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By Robert Ward . April 22, 2014 . 5:01pm
When Vigil Entertainment disbanded back in 2013, it left a big, Darksiders-shaped hole in my heart. Where was I going to get my cheeky post-apocalyptic one-liners and crazy, oversized weapon-wielding action?
Luckily, at Bandai Namco’s Gamers Day event two weeks ago, I met Tomasz Gop, who introduced me to what will surely be my next guilty pleasure—Lords of the Fallen, a new, next-gen IP from CI Games that takes the most basic elements from games like Darksiders and Dark Souls II, and boils them down to an accessible, rewarding formula. Actually, I would describe it as “the weapons of Darksiders in the world of Dark Souls”.
Hell, there’s even a little bit of Nathaniel Hawthorne in there.
“The game is driven by combat, not story,” said producer Tomasz Gop. “The world we built for Lords of the Fallen follows a culture that, after defeating their god and his army, believes that evil can be completely and utterly wiped out of human nature. Anyone who sins has a “2” branded onto their face. When demons return to torment humanity, Harkyn, the man who’s committed the most number of sins, is the person chosen to fight them.”
Gop proceeded to walk us through a dungeon the player will encounter early in the game.
“These are the infested,” he said, as his iron-clad warrior approached a zombie-like character that landed somewhere between the Undead from The Last Story and your typical zombie. “They’ve been transfigured by dark powers. They’re the most common enemy type, so it shouldn’t be too hard to sneak by them unnoticed if you don’t want to fight.”
Gop then snuck past two Infested in the dungeon’s courtyard before realizing that a large enemy down the hall would eventually force him to fight them. Mowing them down with a few large swings of his sword, he stands at the end of the Hallway and prepares a clever trick. “Spells are very, very powerful in Lords of the Fallen, but they cannot be abused. They can be used offensively, or to lure your enemies into traps…”
After casting a spell that sent a raging bull made of flames down the hallway, the enemy came running towards Gop’s warrior—but, as the large enemy walked over some wooden boards in the center of the courtyard, he fell to his death without so much as a battle cry. “You can lure a boss into a trap, but, you won’t get the loot or EXP from killing it,” Gop explained to me.
The following corridors included a cleverly laid out ambush on the player, as well as some opportunities for alternative exploration. “There are really subtle clues scattered about the dungeons,” said Gop. “Discovering them takes no more than a sharp eye—and this will open other paths for you to explore.”
After fighting some pesky spider enemies, Gop unlocked a chest with a vicious pair of claws in it. “You can switch between weapons easily regardless of what class you are,” he said. “You can also bank experience if you don’t want to lose when you die – buying attribute points or spell points will let you upgrade your character. Attributes are class-independent, while spells are class-dependant.”
Gop then walked into the arena ahead and fought an boss named “The Champion,” a berserker of sorts that, in between charging your character and smacking the wall, would send seismic waves rippling through the ground towards your character. His first attempt with a sword proved to be futile—so he changed up his strategy.
Removing his shield and sword, Gop equipped the claws he had just received in the room before. Suddenly, his slow and bulky warrior became swift and agile. His movements were noticeably faster and his attacks were unleashed in a flurry of punches as opposed to powerful swings. With some careful consideration of The Champion’s movements, he dispatched it with patience.
“We want Lords of the Fallen to be challenging, but rewarding, and not punishing.”
After the demo drew to a close, I asked Gop a few questions about the game’s variety and length. He replied, “You’ll have three classes to choose from: the Warrior, which focuses on all-out attack, the Rogue, which focuses on careful offensive strategies and stealth, and the Cleric, which focuses on healing and, well, staying alive longer. To the mainstream audience, the game should take around 30 hours to beat.”
Lords of the Fallen is in development for PC and next-gen consoles.