In a hotel room near GDC in March, I got my first look at Lords of the Fallen. It was a live, hands-off demo on PC: My guide no-clipped through the world to show me details of its ultra-gothic nightmare architecture and corrupted knights while creative director Cezar Virtosu rhapsodized about the lore. A favorite quote: "This is the tower of penance. This is guarded by one of the plague brothers. A horrid creature."
The 2014 Lords of the Fallen wasn't exactly Game of the Year material (I gave it a 58% and I've been told I was generous), and since no one else at PC Gamer saw the GDC demo of this reboot, I'm not sure they completely believed me when I told them that it looked really cool. And fair enough, because it's hard not to sound like a third-grader bullshitting on the playground when you start telling people how there's, like, two worlds, and one of them is the Umbral plane, and there's ghosts there and you don't want to die there, and also there are these guys called the plague brothers, and the fingers of God are a thing, and...
But hah! Now that we've all seen a couple proper gameplay trailers, including the long one from today's Future Games Show that's embedded above, the Bloodborne-likers around me are turning their heads.
"People are just making their own Bloodborne PC ports. I approve," Tyler Colp said in our work chat, also referencing Lies of P, which we regret to inform you also looks good despite having something called the "P-Organ System."
Lords of the Fallen's new developer, HexWorks, isn't shy about saying how much it owes FromSoftware. Executive producer Saul Gascon even said once that he wants HexWorks to be the second best maker of FromSoftware-style action RPGs.
"We want the studio to become a reference in the genre," Gascon told Edge. "We want to be the second reference [after FromSoftware], because right now there is no clear second reference."
So yeah, I think Tyler C nailed it with "people are just making their own Bloodborne PC ports." We wouldn't mind actual Bloodborne on PC, but we'll take these.
Lords of the Fallen looks cool on its own merits, too. I hope it's fun, because I want to explore it, and I hope it runs OK on my not-that-old-but-sure-feeling-old RTX 2070 Super. Those environments don't look trivial to render.