New Lords of the Fallen:
Developer and publisher CI Games began a reboot of Lord of the Fallen after setting up a new development subsidiary called Hexworks.
Although the game itself is a reboot, this is Hexwork’s debut work. And from what I’ve played of the game in advance for review, it looks like it’s going to have a pretty successful debut.
Since the original game of the same name was released 9 years ago, it seems that it was a burden for the developer to continue the story of the original. This time, ‘Lord of the Fallen’ was born as a reboot work that doesn’t really matter if you proceed without knowing anything about the previous work.
Some of the names and place names of the great gods that make up the worldview seem to be shared, but as is typical with the ‘Soullike’ genre, there is no great burden in starting the game without knowing much. Rather, it has a much more intuitive aspect than Fromm-style storytelling, as it is based on the battle between good gods and bad gods and the results that we are all familiar with.
To briefly explain the early part of ‘Lord of the Fallen’, the ‘Dark Crusader’, who had to become evil to defeat evil things, is highlighted as an important figure. In a cutscene at the beginning of the game, a Crusader holding a mysterious lantern throws the lantern while running away from a strange-looking enemy, and the player who happens to be next to him takes on the role of the lantern’s next owner and engages in a desperate struggle against dark beings.
After creating a character, it’s time to explore a world full of darkness, die hard, and collect experience points, as usual. This game also allows you to make store purchases and level up at the same time with goods equivalent to experience points, and if you die, you lose everything you have. However, one unique style was added to this now familiar system. When you die, you go to the ‘underworld’.
This world, called ‘Umbral’, is another world that overlaps with the ‘real world’ of the game world. The already dark world of ‘Lord of the Fallen’ reaches its peak in Umbral. Eyes packed into the walls, limbs sticking out of nowhere, even sticky tentacles. The enemies you face in visuals reminiscent of cosmic horror are even more threatening than in the real world.
The mysterious lantern that the protagonist obtains from the beginning of the game is an element that acts like a stepping stone between this umbral and the real world. In this way, the two worlds that are similar but different but not found in existing Souls-type works, combined, can be said to be one of the fresh weapons presented by ‘Lord of the Fallen’.
Umbral feels different from the existing Soullike in many situations, one of which is that if the player’s character dies in the real world, they are given the opportunity to wake up in Umbral once again. Of course, if you die in Umbral, you will be resurrected at the base without mercy.
Umbral, which at first glance appears to be the same map but with a more gruesome visual, is also useful for finding paths that cannot be taken in the real world. In reality, if you bring a lamp to a blocked iron bar, you can pass through it by taking advantage of the fact that there is no iron bar in Umbral, even though it is the same space. Players can lift the lamp to look around only part of Umbral, or they can enter Umbral directly through the power of the lamp. However, even if you enter voluntarily, death in Umbral is fatal, and you must go to a specific place to return to the real world, so there is a risk involved.
What makes Umbral more frightening than the real world is that enemies constantly spawn around the player. As you enter Umbral and spend time, the gauge of the eye UI on the right increases. The enemies that first appear are few in number and not threatening, but as the gauge gradually increases, the number of enemies spawned continues to increase. Just as enemies that do not appear to be very threatening become difficult to deal with as their number increases, the time spent in Umbral acts as a stress factor.
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