With Lords of the Fallen (not to be confused with the 2014 game of the same name), developers Hexworks take another stab at a souls-like action adventure, and judging from the reviews, they have landed a critical blow.
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The game is praised for its buildcrafting, smooth combat, and unique puzzle-solving mechanic. However, its many technical issues and weak boss fights have pegged the score down several notches.
Lords of the Fallen Review Roundup
This new, confusingly identically named Lords of the Fallen confidently lands its strike. Its world, divided into dual realities, is absolutely awesome to explore, buildcrafting is diverse and complex, and combat is so smooth and satisfying that I’m willing to forgive all the ways it cribs from its contemporaries.
If you’re hankering for a new soulslike game, one that goes back to the genre’s sprawling megadungeon roots, Lords of the Fallen has a lot to offer. I hope we get a sequel, because Hexworks does genuinely have something magic on their hands. It just needs a little more of a delicate touch to really shine.
For all of Lords of Fallen’s good ideas, it struggles to make the payoff worthy of the investment. Its meandering level design and slogging encounters turn challenge into tedium, leaving a feeling that getting up and doing something else would be time better spent.
I desperately want to like Lords of the Fallen, but it’s the first game all year that’s actively annoyed me. I love the Soulslike genre more than any other, but this game took all of the lessons it could have learned since the original Lords of the Fallen and either forgot them entirely, or just misunderstood them so greviously that you’d assume it skipped a class.
A beautiful world, distinctive two-realm mechanics, excellent voice acting, and combat that feels good when not over-encumbered by enemies and artificial challenge, create a solid bedrock. But Lords of the Fallen fails to impress beyond that, instead growing more and more frustrating the further into Mournstead adventurers travel.
All of this, from story and art direction to gameplay and boss mechanics, paints a clear picture. Lords of the Fallen is made by a team who don’t yet have the experience under their belts to create a true masterpiece, but persist regardless, pouring their love for the genre and passion for the artform into their work.
Lords of the Fallen is an exciting kind of Souls-like. Whereas many others aim to perfect the formula, Lords of the Fallen’s goal is to innovate. It certainly has its own array of problems, like lacking audio, repetitive enemy types, and combat that could be tightened up a little.
Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.