Sunday, 1 February 2015

Lords of the Fallen

I can put my hand on my heart and say I’m absolutely terrible at both the Dark Souls games, and I could never keep at them long enough to feel like I actually progressed anywhere (mainly because I had no clue where I was going!). So when I watched gameplay from Lords of the Fallen, I thought “Oh great, I know I’m going to buy it and get frustrated because I’ll be shit”, however it was the complete opposite. Third time lucky seemed ridiculously lucky to say the least.

Developed by CI Games and Deck13 Interactive and out now on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One comes Lords of the Fallen, a third person RPG set in a world where no sin is forgotten. Characters take on the role of Harkyn, a convicted criminal whose sins are visible on his face, in the form of ‘runes’. When an army of long-defeated gods attacks the human realm, Harkyn is released from prison for a chance of redemption. One thing that bugged me the whole game is that you never actually find out what Harkyn was imprisoned for, other than him being referred to as a “traitor” by a random soldier dying. To be honest, there’s nothing to provide any form of an emotional connection with the character and the player, which I tend to like about games. Now it was clear that my main focus was just killing enemies and not dying in the process.

The gameplay is generally okay. Your movement speed relies on the weight of your armour and weapon you’re wielding. I chose to wear light armour from start to finish, as although heavy armour has much better stats, every time I tried to evade an enemy I’d get hit. Players can save their game by activating checkpoints, and you can also upgrade Harkyn at them. You receive XP by killing enemies, and you’ll also receive a multiplier, which increases with the enemies you kill. You can choose to spend your XP, which will reset the multiplier, or carry on and risk it all.

The combat is good to an extent, and that’s down to how overpowered Harkyn becomes. Harkyn has a “Gauntlet”, which shoots a magic bullet at enemies, and makes enemies with shields completely redundant. I had the same weapon for the majority of the game until I found what could only be described as Wolverine Claws. When I equipped them, enemies were basically dying just by looking at me. The enemy difficulty doesn’t spike all that much either, which is probably why I made it so far with a sword that had a damage rating of seven. To put things into perspective, these claws had a rating of 74, so it was like cutting through warm butter for the remainder of the story. Enemies rarely vary their attacks either, as they’d constantly repeat the same attack sets over and over, which became pretty predictable.

For an RPG, I was expecting a much bigger campaign, however I completed it in about 11 hours. There’s not much to the story either, other than run about, find a boss area, kill the boss, go through another area and fight another boss. Albeit the boss fights can be very challenging at times, especially when you’re still getting used to the game. Although some people may find that enjoyable, I didn’t find a great deal of enjoyment from a story perspective as the story could honestly be summed up on the back of a match box. Now, ever since L.A. Noire, a game that came out way back in 2011, I’ve always had high expectations of character audio matching the movements of their lips, and the attempt in Lords of the Fallen really is laughable. Surely everyone has seen a Kung-Fu film with dubbed English audio, right? Well, if you haven’t, first off shame on you, and secondly, the mouth movements will either carry on for another 5 seconds after the audio has stopped, or vice versa.

My main problem (and many others main problem) with Lords of the Fallen is the sheer amount of game breaking bugs. Honestly, some of them are hilarious, such as a boss levitating about 50meters in the air, going to charge towards me in a straight line and replicated THAT Forrest Gump run. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a banner saying “STOP FORREST!” sign, and I had to reload the game to progress further. Funny, yes. Bigger inconvenience? You bet. Not only did bosses glitch, enemies would disappear right in front of me, I would get shot by archers that I couldn’t see through mountains, as well as hurling themselves into the air once I had killed them. It desperately needs a patch that according to their Facebook page, they’ve been working on since the game came out.

Overall, Lords of the Fallen has been a major let down for me. The combat is challenging until Harkyn becomes ridiculously overpowered, every boss fight was a pretty awkward one and were generally good when they weren’t bugging out. The story is non-existent and there is no emotional connection between the characters and the player at all. It is a good concept, but it really isn’t utilised whatsoever, however I’m sure this game will run a lot better when it receives its constantly delayed patch.

Lords of the Fallen just, and I mean just scraped a 3/5, with hopes that the patch fixes many of the main problems with the game.


Sam Terry

Lords of the Fallen at CeX

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