Codec Moments recently had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the new release from Deck 13 Interactive and CI Games; Lords of the Fallen. I wanted to show that my gaming interests stretch further than LEGO and FIFA so I headed to a secret location in central London. A dark and murky nightclub under a railway bridge was the perfect setting to showcase Lords of the Fallen, the club had been made up to feel a like you were stepping into another, darker world – the odd train going over head also added to the atmosphere.
I had learned a little about Lords of the Fallen prior to playing the game and I was looking forward to seeing if it could plough its own furrow in this genre. The game is set in a medieval fantasy world where a demonic army have been sent to the human realm to recapture it for their leader after being banished many years before. You play as Harkyn, who is a pretty bad kind of good guy who has done some serious time, but now has the task of defeating the evil army and saving humankind. Lords of the Fallen almost cannot be mentioned in a sentence without a reference to Dark Souls, it is true both games have some similarities in the look and feel and the action gameplay, and it is difficult to avoid when making this kind of game. However, scratch a little deeper and you will see that the game puts its own stamp of the action RPG genre.
I got the chance to experience both the PC version and PS4 versions, and aside from the control method being different there was very little to tell the two apart. I did encounter a slight bug in the PC version when playing around with some of the settings, and this I am sure will be ironed out prior to release. The mouse and keyboard combination I always find better for this type of game due to the fluid combat sequences, it is easier to transit from one enemy to another. I also found the controls a little more instant on the PC version.
The majority of my time was spent of the PS4 version, and you can see from my short video I captured that this game is perfect for the next gen consoles. I think the gameplay would have worked on the PS3 and Xbox 360, but you would have to sacrifice something and I think the overall environment and attention to detail would suffer. The dark and chilling environments are peppered with excellent lighting effects along with realistic sound that really transport you into the game. Movement and interactions are smooth with the button layout being relatively intuitive, it did take me a little while to hit the correct buttons in the sequence I wanted first time, but that’s all part of the learning curve.
You can choose from 3 different classes for Harkyn to start with; Rogue, Cleric and Warrior; and each one has their own specific weapons, skills and spells to offer. During the game you can swap and change these ‘loadouts’ by finding weapons and being able to craft skills. I played as the Rogue class and Cleric class during my time with the game. One of the developers advised me each class has their own way of fighting and defeating enemies based on not just the weapons they have, but how they use them and how long they take to recover from a heavy attack.
The Rogue class can move quickly and takes less time to recover, but inflicts less damage. The Cleric uses a large hammer which during a heavy attack needs to be deployed at the right time as it’s not an instant attack weapon, it also takes longer for the Cleric to power back up once he has attacked an enemy. I found it was all about learning and looking for weaknesses so that an attack can be planned not just executed. I did find the Cleric was a little lumbering which can seem like there is a delay between hitting the X button and something happening on screen, but once you get use to this you can compensate.
Experience points are gained as you go through the game and when you die you can come back and find your soul and regain these. This comes in handy when you are trying to defeat one of the bosses. As I found out, the save points are well positioned so when you find you are trying to defeat a boss and learn how to fight them you do not have to go through a whole level to get back to that point in the game. The cut scenes are nice to look at with a great cinematic feel, even if Harkyn has an accent that reminds me of a mix of Danny Dyer and Bob Hoskins, it’s a personal thing and it detracted a little from his character.
Overall the game looks and sounds fantastic, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that it has been inspired by games such as Dark Souls, but puts its own original stamp on proceedings. Fans of this genre will instantly feel comfortable with the controls and gameplay whilst being indulged a little by a good number of save points. The gameplay seems easy in places then gets quite tough quite quickly, but to beat you foe you need to understand your foe. I have heard Lords of the Fallen being described as a ‘hack and slash’ adventure, but it is so much more.
Codec Moments attended an organised press event in London to preview the game and covered all their own costs. Lords of the Fallen is released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on the 31st October in the EU, and 28th October in the US.