to save and quit the game, and when you load back in, you'll be exactly where you were standing before, and any enemies you killed will still be dead.

Even on PC?

EDIT: Huh, apparently so. Me being a bit ignorant there then, I do apologise.

I think the point I was sort've trying to get at is that I can't save and then continue on from that point, and if I happen to die, go back to that point. It will always take you back to the last bonfire visited.

Maybe I'm just too reliant on saves these days and I am quite an impatient person, but having to trek all the way from the last bonfire to where I died (with the possibility of me dying on the way there and losing out on points) especially if the bonfire is really quite far, slaughtering my way through the same enemies again just got really tedious for me.

That's a part of the game many people love. It places value on your life. When dying means more than a inconsequential repair bill, you will be more concerned about dangers to your character. A threat is more engaging when there's actual consequences. Do you avoid it? Do you manipulate the odds to your favour? Do you deploy tactics you normally wouldn't? These are processes you are much less likely to go through when death just means you quickload or respawn like 10m away.

Losing something you put valuable time and effort into getting is necessary for this experience, as a loss that means something, a loss you can't undo by pressing a button, creates a more stark contrast between victory and defeat.

Yeah, the bonfires are part of what makes the Souls games so remarkable. The release of tension and feeling of elation that one gets from defeating a tough boss is truly something to savior. The game is already 10x easier for anyone that watches gameplay videos or checks the wiki. It can be considered a shortcut, or even a cheat, but I won't blame anyone for not wanting to figure out everything by themselves (plus we all know how crazy some of the ingame messages are).

Denamic:

Qage:
Even on PC?

EDIT: Huh, apparently so. Me being a bit ignorant there then, I do apologise.

I think the point I was sort've trying to get at is that I can't save and then continue on from that point, and if I happen to die, go back to that point. It will always take you back to the last bonfire visited.

Maybe I'm just too reliant on saves these days and I am quite an impatient person, but having to trek all the way from the last bonfire to where I died (with the possibility of me dying on the way there and losing out on points) especially if the bonfire is really quite far, slaughtering my way through the same enemies again just got really tedious for me.

That's a part of the game many people love. It places value on your life. When dying means more than a inconsequential repair bill, you will be more concerned about dangers to your character. A threat is more engaging when there's actual consequences. Do you avoid it? Do you manipulate the odds to your favour? Do you deploy tactics you normally wouldn't? These are processes you are much less likely to go through when death just means you quickload or respawn like 10m away.

Losing something you put valuable time and effort into getting is necessary for this experience, as a loss that means something, a loss you can't undo by pressing a button, creates a more stark contrast between victory and defeat.

Don't get me wrong, I get that that's a big thing for a lot of people, but as I said, I'm not the most patient person. I like having that sense of victory in having accomplished a tricky spot in a game, especially in Dark Souls. However, I do feel that Dark Souls goes a bit overboard with it sometimes and I get this slight sense of futility.

I'm finding this weirdly difficult to explain. I know what I mean, I'm just not sure how to say it.

This may seem a bit convoluted, but stick with me here. I don't suppose you've ever played Viscera Cleanup Detail? Well, just in case you aren't familiar with it, you are basically cleaning up aftermaths of gory space accidents and disasters using your mop and disposable boxes to put body bits in. You get water buckets and body boxes from dispensing machines, however, occasionally you can press the button for a bucket or box and body bits and blood will be dispensed. You basically then have to press the button again to get the box/bucket to clean up those bits, and it is entirely possible for the machine to dispense body bits and blood again. A machine has done that to me 3 times in a row before.

I know it's not quite the same experience, but I hope it illustrates the sort of experience I have with Dark Souls in how I feel like that's just unnecessarily tedious and punishing you just because it can.

Honestly I hope Lords of the Fallen will not be next Dark Souls. For me all games have something uniqe so here I know will be the same. Now I keep my eye on this game. Is only a little more than two months to release date.

 

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