Mobile gaming, until a year or so ago, really did not interest me–but my mind has certainly changed a lot about that lately. Games like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Pokemon Go have made me think twice about mobile gaming, and now I quite enjoy some of what is offered on my phone for gaming. I will say, however, that there’s a considerable amount of unholy garbage on the app store.
Lords of the Fallen lands in the very dull area in the middle; it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it is far from being the best. It’s just such a dull, uninspired game that it’s not worth the breath to berate it and smash it down into the ground. The whole game is so “meh” that it’s hard to creatively talk about. Through the power of my brain, however, I will tell you exactly what is wrong and what is right about Lords of the Fallen Mobile.
The gameplay for the game is pretty simple. You swipe left, right, up, down, diagonally, etc. to attack, you hold a button to block, and, with proper timing, you can do a dodge to one side or the other. You have to dodge towards the direction the attack is coming from, or else you’ll get hit. Rather than being slow and awful like you were in the console version, apparently you’re just glued to the floor. The blocking mechanic is easier to use, but you can only block so many attacks during a single fight before your shield becomes too weak.
There are combos you can perform while fighting, all of which seem to do pretty much the same thing: stun the enemy, and do extra damage. Seriously, I don’t think there’s any advantage to using one combo over another–just keep going right, left, right, and block every now and then, and you’ll win. But at least there are magic skills you can use, such as a fire blast, a damage boost, and a shield restore, so….
Once you figure out you can literally fight every enemy the exact same way and kill them all in about thirty seconds or less, the game just becomes a chore. There is no variety, no spice. Nothing about this game makes it desirable to play for more than a couple of minutes.
There are red potions that you can get that will double your attack power for sixty seconds. Save one of those for every main boss, do the combo (mentioned above) twice, and you’ll win–even with the final boss. There’s no tension. There is no sense of urgency. There is nothing to pull you into the game that really engages you; it’s too boring and easily manipulated. There are multiple characters to pick from, but it makes no difference as they can all cheese every enemy in some way or another. It’s the illusion of variety. There is a lot of different ways to play, but they all leave you feeling the same way: bored and sad.
The game itself seems to have some issues, some of which are superficial (like missing images) and shouldn’t really bother anyone. However, the game has to work with the somewhat small screen of a phone, and GameCenter achievements, when unlocked, take up a good portion of that screen. The problem is that when you unlock an achievement, it pops up about ten times in rapid succession. This takes up your valuable screen space, which can get you killed or force you to pause until it stops. That is not fun. The game also sometimes stutters when something like this happens, sometimes getting you killed. Also not fun.
On one occasion, the game just crashed for absolutely no reason. It was just once, and it didn’t happen again after that, so I don’t know if that’s a common occurrence. Perhaps if the game paused when notifications came up, I would forgive it. That would at least eliminate cheap deaths.
I was willing to give the game’s music and sound a chance during the first few fights, but something became apparent to me very quickly. You fight the same five or six monsters throughout the whole entire game, and they all seem to make the same noises (even bosses). You can see where character models were just blatantly re-skinned, but made out to be something totally different. I’m not a game designer, but for an adaptation of a game that had more than just a handful of monsters, I’m not sure why they skimped on variety in this game. Every monster makes the same couple of grunts, roars, and everything else, and the execution animation for all of them is one of two finishing moves.
There’s nothing intense about the combat, either. Your sword never actually touches the enemy; actually, it looks a bit like play fighting. Even at the end of the game when you fight the final boss (who is a female), the “Finish Him” text still pops up before you strike the final blow. One word. They didn’t even bother to swap out one word for the final boss who they build up to throughout the whole game–all 47 minutes of it.
There seems to be a general lack of care for the game, especially for being a mobile game you have to dish out ten bucks to play. That’s unacceptable. There are microtransactions in the game, but they are the most pointless purchases ever. You’d be a complete fool to pay for the currency in this game. You can get more than good enough armor and weapons to beat the final boss just by simply playing the game.
The whole game is just an underwhelming slog. It’s a chore, and it’s not fun. We play video games for fun, not to be bored to tears or monetarily ripped off. I would forgive it if there were some kind of lore book in the game where you could read about the bosses and their origins, maybe some insight into the game’s world, but there’s just nothing. You fight a bunch of the same guys in the same way over and over again, and then you win. And then you close the app and never open it again.
There’s no value in revisiting this game–hell, I can barely think of a reason to buy the game, let alone force yourself to play through any of it. Don’t do that to yourself. You deserve better.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”
*The writer of this review was provided a code for the purpose of this review.