Lords of the Fallen Preview
Developers: City Interactive
Publishers: City Interactive
Release Date: TBA 2014
If I had to choose to play only one of the titles I got my hands on at E3 2013, that title would be City Interactive's Lords of the Fallen. There's a LOT to love about Lords of the Fallen, but i'll start with the overall feel of the game: it feels like Darksiders meets Skyrim, minus all of the chatty stuff about Skyrim.
City Interactive's lead developer Tomasz Gop claimed that Lords of the Fallen will be the most challenging of the next gen RPGs, and boasts that the game is more centered on combat and action than anything else. While I didn't see anything out of the ordinary as far as difficulty is concerned, the action within the game looks incredibly fun. You can play as three different classes: a Warrior, Rogue or Cleric. Each type of character plays as you would imagine: the warrior uses heavy armor and is strong, the Rogue is quick and uses mostly daggers, and the Cleric uses lighter armor but uses a heavy hammer that has to be timed well to be most effective. Each type of character has their own action, as well. A Cleric has the Dogma skill which allows him to spawn a clone of himself to fight alongside him. The Warrior had a power skill, and the Rogue had Shadow, which allows him to disappear to stealthily kill his foe in a powerful way.
Lords of the Fallen won't only focus on the action, though, as CI games promises there will be plenty of background lore for the medieval fantasy RPG. The story that we were given is that the game takes place 8000 years ago during a time when there's a fight against god and his army. In fact, if you look closely at the first image we received from Lords of the Fallen, you'll notice that what appears to be mountains is actually the hand of that fallen god. As you traverse through the world, there is more lore scattered about in different forms. We saw the protagonist, Harkyn, pick up a couple notes that were randomly spawned in the world, which contained lore. Tomasz Gop stated that finding lore is a major factor into the game's replayability and branching off from the main storyline. In fact, Gop teased that the game will be heavy on secrets and discovering, and re-exploration will be important to find hidden items that weren't there the first time.
Further contributing to the game's replayability is the fact that there will be choices in the game, leading to more than one ending. We didn't see any of these available choices, but the fact is worth a mention.
The game's engine was built by City Interactive from the ground up, on next-gen consoles. The version we saw was PC, and it looked awe-inspiring already. Character models had incredible detail, and the world looks great as well. You can see a variation in weapons so that they don't all look the same, which makes me anxious to explore the world in hopes to uncover rare, cool-looking weapons. Another way to get cool weapons is to craft them. I didn't see what the crafting aspect of the game would look like, but Tomasz stated that it was there, and you'd be able to craft weapons. There is a looting element to Lords of the Fallen that will be the main source of your weaponry, but I noticed that not all of your defeated enemies reward you with a dropped item.
I was shown a couple of boss battles during my time with Lords of the Fallen, and both of them looked great. The first battle was with a larger-than-average warrior-esque character that had a shield and large sword. The battles appear to be in phases, with bosses having new attacks as well as weakpoints during each phase. Unfortunately, the boss battle felt a little scripted, and the boss didn't feel difficult to defeat, as CI Games said. I'd imagine that the game was on an easier mode for demoing purposes; at least I'm hoping that is the case. CI also teased another battle, but instead of a large warrior, the battle was with a very large dragon.
I'm incredibly excited about Lords of the Fallen, and I can't wait to see more from the game. Lords of the Fallen is currently scheduled for an early 2014 release date on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.