The number of soulslike games are plenty but not all of them provide a quality experience. But, Lords of the Fallen offers many more options not only when it comes to its core combat, but also in how you interact with its world. There are many more weapons you can play around with that all feel incredibly different, and you’re no longer confined to just being a big dude with gigantic armor, swinging around massive weapons. So, without further ado, here are a few quick tips and tricks for the adventurous Soulslike fans among us.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
While this might feel like obvious advice, it still bears repeating: it’s incredibly important to pay attention to your surroundings. Not only does the game do an excellent job of telegraphing just where you’re supposed to go next to advance the plot purely through the use of environmental cues, the game is also incredibly smart at hiding small areas in its corners that are, more often than not, well worth time time to explore. Exploration is an incredibly important aspect of Lords of the Fallen, especially since that’s the primary method of getting new pieces of equipment and weapons.
And this doesn’t just apply to keeping an eye on the dark corners of the game; Lords of the Fallen also makes excellent use of verticality to hide a few secrets out in the open. An easy example of this is just the sheer number of useful items that are hidden on bodies just hanging on trees or pillars. Even something as simple as throwing a rock at these bodies will reward you with a useful item, or in one early game example, a full set of armor.
How to Use the Map
While the game still hangs on to its FromSoftware inspirations and doesn’t give you a constantly-updating map that you can use to navigate its world, there’s still a map you can find as early as immediately after exiting the tutorial zone. This map, while more of an artistic look at the game’s world rather than a utilitarian one, is still a useful way to figure out where you are. Zones are often straightforwardly named after their environments, and the presence of the giant red beacons in the world, when compared with the Map of Mournstead you get early on in the game, makes it easy to orient yourself to your next objective of choice.
The Umbral Realm Isn’t That Scary
A key aspect of Lords of the Fallen is the presence of the Umbral realm, which can be peered into if you use your Lantern. If the situation calls for it, you can also hop into the Umbral realm to continue exploring the world. Sure, there’s a major downside—your health is reduced, and you’ll have to constantly stay on the offensive if you want any sense of safety in the Umbral realm. The Umbral realm also gives you access to a whole bunch of nifty abilities, like pulling floating platforms closer in order to traverse a large gap, and the ability to whip enemies around. The only downside to the Umbral realm, aside from the health penalty, is the fact that you’ll often have to find more energy for your lantern, especially if you want to keep doing some of the more fun stuff. On the flip side, the longer you’re in the Umbral realm, the higher the multiplier for the game’s currency goes.
How to Get Your Bearings
Getting lost is incredibly easy in Lords of the Fallen thanks to its many winding paths and the constant hopping between the real world and the Umbral realm. However, thanks to the rather strong level design of the game, as well as the impressive amount of hidden help you have access to thanks to the game’s various item descriptions, journals and maps, figuring out where you are in relation to the rest of the things in the world isn’t too difficult. One of the simplest ways to understand where you are and where you’re supposed to be going, aside from the well-drawn map, is to just talk to NPCs. You’ll run across various characters as you progress through the game, and these characters often have quite a bit to say. Just remember to talk to them as many times as it takes for their lines to start repeating. That’s how you know you’ve tapped the NPC of all of their knowledge.
Don’t be Afraid of Advanced Classes
The first thing you do in Lords of the Fallen’s character creation is picking a class, and the game helpfully lays out the different starting classes by category, with the straightforward and beginner-friendly classes at the top of the list. Scroll lower down, however, and you’ll find classes that have been tagged by the game as “Advanced”. Don’t be afraid of these classes; if you want to be a pyromaniac throwing fireballs all over the place, go for it. The advanced classes don’t even have new mechanics; the tag just exists to warn players that these classes might be more fragile than the others. As long as you know how to dodge attacks, you’ll be fine. If dual-wielding daggers sounds like your type of gameplay style, pick the Exiled Stalker. Because, ultimately…
Your Class is Just a Starting Point
The selection of your class is only really locking you into how your character will play for the first few hours of the game, since the class only really decides the stats and equipment your character starts out with. If you start out as a dark one, and later on decide to dabble in a bit of magic, feel free to throw some points into the appropriate stats, since all it really takes to become a spell caster is for you to find the right gear. On the other hand, if you find your character to be a bit too fragile, throw on some heavy armor. Sure, you’ll rolls will be slow, but if you can survive the hit, will you really need to roll as often? Ultimately, characters in Lords of the Fallen are just as flexible as characters in Dark Souls or Bloodborne—you just have to find the right gear.
The Lantern is an Incredible Tool
An aspect we touched on earlier in this article is the fact that you get a few fancy abilities when you enter the Umbral realm, and that’s largely thanks to the Lantern your character starts out with. Aside from being a plot-relevant object, the Lantern quickly proves itself quite useful, since it gives you access to a host of new traversal and combat abilities. Just the simple act of being able to fling enemies around more than justifies the Lantern’s existence, and things get even more interesting once you start using it to traverse the game’s levels. The Umbral realm has some subtle differences from the real world, and things that might bar your progress in the real world might not even exist in the Umbral realm. Since holding up the Lantern gives you a peek into the Umbral realm, you can simply just walk through a wall that, while very real in the real world, doesn’t exist in the other one.
Block, Parry or Dodge?
Depending on your starting class and your general preference for play style, you might find yourself questioning whether you should be blocking attacks, parrying them, or simply dodging them altogether. The answer to this question largely comes down to your equipment; if your armor is incredibly heavy, blocking an attack will most likely end up being the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re a spellcaster wearing flowy robes, you might find it easier to dodge an attack rather than risk being brought to the brink of death. Parrying, however, is a skill that just about all players should learn, since it doesn’t really depend on your gear as much as it does on your own timing. The window for parrying attacks isn’t as tight as you’d think, and more often than not, parrying the right attack can mean a fight that would take over a minute to finish instead just takes a few seconds.
Item Descriptions Are Incredibly Helpful
While we spoke about item descriptions being useful to help you navigate the world, it’s also worth noting that a lot of the game’s setting is told purely through these same descriptions. If you pay attention to the descriptions of the different weapons, armors, spells, and even consumables you pick up, you’ll start getting a pretty good idea of what’s happening in the world well before any character comes along to tell you what’s up.
Experiment With Different Weapons
The best advice we can possibly give for Lords of the Fallen is that players should experiment with as many different types of weapons as possible. The game does an excellent job in making each weapon feel unique, and since every weapon has a different moveset depending on whether you’re dual-wielding, or if you’re 2-handing, the number of options are incredible. The general control scheme and gameplay systems also make a bow-centric play style not only possible, but incredibly powerful as well, since you don’t lose much in the way of agility when aiming.