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Delrith's Lords of the Fallen written review!

3 posts in this topic




Hey guys, next up on my written reviews after Destiny is Lords of the Fallen. Still working on this whole 'writing reviews' thing so I ask that you give me some slack and assist with suggestive criticism! Cheers!


Lords of the fallen is a third person action RPG with strong elements such as combat taken from the Dark Souls universe. It has an extremely dark world with an environment to match and a highly rewarding combat system for players who figure it out or are familiar with similar systems. That being said, there are strong pros and cons to this game.


You start the game as Harkyn, a prisoner who has been guided to a fortress that is under siege by the Rhogar - seemingly demonic entities from another realm that are invading the world of man and lead by a dark god. You're immediately thrust into this world with a very simple tutorial (Simple, not bad!) and begin to press forth to free mankind of this scourge and restore balance.


The game's entire plot is that you stop the siege by killing the Rhogar "Lords" which are scattered throughout various parts of the game and in some cases other 'dimensions' that you travel to. You kill things, get experience, level up, and use weapons accordingly with your stats.


Think Dark Souls with an extreme focus on story this time around. Simple, right?


Yeaaah not so much. Let's discuss pros and cons now.






- Graphics and design



First and foremost I'd like to state flat out that in my opinion this game is BAR NONE the most beautiful game of the entire year. It was clear to me from the beginning that the game was only going to get better in this regard. Every single enemy has an amazing level of detail in it and I was HARD PRESSED to find any set of armor that wasn't entirely unique and handcrafted from the ground up.


Each level has an amazingly unique environment. The shadows, lighting, texture quality, and ambiance are all perfectly synced with what is going on at all times and give you immense satisfaction when tied into killing your enemies in various brutal ways. Even on the medium settings this is still the case, with ultra simply being icing on the cake to the entire thing.


Hell, even the quest dialogue scenes look amazing.



Here's a video of ultra, just so you can get the idea.



The visuals in combat are stunning. Sparks fly off of your shield as you block attacks and blood will come spurting forth out of your enemies as you stab them in various locations.

Tie that in with FANTASTIC weapons that are all unique (I had over 60 different ones and had missed a lot of secrets) and you have an overall art style that CANNOT be rivaled this year.


Here's an example of the weapon screen.



The sounds are absolutely fantastic as well. Weapon strikes, blocks, and general ambiance throughout the entire game are spot on and never once bothered me in the slightest.



-Kickass loot system & implementation



The loot system in the game is similar to Dark Souls in the sense that killing an enemy yields a chance for you to acquire the weapon that they are using. This holds true to bosses as well, which gives an extreme sense of gratification when you kill one and get a 'legendary' version of the weapon for you to use in combat.


Here's an example



Loot has three levels of quality. White, purple, and orange... Or generic, magic, and legendary. Generic being simple and unspecial versions of a weapon, magic having sockets for runes to go into, and legendary having unique abilities based on what weapon you're wielding. This can be a healing pool for example, or a chance to light enemies on fire.


There are two factors from what I saw that influence your ability to get loot. The first would be your 'multiplier' - a stat that is given to you the longer you do not spend your souls based on the number of enemies you have slain since the last time you did. This can get up to a 2.0x multiplier which drastically increases your chances of getting a purple or higher quality item from random enemies in the world.




The second thing that influences this is the Luck stat which is a part of the character leveling panel. Putting a crapload of points into this will of course reward you with more drops but drastically impair your ability to fight (As it becomes much harder to grind the needed level of souls) in the late game.


Factor this in with runes which are used to apply special stats and features to your armor and weapons and the identifying system for them (Which is later in the game) and you have a unique and satisfying take on a gear system that in my opinion was a flat out improvement from Dark souls.



-Boss fights



Bosses in this game are badasses. Within the first ten minutes of the game you encounter one that requires you to learn quickly or die to single combat to him in a humiliating fashion.


As stated previously these bosses are called Lords, and are generals of the dark god that you're engaged in fighting throughout the story to stop the invasion.


Each boss has a unique fighting style, arena, and moveset. Every fight will require you to adapt to the situation and adjust your actions appropriately. There was not a single boss in the entire game that you could simply walk at and beat into submission.. you'd die.


These bosses can appear suddenly as well in situations that are already dire.. rewarding you greatly if you are valiant enough to defeat them without dying or heading back to a checkpoint to heal. As well, there are situations where the bosses you are fighting are MASSIVE when compared to your character.



This gives the whole 'David versus Goliath" feeling which is absolutely fantastic and feels reminiscent of the Monster Hunter series.



-Combat system



A lot of people I've spoken to have mixed feelings about the combat system but I personally thought it was one of the best that I had ever had the pleasure of experiencing first hand.

Before I go on though, it's important that in this game you realize that:  You. Are. A. Man. - You are not a demon. You are not a demigod. You are not some superinfused demonslaying badass from another dimension. You're a human being for the most part and the combat revolves HEAVILY around that.


The enemies you are fighting, however, are superhuman/demons.. and they don't like to follow the rules and limitations that mankind has.


When we were at Pax Joe and I had the pleasure speaking with the developers on a personal level in a private play test of this game. During that session they explained that the animations in the game were as realistic as possible for Harkyn. In every instance they had brought in an extremely muscled individual to use properly weighted weapons in a motion capture studio.


This means that heavy weapons will swing slow as hell but hit with immense force while daggers will stab quickly and allow you to chain combos. As well, trying to block with daggers instead of using a shield will not work in the slightest.. and you will be sent flying from where you were standing when you get hit.


