The Lords of the Fallen developer Hexworks wants to be second place in the 'Souls' genre - right behind original developer FromSoftware.
Hexworks' original Lords of the Fallen was one of the first games to ape the iconic Dark Souls back in the day, and now it's returning for a reboot in 2023. "We want the studio to become a reference in the genre," Hexworks executive producer Saul Gascon told Edge Magazine. "We want to be the second reference [after FromSoft], because right now there is no clear second reference."
FromSoftware has become synonymous with the genre the studio helped established and later define over the past decade or so, beginning with Demon's Souls and continuing most recently with 2022's Elden Ring. Gascon is right that there have been plenty of imitators, but no clear "second reference" after FromSoftware in the genre that delights in killing its players.
"The mindset of needing to be better than something else doesn't work in the long term," added Lords of the Fallen creative director Cezar Virtuso. "What works is finding the pillars of your game, the strongest possible, and over-delivering there." If Hexworks really did want to best a game like Elden Ring, at over 16 million copies sold worldwide since last year, we'd say good luck to them.
"Our strategy was that, yes, we will be Dark Souls 4.5. We will be that semi-open world that people crave, that more vertical level design - because that's what we want, too," Virtuso continued. "Every level branches out into other levels, like a T-shaped intersection. And every three levels loop back into each other. It's like a chain of pretzels."
Lords of the Fallen is more like Elden Ring than Hexworks intended, with the developer admitting elsewhere to Edge Magazine that they designed a boss that was "nearly identical" to Malenia. Work on the new reboot might've begun before Elden Ring was even announced, but there's clearly going to be plenty of similarities between the two games come launch later this year.
Check out our new games 2023 guide for a full look at everything else on the docket for later this year.