It’s been nine years between the original and rebooted Lords of the Fallen, and the soulslike game space has completely changed in that time. Not only has FromSoftware continued to refine its design up to the masterful Elden Ring, but many imitators have tried to carve out a space, and countless other games have had soulslike elements baked into their design too. The change has been so drastic that the initial player numbers for both the 2014 and 2023 versions of Lords of the Fallen have massively differing player peaks, with the newer game seeing five times the players of the original at launch.
Steam alone has thousands of games tagged as a soulslike, and Lords of the Fallen is no exception. In my very own Lords of the Fallen review, I made a point of comparing the game to the original Dark Souls, and that’s because the debut game from Hexworks borrows many of Dark Souls’ mechanics and design decisions, for better or worse. It’s a game like Dark Souls at its core, which might be why it resonates with so many players.
The nine years between the original Lords of the Fallen and its reboot appear to have done Hexworks a lot of favors overall though, as the difference between peak player counts is phenomenal. The 2014 original launched to a peak of 8,024 players on Steam, while this year’s reboot has already had a peak of 43,075. That’s a lot of people deciding their favorite Lords of the Fallen classes.
That’s a player peak that’s already five times that of the original, or an increase of around 436% depending on which statistic you prefer (via SteamDB). I can see this increase coming down to several reasons, too; Lords of the Fallen had a pretty big marketing push, it’s just straight-up better than the 2014 original, and soulslikes as both a definitive genre and a ‘vibe’ given to a lot of games have been on the rise exponentially.
I wouldn’t call Hollow Knight or Dead Cells soulslike games, for example, but I would say that their combat and several other design choices feel at least inspired by what FromSoftware kicked off back then with Demon’s Souls.
Even with the massive rise in player counts though, Lords of the Fallen Steam reviews still count the game as ‘mixed’ right now. Between crashes, stuttering, and general performance issues, the game is struggling for a majority of players. I found that one specific boss kept hard crashing my game, and I had a couple of frame rate drops in certain areas, but my experience was much less of a difficult climb than Steam might make you believe. Hexworks is releasing patches though, so keep an eye out for improvements.
If you’re struggling with the game and need some help, we’ve already got a breakdown of the best Lords of the Fallen builds depending on your current stats or playstyle, alongside the best Lords of the Fallen weapons to compliment said build as well.