Lords of the Fallen is an action-RPG by City Interactive that appears to mimic a bunch of different games, but is shaping up to be in a class of its own. You can tell the members of the CI team are great studies of the genre as I saw shades of Dragon’s Dogma, Dark Souls and The Witcher in this game. Throughout the entire presentation, these influences were obvious, but not derivative.

I really like the story concept behind Lords of the Fallen. Deep in the past, Man decided to wage war on god. Man won the epic battle and all that remains is god’s hand coming out of the earth that is now a modern-day mountain range. With the past forgotten, the realm of Man is unprepared for the arrival of the lords of the fallen. It is up to you to stop the lords in this medieval fantasy RPG.

Our demonstrators described Lords of the Fallen as a tactical, combat-centric role playing game. Much like Dark Souls, death is an integral part of the game as is exploration. You have three roles to choose from. The Warrior, who is a tank class, uses his “rage” to unleash his berserker skill. The Cleric is a more middle of the road class who may be a little slower, but he uses a heavy weapon. Similar to the warrior’s rage, clerics have “dogma” that allows them to spawn clones of themselves. Lastly, there is the Rogue class who are fast and light, but deal less damage. Their special ability is shadow stealth, allowing you to temporarily disappear.

One of the big selling points during our demonstration was the new engine they designed specifically for Lords of the Fallen to work on PC and next gen consoles. With this engine City Interactive was able to focus in on plenty of non-linear game play with multiple available paths to provide a lot of potential strategy and game play. The game will also have plenty of secrets to discover. Some of those secrets will be accessible right away and some will require you to come back with further skills to acquire them.

I was impressed with the combat in the demonstration. This is definitely not a hack-and-slash. If you go into a fight against a strong enemy like a Lord or a Rhogar mashing buttons, you are guaranteed to perish. It was explained they wanted every fight to feel like a fighting game – carefully considering your tactics and skills to defeat your enemies. Along with the ability to use multiple paths, you can approach each battle in a unique way. Lastly, they said they’re working on putting ranged weapons into the game. A sentiment I can definitely get behind.

Lords of the Fallen is one of my big surprises from E3 this year. There is still plenty City Interactive can work on to polish Lords to perfection, but I’m optimistic with what I saw in the demonstration. Set to arrive in 2014, I am definitely looking forward to what will come out as a finished product.

Lords of the Fallen Developer Interview