Is The Combat In Lords Of The Fallen Really Bad? - My Personal Opinion

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I’m a gamer who loves Souls-Like games, looter games, and anything involving build-making games! Here, let’s play the recently launched Souls-Like game: Lords of the Fallen.

But we’ll skip over the old trinity of elements from Souls-Like games, lore, map, and art. Here, we choose to focus solely on combat. Now let’s dig a little deeper.

Is The Combat In Lords Of The Fallen Really Bad? - My Personal Opinion

Boss Battles vs Map Exploration

So how do we analyze combat? I won’t talk about the game as it is now, but how it was designed and what the limits of it could be based on the design philosophy. History has taught me that updates can make a vast difference. So I think it’s smarter to focus on that potential.

In short, in a typical Souls-Like game, we want boss battles to be a real challenge and map exploration to be more fun and relaxing. But their roles in LOTF are reversed.

Map exploration, especially the battles encountered during exploration, is designed to test your combat ability. They are designed to be difficult. That’s why you see so many enemies on narrow roads.

Also, in NG+, all Vestiges, the campfires in the game, disappear, so you can only farm your own Vestiges. But every new one deletes the last planted Vestiges. So effectively, you can only teleport between your base and a single location. This also just goes to back up my statement that the developers wanted to make exploration more challenging.

Lords Of The Fallen: Early EXP & Vestiges Farms!

As for how to handle these challenges, your personal skills are not a priority. We encourage you to focus more on gear synergy or builds, as well as general strategy. Such as we should kill which enemy in the team first. These are more helpful than improving your own skills.

If you accept this design, you can continue playing LOTF. Otherwise, I suggest you move on to other games.

In other games, if you don’t use the combat mechanics to their full potential, you can still at least play through the game normally to experience the story and maps. But in LOTF, every play style other than the “official” play style is going to be a complete disaster.

Sadly, the developers never explained their design decisions in the game. So I’m here to tell you the truth. I’m not saying this game is bad. It’s fun as long as you play it the “right” way.

Combat Mechanics

Next, I’m going to break down all the combat mechanics in this game to further support my argument. I won’t talk about the build or RPG elements, as you can easily find guides on some insane builds, such as Radiance Posture build or Crossbow build.

Player Mechanics

Here, I divide the combat mechanics into player mechanics and enemy mechanics, each containing four mechanics.

Basic Movesets

The first set of player mechanics are Basic Movesets, which include traditional Light attacks, Heavy attacks, and Charged attacks, as well as kick attack and a special attack. It’s a bit like martial arts, but much simpler and doesn’t consume anything except stamina.

What’s special here is that LOTF is very generous with impact. This is a hidden value that describes the stagger animation of enemies hit by your attacks. In other games, I would just expect heavy weapons to knock down enemies. But in LOTF, even some Light weapons can do it with the help of special attacks, like Flail of Wisdom.

Lords of The Fallen: Flail of Wisdom Location

Ranged Attack

Then we perform Ranged Attack, which is divided into physical attacks and magic attacks. The former requires Ammunition and the latter requires Mana.

However, they are not consumable items that you need to farm or purchase with Lords of the Fallen Vigor. They are a resource that needs to be consumed, just like your health or stamina. They’ll even replenish your energy every time you take a break. So, it’s clear that this is your tool to overcome challenging exploration battles.

Lamp

Lamp is a strange design. On the one hand, something closely related it to exploration. You need to use it to teleport to Umbral, a parallel realm of your world, where you can search for hidden paths or treasures. On the other hand, it is also a combat tool, but that discussion will be in the enemies section.

Lords of the Fallen: How to Unlock the Umbral Door?

Free Combo

Finally, you can do a free combo in LOTF. You can combine almost every move together. It does not limit this to Light attacks and Heavy attacks.

You can also change your stance. That said, you can even employ some ranged attacks in a combo if you’re holding the weapon in one or two hands during the combo.

But we know combos aren’t very useful in Souls-Like games. The reason is simple: the enemies have powerful super armor, which doesn’t give you an environment to actually perform combos.

But LOTF still gives you this ability. I think this is a tool that gives you a tool to handle challenging exploration combat. During exploration, you won’t encounter so many elites or bosses with super armor, but mostly mobs. Here, you can use Free Combo to clear enemies quickly.

Enemy Mechanics

Next, let’s look at enemy mechanics.

Basic Interaction

First, the basic interaction between enemy and player. Usually in Souls-Like games, this means you need to memorize and recognize every attack from your enemy so that you know how to dodge each one.

The good news is that the enemy animations are really simple. You can easily memorize every attack. But it’s really boring.

Also Read: Lords Of The Fallen Update 1.1.224 Patch Notes! - NG+ Vestiges & Progression

Impact & Poise

If this disappoints you about the enemy design, let me show you something more. LOTF has a very good Impact and Poise design. Many enemies fit your typical image of hard-to-stagger elites, and you can actually stagger these elites by knocking down regular enemy attacks. Even some bosses can be knocked unconscious easily.

Again, the developers have been very generous with Impact’s design. I have to admit, this design is a huge plus for my impression of this game. This makes it more fun to play.

Posture

In addition, there is a posture mechanism. Every attack and perfect defense can stack posture, ultimately leading to the chance of a fatal attack.

However, this Posture mechanic is specifically designed for players with Posture-focused builds. If you equip a lot of posture equipment to increase your posture damage, breaking posture for fatal attacks will be frequent. But without the equipment, you can actually ignore the fact that such a mechanic exists in the game.

Therefore, posture mechanic cannot make combat more interesting. Now it’s just part of the build design.

Lords of the Fallen: Posture Mechanic

Soulflay Attack

Finally, we have a Soulflay Attack. With your Lamp, you can strip your enemies of their souls. This creates a huge staggered window that interrupts any attack in progress and allows you to execute the attack. But it’s too simple and therefore boring.

Final Thoughts

I think my argument is further strengthened by analyzing all the mechanisms. It’s clear that the developers want to make exploration combat more difficult while making the overall combat more about build design than individual skill. While the boss fight isn’t necessarily bad, it’s clear that the developers didn’t have enough time to deal with it.

While Impact design makes things more interesting, the simple action design, highly restricted posture mechanics, and simple Soulflay Attack fail to add much to the boss fights.

Personally, using a build to overwhelm a boss would at least make things more interesting. So if it already addicted you to this game, please consider my advice.

Overall, LOTF is a good game if you like a bit of challenge along the way and prefer build-focused combat to skill-focused combat.