Lords of the Fallen revives the place-your-own bonfires that were cut from Dark Souls 3 – with a twist

Lords of the Fallen
(Image credit: HexWorks)

Rebooted Soulslike Lords of the Fallen surprisingly revisits and revises a cool idea that was initially planned for Dark Souls 3: bonfire-style checkpoints that players can place wherever they want.

In an interview and hands-off preview with PC Gamer, creative director Cezar Virtosu of developer HexWorks explained that Lords of the Fallen has relatively scarce checkpoints precisely because players can craft and install their own, sort of like a resource-driven save system. The catch is you can only place one at a time, plus the materials to craft these checkpoints are apparently fairly rare, mostly sourced from the horrors lurking in the nightmarish Umbral realm mirroring the game's overworld, meaning you can't put them down willy-nilly and abuse the save or rest functions. 

On top of the cost of crafting these things, Lords of the Fallen balances out the alluring power of DIY bonfires – and just imagine how handy such a feature would've been in Elden Ring – by letting enemies straight-up destroy them. If you place a crafted checkpoint in a dangerous area, perhaps hoping to cheese a tough fight through corpse-running with functional immortality, nearby monsters will just smash it to bits and you'll have wasted those rare materials. And yes, resting at a checkpoint does respawn all the enemies, as is Soulslike tradition

In other words, you'll need to scout out a relatively safe area to make sure your checkpoint stays safe, which sounds like a neat way to incentivize exploration and bring some risk and reward into the save system. A similar idea was found in Dark Souls 3's cut content by Souls sleuth Lance McDonald back in 2018, though these custom bonfires were tied to corpses rather than crafting. I look forward to seeing how Lords of the Fallen players inevitably use it to break parts of the game after being trained by FromSoftware and plenty of other Soulslikes to exploit anything they can to hell and back. 

Lords of the Fallen devs want this to feel like "Dark Souls 4.5." 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.