Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: soulslikes

Lords of the Fallen: a quick look

Many moons ago, there was a game called Lords of the Fallen. It was developed by Deck13 Interactive and published by CI Games. It was one of the first if not the first soulslike, and it was slavish in how close it adhered to Dark Souls. In both a good and a bad way. There were a few things they added, such as a clock to how long you had to retrieve your souls. I don’t remember if it meant that you just didn’t get them if the time ran out or if they gave you less and less infinitely, but it was not a welcome addition to the formula.

The one thing that they took from Dark Souls was that the combat was weighty. Which it is. But Deck13 took that to mean it should be s-l-o-w. So slow. So agonizingly slow. The game has been nicknamed Clunky Souls, and it’s definitely that. I played the first two hours twice as two different characters, and it just did not click with

By the way, I must say that the takeaway from the games that the bosses need to be insanely difficult is so not my favorite thing. I don’t play these games because of the bosses. I play because of the exploration and the level design, the stories, and just the delight of existing in a Miyazaki world.

The bosses are cool in design, but, honestly, at this point, I do not want to spend days on one boss. I just don’t. And that brings us to this Lords of the Fallen, which was not made by Deck13. They were going to make the sequel, but it never happened. I don’t remember why. they ended up making The Surge (and the sequel), which is affectionately known as Junkyard Souls. In a nutshell, you’re attacking robot/human hybrids. You can specify the limb you want to attack and then get that limb’s armor. Maybe you can get weapons, tooo? I don’t remember, but it’s so cool. And while it was janky as hell, it was fun. Lots of fun. Until the final boss, but let’s not talk about that.

This Lords of the Fallen is not a remake nor a sequel. It’s just set in the same universe but many years in the future as I understand it. After CI Games passed on Deck13, another studio was involved in the sequel. That fell through as well, and then years later, HexWorks was given this game.

Now it’s out. Unlike Lies of P which received nearly universal praise, Lords of the Fallen‘s reviews are all over the map. On Metacritic, they range from 40 to 100. The numbers were similar on OpenCritic. I thought the numbers were severely inflated for Lies of P (which is Lies of Pi in my brain). I started at a 7 out of 10 with that game and then it steadily decreased as I played. By the end, it had dropped a whole number. If you can perfect block, the number will probably be higher. If you can’t, then I would strongly suggest not playing that game.

As for this one, I would hesitantly put it as a 7 out of 10 after playing several hours and beating the first boss–who, by the way, is ridiculously difficult for a first boss. Obviously, if you can parry,


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Wo Long and diminishing returns

I beat that lightning boss in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja). I don’t take much joy in it because, well, I’ll get to that in a minute. I will say that I was bitching to Ian about the boss because–and this is actually an issue I have with all Team Ninja games–the deflect is just not consistent across the enemies. I mean, to be fair, the deflect/parry box is different for different enemies in From games as well, but at least it’s consistent within an enemy group. I can’t do it well, but that’s clearly on me.

In the last post, I wrote about some of my issues with Team Ninja games. I’m going to continue in that vein for this post because that’s how I roll. I need to talk about my current obsession to move past it.

Back to the deflect. In Nioh 2, there was something it was the burst counter. There would be a red flash, and you had to hit RT+B (I think?) at the right time. It was a different time for each enemy. In this game, it’s just B. But it’s the same thing where you had to do it at the right time after the red flash. The issue in Wo Long is that they hooooooooooooooold that flashing red to an unreasonable point. In Sekiro, the red kanji flashed and then you hit the deflect. It was very precise. I was trash at it, but the windows were consistent. In Nioh 2 and now in Wo Long, they aren’t. In this game, it’s partly because the windows are more generous. I get the deflect much more often than I did in Nioh 2. However, with this boss, I hardly got it at all. he flashed red and then held it, held it, held it, and then BAM. I got the deflect once or twice but for the most part,I just tried to hit him when I could and let my buddy take most of the damage. I buffed us with our spells (to have us take less damage was one spell and us getting healt back with each hit on the enemy as another) and then just backed the fuck way off not to get hit.


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