The teams at CI Games and Hexworks surprised many when they opted to take the Lords of the Fallen series and essentially go back to the drawing board. Rather than release a direct sequel to the 2014 original game, this latest game, also going by the title The Lords of the Fallen, is considered more of a successor. Shacknews recently had a chance to take a look at what Hexworks has been putting together and observe its take on the Soulsbourne formula.
The story of The Lords of the Fallen takes place millennia after the events of the original game. Players take on the role of a nameless crusader with the mission of overthrowing the demon god Adyr. Adyr's resurrection is at hand, which only leaves the mysterious player to stop it with the power of their inventory and their Lantern that takes them between Axiom, the land of the living, and Umbral, the realm of the dead. In total, between both realms, Hexworks is estimating for the explorable world to be roughly five times larger than what players experienced with the 2014 original Lords of the Fallen.
The Lords of the Fallen plays a lot like a standard Soulsbourne game with players selecting from an array of different classes. Each of the classes fits a variety of playstyles, whether it's the Exiled Stalker that relies on precision and poison weaponry, the Hallowed Knight with its swift attacks and heavy armor, or the Pyric Cultist with its ranged fire spells. Each class specializes in different weapons like swords, axes, magical orbs, to name a few examples. Players must watch their enemies closely, block when necessary, and only attack when there's an opening. Recognizing attack patterns is essential, especially as players reach the game's powerful bosses.
What makes The Lords of the Fallen stand out is the traversal to and from the realm of the dead. Players will often be required to enter the land of Umbral. This is because the realm of the dead will hide ethereal platforms or hidden paths that don't exist in the living world. Holding up the Lantern can preview the surrounding area from the dead's perspective, giving players a window into where to proceed, but only performing an Umbral Rift will grant players full access to the Umbral realm. The Umbral Lantern will not only grant players access to the dead realm, but it also allows them to manipulate certain portions of Umbral's environment.
Of course, the living entering the land of the dead comes with a cost. Players' health will wither over time and make them more susceptible to enemy damage. On top of that, the hostile spirits of Umbral will increase in number and become more aggressive over time. Therefore, players must make it a point to try and find their way forward and out of Umbral as soon as possible. The primary means of escape is through a Vestige point. Vestige points can be found at certain statues placed throughout the world, which will also act as save points, resurrection points, fast travel spots, and also as a place to level up your character and allocate their increased attributes. While statues are fixed points, players can occasionally find Vestige Seeds, which will allow them to plant their own Vestige points at nearly any spot in the world. This grants anyone exploring Umbral a quick exit point in a pinch, but players should be forewarned that Vestige Seeds don't come frequently and can only be found with certain vendors, mini-bosses, and with exceedingly rare loot drops.
The Lords of the Fallen will present a challenge to both the Soulsborne veteran and the newcomer. Those who aren't accustomed to the formula will find no quarter here, because even in our time in the game's early minutes, enemies were downright merciless. Those who are used to the formula are also likely to find a challenge, because on top of mastering the game's combat, they must also manage the Umbral mechanics and recognize when to use their Lantern, whether it's to travel to Umbral or to recharge it through moves like the Soul Siphon. Players who die in Axiom (and they will, trust me) will receive a second chance by landing in Umbral. Anyone who dies is placed in a race against time to find a Vestige statue and resurrect themselves with their items and experience intact. Of course, as noted, Umbral is exceedingly dangerous, so anyone who can't reach a Vestige point before dying again will lose everything and respawn at their last save point. It's an interesting twist to this established formula, especially when factoring in that two players can jump in together for online co-op sessions and help each other out.
There's a lot to learn in The Lords of the Fallen, and there's a danger of information overload setting in, especially given that several mechanics require multiple buttons to function. However, those who have been looking for a new frontier in the Soulsbourne journey may find what they're looking for with the latest from CI Games and Hexworks. Look for The Lords of the Fallen to release on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S on Friday, October 13.
This preview is based on a PC demo played on-site and may not be representative of the final product.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, The Lords of the Fallen wants to deliver two layers of 'Souls'
Thanks for the write up Ozzie \m/ :) \m/ , here are a few questions and I can't find any answers anywhere on the NET:
- From the videos it looks like there are like 0 loot drops now when you kill regular mobs and even the bosses. In the last game it had awesome loot and it was even colour graded and they dropped from chest, mobs and bosses and it was really nice and what I thought made it stand out/better than other Souls games. You mentioned really rare loot drops so it sounds like there are some drops, what is the loot drops like is it really bad now and more like Demon's Souls or worse?
-- Also how is the loot rated in terms of grade, it doesn't even look like it has that mechanic at all now
- You said it is really difficult is there are difficulty setting in the options?
Other than that it sounds rad, I love that it has a bunch of classes and the Umbral mechanics with your Lantern seems really cool!
Players' health will wither over time and make them more susceptible to enemy damage. On top of that, the hostile spirits of Umbral will increase in number and become more aggressive over time. Therefore, players must make it a point to try and find their way forward and out of Umbral as soon as possible.
This grants anyone exploring Umbral a quick exit point in a pinch, but players should be forewarned that Vestige Seeds don't come frequently and can only be found with certain vendors, mini-bosses, and with exceedingly rare loot drops.
I did not know these three things and I DO NOT LIKE IT.
I am an Explorer and this destroys that.
At least I know what the "creating a Vestige spot comes at a high cost" means now.
100% agree with you, I hope you can change some of the settings. I am still jucied but this stuff worries me as well cause I want to enjoy it like Elden Ring and adventuring and taking my time is my jam.
whelp, that kills any desire for me. With a 3 year old, I've routinely left a game in the middle of playing it in order to attend to her, sometimes leaving the game on for an hour or so.
Oof, that fucking sucks :(
Do not want..