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Lords of the Fallen Review

Lite Souls

Forty-five minutes passed in Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen’s formulaic story follows Harkyn, a gruff criminal who’s pulled from behind bars to save the world from interdimensional monsters called the Rhogar. We’re never told the nature of his crimes, however, and Lords repeatedly introduces other characters with only a modicum of characterization. Even the big bad guy behind it all gets only around three minutes of screen time. When the plot tries for a shocking twist near the end of its roughly 17-hour story, it’s hard to care about anyone involved.

The story wants to be something greater, but never quite attains it. It peppers its cutscenes with choices such as whether to chop a monk’s infected arm off or leave it to fester, but significance feels minimal aside from alterations to the final scene after the last boss falls over. Far more interesting are the audio snippets of lore waiting in scrolls scattered about the world of Keystone, which help Harkyn’s world come to life in a way it never manages with the main cast of characters in play.

It’s generally a good looking world, although aside from the welcome lengthy jaunt into the Rhogar homeworld, it’s composed of the usual crumbling castles and snowy peaks. (I like to think that it would have been more interesting had the Rhogar world featured something else besides, well, more crumbling castles and snowy peak.) All in all, I was more fascinated by the look of the gear than the landscape; the bulky, comic book design of characters and weaponry is less “prepare to die” and more “let’s kick some ass.”

As it turns out, that attitude doesn’t undermine the joys of combat. Blocking attacks and rolling out of harm’s way is essential in Lords of the Fallen, at least for the first few hours. Harkyn also encounters some fascinating creatures along the way, such as vaguely Cthulhu-type figures who breathe fire or giant spiders who spew venom. They’re certainly not pushovers, but neither are they even close in difficulty to the monsters Dark Souls fans are used to. In fact, on the mandatory first playthrough before the New Game Plus is enabled, encounters seem balanced for people who were scared away from Dark Souls’ unrelenting emphasis on hardcore play.

Lords of the Fallen concerns itself more with arcade-quality fun, and it complements this focus with a Diablo-style loot system that drops ever-better weapons and gear from both chests and enemies. The weapons themselves are fun to use, whether it’s a customizable magic gauntlet for ranged combat or impressive-looking weapons like scythes and staves. It rewards you at almost every turn, whether it’s with chests crammed with entire gear sets or with the hidden challenge portals that pop up after you defeat a boss, allowing you to fight off three waves of enemies for the promise of a chest crammed with loot.

Getting into the sword-swing of things reveals a fun hack-and-slash combat experience that feels closer to the beat-em-up style of Darksiders than Dark Souls’ high-stakes deuling. You can charge up attacks for more force, for instance, and you can minimize the energy needed to swing Harkyn’s hefty weapons through carefully timed combos. You’re locked into one of three sets of four spells for warrior, rogue, or cleric playstyles for the first playthrough, but I did feel I had a fair amount of freedom to play Harkyn as I chose. The biggest issue is that the class skills are wildly overpowered when fully upgraded.

I played as a Warrior, and early on I picked up a Rage spell that boosted my damage and briefly removed the need for energy/stamina requirements, thus trivializing fights that previously forced me to conserve my energy for shield blocks. Yet another spell sends the ghost of a warrior rushing toward a foe, staggering them and allowing me to score hits against even heavily shielded enemies. Yet the greatest of these is Quake, which summons a massive spirit who smites my enemy with a mighty thud of the hammer. Maxxed out and complemented with high magic, it makes even the toughest bosses a joke. Once you’ve completed the game with one class’s spells, you can unlock one of the two additional ones or New Game+. In my case, having beat the game as a Warrior, I’m fleshing out the Rogue spell tree for my second playthrough. By the time I have all three unlocked at once for the third playthrough, Harkyn should be ready to take over as the world’s god.

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Did Dark Souls beat you up and take your lunch money? Lords of The Fallen gives you a fighting chance.

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SOURCE:

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http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/28/lords-of-the-fallen-review Private landlords near me

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