Mimicry isn't always flattery
Lords of the Fallen was first presented as THE next gen Dark Souls experience you never knew you wanted. Even though I wasnt the biggest Dark Souls fan I was still looking forward to this visceral, combat driven adventure.
Sadly all that was found was the largest WFTBB (Wait For The Bargain Bin) game in a long time.
Story: There isn’t really one, sure there is a little bit of lore. But any actual story is thin (at best) and predictable. You just end up being a gopher running all over the 2 main areas (yeah there are really only two areas) without much of an idea on what you are really trying to do other than kill anything that moves. Not that there was much of a story in Dark Souls but at least the risk/rewards of moving forward made the game worth it.
Graphics: The Armor Harkyn wears is extremely detailed and is easily the show stealer, everything else could have easily been on a PS3 or Xbox 360. Other NPCs are just insanely ugly and generic enemies are…well…generic. It also shocked me to see the lip syncing be so bad. In this day and age and to be a “next gen” game your characters shouldn’t just be flapping their gums out of sync with the audio.
Sound: The voice acting for the like 5 characters is fine, none of them had any real dramatic lines anyway. As far as music goes when playing the game I noticed maybe 2 or 3 different songs. However Lords of the Fallen came with a CD sound track and I was actually surprised on how many songs I didn’t recognize even after beating the game, like where is this music? oh right in the loading screens and credits I skipped.
Gripes: Aside from perhaps the very first Boss and maybe the second, the rest of the game is INSANELY easy. Once you add runes to your equipment (just after the 3rd boss) the rest of the game is cake and most bosses can be beaten in one try by just strafing around them and wait until they stop their attack pattern.
The Experience has an interesting aspect where the longer you go without saving the more XP you will acquire, this is great and all but when it comes to a point where you can one-shot most enemies its doesn’t become much of a challenge any more.
Also much like Dark Souls this game is incredibly vague on where or what you need to do next, this is fine but the solution is almost always ALWAYS right around the corner, making most “puzzle” almost solvable by mistake.
Loot in the game is actually fun to find and plentiful, unfortunately once you start to spec your character out to use a certain type of weapon, switching becomes pointless, thus making 5/6ths of all gear you find worthless to your character. I just wish there was something I could do with all this left over gear I had, there is a blacksmith but he only works with the runes nothing else so you cant break down gear or sell it, it just sits there in your inventory as part of a huge list.
There is a NG+ (and ++) feature but even this feels tacked on as the only things you can really do extra in NG+ is try to get more of the trophies, no expert area or anything else.
Again there is seriously only two main areas in the game, granted they have multiple zones themselves but the game is not that big and at around 20 hours for an action RPG it just felt short and small.
If you made it this far know that Lords of the Fallen isn’t a terrible game it just fell on its face with too many of the good ideas it had. I would love to see the XP gamble system utilized in more games and the character creation of what type of magic you want to use was interesting as well. If you are looking for some simple fun and enjoy exploring and finding hidden areas by all meas give Lords of the Fallen ago, everyone else should just WFTBB.
I BEAT IT FIRST.