Medieval fantasy action game Lords of the Fallen will prepare players for strategic combat by giving them the clues to understand their enemies and the tools to defeat them.
In a recent demo of the game shown to Polygon, CI Interactive's executive producer Tomasz Gop explained that while the game will require a tactical approach from players, it's not completely unforgiving, either. In one boss fight shown from early on in the game, he demonstrated how players can play defensively at first and learn to read their enemies before unleashing their own attacks. Players can note the amount of time it takes for the enemy to recover from an attack, they can count the number of swings the enemy takes when executing a combo and, through trial and error, figure out which attacks can and can't be blocked.
Players can then capitalize on this information and strike at the most opportune times.
An enemy's movement and weapons will also help inform players of the best strategy for defeating them. In a battle against a fast-moving, aggressive opponent, players are better off using weapons that will allow them to be nimble and perform quick attacks in response. When fighting a slower-moving enemy who swings a big hammer, players can use their own hammer, which requires more careful timing, but deals more damage.
Within the boss battles, there is also a health meter for the enemy with markers that indicate when the boss is about to enter a new phase, preparing the player for a possible change in strategy.
"It's important for us to feature the stages of the boss fight because there are no saves in between, so when players die in a boss fight and get back here, we think it's a nice incentive for players to try again," Gop said, "because behind that corner of the next stage of the boss fight, they can find something else."
As Gop played through this first boss fight, the enemy dropped its armor after the first stage of its life was knocked off. This resulted in an enemy that had fewer defenses, but the trade off was its sword began dealing more damage. In the final stage of the boss battle, the enemy was stripped off all defenses, but now fought significantly more aggressively and swung his sword wildly.
Gop told Polygon that Lords of the Fallen is a big and complex game, but it does not expect players to learn everything in order to succeed because they can learn along the way and employ their own strategies by using the magic and melee tools available to them. "We believe we are going to be the game that people can finish without learning everything," he said.