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  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

Lords Of The Fallen Makes Penitence Look Pretty (Snaptime)

[I take a lot of screenshots for my critique, especially when there's a photo mode. I take far too many than can fit into a review, and some fun pictures go to waste. When this happens, it's Snaptime!]

Lords of the Fallen is so much better than Lords of the Fallen.

The 2023 not-quite-a-reboot dramatically overhauled everything about the rubbish original, completely changing not just the gameplay, character progression, and online functionality, but also the fundamental tone of things. All for the better.

It may be derivative as heck, and unashamedly so, but it's still one of the very best Soulslikes on the market, and its aesthetic wonderfully blends the beautifully bleak dilapidation of Dark Souls with the gothic iconography of Blasphemous. Themes of penitence, punishment, and flagellation visually drape over the game like bloodsoaked throw blankets. It's rather neat.

Anyway, despite reviewing it ages ago, I still have a bunch of screenshots I took using photo mode, and since people liked the last one of these we did, let's do it again!

Getting The Boot

Unlike Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, the potential for funny screenshots is limited, so I've had to settle mostly on pictures that look cool or adequately show off how amazing my outfits are. That said, one can never get tired of a classic kick off a ledge.

While it's always fun to punt a fucker in any Soulslike, it's especially satisfying in this one. Not only is the kick a powerful thrust that can send enemies flying, there are platforming sections littered with hiding enemies who can shove you several yards like the vicious little shits they are, and turning it around on them feels like justice.

Cute Lil' Beggar

Because Lords of the Fallen sometimes resembles a high quality Dark Souls fangame, the provision of non-hostile enemies to bully seems downright obligatory. These guys wander around in robes with grim little masks on, and if you approach them they have a tendency to get on their knees and beg.

Of course, guys getting on their knees and begging me for mercy is my usual Friday night, so this is a home away from home.

Cute Lil' Worshipper

As well as scraping the floor in prostration, the adorable losers also look up at you with arms outstretched in reverence. They're still eminently bullyable though, and a decent source of free monies since they're so harmless and pathetic.

Cute... Little Shit!

Cheeky fuckers!

Obligatory Dog Pets

The game industry still hasn't tired of the old "pet the dog" meme, and that's okay, because it's nice to pet dogs. Following the Dark Souls mold, there's a homebase-style area where various NPCs gather over the course of the game. At one end of the sanctuary is this big ol' dog for you to pet.

That's it, really. It just lays there, being a huge dog. This is what we call a "filler" screenshot, something cute I can use in a review if I don't have enough images I really love. Didn't really need it, but it certainly is cute... save for the chain and collar... and I'm not talking about the dog!

I mean seriously, half the costumes in this game are basically full-page advertisements for kink. It certainly gives me some ideas...

Dog Meat

As I explained in our last Snaptime, I care way too much about getting nice shots for my reviews. It can be a frustrating thing to give a shit about since timing is everything - to get a perfect shot of a sword swing's apex can be a real hassle. I was quite pleased I nabbed this one just as I blocked the dog, and the skullfaced fella readying a followup is quite cool.

Photo modes really let you admire character models, so here we can get a good look at how fucked up that dog is. As well as its completely fleshless head, we have the fur and skin ripped away from its lower half with horrifying detail. As for the skull man, during gameplay they all looked like Jason Voorhees to me, something I can't not see despite knowing exactly how much like Jason they don't look.

I've just realized I already used this shot in the actual review. Of course it's the one I wrote the most about!

Attack On Fallen

You can't access Photo Mode in co-op for obvious reasons, but I think this shot nonetheless says it all. While jazzed up with molten innards and obligatory thorny spikes, Laughing Boy here is a clear nod to Attack on Titan. I think Fallen came close to nailing how utterly creepy those huge naked fuckers are.

They didn't have to give him a Boris Johnson haircut, but it's a decision they absolutely made. I think I'd have rather the Spurned Progeny as Prime Minister over any Tory tosser.

Smashy Smashy

There are many annoying projectile enemies in Lords of the Fallen, and they should all be smashed in their gibbering heads with hammers.

If you analyze this particular hammer you will notice something. Yep, it's more thorns! This game is all about getting cut to ribbons by everything you wear and use, because fantasy versions of the Catholic Church go fucking hard.

Kicking Some Stupid Cunt Right In His Back

I don't have a clever or cute name for this one, so I just described what's happening.

Tunnel Of Hate

One of those screenshots where I'm really happy with the framing. I like how the archer and her dog are silhouetted at one end. It's got a nice spooky vibe and nails the idea of being chased.

You also get a great look at some of my favorite costume pieces. The Pyramid Head style helmet is, obviously, adorned with spikes and wrapped in thorns, and it just looks bloody great. The armor is particularly fun, as it's got loads of candles set into the shoulders. It's the perfect type of armor for this game, blending the violent and the scholarly... or some shit like that.

Stick Around

I love a Photo Mode with a permissive camera. Lords of the Fallen lets you zoom right out to scope the entire area. It's terrific for getting shots like this, putting the stilted, hilariously masked enemy in the foreground with the tiny, hilariously masked player below.

Those guys are total twats, by the way. Yet another projectile enemy, and it uses the stilts to stalk across bodies of water so you can't get close enough to smack it. If you shift into the other reality to walk through said water, however, you can indeed wack the sticks until the little bastards fall over. Nice.

Up At The Crack Of Thorn

Moments of quiet beauty are some of my favorite portions of a good Soulslike, not least for the fact that everything stops trying to murder you for a minute. This is one of the prettiest places in the game, a serene clifftop overlooking forests and ruins. It's sandwiched between two of the grimmest, grossest places in the game, so its presence is particularly welcome.

I take shots of a lot of vistas when I'm playing a game for review, and I hardly ever use them. Sometimes you just gotta capture it for the posterity.

Thank God For Me

Taking my place at the center of reverence. Like I bloody well should.

Which about wraps us up for another edition of Snaptime! Don't worry folks, there's one coming for Stellar Blade, too. I didn't take dozens of pictures of all those censored vagina bones for nothing!


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