As well, when you hit enemies with an immensely heavy weapon and they're using lighter equipment THEY go flying.. tying into the satisfaction of having to time your attacks perfectly with such devices.

There are multiple combat styles that appeal to the primary damage attributes of the game: Strength, Dex, and Faith. Daggers and light or quick weapons will use dexterity. Heavy weapons like battle axes rely on brute strength, and blessed hammers and staff weapons rely on faith. 

Daggers are quick blitz strikes that require you to get behind your enemies or wait for the opportune moment.

Staves and hammers are well rounded and usually are enchanted with magic damage of some sort.. fire, poison, etc.

Heavy weapons weigh a TON but will devastate your enemies with extremely powerful strikes that take a while to prepare.


There are also backstab animations and parry animations for certain type of weapons and shields.. all of which are SUPER GODDAMN SATISFYING if you can execute them properly.


More than enough styles for everyone to enjoy!





-Lack of direction/mini-map/decent quest log



This is probably, if not for sure, the biggest issue with the game and something that dragged it down quite a bit throughout my playtest. It showed QUITE A BIT during my live stream when I would get lost for an hour or more at a time. The experience of being lost and not being able to continue the story for extended periods of time really drags down the immersion of the game.


There is no mini-map or map at ALL to show you where you are in relation to where you need to be. Quests are dumped on you in a fashion that requires you to backtrack or go to a door across a level you barely recognized; leaving you to search the same areas you've been in for extended periods of time until you get lucky.


There's no fast travel or ability to move between waypoint shrines. This leads to constant running back and forth as you try to get to new places or complete side quests for NPC characters.


It was absolutely infuriating for me to have to deal with this. At times I had to stop playing the game due to the fact that I WAS SO FUCKING LOST and didn't have a clue of where to go next or what I was looking for.


Sometimes it was as simple as finding a lever.. that was back the way I came after progressing on some ledge in an obscure place with no indication it was there, relying on you to find it through hours of exploration.


Ask NPC's for directions? Nope, general vague area given. Look into your quest log for pointers? Just a basic "Do this" message. It really could've been done so much better and honestly just felt lazy on behalf of the developers.


See, look!




Maybe I got lost more than others, but either way - I hated it.



- Very poorly implemented skills/skill trees.



This was another huge issue that I had with the game that I felt really held it back from being able to obtain high 8 or 9 scores in reviews.


At the beginning of the game you are given the choice to chose between three skillsets. Warrior based skills, Rogue based skills, and Cleric based skills.

Once you choose this.. you are LOCKED to this skillset for the rest of the game until the NG+ portion. There's no special spells you can get off of bosses, no trees to unlock new skills.. just presets you're forced to hold onto even if you regret them later.


The skills themselves aren't very interesting for any class. There's no elaborate trees or talent points for you to invest in unique abilities or actions. There's no going multi-class and getting skills from other trees later on.. and with the faith requirement holding you back on a lot of the abilities, strength characters generally get screwed over with anything but the warrior tree.


In fact, this gets so bad later on that you are stuck with a absurd amount of skill points leftover that you cannot use unless you invest in faith. Even if you do invest in faith you're stuck with an over abundance of them just sitting in your stats page collecting dust. At the end of my playthrough I was maxed out in my chosen tree but had FOURTEEN points sitting in my inventory collecting dust. Great!

Still had some left over, even in NG +!


Had they allowed you to bounce between skilltrees or put more thought into each individual one and expanded upon them it would've been a lot better. As of now though, it's an extreme flaw with the game that I hope gets remedied in the second one.






The game itself is extremely short, with a player able to do it in 7-9 hours if you're familiar with what you are doing. My playtest took fourteen hours due to the fact that I WAS LOST FOR AT LEAST FIVE HOURS TOTAL.


There are no 'extra' areas for you to go and explore, or optional bosses for you to fight. There's really hardly any deviation from the path that is set before you.. with most areas being roundabout loops that get you confused as to where to go.

The side quests aren't special from what I found and don't take you to any new and unique areas. They're simple things like 'kill these guys' 'get this' 'clear this area for me' and pretty much only add maybe an hour to the game if you know what you're doing.


Even though there are a lot of bosses they come far too quickly with too few enemies inbetween, leading to a somewhat 'meh' feeling when you complete the game. It leaves you wanting quite a bit more and wanting to play longer.... hoping the DLC will fill in the gaps and give you more content to enjoy.


The final boss buildup is also pretty crap. He's also somewhat of a huge pushover in comparison to some of his 'lords' which was a let down for both the stream and myself all in all. Bummer, right?


Don't get me wrong what it does have is great - There just isn't enough to justify the 60 dollar tag.





All in all I enjoyed the game primarily for the combat and loot systems. For the first of a game in a series it wasn't bad... it definitely has time to grow on us and I hope that the added content and future expansions improve upon it greatly and fixes the glaring issues that hurt the experience in the way they did.


Considering everything the final score for Lords of the Fallen comes down to




If you've got the money around and can afford to purchase it I definitely would. It's worth a playthrough or two even with the issues it has and I'm confident with feedback it can be improved over time.


Cheers! - Del

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Nice review Del! Straightforward and easy to follow. From what I see this game's basically a singleplayer Dark Souls but with more weapon customization, and skill trees that would have been awesome if you can use 3 of them at once instead of restricted in 1 playthrough. Now I'm interested in buying the game later when it's cheap!

One question, did you experience any bugs or glitches during the game? I saw a playthrough of someone playing this game on PS4 and the guy has encountered 7 hilarious game breaking bugs and glitches.

ProfessorGodLike likes this

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Might just wait for the pricetag to drop a little before getting it then, or hopefully a sale. :)

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