The Lords of the Fallen looks way more gruesome than Elden Ring in its new trailer

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After 1,000 years in-game and over eight years in real life, The Lords of the Fallen is back for a much more ambitious reboot, and new gameplay shown at The Game Awards today makes the upcoming Souls-like look infinitely more gruesome than Elden Ring. 

FromSoftware's latest action RPG has some hideous creatures in it, no doubt, but I don't remember any of them snapping all their bones during a grisly transformation, tearing their face off seemingly for the hell of it, or jump-scaring the player with eerie smiles of far too many teeth. The dark fantasy of The Lords of the Fallen looks positively dark as night, and it's chock-full of disfigured, demonic horrors that would give even Bloodborne's creepiest crawlies a run for their money at the biannual Yharnam Ugly Contest. 

Announced earlier this year, The Lords of the Fallen is said to be more than five times larger than the 2014 original, which launched to middling reception three years after Dark Souls. I couldn't parse a darn thing from the whispery narration in the new trailer – in keeping with Souls tradition, I suppose – but luckily the story synopsis on Steam (opens in new tab) sheds some light on the game's almost Diablo-like gods-versus-demons motif: 

"After an age of the cruelest tyranny, the demon God, Adyr, was finally defeated. But Gods… do not fall forever. Now, eons later, Adyr’s resurrection draws nigh. As one of the fabled Dark Crusaders, journey through both the realms of the living and the dead in this expansive RPG experience."

Developer Hexworks has cooked up two parallel realms for this one, and we can see the contrast between them in today's trailer. The realm of the dead is considerably more hideous than the realm of the living, though I don't think I'd want to holiday in either. The ghostly lantern wielded by the hero in the new trailer is apparently the key to switching between these realms, and it seems we'll be using it a lot to solve puzzles and reach treasure. 

Squelching grotesqueries aside, The Lords of the Fallen should look mighty familiar to fans of FromSoftware's games and their imitators. Hexworks promises challenging combat punctuated with plenty of boss fights, multiplayer co-op paired with an invasion system, in-depth customization building on nine starting classes, and a whole bunch of no-doubt calm and reasonable NPCs to meet. 

The Lords of the Fallen is coming to PC (Steam and Epic), PS5, and Xbox Series X in 2023. We've seen countless Souls-likes over the years, as evidenced by the term being a thing at all (and a very confusing thing at that), but few developers have ever taken two cracks at the genre almost a decade apart. The original Lords of the Fallen had some good qualities and this reboot is nothing if not visually arresting, so while it might be hard to look at at times, this is gonna be one to watch next year. 

Speaking of Diablo-like, the Diablo 4 release date was announced at The Game Awards.

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.