I’ll admit I never got into Lords of the Fallen, not being totally sure what it was. Initially, I thought it was some dark fantasy RPG, riding the wave of success that Shadow of Mordor was enjoying. Having now learned that it was a mediocre attempt at a Souls game, it makes sense that I would’ve missed it, seeing how it was still a year until Bloodborne would come out and not only become my third favourite game of all time, but ignite my love of the Souls franchise. How odd it is that the only reason I would even dip my toe into LotF, despite getting it free on PS+, was to gather the necessary context to review the mobile version; a boring and forgettable affair that aspires to nothing and succeeds.
Lords of the Fallen exists on mobile in name only, having as much do with its console counterpart as Slashy Souls did to Dark Souls 3. Its gameplay is basically copied whole cloth from games like Infinity Blade and Blood and Glory. Players move from enemy to enemy, waiting for them to telegraph their attacks, and either dodge accordingly, use a limited amount of blocks, or parry to get a few hits in. Wash, rinse, and watch the same terrible “finisher” animation where your sword doesn’t even connect with the monster.
There’s the basic attempts at RPG elements with different equipment you can get after battling, and experience you gain by fighting enemies, but each fight feels more like a battle of attrition them anything with real depth or strategy.
Graphically it’s pretty decent, you can see the attempt at creating decent landscapes with atmospheric lighting and whatnot, and the cutscenes are pretty well done as well but it’s so cheap in overall presentation that it hardly matters. Characters reuse the same sounds over and over, there’s no visceral slashing sound when hitting enemies (except on finishers for some reason) and the whole thing feels janky and awkward.
This is why it really grinds my gears when I still hear people complain about Super Mario Run being a $13 mobile game; because at least that game was polished, well put together, and well worth the price of admission. How this game has the audacity to charge almost the same price, and have microtransactions, for what amounts to a slapdash Infinity Blade, is just further proof to me that the mobile market will never be taken seriously as a legitimate gaming platform.
While Lords of the Fallen isn’t a terrible game, it’s far too pedestrian to justify the asking price, especially when there are identical games that are free-to-play. If you’re genuinely looking to spend the money on a mobile game just get Mario Run, there’s at least $13 worth of fun in there.