Lords of the Fallen is a game that follows the style of Souls-like games, which are known for their unique pacing. In these action-RPGs, you face challenging enemies in long areas, collecting “souls” to level up. The catch is that if you die before reaching a safe spot to use your souls, you lose them.
The game’s pacing involves building tension as you explore dangerous areas and then finding relief at safe checkpoints where you can heal and improve your character. Lords of the Fallen, while incorporating many Souls-like elements, struggles with its pacing due to factors like level design, tough enemies, and checkpoint issues.
A distinctive feature in Lords of the Fallen is the Umbral realm, an alternate dimension. As a Dark Crusader, you can enter the Umbral when taking too much damage, gaining a chance to survive. However, the Umbral introduces new challenges, such as invisible enemies and a time limit, adding complexity to the gameplay.
Despite these unique elements, the Umbral contributes to the game’s pacing problems. The level design is intricate and confusing, with sparse checkpoints. The Umbral Seeds, which act as checkpoints, are rare and can lead to frustrating situations. The combat system, focusing on slow, heavy attacks and dodging, is undermined by the overly forgiving dodge mechanism, making battles less challenging and more time-consuming.
The pacing issues extend to boss fights, which become prolonged and repetitive due to the game’s mechanics. The parry system, although interesting on paper, is often ignored in favor of the more effective dodging. Additionally, the withered health system, intended to add risk, ends up discouraging players from using certain defensive strategies.
While Lords of the Fallen has a vast and intriguing world, its meandering level design and frustrating encounters overshadow its potential. The game struggles to balance risk and reward, turning what should be challenging gameplay into a tedious experience. Despite its promising elements, Lords of the Fallen falls short in delivering a satisfying gaming experience.