Apologies for video quality!
Lords of the Fallen
(all ratings are out of 10)
How dare any video game be this staggeringly derivative in every area of its design? Dark Souls fans will never be satisfied with a watered down version and the uninitiated will never care. I’ve already put more effort into these sentences than must have been in any of the brainstorming sessions for this title.
Clunky and utterly lacking in any fun, the combat system is an insult and waste of players’ lives. To add to this, the menus and character development are left elusive with no allure to want to learn their intricacies. Throw in some pointless conversation branches and uninspired boss battles and there’s barely any enjoyable or interesting gameplay to be found.
The actual rendering of everything is average enough for a stop-gap title, on the whole being actually rather well done. The design itself has absolutely no inspiration or captivation anywhere, and cut-scenes are marred by incessant frame-rate drops. If you’re happy looking at someone’s overly murky interpretation of ubiquitous fantasy aesthetics, then go right ahead.
Paint-by-numbers orchestral elevator music punctuates the piece, making the soundtrack a heavily déjà vu inducing time-waste. Sound effects do the trick, just – amounting mainly to sword clinks and heavy breathing that any sound designer mastered while still in University. The big black mark on Lords of the Fallen‘s audio however is its voice acting. While Rebel Galaxy had me wishing that more titles could make the effort, Lords of the Fallen leaves me dreading the idea. If your voice acting is going to be this bad, why even bother? At times it’s as if our hero’s voice actor has utterly no respect for the medium he was contributing to. Either that or he’s just shit.
I felt insulted by Lords of the Fallen throughout, constantly hoping it would turn out to be more than Dark Souls-lite. That criticism can’t be said enough either. The level of plagiarism in this game is disturbing, and if anything it should be called out on it more often. There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration and building on it, or even interpreting it in your own way – that’s the basis of the majority of art. Lords of the Fallen has no interest in even trying to do anything new, and since it does already established mechanics so badly I have no idea why this deserves a moment of anybody’s time. In contrast to the occasional MUST-PLAY accolade I gladly give out to other games (Journey and Doom so far), this game is an assured MUST-AVOID. I cannot recommend it to anyone.