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Lords of the Fallen (PS4) E3 Impressions

/ Jun 26th, 2014 No Comments

Lords of the Fallen

Given the success of Dark Souls, it makes sense that Bandai Namco Games is publishing Lords of the Fallen. At E3 2014, developers CI Games and Deck 13 Interactive showed off a new build of the game.

Make no mistake, Lords of the Fallen is a difficult game. It demands patience, concentration and skill. The world is cruel, harsh and determined to kill you. Normal enemies are bosses in their own right, requiring players to think and react quickly while figuring out the best way to dispatch them.
 

Lords of the Fallen

Empty corridors can house untold dangers if Harkyn’s not careful.

Players assume control of Harkyn, a convicted criminal. An army of a defeated god attacks the human realm as the human rulers are about to banish evil from humans. Harkyn is released from prison to combat the Rhogar Lords and travel to their demonic realm. This mission is Harkyn’s chance to gain redemption and have his sins forgiven.

In the demo shown at E3, Harkyn explored a battered fortress populated with devious creatures. His goal was to clear a path through these hostiles to the catacomb’s entrance deep within the fortress, where he faced off against a hulking giant. However, getting to the depths of the fortress is easier said than done.

The Army of a Defeated God Wants You Dead

Each enemy in Lords of the Fallen is its own puzzle. Players will need to find openings and exploit weaknesses to take down foes. But be prepared to die and die often. The fortress shown in the demo features a number of different enemies, including infested warriors and monks, heavy demon knights, and a gnarly demonic spider. Each enemy presents its own unique challenge.
 

Lords of the Fallen

The infested are swift and exacting enemies.


Infested warriors are swift, ax-wielding enemies that serve as standard foot soldiers. Gamers can overcome these enemies through disciplined shield use and waiting for a solid opening to unleash a barrage of attacks. Damage doled out will increase if attacks land in succession and successful combos result in some cool animations. Infested warriors can regenerate so when you think you have disposed of one, it could be just waiting for a second wind.

Blind monks wield a club and attack based on sound. They are not dangerous alone, but when paired with other enemies, they can easily overwhelm your defenses. Like infested warriors, they can revive.

While infested warriors challenge players, the demo showed off more serious heavy demon knights. Armed with a great sword in one hand and a massive shield in the other, these enemies hit like 16-wheeler and defend against attacks deftly. To defeat heavy demon knights, players must smartly manage their stamina gauge–attacking, dodging and blocking uses up stamina–wait for an opening, and attack quick enough to do damage.
 

Lords of the Fallen

You never want to see this terrifying bro walking down a flight of stairs.

Using magic is a smart strategy to deal heavy damage to the knight, but finding enough time to let off a spell can be difficult. Alternatively, players can trick their opponent into falling down a hole to its silly death.

Before reaching the demo’s main event, a demonic spider barred the path. This nimble foe spews acid and attacks with sharp, powerful legs. Giant spiders can be taken down by timing dodges and attacking its soft abdomen. With the abdomen exposed, a powerful combo can finish it off in quick fashion.

Death is a Warm Embrace

Once Harkyn has survived the withering storm of powerful demonic soldiers, his troubles have only begun. Now he must take on the area’s Champion: a huge giant covered in dark steel armored by gigantic blades on each wrist and an intimidating blade helmet. This enemy means business and his business is killing you. Truth be told, business is booming for this monster because he believes in ABK: Always Be Killing. There is a strategy to besting this monstrosity, but discovering that is up to you. Just watch out for those blades and his stampede.
 

Lords of the Fallen

This is going to go well…

The game offers a number of customization options from the gear you gain to the skills you use to fight. Players can choose between three classes of gear, giving players a Warrior, Rogue and Cleric path. These different classes can be mixed and matched. The demo gave an idea of the different types of weapons and magic players can wield, including one-handed swords, staffs, daggers, great swords and axes. Magic spells at players’ disposal seem interesting and unique. For instance, one spell allows Harkyn to launch a fiery projectile of his silhouette at blazing speeds.

The demo did expose a potential camera issue. The camera view seemed to fight against the player and looks like it could use some correcting before the game’s full release. Nothing is worse than being murdered while trying to fix the camera angle.

One benefit to the steep difficulty in the game was the generous doling out of a save point. This will allow players to save the game at a key juncture, restore some hit points, and possibly go make a sandwich as they steel their nerves for more punishment. Death sucks, but for the savvy player, they can regain their lost experience by tracking down their corpse and absorbing their lost soul in a very Dark Souls manner.

Lords of the Fallen is looking to be one of the more exciting titles coming out at the end of the year. While the Dark Souls comparisons are all apt, the game is anything but a clone of the popular FromSoftware title. It has its own intricacies and idiosyncrasies, but adheres to the same demanding and satisfying difficulty.

Lords of the Fallen is expected to release this fall for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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