Lords of the Fallen capped off my weekend of gaming through SDCC in rather violent, merciless fashion. The game is a joint venture between Polish developer CI Games and German studio Deck13 Interactive, and to date, much of its fame stems from its reputation as being a “next-gen” Dark Souls. While the developers haven’t done much to dissuade gamers from that comparison, they certainly want a game that’s able to stand on its on merit, rather than be known as a next-gen Dark Souls knockoff—and so, I checked in to play through the dungeon on preview to see where the game is at.
Let’s deal with that lingering Dark Souls comparison first, and try to dispel a few myths. The difficulty curve of this game is steep. The number of ways to die are many. The demons you face deal out massive amounts of pain, and you could get one-shotted by several enemies. The dungeons feel gothic but not quite as dark as the worlds created by From Software. And… wait. I’m not really dispelling anything yet, am I?
In fairness, the playstyle of Lords of the Fallen is reasonably different from Dark Souls. Combat is tailored to individual demons in specific ways and there can be a lot of equipment-swapping if you want to deal with each enemy in an optimal fashion. For the OCD-inclined, this is a good thing—for those of a more casual vein, this might be less than ideal. The significance of evasion gives the game a God of War-like element (as do the health and XP systems). Visually, the game looks impressive—loading times are a bit long and there was the occasional stutter, but that’s likely more to do with the current development stage than it is indicative of a final product.
It feels as though there’s still a little work to be done on the combat systems—in-game, combat occasionally felt sluggish and clunky, and the controller wasn’t as responsive as I would have liked. This might just be indicative of a steep learning curve, but I would venture to say there are a few tweaks yet needed. Fortunately there are still 3 months remaining until the game launches, so there’s room to iron out the kinks between now and then.
Lords of the Fallen launches for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on October 28. I’m looking forward to seeing how the game progresses by launch.
SDCC ODDS AND ENDS
- Project Cars, the photorealistic racer launching for PC, Linux, Xbox One, and PS4, had a presence at SDCC. My first couple of playthroughs left me very impressed by the visuals, but the game crashed twice during my play session and the car handling felt a bit coarse. Some work to do before the game launches in November.
- Assassin’s Creed: Unity also made an appearance at Comic Con, and franchise fans can rest assured that the game looks amazing. The gameplay, however, does not appear to offer much in terms of difference from prior entries, although the introduction of co-op has the potential to be a big factor in how this plays out on launch. This may or may not be a flaw, depending on your inclination toward the franchise.
- Ubisoft deserves mention for having the most talked about setup at SDCC. Between their parkour obstacle course designed to promote AC and the infamous 25 foot leap of faith, fans were lining up hours-deep to try their luck.
- Finally, an administrative note: there will be no Gaming Roundup this week due to Comic Con coverage, but we’ll be back next week, as regularly scheduled. See you then!