Lords’ of the Fallen Want to be Smaller Assholes
Lords of the Fallen is an upcoming Polish (!) action RPG. In it, a burly bearded guy, Harkyn, has an axe to grind with some of the gods. And that's what he proceeds to do. One of the things we heard about it is that it might be the Polish Dark Souls and Joystiq went on to investigate. The subject combat encounter was against a demonic knight or just some big guy who liked red too much. Here, the going is usual. Dodge the highly powerful enemy attack, bide your time, then wait for your opportunity to attack. As health gets lower, parts of the enemy's armour fall down, making him (at least in the Joystiq reporter's words) lighter, which means a change in the attack pattern. Which happened a few times during a fight. With a sub-boss. Wonderful.
While mechanics are nothing new (else we wouldn't have the "this isn't even my final form" meme, even if it does come from DBZ), the way you stick them together is a challenge. On one hand, you have pleasantly difficult games (ArmA, Dark Souls) where difficulty serves as a pleasurable piece of the gameplay pie. On the other hand, others just make games unreasonably difficult (Hotline Miami, I Wanna Be The Guy) just to make them seem longer and give the fans a bigger sense of achievement so as to make them more rabid defenders of the game. Tomasz Gop, the Executive Producer at City games, understands this.
"You can imagine Lords of the Fallen as a game that has all the layers, all the complexity, all the mechanics, all the elements of very advanced tactical combat. But it's not being mindlessly punishing at the same time."
This probably means adding class spells to the game - such as invisibility for rogues or the cleric ability to make holo-clones (wait, if Harkyn is going against the gods... then whose cleric is he?). Oh yes, and the game will use the somewhat old school system of having three classes - the warrior, the rogue and the cleric. Then again, some weapons are going to be universal, leading you to more variable builds. Unlike in, say, Dungeons Siege 3 where most gear was unique to characters. Damn you, Dungeon Siege 3!
Ahem. Back on track. Speaking about tracks, exploration will also be in the game! After taking care of the mini-boss, Harkyn went deeper into the level and found audio files. While these help to improve your knowledge about the world (and probably don't come in reels like in one recent game), they're also objects in game - this time, it was a glimmering red shard that seemed unreachable, according to Gop, it was possible to get it by following clues in audio. WE can only wait and see.
Oh, and what about assholes? Well, I'll leave you with this Gop quote:
"I heard a guy who said that games like [Lords of the Fallen] are assholes. I said, 'Okay, what if we try to come to a middle ground, and I say yes, you might have the feeling this game is an asshole, but what if it's an asshole that's comprehensible, fair, approachable, and something that actually makes you feel like you know what you're doing? Is that still an asshole?' Maybe a smaller one. We're not planning to be an asshole, but we really think that what is most important about the game is to be fair, predictable, and somehow comprehensible. I believe Lords of the Fallen is exactly that kind of game."
Anyways, Lords of the Fallen is still a ways off, we can only wait and speculate. So, speculate, speculate in the comments, damn you!