Lords of the Fallen originally came out in 2014, but what’s confusing is that the game was released again in 2023 without any changes to the name. It was originally supposed to be Lords of the Fallen 2 before HEXWORKS decided to change it into just Lords of the Fallen. These similarities in titles may lead to misunderstandings regarding which version of the LotF game is being discussed.
There’s no clear direction as to whether the new Lords of the Fallen is a direct sequel, a reboot, or a remake. So what exactly is the difference between Lords of the Fallen 2014 and 2023? Here’s what you need to know.
Lords of the Fallen 2014 vs 2023
The 2023 version of Lords of the Fallen stands distinct from its 2014 predecessor in several significant ways. Though both share the same title, the 2023 installment is, in fact, a sequel to the original game released nine years prior.
Deck13, the developers of the 2014 version, had no involvement in the sequel. By the time the sequel’s development began, they were busy in creating The Surge 2. Taking the reins for the 2023 sequel was HEXWORKS, making it one oftheir debut titles.
In essence, “Lords of the Fallen” (2023) is a completely different game from its 2014 counterpart. From the story and setting to the combat dynamics and newly introduced mechanics, it is evident that the two games, while sharing a title, offer divergent experiences to players.
Story and Setting Comparison
Lords of the Fallen (2023) takes place more than 1,000 years since the events of the first game. In the 2014 release, you play Harkyn who sets out to stop the demon lord Adyr from bringing demons into the world. The 2023 version pretty much follows the same premise but you play as an unnamed character instead with Harkyn’s actions an eon ago affecting the present.
The difference in the setting is in the aesthetics. The first game has a more typical medieval feel which follows the Dark Souls style more faithfully. The 2023 version takes a bit more liberty with its style with enemy and environmental designs that wouldn’t feel out of place in a game like Blasphemous. It’s also a lot more graphically impressive, if not heavy on the GPU, being released in 2023.
A lot of people criticized Lords of the Fallen (2014) for its flawed combat mechanics. There was broken magic and some enemy design choices that made it frustrating to fight against. It actually got a reputation as a clumsy and slow version of Dark Souls because of its numerous flaws. Because you played as Harkin there wasn’t any character creation however you could pick what class to start the game with. This 2014 version had 9 classes to pick from.
Lords of the Fallen (2023) drastically improves on the combat giving you better enemy designs. You now have 13 classes to pick from with 10 starting classes in total. There is also character creation now and you have more freedom to create the character you want.
As I mentioned in my Lords of the Fallen (2023) review, one of the unique mechanics that sets the 2023 version apart from its Dark Souls inspiration is the ability to travel between the realm of the living, Axiom, and the dead, Umbral. In LotF (2023), you technically have two lives as dying once places you in the more dangerous Umbral realm where you have one more chance before you die again and sent back to the nearest Vestige checkpoint.
You can also willing traverse between the Axiom and Umbral realms using a lamp. This is actually important as there are some paths only available in Umbral which you’re constantly in danger of having enemies spawn and dying for good. Your only way back is to rest at any Vestige or by finding an effigy which will be destroyed upon use.
Lords of the Fallen (2023) also gives you multiplayer allowing you to co-op with other players and even be invaded by others in PVP. Unlike Dark Souls, there’s no item required for co-op and the limitations for multiplayer play are even less. The 2014 version was strictly single player since it would be awkward to have two Harkyns fighting each other.