Lords of the Fallen – Ancient Labyrinth (DLC) Review
Lords of the Fallen was a bit of hit and miss with critics. Clearly marketed at Dark Souls fans, the game featured a similar level of frustrating difficulty and a swathe of gameplay mechanics borrowing heavily from From Software’s winning Souls formula and although it added its share of new ideas, it was mostly a really good Dark Souls clone. Fortunately I enjoyed it immensely and after a good four months, the first piece of post-launch DLC has been launched. Embracing the title Ancient Labyrinth, the game has players visit a brand new area, fight new enemies and take on another of the Rhogar Lords. Exciting!
As with the Dark Souls add-ons, the Ancient Labyrinth DLC has been incorporated directly into Lords of the Fallen game world and once purchased and downloaded, can be undertaken by speaking with the Blacksmith at one of his anvils at any time after defeating the Beast boss (about 60% through the game). The Blacksmith will then whisk you away to the new area where your side-caper can commence.
The Ancient Labyrinth is a small area that consists entirely of a maze-like rotational ring-puzzle where the various segments and walkways can shift around a central point via the use of a series of levers located inside the puzzle itself. The ultimate goal is find the path through the rings to reach the centre. This is much harder than it sounds due to the segments of the puzzle being filled with long narrow, curved corridors with poor line of sight (perfect for enemy ambushes) and having to backtrack to try different combinations of platform rotation to find the right fit.
For fans of Lords of the Fallen, the new DLC will feel very familiar and it packs in some fresh enemy types including slightly stronger skeletal variants of the standard archers and knights you will have no doubt encountered in the main game. There is also a new type of teleporting heavy enemy that will likely give players a little grief until they figure out its attack patterns and weaknesses. Ancient Labyrinth also includes a new, powerful weapon and armour set that can be acquired to add to Harkyn’s already impressive arsenal, new audio notes to collect for a bit of backstory on the zone, additional achievements/trophies for those so inclined and it eventually culminates in an epic boss fight that rates easily among the most unique in the game.
For $10 the Ancient Labyrinth provides players with a 2.5-6 hour (skill dependent) side-adventure whose environment, minor puzzles and combat feel like a natural extension of the main game. Players who enjoyed the vanilla title will definitely get a kick out of the DLC and a fresh locale although the small environment is a bit of a letdown that might deter some. It is also unfortunate that due to its puzzle-like nature and its questionable positioning more than halfway through the game, the Ancient Labyrinth will be unlikely to win the title any new fans.
Overall the escapade felt short, but was rewarding and enjoyable whilst it lasted with the boss fight proving extremely challenging and the new enemies and environment providing a nice diversion from the core story. No, it’s not the greatest DLC ever and players’ enjoyment of the DLC will be entirely dependent on their opinion on the game as a whole. If you dug Harkyn’s original adventure and are frothing at the loins for a little more (even if it’s only a couple of hours), you can probably consider Ancient Labyrinth $10 well spent.
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