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Lords of the Fallen’s Umbral Lantern lets you go “detective mode”

If you're looking forward to Lords of the Fallen on Xbox and PS5, you'll be excited to learn that you can go "detective mode" thanks to this unique mechanic.

Lords of the Fallen Umbral Lantern detective mode: a woman holding a sword like an angel

You might not think Hexworks’ Lords of the Fallen and Rocksteady Games’ Batman Arkham games have much in common, but they do – sort of. Ahead of the Lords of the Fallen release date, Hexworks’ creative director Cezar Virtosu has discussed with The Loadout the rather unique Lords of the Fallen Umbral Lantern lends itself to a “detective mode” – of sorts – in the soulslike. We don’t know if this will help it become one of the best RPG games of all time, but it certainly sounds like an interesting – and very important – part of the game.

Once you’ve got through the Lords of the Fallen character creation suite, you’ll quickly find yourself with access to an Umbral Lantern. This plays a huge part in helping Lords of the Fallen step out of Dark Souls’ looming shadow – as explained in our hands-on gameplay preview – and also introduces an interesting element of observation to this hard-hitting RPG.

As Virtosu tells us, “it turns out observation is more important to understanding than being fast with your abilities… That was another turning point [in development], where the game can shift to the detective mode – where you look around and you have the opportunity to take in all the unseen Umbral views, treasure, and creatures”.

Okay, this isn’t exactly like Rocksteady Studios’ Batman Arkham series. However, this is a unique gameplay mechanic that gives this unapolagetically Dark Souls game an all-important twist. Whether you’re taking on one of the many Lords of the Fallen bosses, or just taking time getting to grips with one of the several Lords of the Fallen classes, you’re going to find yourself investigating your surroundings – and enemies – a lot more than you might think, thanks to the Umbral Lantern.

What about the Umbral itself, though? Well, that might be the single-most important part of the entire game.

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The Umbral was borne from Hexworks’ attempts at twisting the traditional Dark Souls formula – of which Dark Souls 3 was “the golden standard”, according to Virtosu. When the development team discovered the Umbral, and spent some time working out where it would come from, “all [the] mechanics started popping like popcorn”.

Executive producer Saul Gascon refers to this as a “eureka moment” for Hexworks, one that eventually led to what you’ll see for yourself when the game itself comes out. It might have been “very confusing” at first, according to Virtosu, but the Umbral and the Umbral Lantern might just make this one of the most exciting upcoming PS5 games and most intriguing upcoming Xbox games.

If you want to check it out, you might have to think about picking up one of the best Xbox expansion cards or one of the best PS5 SSDs out there ahead of time. There are a lot of new games on the horizon and Lords of the Fallen isn’t going to be small when it comes to storage space.

Interview conducted by Echo Apsey.