The premise of Lords of the Fallen is that mankind once served an evil god, but eventually they rebelled and destroyed his forces, called Rogurs. Those five mountains on the cover are rumored to be the remains of his hand, to which I say rumors, my ass – there’s gotta be a gigantic man-on-deity smackdown at the end of this game. But storywise, humans have gotten complacent and forgotten, except now the Rogurs are returning.
You can play as a warrior, a rogue or a cleric, depending upon whether you prefer speed or power. Warriors are the most heavily armored, while rogues can move really fast but don’t do a ton of damage. Also, each has a special power – rogues can go invisible briefly (when fully charged), clerics can create energy doppelgangers (think Sub-Zero ice clones) and I don’t know what the warrior does.
The key to this game, according to its creators, was to have a duel-based system, where you actually have to think about every fight, looking at your opponent’s moves and figuring out counter-moves. The way it plays out, it’s almost like a combination of button-mashing battles and turn-based RPG combat – though real-time, you have to calculate when and how to strike, with several of your foes – who look a lot like McFarlane Toys’ Dark Ages Spawn – boasting one-kill hits in their arsenals.
Levels are also laden with secrets, many of which are unlocked by returning to prior levels after progressing further in the game and gaining knowledge as to what to do in the previous settings. Though there is a linear story, some of these secrets involve finding ways to take on bosses in a different order, or side-step others completely.
This is a screenshot:
One thing that’s very clear about all the next-gen console stuff (though this will be on PC too) – the cut scenes are now indistinguishable from gameplay, visually. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get photorealism by PlayStation 5.
Also, pretty much every game relishes in particulate matter – ashes, energy specks converging into vortexes…and rain. Lots of rain. Lots of rain splashes on the virtual “camera,” (not so much in this game, but others) which I still insist is pretentiously stupid, calling attention to a camera that isn’t actually there and shouldn’t exist anyhow. It is the new thing, though, that programmers are doing just to show they can.
Anyway, Lords of the Fallen looks pretty cool. Players may miss having some cannon-fodder around – I like to have at least a few easy kills – but it’s different. Maybe I’ll just need to drink more while playing. Darn it!