I’ve always watched the Souls games with an excited but fearful interest. The games are of course highly regarded but are an admittedly difficult series. With my time and attention pressed, I have decided its better to just watch others enjoy the cruelty of the games than try them myself.
I was excited to hear a lot of people describe Lords of the Fallen as a gentler, more forgiving Souls. Seeing my chance to finally get my feet wet in the genre, I grabbed the game, packed up my gaming PC, and set up for a couple of days of on-and-off-again gaming at my parents’ house over Christmas break. I found nothing better celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior like a game about killing demonic Lords and becoming the savior of mankind.
Pick Your School and Class
Lords of the Fallen has you choose one of three schools of magic that include 5 spells each. Trust me here, choose the one with the healing spell and then immediately max that sucker out. It takes a little too long to cast, but will mean that you never need to return to the game’s save crystal things (bonfires in Souls language) to restore your health and healing potions. This is important because every kill increases your experience multiplier which means you are getting more and more experience with each enemy you kill.
Using the save crystal, or dying, will reset the multiplier. It maxes out at x2 with an increase of like x0.01 each kill. When you are good and ready, use the save crystal and bank those experience points and level yourself like 5 or 10 times. You can use the crystals to just checkpoint your progress without restoring your health and losing the multiplier. With this tactic I was able to save the already paltry amount of health potions you carry only for emergencies.
Lords of the Fallen then asks you to choose from only three classes. Do you want to be the slow attacking, high damage dealing and heavily armored Warrior? How about the lightly armored and fast moving Rogue? Or maybe you want to be the middle of the road Cleric?
Specification Made Easy
There are only six stats to spec your experience into. Depending on which class you pick at the start of the game, there is no mystery about where to put your points. The Warrior will rely on Strength to deal damage and use strength based weaponry. The Cleric relies on Faith to deal damage with faith based weaponry and increases your available mana pool for spell casting. The Rogue relies on Agility to deal damage and use agility based weapons.
Vitality affects how much health you have. Endurance affects the amount of energy available for performing actions and increases your max weight limit allowing you to wear heavier gear. Luck increases loot drop. Which doesn’t really matter because there isn’t anything worth picking up in the game.
Obstacle #1: The Controls
The controls mirror Dark Souls almost to the letter, which was nearly a game breaker for me. I’ve tried playing Dark Souls games before but become super frustrated and given up because of the controls. Using a controller, the left triggers control the heavy and light attacks of the weapon / shield in the your left hand, the right triggers control the weapon in your right hand. I’m used to having one or two face buttons being in charge of swinging the sword (I’m also an Inverted Y-Axis monster so I recognize the problem might reside solely with me). I figured it was now or never and decided to play until I got used to it. (I also didn’t bring any other games with me to my parents’ house… so I didn’t have any other option.) I cheated a little later by unequipping the shield and going two-handed for most of the game so I only had to focus on using the right triggers for attacking.
Obstacle #2: Picking the Wrong Class
My second near game breaker was deciding to start the game as the duel wielding, fast attacking Rogue. Since button mashing is more my playstyle, I figured this would be the most comfortable way to go. However, after succumbing to my 15th death by the game’s second boss, I decided to start over again as the middle of the road Cleric instead. This is when I discovered the healing spell and a two-handed weapon’s attack and I started getting some good results.
Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery
The makers of Lords are by no means pretending like the game is not heavily influenced by Souls. In an interview with the game’s producer, Tomasz Gop makes it pretty clear the experience they ended up creating is one defined by the Souls games.
One in-game item description that made me chuckle was a set of claws made for a hero called Big Cat Logan, which is an obvious homage to Big Hat Logan from the Dark Souls universe.
If you’re a fan of the Souls games I think you’ll enjoy Lords of the Fallen. It certainly won’t recapture the same challenge that you’re used to, but I’m sure you’ll find something familiar in the varied weapon types and combat options. There’s no multiplayer, so if that’s why you play Souls then there isn’t anything here for you.
If you’ve always wanted to play a Souls game but keep hesitating, then Lords of the Fallen, I believe, is the game that can change that. While I doubt I’m going to try and dive right into the world of Demon Souls or either Dark Souls games – I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident in a future purchase of Bloodborne when it gets released this year. For me, it was going to be just another Souls game that I watched from the YouTube sidelines and never dared to venture in myself.
But now, don’t be surprised to see that “BigBootys4Life” is invading your world… also don’t be surprised when I have unlimited stamina… because I cheat… often and without remorse!
Lords of the Fallen was released October 2014 and is available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.