You butcher down two flailing, ax-wielding zombies that come out of nowhere, hearing the goosh and splat as they hit the ground. Hurt and weighed down with a hundred pounds of armor, you lumber around, desperately searching for medicine. You approach a chest--which ultimately mocks you with its emptiness, only for a giant spider to drop behind and spray you with deadly poison. That's Lords of the Fallen in a nutshell: dark, heavy, gross, and punishing. And really, really good.
Set in a dark and unpleasant medieval world, Lords of the Fallen is heavy on the atmosphere. You can hear every drop of the water from the leaky walls, your enemies' belly-shrieks and the twitch of giant spider mandibles. It's not all just background noise either: watching and listening to the environment is critical, because you'll frequently have to face enemies that appear from around corners and slash you to bits.
The gameplay has been frequently likened to that of Dark Souls, and the comparison is apt. Your character is slow and heavy, realistic for the amount of iron he's sporting, and your undead enemies are frustratingly fast. Other, extremely tough enemies come at you relentlessly, and the game all but demands that you repeat the same stage over and over again until you can do it perfectly. While many players will find that frustrating, those who take pride in learning exactly what to expect from the world, building a plan, and working until they achieve it will love the rush of accomplishment when they finally pull it off. Lords of the Fallen looks to provide that feeling in spades—just try not to throw your controller in rage.
Want more dark and grisly details? Check out the following slides for screenshots and more info.