There’re not many games that come along and can be considered a genre in their own right; Dark Souls (and its predecessor, Demon’s Souls) can be considered such games, a hybrid mash-up of survival horror and RPG that test and shred your nerves and skills to the limit.
Lords of the Fallen wants to fit into this genre so badly, one cannot help but look upon it with the deepest of sympathies. It tries so hard to mimic the formula and occasionally gets it right, but for the most part, it fails miserably. After the initial combat tutorial and a quick test of the control scheme (which is identical to the Souls games), any fan of the genre will be forgiven for their initial excitement.
It’s upon encountering the first boss though, that the excitement quickly wanes. Aside from the loss of voice track and music (which became reoccurring themes), it’s the distinct lack of challenge and enemy AI that any Souls player craves that smites the most. After succumbing to a crafty 4 hit combo once, it becomes laughable just how readable this hulking brute is. Most fights are a case of strafe and await an opening, either that, or they’re just brutally punishing and can only be overcome with sheer luck. There is no balance.
Were it not for the existence of the Souls games LotF may have stood on its own as a decent but flawed gem. Standing in the shadow of perfection, however, it falls flat.