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E3 2013: Lords of the Fallen

Posted on June 13, 2013 AT 08:00am

Publisher CI Games
Developer CI Games
Platform XB1, PS4, PC
Release Date 2014
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Lords of the Fallen is a next-gen action-RPG set in a medieval fantasy world where humans have defeated and banished their former god, only to discover generations later that he’s back—and none-too-happy about the whole attempted murder thing. Developer CI Games is billing the experience as incredibly challenging and skill-based, calling to mind the brutal difficulty of From Software’s Demon’s and Dark Souls.

The Verdict

I’ll give Lords of the Fallen one thing—it’s pretty. The visuals on display during my hands-off demo were nothing short of astounding, with lighting, particle, and weather effects that were well beyond anything I’ve seen on current-gen consoles or my (now horrendously outdated) PC rig.

The trouble is, nothing about the rest of the presentation really stood out to me. The character designs and locations were fairly run-of-the-mill, uninspired fantasy tropes I’ve seen dozens of times before, and the combat, while certainly punishing in terms of damage dealt and received, didn’t seem all that technical. Encounters seemed to revolve around a whole lot of running around to the imaginary tune of Yakety Sax, waiting for a huge gap in the enemies’ attack animations, then running in for a quick slice, with a dodge or two thrown in for good measure. I was hoping for some sort of parry system or any sign of greater depth, but it wasn’t present. Keep in mind, I’m not saying it won’t be present in the final game—it just wasn’t something that was on display here, and that was a huge disappointment for a game that clearly wants to capitalize on the hype of the Souls titles.

The one thing that might actually salvage Lords of the Fallen for me is the class system, which isn’t nearly as rigid as in some other RPGs. While there are three different classes with their own special abilities, that power is tied to the weapon you’re currently wielding, allowing you to mix up your strategy on the fly without having to waste too much time on a respec. I’m always the guy who tries to play a jack of all trades, and if Lords gives me an outlet for that—and offers more combat depth that my small taste implied—I might actually give it a shot. For now, though, I’ll be hard pressed to remember anything about it a week from now.

Josh Harmon, Associate Editor
Josh Harmon picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn't looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @jorshy. Meet the rest of the crew.

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