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Lords of the Fallen Preview

by Diogo Miguel August 3, 2014

There was a time when Square Enix was better known for its brightly coloured fantasy titles. These days it has branched out and is even publishing Western role playing title, Lords of the Fallen, which is coming out on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

The story goes that three thousand years ago, the Gods decided it was time to get rid of humanity. A few brave souls managed to push back the Gods. In return, these individuals were branded and banished to somewhere far away, so that the remaining humans could live a peaceful existence.

The Gods eventually return with a vengeance and it is up to one of the banished individuals to try and put a stop to their plans yet again. The area where this demonstration takes place in seems like a secluded place infested with monsters.

Some of these monsters are blind and as such it is feasible to get through them without fighting. All that is required to do so is to remove any armour and weapons that can make noise. An unusual tactic given the idea is to drive back the Gods and potentially these monsters. Not that it’s mandatory to do so because running in will cause them to follow the noise and starting a fight.

Another enemy will run towards the character as soon as it is approached. This gives an opportunity to try out some of the less obvious features. There is a hole in the middle of the area covered up by panels. Any heavy enemy that goes on top of it (such as our charging friend) will immediately fall through the hole. It seems like a great way to use such traps, given that the character might also fall foul to such ideas, if carrying armour and weapons that are heavy.

It’s interesting how different roles are assigned to weapons. It potentially means not having to stick to just one role when first starting to play Lords of the Fallen. The Defiance hammer the character is armed with is powerful and yet it takes some adjusting to use, given that it’s a slow weapon. The Warrior sword is a balanced weapon that beginners can use. It’s literally like playing with a different character when choosing each of the weapons. What is great is that it means being able to observe how each enemy attacks and pick the weapon that best fits each fight.

The layout of this area made it rather difficult to fight some of the enemies in the narrow corridors. This is mainly due to some of the weapons being so long, that they would more than often hit the walls, rather than the enemies. The best strategy when faced with such a situation is to to try and lure them to the few open areas.

As usual, it’s also possible to use magic to attack enemies. The magic bar is slowly replenished and it seems like initially only one magic is used at a time. There is also a stamina bar ( automatically replenished) that is used when attacking enemies. It’s a good idea given that it will mean having to think before just attacking enemies recklessly.

Any experience earned from defeating enemies is dropped when defeated, if it hasn’t been used by the character. Like in Dark Souls, it is necessary to then collect it from the spot where character died. Otherwise it is lost forever if the character dies before it is collected. Fortunately the checkpoint (at least in the demonstration) was close by the area where the character was most likely to die.

Getting to the boss is no easy feat given how enemies will usually group together when facing the character. In fact, it was not unusual to fight one enemy and then see a few more turn up. Just avoiding enemies and going straight for the boss resulted in small spiders entering the boss arena. These are produced by a creature found just before the boss arena. It’s these unusual ideas that do make for some interesting outcomes whilst playing through Lords of the Fallen.

The boss itself is a very difficult opponent and it will take some skill to defeat it. Not only does it have a considerable amount of health, but it also has a special Berserker like attack, that it uses once a bar is full. Not that the normal enemies weren’t a challenge though. The shield enemies in particular put up a fight and it was very difficult to try and gain the upper hand.

Various items, like a shield at the beginning, are found during this admittedly short demonstration. It’s a good sign that there is much to discover in terms of how combat works and how new items found could make it different.

The controls worked really well and made fighting the enemies more fun. It mainly consisted of attacking and then using the dodge ability to try and avoid an enemy’s attack. It did feel somewhat awkward to just move around given how slow the character felt. Perhaps a side effect of the armour used as it could have been too heavy.

It’s clear that the title is making the most of the PC hardware it’s running on. It showed off true dynamic lighting and there was a lot of detail found in the environment itself. It’s just a shame that the area shown off felt so narrow and like there wasn’t much to explore. The enemy designs were good with each enemy type looking quite different from the others.

Playing through this demonstration was a bit of an unusual experience. The way that enemies behaved and the combat system was really interesting. It was great to see unexpected outcomes, such as the spiders that went into the boss room, if the enemy creating them wasn’t killed before entering the room. Perhaps it will feel less restrictive once playing in an area that doesn’t mainly consist of narrow corridors.

Yet, it’s safe to say that Lords of the Fallen is one to keep an eye on as more is revealed over time.

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