Lords of the Fallen: More than High-Fantasy Dark Souls

With its methodical combat, Lords of the Fallen could be seen as yet another spin on the Souls series–but its developers have something else in mind.


Watching the demonstration for Lords of the Fallen, the upcoming, third-person action role-playing game from Deck13, I was struck with a sense of déjà vu. Here was a very deliberate, calculated game where every blow was decisive and deadly. I felt like I’d seen this before, in a game GameSpot’s own Tom Mc Shea will never stop talking about. However, after speaking with developers Jan Klose and Tomasz Gop, I learned that Deck13 is aiming to distinguish Lords from Souls in a few key ways.


“We want to make our combat really feel credible and make you feel like you’re in control of every action and see the consequences,” said Klose. “Dark Souls didn’t invent this style of game–but it did execute on that style in a really brilliant way. This is something more games should be doing, instead of just [hacking-and-slashing].” Devil May Cry, this is not.

During the demonstration, Klose and Gop emphasized the importance of observing–and learning–your opponent. Most fights were one-on-one duels, and when our hero attempted a blind assault the enemy cut him down in moments. The second time, our hero kept his distance while learning his opponent’s moves. A strategy was formed: dashing attacks could be countered by rolling into the enemy swing and countering from behind, while sword swipes always came in sets of three and left the enemy vulnerable after the final swing. Armed with this knowledge, victory soon followed.

Gop and Klose compared this style of combat to that of a fighting game: proper spacing, prediction, and reaction yielded greater payoffs than spamming attacks. It’s a challenging system that rewards putting care and thought into each attack. However, Gop was quick to note that, while their game will be challenging, they don’t want it to feel punishing. “We’re not a punishing game, at least not if the player doesn’t want [punishment],” he said.


I know challenging and punishing sound alike, but Deck13 wants to make sure players can have one without the other. If you want to make the game challenging for yourself you’re free to do so, and you will be rewarded for your efforts. But if you find yourself stuck on an especially difficult foe–or are simply uninterested in the extra challenge–Lords of the Fallen won’t punish you. Instead, it gives you some tools to help odd out the evens and give yourself an edge in battle.

The game still has this level of tactical approach, of complexity, but you don’t have to make it punishing if you don’t want to.

One example is the game’s magic system. Magical abilities are extremely powerful in Lords of the Fallen, such that the developers refer to them as “Smart bombs.” One example I saw was a spell that knocked enemies off their feet, letting our hero score a few free hits before his opponent could right himself. So what’s stopping you from using these spells at every turn? Well, if you manage to defeat an especially challenging foe–say, a boss–without using magic, the game will reward you with extra loot or other goodies for you trouble.

“If there’s an enemy you feel is tough and, for whatever reason, you get a hint from the game that there’s only one way to defeat that enemy and you simply don’t have the time or patience to learn it, you can use supernatural powers to defeat it that way,” explained Gop. “The game still has this level of tactical approach, of complexity, but you don’t have to make it punishing if you don’t want to.”

Chances are you’ll die a lot in Lords of the Fallen, but the developers want you to learn something from every death.


Other tools for tackling tough opponents included sneaking up striking them from behind for extra damage, or in some cases taking an alternative route to avoid the fight entirely. Deck13 doesn’t want you to feel hopelessly stuck in any fight. Lords of the Fallen is designed to be challenging, but exactly how challenging is up to you.

“And it’s not like you can use all these means to mindlessly rush through the game,” Klose added. “They’ll give you a head start, but if you do not learn the basics of fighting and tactics you won’t make it through this game.”



Black Isle crowdfunding new game

Interplay studio asking for money to build forums, prototype for Project V13

Black Isle crowdfunding new game

Black Isle Studios is asking fans to chip in for development of its next game. But rather than go the Kickstarter route, the Interplay developer is taking donations through its own site, and pledging to use the money to build forums for backers and a prototype for a new post-apocalyptic strategy role-playing game called Project V13.

The studio today launched the campaign on its own site, but with a number of features that will be familiar to Kickstarter users. The page includes a pitch video with members of the development team (including original Fallout lead designer Chris Taylor), multiple tiers of backer rewards, and a countdown clock detailing how much time is left in the campaign. However, there’s no goal amount listed. Instead of charging backers if they collectively donate enough to fulfill the team’s funding needs, Black Isle will be charging credit cards at the time the pledge is made. Additionally, the site’s legal terms state that Black Isle’s basic obligations to backers will be filled if it can launch the forums by the end of July (a late January launch is targeted).

“Since we are no longer constrained by licensing issues, we have the opportunity to build a new IP from the ground up and there is a lot more latitude to unleash our creativity, try some new ideas and even incorporate your suggestions,” the site explains. “Our goal at this stage is threefold: 1) prove to management that you want Black Isle Studios resurrected – and all the history and tradition of excellence that goes with it; 2) to continue to staff up BIS and complete our PV13 game design; and 3) to develop a tech demo/proof of concept for our design that will open the doors to additional funding.”

