After nine years HEXWORKS and CI Games are back with a new Lords of the Fallen. A dark-fantasy action-RPG developed in Unreal 5.
Lords of the Fallen returns in a technical and narrative guise that seems decidedly more captivating and better cared for than its predecessor released in 2014.
Nine years later HEXWORKS, a development house born as an offshoot of CI Games and founded in 2020. This soulslike seems to be both a reboot of the series and a game in continuity with the first title.
Environments, Lore and Aesthetics
In this new production, which takes place eons after the first game, the darkness of Adyr threatens Mournstead. We deduce this from the words of a titanic creature placed on the throne of an immense cathedral with a Gothic taste. Although the influence, especially aesthetic, that From Software‘s works had on the numerous soulslike released later is evident, Lords of the Fallen seems to have also been inspired by other elements.
The idea of a decadent religious cult dedicated to penance and pain, which flaunts its power, recalls titles such as Blasphemous. Obviously I’m only referring to the aesthetic aspect of the religious cult, with tones that recall the aesthetics of The Game Kitchen game.
No less important is the soundtrack or rather, the soundtrack used in the trailer. The song chosen is Fear of the Dark, a very famous and iconic piece by Iron Maiden. I won’t deny that for a moment I was blown away by this pairing. Thinking about it better, I appreciated the choice of wanting to detach from the musical cliché made up of Latin choirs and symphony orchestras. We’ll see if this choice is only for the trailer or will accompany us throughout the title.
Our protagonist has been chosen and “blessed” with the mark of the dark crusaders.
With this “blessing” we will have to rekindle the sacred braziers of Mournstead and prevent the complete rebirth of Adyr.
At the moment we do not know anything more about the lore of the game and how the narrative system will be managed.
There is no doubt that Lords of the Fallen takes full advantage from the From Software‘s aesthetic. There will be grotesque, horrendous and very ferocious creatures and gigantic boss fights that will test the player with their attacks. Speaking of which we note that the gameplay seems very fast. Numerous explosions and light and particle effects that start from weapons and spells. The fights seem to be inspired by the speed of the latest From works such as Elden Ring.
The character can both roll and dodge like in Bloodborne. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on spells that look very spectacular. The weapon art also seems to be fundamental to combat and well done too.
We will then see when we can get our hands on how they will work, if they will have poise and if they will also be valid as a counter or even as a parry.
Even enemy attacks, from what we have seen, do not seem to have much tracking and the pattern level seems readable. As I said before, we will have to wait to be sure.
At the exploration level players will have to create their own hero before tackling the single player campaign. There will also be the option to invite a second player to join the adventure in seamless online co-op, a new feature for the franchise.
According to CI Games, Lords of the Fallen introduces a brand new adventure in a vast interconnected world, more than five times the size of the original game. An RPG experience filled with quests, NPCs, compelling characters, and a rich narrative.
One Lantern, Two Worlds
Players will be able to move between two worlds. The world of the living, Axiom, and the world of the dead, Umbral. Each features unique paths and enemies with just as many rewards. The key to traveling between the two worlds is our Umbral lantern. There are two ways to enter the world of the dead: by being killed in combat by awakening on the same spot but in Umbral. Or by performing the Umbral fracture, voluntarily sacrificing one of our two lives.
The lantern is also a source of power. It can suck out the souls of opponents and allow us to make a critical attack very similar to those seen in Bloodborne. Moreover, we will be able to manipulate the surrounding environment through the lantern.
Is there anything to look forward to for Lords of the Fallen? Maybe yes, even if it would be great to have a demo in the future to better understand its aspects.
Meanwhile Lords of the Fallen will be available from October 13, 2023 for PS5, XBOX SERIES X|S and PC