Hexworks’ Lords of the Fallen is a decent soulslike with a lot of potential, and a game that’s still improving thanks to the developer’s stacked content roadmap. However, it really could become a great soulslike game if it borrowed just a little bit more from Dark Souls 2 – a contender for FromSoft’s best game of all time. We’re sure we could spend all day talking about the minutiae of how DS2 could be used to improve Lords of the Fallen, but introducing something like the Bonfire Ascetic is an easy way for Hexworks to really transform the experience it’s offering.
When you take a look at all the new PS5 games and new Xbox games we’ve had the chance to play this year, Lords of the Fallen is easily one of the best soulslike games out there; it’s actually shaping up to be one of the best RPG games of the year with Hexworks’ post-launch updates and consistent new content drops. However, as a soulslike game, it really does have a responsibility to be an experience that’s challenging to the point where it’s a problem. And, if it really wants to cement itself among the best games in this genre, we think it needs a way for players to take more control over how hard the game itself actually is at any given moment. That’s why we’re confident that the introduction of an item like Dark Souls 2’s Bonfire Ascetic would transform this game and dramatically improve the experience – especially if you’re after any one of the best Lords of the Fallen weapons.
If you’re not sure what this item actually is, allow us to explain. The Bonfire Ascetic is a consumable item in Dark Souls 2 that allows the player – when burnt at a bonfire – to increase the intensity of said bonfire by one level. To translate this a little from Dark Souls speak, using a Bonfire Ascetic will up the difficulty of an area to the difficulty it would be on your next New Game Plus playthrough. So, if you use one on your first playthrough, the area around the bonfire you use it will be a New Game Plus-level area. Similarly, if you’re on New Game Plus already, that area will then be upped to New Game Plus +1 and so on and so forth.
Dark Souls 2 reaches it’s highest difficulty level at New Game Plus +7, but players with a few more Bonfire Ascetics to burn can actually continue to improve the bonfire intensity until level 99 – with each use respawning all the enemies, the wooden chests in the area, and (of course) all the bosses.
Why does Lords of the Fallen need this? Well, as much as we agree with the sentiment of Reddit user ‘AdConscious5048‘ that this would “kick ass”, it would also provide players with a chance to farm specific resources and items without needing to play through the entire game again to get to the point they need to actually farm and present them with even more of a challenge when it comes to testing their best Lords of the Fallen builds. Like we said, Lords of the Fallen is good, but soulslike games rely on the challenge they present players as much as they do fluid gameplay and fantastic storytelling – maybe even moreso in some cases. So, offering players even more of a challenge, especially those starting to master the current experience, should be something on Hexworks’ radar.
Is something like this on Hexworks’ radar and the Lords of the Fallen content roadmap, though? Well, not quite – but, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look forward to the future if you’re looking for a challenge.
If everything stays the same, New Game Plus modifiers are on the way and should provide players with more of a challenge – and even more opportunities to get the elusive items and resources you need – in the future. Hexworks hasn’t detailed what these modifiers will look like just yet, but Lords of the Fallen is already doing a few things differently when it comes to soulslike games and we’re confident that these will continue to push the genre in new (and hopefully good) directions.
If you’re still thinking about picking up Lords of the Fallen on PS5 or Xbox, you really should consider checking out the best PS5 SSDs and the best Xbox expansion cards if you haven’t expanded your internal storage space yet. This alone isn’t a small game and with everything else there is to play right now – and all the upcoming releases to look forward to, too – having more storage space is going to be very useful.