Lords of the Fallen Preview: Beautifully Unforgiving

lords of the fallen preview

Let me preface this with one simple statement: I hate ‘Soulslike’ games. I’ve never gotten on with them, I can’t stand a challenge, and if I die more than three times back-to-back, I’m likely to uninstall a game and never revisit it. But recently, I got to sit down with an exclusive Lords of the Fallen preview – and it won me over.

Lords of the Fallen is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most impressive games I’ve played in recent years. As I explored this dark, twisted universe that’s split between two parallel words, I found myself sucked in and desperate to progress through the game despite its challenges – and there were plenty of those.

Here’s my Lords of the Fallen preview in all its glory, and with it the tale of how a wimp gamer was able to step outside of his comfort zone.

Lords of the Fallen Will Rise

I sat down to play Lords of the Fallen with an open mind but a closed heart – this wasn’t my kind of game, and I fully believed I wouldn’t enjoy it; I wouldn’t let it entertain me. I’ve had rough experiences with Dark Souls and Elden Ring, so why would I like this Lords of the Fallen preview?

I was so wrong.

Lords of the Fallen is, on the surface, a stunning game to admire – it boasts environments that are equal parts beautiful and chilling, with the universe being split into two worlds. There’s the ‘world of the living’ – Axiom – and the ‘realm of the dead’ – Umbral. I was encouraged to bounce between the two using a Lantern that was imbued with an ancient power, and I quickly found that this game wasn’t just about the combat – it also offered challenges of the puzzle variety.

It took me a while to get used to the controls, but if you’ve played a Soulslike game, you’ll feel right at home with Lords of the Fallen. Once I’d got to grips with the various inputs, I felt like I could handle combat quite well – and each fight was deeply satisfying. I was playing as a Hallowed Knight, which I understood to be a relatively balanced class, but there were so many different roles to play from the in-depth character creation screen.

Exploring Axiom – and Umbral

I had quite a meaty taste of the game in my extended Lords of the Fallen preview, finding out about the base mechanics, levelling up, magic and traditional combat abilities, and even some of the lore and the backstory behind the game. It was all deeply interesting, and I found myself hungry to learn more about the game – it seemed so rich and deep that even the thought of a never-ending challenge didn’t put me off.

It’s innovative – the ability to travel into a realm of the undead at any point to solve puzzles or bypass obstacles is an intriguing one, but that too comes with its pitfalls. As I made my way around the play area, I found myself exploring every nook and corner, discovering hidden areas and slashing down every enemy put before me (except for Pieta, an early-game boss) with reckless abandon.

Hint: That’s bravado, even the minor enemies are quite challenging to someone new to this type of game.

There’s a fantastic story driving Lords of the Fallen forward, but for those who aren’t used to this genre, it might seem a little too heavy right off the bat. For instance, dialogue is delivered in an archaic style that may leave some gamers scratching their heads. It’s authentic, but it can be confusing.

It’s a tall tale that’s interwoven with epic sub-stories: ancient demons, a holy brotherhood, beacons shrouded in darkness, and a battle between gods and men imbued with otherworldly abilities. It’s nifty, that’s for sure.

Related: Lords of the Fallen’s Story Trailer

Is Lords of the Fallen Worth Buying?

I’m going to do something I’ve never openly done before. I’m going to wholeheartedly recommend a Soulslike game.

I finished my Lords of the Fallen preview with a desperate hunger for more – I’d defeated the first boss (with assistance), and that was enough to bolster my confidence. On October 13th, Lords of the Fallen will be released, and at that point, I’ll be able to explore the whole game – seamlessly – with a fellow gamer. That’s a little extra boost in morale, too – and it means that there’s PvP combat to be discovered later on.

With plenty of items to collect and sort through, many various approaches to combat, and a story that fills you with a desire to learn more and push further, there’s more than enough in Lords of the Fallen to sink your teeth into. There are heaps of mechanics to learn right off the bat, but if I did it, you certainly can.

I’d go so far as to say it’s a contender for Game of the Year.

Lords of the Fallen releases on October 13th on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5