Lords of the Fallen Review: Innovative Mechanics Meet Classic Flaws
Hexworks’ reboot of “Lords of the Fallen” emerges as a title that both reveres and revolts against its own genre. It’s a game that invites you to explore its dual realities, the Axiom and the Umbral, as if urging you to ponder the duality of its own existence.
The game’s most striking feature is undoubtedly the Umbral realm, a parallel universe that players can access using the Umbral Lamp. This mechanic allows for a unique layer of exploration and strategy. You can peek into this other dimension, enter it, or even use it to manipulate enemies. It’s a feature that adds a ton of depth to the moment-to-moment gameplay, allowing you to glimpse into another dimension or drag enemies off ledges by the scruff of their soul. Yet, the game’s overreliance on large enemy groups can make this innovative feature feel like a shallow difficulty ramp at times.
Combat in “Lords of the Fallen” is a mixed bag. While the game offers a plethora of weapons, spells, and build variety, it also suffers from some design issues. For instance, the parry mechanic is less rewarding due to the health loss, even when executed successfully. This design choice, discourages players from utilizing what could have been a rewarding combat strategy.
When it comes to the game’s visual and technical aspects, it’s mostly a smooth ride. The Umbral realm is visually striking, and the game runs well on modern hardware. However, there are some framerate issues in certain areas and a handful of bugs, although none were game-breaking.
“Lords of the Fallen” tries to carve its own identity, especially with the introduction of the Umbral realm, but it’s held back by some design choices that feel like they’re from a bygone era of gaming. It’s a game that will likely polarize its audience—some will fall in love with its inventive mechanics and rich lore, while others might find themselves tripped up by its shortcomings “Lords of the Fallen” is a game that will undoubtedly find its niche audience, those who can overlook its flaws for the sake of its innovations.
RATING: 3.0 out of 5.
Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.