Lords Of The Fallen PS5 review attack of the clones 6/10

Lords Of The Fallen PS5 Review – A Familiar Journey into the Soulslike Realm

In the realm of video games, there are genres that tend to inspire imitation. Soulslike is one such genre, known for its challenging gameplay, intricate level design, and dark, atmospheric worlds. The Souls series, developed by FromSoftware, is legendary for setting the standard in this category. However, the influence of these games has led to a surge of similar titles, each vying to capture the essence of the Souls experience. Lords of the Fallen, a name that evokes both nostalgia and confusion, stands as one of these contenders. This article delves into the world of Lords of the Fallen, explores its similarities and differences with the Souls series, and evaluates its overall worth as a standalone experience.

Lords of the Fallen: A Familiar Name, An Uninspired Reboot

Before we dive into the gameplay and mechanics of Lords of the Fallen, it’s worth acknowledging the game’s puzzling naming choices. Originally set to be called “The Lords of the Fallen,” the game creators opted for a less intuitive name, which merely adds to the confusion. This choice, perhaps inadvertently, reflects the game’s overarching issue – a lack of identity and originality.

The original Lords of the Fallen, released in 2014, earned recognition as a competent Soulslike not created by FromSoftware. Although it succeeded in capturing the look and feel of Dark Souls, it struggled to distinguish itself in an increasingly saturated market of Soulslike titles. Over the years, similar games emerged, with Lies of P being one of the most recent examples, though it offered a distinctive twist by blending a steampunk theme with its now gg roblox gameplay.

What sets Lords of the Fallen apart from the pack? Regrettably, very little. It strives so ardently to emulate Dark Souls that it barely leaves room for any semblance of individuality. Consequently, the most glaring contrast becomes the game’s overall quality – it’s simply not as good. Nevertheless, because it remains a skillful copycat, it does manage to offer some enjoyment. This very imitation factor, paradoxically, heightens the frustration surrounding this game.

An Unoriginal Journey Through the Soulslike Mechanics

For those who’ve ventured into the world of Soulslike games, Lords of the Fallen feels like a hauntingly familiar journey. The combat system closely mirrors that of Dark Souls, complete with the UI, stamina management, health flasks, bonfire-like travel points, and the risk of losing in-game currency upon death. In Dark Souls, you’d lose your “souls,” while in Lords of the Fallen, it’s “vigor.” Even features that weren’t part of the Dark Souls series are incorporated, such as regaining lost health by swiftly counterattacking – an idea seemingly borrowed from Bloodborne and also seen in Lies of P. The “Charred Fingers” mechanism, allowing players to invade others’ games, mirrors the darkly cunning and occasionally frustrating nature of the genre.

What distinguishes Lords of the Fallen, albeit minimally, is the notion of dual realities – light and dark worlds, akin to the concept found in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This concept, borrowed from a non-FromSoftware title, becomes one of the more intriguing aspects of the game. Players utilize a magic lantern to reveal the alternate layout of the dark world, which hides secret switches and treasures. Upon death, the game automatically shifts players into the dark world, but living players can also journey into it for a limited time. Here, they face an almost unstoppable enemy, adding an element of tension to the experience.

The sole genuinely original concept in Lords of the Fallen is the ability to physically extract souls from enemies while in the dark world, an essential mechanism for defeating otherwise invulnerable foes. Aside from this unique feature and a temporary checkpoint that players can establish (only for fast travel from, not to), the game clings closely to its inspiration. Even several bosses are direct replicas of those found in other titles, such as the first significant encounter that resembles a clear imitation of Malenia from Elden Ring. The game’s bosses are generally less challenging than those in FromSoftware titles, with most difficulty spikes appearing towards the end when hordes of enemies are spammed, and previous bosses reappear as regular foes. Had it not resorted to this tactic, Lords of the Fallen could have served as a gentler introduction to the Soulslike genre for newcomers.

The Frustration of Competence in Imitation

What’s most disheartening is not the lack of originality in Lords of the Fallen, but the level of competence with which it mimics its inspiration. The developers at Hexworks clearly grasp the fundamentals of crafting a compelling Soulslike experience. The game exhibits well-designed circular levels, and the combat, aside from some issues with the lock-on feature, holds up.

However, this competence is squandered on recreating the same old settings: dilapidated castles, underground mines, poisonous swamps, and snow-covered ruins. These environments are well-trodden ground in the genre, so one might wonder why the developers chose to rehash them rather than introduce something fresh and inventive. This lack of creativity is exasperating, considering the evident talent of the development team.

What compounds the disappointment is the game’s performance issues. While the game received multiple patches during the review period, the frame rate remains problematic, at times rendering the game nearly unplayable. Texture pop-in is a recurring issue, and the artificial intelligence often behaves unpredictably. Whether the lock-on feature is intrinsically unreliable or affected by other technical problems is uncertain. While performance problems can be addressed with patches, the underlying issue with Lords of the Fallen, its derivative and redundant nature, remains unfixable.

The Final Verdict

In summary, Lords of the Fallen is a game that sets out to emulate Dark Souls but ultimately feels like a counterfeit imitation. It is frustrating to witness the time, effort, and talent of its developers wasted on a derivative and redundant game. Despite the game’s competence, it offers nothing new to the Soulslike genre and falls short of the lofty standards set by FromSoftware’s titles. Ultimately, it leaves players yearning for more originality and innovation in an already crowded field of imitators.

Lords of the Fallen PS5 Review Summary

  • Pros:
    • Well-designed level layout
    • Competent combat mechanics
    • The concept of light and dark worlds, while borrowed, adds an element of intrigue
  • Cons:
    • Lacks originality in gameplay, visuals, and setting
    • Severe performance issues, even after patches
    • Fails to stand out in the Soulslike genre
  • Score: 6/10
  • Formats: PlayStation 5 (reviewed), Xbox Series X/S, and PC
  • Price: £59.99
  • Publisher: CI Games
  • Developer: Hexworks
  • Release Date: 13th October 2023
  • Age Rating: 18

In conclusion, Lords of the Fallen is a game that fails to forge its own identity in the Soulslike genre, serving as yet another reminder of the influence of FromSoftware’s Souls series. While it exhibits competence in its imitation, the lack of originality and performance issues undermine its potential. Players seeking an authentic Soulslike experience may find themselves yearning for the original source material, rather than settling for a pale imitation.

Lords of the Fallen is an action role-playing video game developed by Hexworks and published by CI Games. A successor to the 2014 video game of the same name, the game was released on 13 October 2023 for PlayStation 5

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