Black Isle Studios was shut down by Interplay in 2003. The publisher revived the brand in August with a website launch, but gave no indication what it would be working on. Project V13 was previously the name for Interplay’s officially licensed (at the time) Fallout MMO. However, a court battle with Fallout rights-holder Bethesdasaw the MMO license taken from Interplay. The curren

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition trailer shows gameplay

Baldurs Gate:Enhanced Edition

I just love old RPG classics, especially Dungeons & Dragons! There was a time when the only way to get the “real” experience with a video game besides the original Pen & Paper way was to play games like the Baldurs Gate or Icewind Dale series. Of course there were those TSR games for Commodore 64,PC etc..and an occasional NES version also. So you can imagine my joy when I read about this version coming out. For those of you who have never experienced these types of games because of either your age or operating system not supporting it, I highly recommend it and believe me you will be sucked in by the great characters, storyline and gameplay. sure it is not a Skyrim, but it doesn’t have to be. All those new “graphically superior” games all came because of games like Baldur’s Gate and that is the reason you will love it. I actually still have my original “BIG” box PC editions..(Smiles)… RPG players will appreciate this game and finally have a chance to see what all the fuss was about back in the day.

The shiny release of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will indeed arrive on PC next week, developer Overhaul Games has confirmed, so come celebrate by watching a trailer showing off retro RPG action. What does it look like? Well, you know, like Baldur’s Gate but a bit enhanced.

Overhaul has revamped BioWare’s classic with co-op, support for modern operating systems, high-res cutscenes, new party members and quests, and other jazz.

It’ll be sold exclusively through Overhaul’s parent company Beamdog, where you can pre-order now. If you use Beamdog’s client, you can preload the game now to start playing as soon as it’s out on November 28. Beamdog will also offer a standalone installer too, mind.

With BG:EE out, Overhaul will start work on revamping Baldur’s Gate 2. After that, Beamdog president Trent Oster told us in an interview, it’ll look at DLC.

A Beginner’s Guide to Persona 4: Golden (Out Next Week!)

Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

Greetings, PlayStation.Blog readers and ATLUS fans! I’m aware that some PlayStation RPG fans still haven’t heard of Persona 4 Golden, the latest in ATLUS’ best-selling Persona series, which hits North American store shelves andPlayStation Network on November 20th.

So what is Persona? Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is Metacritic’s PlayStation 2 Game of the Year for 2008. Persona 4 places you in the shoes of a high school student who needs to strike a balance between school, a social life, learning more about his family, and, as it happens, investigating a series of gruesome murders that may or may not involve a psychedelic world that lies behind the screen of every television in town. Whether beating up Shadows or tackling schoolwork, the choices you make will come to affect how others see you, and how you see yourself.

Persona 4 Golden on PS VitaPersona 4 Golden on PS Vita

In both Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden, you play as transfer student (insert name here) who moves to the sleepy country burg of Inaba. When you arrive, things quickly take a turn for the weird when you learn of a series of murders taking place in the town. You decide to do some investigating on your own, journeying into a mysterious world that you never knew existed, facing off against creatures from the very depths of humanity’s collective psyche.

Luckily, you’re not completely powerless. Each and every one of your party eventually gets access to a Persona, the inner self, and it is through these forces that you’ll learn to cast devastating spells and powerful physical attacks. The main character has a special ability, as well: the ability to change Personas among dozens of different spirits, with corresponding skills, strengths, and weaknesses. It is this ability to change Personas — improving and discovering new ones — that will make up the bulk of your efforts.

Persona 4 Golden on PS Vita

That’s not to say that the game finely cleaves the “RPG” part from the “social sim” part, oh, no. The bonds that form between you and other characters are known as Social Links, and each one takes on one of the Arcana that your Personas fall under. Basically, the better a friend you are to a person, the easier it will be to make and use the Personas that he or she represents within your mind.

These conversations aren’t just a chore to help you build better monsters — they’re full-on side stories. I’ve seen battle-hardened warriors cry manfully into their plaited beards when playing some of these scenes. What hope do youhave? None, probably, but that’s okay. When you relate your tear-soaked tales to other Persona 4 veterans, we’ll all know what you’re talking about.

Persona 4 Golden on PS VitaPersona 4 Golden on PS Vita

If you’ve played Persona 4, you might have noticed that there were a few points in the year where time skipped ahead, meaning you didn’t get to play out those days. This time, the story’s been reconfigured to give you back all that lost time, as well as giving you new fun things to do during these periods. Will you and Yosuke ever get your scooter licenses? What will happen in the main character’s love life now that Valentine’s Day is a playable event? Will Teddie learn the true meaning of Christmas? If you’ve never played Persona 4, then all this new stuff will be gravy on the mashed potatoes of fantasticness we’re already giving you.

There’s also an entirely new dungeon and a brand new Social Link for you to connect with. This character is seamlessly integrated into the narrative to provide context to the entire story. Additional details include all-new animated sequences for several major events and holidays, new costumes and weapons, and a metric ton of new voiced dialogue covering almost every event sequence. What more could you ask for?

Persona 4 Golden PS Vita Skin

Don’t forget: we’re offering a free PS Vita skin and accompanying wallpapers with pre-orders of Persona 4 Golden. Quantities are limited, so be sure you pre-order soon (and make sure the retailer you pre-order from is participating in this offer) or risk missing out. Of course, if you manage to get your hands on the sold out Solid Gold Premium Edition, you’ll get that PS Vita skin, along with a hard pouch, face protector, and stickers! We know they’re hard to come by, but keep an eye out on PS.Blog and the @PlayStation Twitter page, as we’re cooking something up to take care of a lucky fan. Otherwise, all versions physical and digital will be available for sale on November 20th, which is… coming up quickly! In any case, I do hope that you’re looking forward to this title, and that if you weren’t before, you are now. Thanks for reading!

Source: Playstation.Blog

Mike Meeker // Lead Editor, Atlus USA