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Lords of the Fallen - Video Review

We share our thoughts on Hexworks' action-RPG reboot.

Audio transcription

"With Souls-like games being all the rage at the moment, it can be all too easy for some titles to completely fade from people's memories.
Released back in 2014, the original Lords of the Fallen is one example of this."

"It provided a competent take on the Souls-like genre, but was never cherished in the same regard as genre classics like Nioh and Sultan Sanctuary.
Almost a decade later, Hexworks has developed a reboot of the series, but can this one achieve glory or is it doomed to repeat the same fate as its predecessor?
Right off the bat, we were impressed that Lords of the Fallen offers players nine distinct character classes to start off their journey."

"These include a dependable all-rounder partisan class, an incredibly tanky hallowed knight class, and a pirate cultist class which is proficient in performing inferno spells.
Each of these classes come equipped with their own armour and weapon loadouts, and set of starting stats to suit a variety of playstyles."

"Lords of the Fallen distinguishes itself from other Souls-likes, as it features two worlds layered on top of each other that players can alternate between using a magical lantern.
When traversing the world, you'll often find a roadblock in the land of the living known as Axiom, and you will have to switch to Umbral, which is the realm of the dead."

"By lifting up your lantern, you can peek between realms, but you'll occasionally have to fully transition to Umbral if there's a pathway present, for example.
That isn't otherwise available in Axiom.
Spending too much time in Umbral though has its consequences."

"This unearthly realm is populated with monsters that aren't otherwise seen in Axiom, and they become even more deadly as time passes.
While stuck in Umbral, it gives Lords of the Fallen a survival horror flair, as you're always rushing to find sparsely placed statues to make your escape."

"If you die in Umbral, there's also big consequences, as you'll forever lose your vigour, which is the equivalent of Souls.
This dual-world concept also spills over to the game's combat.
Similar to Sekiro's Shadows Die Twice, you can return from the grave and have another stab at overthrowing your enemies if you are slain whilst in Axiom."

"Once your lantern is charged, you can also use a move called Soul Fray, which drags an enemy's soul out of their body, enabling you to dish out some big damage.
As well as introducing some fun new concepts, Lords of the Fallen also masters the basics of combat."

"The game targets 60fps, giving a sense of fluidity to battles, and your attacks have a real sense of weight behind them.
From axes to swords and spears, there is a great variety of weapons that you can equip yourself with, and these can be wielded either with one hand or two hands depending on whether you want to prioritise damage or speed."

"It does stumble though in ramping up the difficulty far too early.
Each Souls-like has a skills check boss designed to test players to see if they've mastered the game's mechanics, but this came as early as the first main boss.
To overcome this threat, we found ourselves having to meticulously study its attack patterns and experimenting with our loadout."

"Another of Lords of the Fallen's shortcomings is in its performance.
Frequently the framerate would slow down to a nauseating pace, and this would enable enemies to sneak a cheeky few hits in.
We did play the game in a pre-launch state, so we're hoping that these issues can be fixed ahead of launch."

"Lords of the Fallen also features the ability to play with friends in uninterrupted online co-op.
With the game's servers being inactive pre-launch, we were unable to test these features out, but we can imagine having a friend along for the ride would help alleviate some of the challenge."

"Lords of the Fallen is a solid Souls-like that goes beyond being just another genre copycat.
Its combat feels fluid and has plenty of depth due to its 9 starting classes, and its dual world concept literally helps to add another dimension to its combat and exploration."

"Let's just hope that the game's performance woes are patched out ahead of release, as they currently provide an extra element of frustration in a game already designed to test your patience."

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