Lords of the Fallen just got a release date and a gloomy gameplay trailer that unashamedly screams Dark Souls DNA. Studio Hexworks has confirmed that the reboot of the eponymous 2014 souls-like title will release October 13, across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. Running on Unreal Engine 5, Lords of the Fallen is described as a spiritual successor and promises an interconnected world that’s ‘five times larger’ than the original game. It might also be the subject of one of the weirdest renaming in gaming history. Initially called ‘The Lords of the Fallen’ to avoid a mix-up with the 2014 version, it was again rebranded earlier this year to drop the ‘The’ from its name. Understandably, it can be confusing for owners of the older game since the publisher is the same.
A dramatic opening screen kickstarts the Lords of the Fallen gameplay trailer, detailing the premise: “Mournstead has fallen. Its great army decimated by the legions of Adyr, the Demon God.” Just like every souls-like game by FromSoftware, the player is plunged into a tarnished world to fight against all odds and rebuild lost hope and glory in the region. The game features strong RPG foundations, starting with a character builder, followed by a class selection option where you pick from a choice of nine — ranging between Knight, Rogue, and Fire Apprentice. Of course, the starting path can gradually evolve into something that perfectly fits your playstyle — via weapon discovery and other levelling options. There isn’t much information on the latter, for now.
We then see the protagonist The Dark Crusader accepting the offer to thwart Adyr from the unnamed, gold-faced mighty ruler of Mornstead. “The radiance of Mournstead withers,” he says, presenting us with an odd glove, presumably an artefact that grants special abilities. “Adyr’s darkness threatens to desolate our world.” The Lords of the Fallen trailer then turns into a flashy montage of colossal boss battles, ranging from beasts to fiery warriors. There’s even one that’s reminiscent of Knight Artorias from the Dark Souls DLC, showcasing his acrobatic movesets and spinning jump attacks.
Using the trusty, blue-tinted lantern, players will intermittently travel between two worlds — Axiom the realm of the living, and Umbral the realm of the dead, both posing unique challenges. It’s unclear how this translates into gameplay, with the game’s description on Steam stating: “Fall in the world of the living, and rise again… in the world of the dead. You now have one final chance to return to your living state, as all manner of hellish creature descends upon you.” It feels somewhat reminiscent of Demon’s Souls’ whereupon death, the player respawns in a spirit-like form with a lower HP until they defeat a boss. But the mention of “one final chance” sounds confusing.
The combat presented in the Lords of the Fallen trailer appears faster-paced and flashier than the FromSoftware’s catalogue of games — a bit similar to Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty but with a level of heft to our weapons. “Choose from 100s of uniquely brutal weapons, or forgo metal for magic with devastating attacks of the arcane,” the description reads. The game also comes with support for online co-op, but just like Dark Souls, heroes from other realms can invade and ruin your day as well.