Behind closed doors at PAX Prime 2013, City Interactive Games, in association with Deck13, showed off the latest pre-alpha build of their upcoming third-person action role-playing game, Lords of the Fallen.
Most similar to Dark Souls by From Software, Lords of the Fallen places you in the shoes of one of three hero types in hopes of stopping an ancient god from bring risen once again. As of thousands of years ago, the evil god had ruled the land but become banished underground when the people banded together. Thought to never be heard from again, the fallen god's minions have taken to the land once more and it is up to you to stop them.
Unlike many of the standard fantasy action titles that have released in the recent past, Lords of the Fallen does not reward players for simply smashing a single attack. As a matter of fact, it punishes such simple tactics. Every enemy that you cross will need to be treated as a deadly foe, because you are more fragile than they are. Watching the developer play through the demo, it was clear that the goal wasn't to set out to punish the player for not knowing what to do, but rather to constantly remind them that precise attacks, patience, and recognizing patterns are the key to victory.
Once an enemy engaged in combat, keeping your distance and watching for openings become the standard form for each bout. Being able to successfully supplement many quick attacks with timely power slashes is an important part of ensuring fights don't take longer and become more dangerous than they should. Ultimately, it looked like combat was more about your ability to work through the opponent's weaknesses until they falter rather than slashing away mercilessly.
While the game does look to keep players on their toes, the developers did emphasize that they don't want players to become discouraged. This is where magical abilities were shown off. The character unleashed an astral ghost of himself into an opponent, knocking them off their feet and leaving them open to a combo of attacks. As the game is still in early stages of development, the magic abilities, while still impressive looking, were far from a finished produced. For the more hardcore fantasy players a crafting system was mentioned, but only briefly.
Lords of the Fallen is a game that will exercise the potential of next-gen hardware very well. Demonstrated on a PC, every room had personality with thralling ambiance and gorgeous attention to detail. Sadly, Lords of the Fallen won't be ready until next year some time, but given that the game promises to have dialog trees, multiple endings, multiple paths, as well as a fully fleshed out crafting system, I think it will be worth the wait.
Lords of the Fallen will release in 2014 on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.