After 100 hours, here everything is wrong with Lords of the Fallen

October 20, 2023 by No Comments

The main points of the story

  • Lords of the Fallen (not to be confused with, well, Lords of the Fallen) is the latest Souls-like and despite some flaws it’s a really fun game.
  • The main issues plaguing the game are a strong drop in performance, high co-op restrictions while still being “smooth”, frustrating level design, and thinking that many enemies are worth the trouble.
  • While not without their issues, non-FromSoftware attempts at the genre have come a long way and I hope they continue to improve.

In 2014 we saw one of the first attempts to replicate FromSoftware’s formula – Lords of the Fallen. And now after 9 years it’s back, with the same name? New Lords of the Fallen is the latest Souls-like, and where there’s a Souls-like, you’ll find me. First, we had P’s lies and now, Fallen Lord, it seems Non-FromSoftware products have started to become much more competitive.

The Lords of the Fallen’s features looked like a giant factory. The idea of ​​two different game worlds at the same time was such a brilliant idea. This also meant designing the locations twice. In addition, the game’s promise of seamless co-op, a phenomenal number of weapons and unlimited possibilities for unique construction convinced me that this would be a rich adventure. However, upon release, there were certain glaring issues that I would like to discuss here.

Issues aside, Lords Of The Fallen is a pretty good Souls-like iteration

Before you get into trouble and risk giving the impression that this is a bad game, let me make this clear. Lords of the Fallen is a good and fun adventure thanks to some of its strengths, but it could have been so much more if not for these issues. The game has huge potential, though Some design choices prevented it from reaching those heights.

Lords of The Fallen is a great game that was buried in a storm of technical issues
Byu/IcePopsicleDragon BLordoftheFallen

First, let’s talk about the combat mechanics that really impressed me. It follows the standard Souls-like combat formula, but actually feels pretty well executed. There is very little junk in the mechanics when you hack into enemies. Combos go pretty well in terms of animation, and even dodging is extremely smooth. One thing to note here is that the Dodge is a little too long-distance. It’s quite impressive in open areas but the game’s level design will drop you to death very often as you dodge.

The main problem with any Souls-like is usually the failure to achieve FromSoftware-level combat feel, but I’m happy to say that Lords of the Fallen is safe in that department. Similarly, the large number of embedded weapons Powerstancing make the build variety the best in this game. You have tons of options, each equally fun to play with. Couple that with a unique system of dual worlds and an exploration incentive, and you’ve got a pretty good soul character to scratch that particular itch.

Just like Elden Ring, Lords of the Fallen has proper Powerstancing

Performance issues can kill even the best of gamers

Now, to the problems, and some pretty serious ones. First and foremost, the game is very unstable. Performance issues seem to have come back to haunt us. When will this nightmare end? As a PC gamer, lately, whenever I look forward to a game and wait for it to come out, Performance issues mean let’s introduce ourselves and destroy it in an instant. Take a look at some recent PC releases. It’s very hard to be a PC gamer these days.

In the case of Lords of the Fallen, the performance issues aren’t just limited to the PC version. They also hit the console versions, but the extreme case seems to be PC. Frequent stutters that don’t improve over time, insane frame drops that can even make you dizzy, sudden crashes that ruin your experience along with save corruption, and a very unstable frame rate even on high-end systems; We just can’t catch a break.

Lords of the Fallen is good, but the performance is abysmal
Byu/Captain_McKnight BPS5

The game can’t even run smoothly on an RTX 4090, let alone a standard system. I’ve been playing this game since launch, and the performance issues are severely limiting my enjoyment. The game is hard enough as it is, we don’t need an “extra handicap”. But, here is good news. Developers are aware of this and are actively working to fix things. A few fixes were released that made things much better. Some of the issues persist, but as they are about that, I can’t complain too much.

Where is The Seamless Co-Op?

Okay, this was a pretty impressive feature and I was looking forward to it. Lord of the Fallen Ensured a seamless collaboration experience. Instead of co-op only in certain limited areas like the Soulsborne games, Hexworks introduced the option to play the entire game with a friend And face the many merciless opponents with a friend because there is strength in numbers. However, the reality is a little different from what I imagined.

Playing cooperatively is great fun.  If only the restrictions would disappear
Playing cooperatively is great fun. If only the restrictions would disappear

Although the entire game can be played cooperatively, some of the mechanics make it a less desirable choice. For starters, you can’t interact with most things in the host world. Whether it’s NPCs, loot, or any other location that can be interacted with, only the host can do so. This means that in order to clearly progress questlines and collect loot, I have to go back to my world and complete this entire location again (sigh).

Very disappointed with the co-op
Byu/Jofitaro BLordoftheFallen

I know the lack of progress in your co-op world can be justified, but at least let me collect some of the sweet loot I’ve actually contributed to make available. What’s even more unfair is how you can only get a third of Vigor (this game’s leveling currency) in the hospitality world. What’s the point of completing the field in cooperation when you’re leaving with only scraps?

Lord of the Fallen and “When will this level end?”

Moving on to the level design, and while on paper the areas are connected to each other, lots of tracks to explore, two different worlds and Manually adjustable barriers Looks like a pretty good design choice, it’s quite different in execution and that’s where the trouble comes in. Don’t get me wrong I love hard games, but The design of Lord of the Fallen borders on tedious and frustrating rather than challenging fun (I’m looking at you, Pilgrim’s Seat).

Lord of the Fallen this is too tedious.
Byu/BigBoiNoShoes BLordoftheFallen

The area is designed with such confusing twists and turns that you get lost more often than not. With tons of branching paths, getting lost and killed is the last thing you want, although there are some sweet weapons waiting at the end. Couple that with a frustratingly repetitive design philosophy and you’ve got a field you just can’t wait to get out of. Most of the game involves narrow platforms, enemies in almost every corner that will push you, glowing magic that hits you from 100 miles away that you can’t even see, and your dodging plunges you to your death.

And most importantly, what’s wrong with the checkpoint system? Using currency that is very hard to come by, and placed in points that actually require you to use it or you risk losing massive progress. These should have been definite roadblocks as navigating some of these areas is more pain than pleasure. You navigate through a frustrating area and finally reach a checkpoint but voila, it’s optional and you don’t have the item. Advance a little further only to die, and welcome back to the beginning!

Manual checkpoints in Lords of the Fallen feel like a great idea, but trust me it's not
Manual checkpoints in Lords of the Fallen feel like a great idea, but trust me it’s not

I’m pretty sure another enemy gang is waiting around this corner

How to make a tortuous area with no relief even more difficult? Put 10 unfairly brutal enemies one after the other. This will surely make players question their decisions. The Fallen Lords really like to overwhelm you Enemies that quickly become more frustrating than engaging. And it’s not even a rare location, it’s just common for this game. Take on one or two elite enemies with impossible health while typical enemies don’t mess with you and snipers make your life hell.

Too many real enemies
Byu/EducationalLadder535 BLordoftheFallen

During my entire playthrough, I rarely had a one-on-one with an enemy. A second, more like a fifth, was always close and ready to jump in. And what’s more, the game even puts previous bosses as mobs in the following areas. Whenever I fight a boss, I also decide to fight it out among a bunch of annoying rogues later on. It’s less of a challenge and more of a please leave me alone as my damage absorbing enemies swarm all over the area.

To add fuel to the fire, the game’s lack of solid barriers makes it even more confusing. If you are lucky enough to die in an unfair encounter, which no doubt, You have to go through all those tedious battles again. And forget running past them, ever since The uneven terrain and horrible platforming of the game100 enemies are following you, and the deadly mage/snipers make sure you die a quick death if you try to escape.

The spell looks cool, right?  Wait until you reach the receiving end
The spell looks cool, right? Wait until you reach the receiving end

My final thoughts

Let me say one last thing. Although I’ve spent close to 100 hours playing the game grinding and exploring, I highly recommend not going into NG+ lightly. A very unpleasant surprise awaits you if you do, which I think is a very awkward choice. Let’s say your transition and so the pleasure will take a serious hit. If you want to achieve completion, it’s best to just start over with a different class to try, as it can be counterintuitive in Souls. It’s up to you, but you’ve been warned.

While these issues made my experience a little on the frustrating side, I can’t help but admit that the non-FromSoftware iterations of the genre have come a long way. Take a look at Lies of P, it’s a brilliant Souls-like that shows the potential of future projects. And Lord of the Fallen is no different. Many of its features and mechanics are truly creative and welcome additions. It’s also far superior to its 2014 predecessor, so it’s on the right track.

And it’s not over yet. The game has started receiving patches and updates that can fix some of the issues. While I doubt the level design and enemy placement can be changed, we’ll just have to live with it. At least the co-op experience can still be improved and performance issues reduced. If I can play the game with a friend who benefits equally from the co-op, the gang fights can also be conquered. I hope Fallen Lords gets the fixes it needs as it has the potential to be a fantastic adventure.

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