Lords of the Fallen: Review Roundup

Lords of the Fallen takes a shot at the Souls-like genre with a few new twists, and its reception has been very diverse.
Lords of the Fallen review roundup

Reviews for Lords of the Fallen, a new take on the Dark Souls genre from Hexworks and CI Games, have begun to appear, with a broadly mixed reception.

Based on our preview of the game, Lords of the Fallen seemed to stick very closely to the design and aesthetic of the genre, as laid out by FromSoftware and its games Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring. Lords of the Fallen‘s one big hook was incorporating two different realms of existence, a corporeal and an ethereal one which are used for both environmental puzzle-solving, as well as combat encounters.

It seems as if this ethereal realm, called the Umbral dimension, was unanimously agreed upon as a positive addition to the game’s take on the genre, no matter where the critics ultimately landed on the overall experience. Here are a few select reviews of Lords of the Fallen, from across the critical spectrum.

Read: [GIVEAWAY] Win a PS5 console and Lords of the Fallen (Australia Only)

GameSpot – 5/10

At GameSpot, Phil Hornshaw spoke fondly of the game’s visually impressive world and concept, as well as the Umbral dimension’s contributions to the game’s sense of exploration and atmosphere. But he was otherwise left largely unimpressed with its level design and sense of reward from its tough battles.

“The fun of risk-and-reward gameplay comes from actually earning the rewards; if the rewards aren’t good enough, or if the risk is too heavy, the fun turns to frustration. For all of Lords of the Fallen‘s good ideas, it struggles to make the payoff worthy of the investment. Its meandering level design and slogging encounters turn challenge into tedium, leaving a feeling that getting up and doing something else would be time better spent.”

TheGamer – 7/10

James Troughton was more positive on Lords of the Fallen in his review for TheGamer. “To see a Soulslike that iterates in its own way, rather than chasing new trends, is a breath of fresh air,” he wrote, “and offers hope for a genre that has never escaped FromSoftware’s shadow.”

He was put off by the game’s “painfully slow start” and took some issue in its linearity, but was otherwise impressed by the boss fights and Umbral world concept. “It’s not just a pale imitation of better games, it iterates on the formula.”

PC Gamer – 79/100

At PC Gamer, Harvey Randall said Lords of the Fallen featured “some of the best boss fights in the genre’s recent history,” but was “riddled with difficulty spikes in all the wrong places.” He also praised the Umbral dimension concept, as well as the atmosphere and boss design, but ended his review by criticising what he saw as an uneven nature.

“The game argues with itself. Bosses are fair and fun, but a touch too easy, while exploring Mournstead is a trap-flooded, enemy-overkill nightmare. The cogs don’t link up and sing as they should, and the whole machine suffers for it.”

Shacknews – 9/10

TJ Denzer also took some issue with its uneven challenges somewhat, but he was largely very positive in his review for Shacknews. The Umbral dimension element was praised once more, and Denzer spoke highly of the game’s overall creativity.

“The Umbral world and mechanics surrounding it made for an extremely compelling and risky adventure where I often rode the line between safety and death. I feel like the game could have done better at making the threat of Umbral more than escalation of foes up to an unkillable pursuer that could one-shot me, but I can’t deny I was tickled by the possibilities and always curious of what was on the other side.”

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran