The Fall of Ebris: Overview

Actual for the platform: PC

Kings of Lorn: The Fall of Ebris, despite the complex and pretentious title, even before the release it attracted attention with its trailers. Judging by them, a cross awaited us Dark souls from Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Hexen and Heretic – it looked strong. Therefore, even with my mind I understood that an independent studio hardly immediately dazzles candy out of it, but in my heart I still hoped for the best. And you can’t say that I’m completely disappointed …

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Deadly immortality

And in the first place, the way the authors work with the atmosphere and plot presentation does not disappoint. Of all the cracks here, the stench of death and decay is blowing. We fall into piles of skulls and corpses, get up, fight under gray skies and rain with different types of skeletons (there are even horse skeletons), then the next boss throws us into a pile of skulls again, but in a different dimension. And there again – darkness, corpses and complete decay, decay, which is felt literally in everything around.

In an atmosphere of gray, rainy despair and darkness, we are told a corresponding story – about how a betrayed by his own people, beaten and crippled king almost crawling through corpses, blood and skulls makes his way home through other people's measurements to take revenge. And it all starts with what is detailed and cruel, with a view from our eyes, demonstrating how the king is beaten and tortured, and his own regent cuts off his tongue and kicks the king into the portal.

Waking up, the king hears a female voice, which will then periodically appear to us and suggest something (although infrequently). The plot is served mainly through rare clips and dialogues before the battle with the next boss and through manuscript entries that we sometimes find. And there, in these notes, there is a completely instructive and interesting story, swirling around the idea of ​​immortality and the suffering, the series of murders and betrayals that turned into an attempt to find it. Moreover, it does not feature individual individuals, but rather entire worlds, kingdoms and dimensions.

Not a slasher, but a shooter

Such an atmosphere of despair and decay and such an approach to the plot clearly refer to Dark souls. Moreover, their infected and distorted souls drop out of the most powerful enemies here, which can then be turned into very powerful weapons. Souls accumulate, but if after death you immediately want to be reborn at the checkpoint, you will lose one of them, maintaining progress. If you return to the menu and just load the last save, then all enemies will revive. In this, you must admit, there is also something from a “sincere” approach.

Kings of Lorn: The Fall of Ebris game review

A typical situation for the hero of Kings of Lorn.

Monsters beat very painfully – even spiders and some small creatures that look like scary babies can quickly tear a hero to shreds. We have to dodge and put blocks on time.

On this resemblance to Dark souls and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic end up. IN Kings of lorn there is no full-fledged role system, there are no various tricks (well, except for dodge, block and one single blow), there is no such thing as endurance. All the same, this does not turn the battle into a meaningless “call” – delays between strikes are felt. But there is no need to talk about a special depth in slasher mechanics.

Here is really more honest comparison with Hexen and Heretic. The fall of ebris looks exactly like a medieval first-person shooter in a setting of dark fantasy. The bet is not on the player’s “skill”, but on an abundance of weapons, among which, in addition to various epic types of swords, axes and hammers, there are bow with a crossbow, and staves shooting like an automatic machine gun or rocket launcher, and even a local analogue of BFG, destroying enemies by those very souls. Yes, in melee a little more interactivity, but not enough to talk about a full-fledged slasher.

Guess yourself

The approach to game design here also comes from the late 90s – the beginning of the zero. It all comes down to the fact that we are looking for door keys and periodically pull the levers to open a massive gate or activate something. We also find statues of kings, but why they are for a long time is completely incomprehensible.

The game does not really explain anything at all – a bunch of types of energy fall out of the defeated reptiles, and it is not clear why they are needed (well, except for those that restore health points). We have to get to everything by experience. At the same time, in each vase you can definitely find bottle-healers that immediately fill up all hit points, and in the boxes – arrows and crossbow bolts. And nothing else – the whole incentive to study maps rests in the search for manuscripts and figurines, for which they give nothing and which is unclear why they are needed at all.

Kings of Lorn: The Fall of Ebris game review

To search for something valuable and embed it in statues is a common thing in such games.

Top up balance

However, this is all nonsense. The gameplay comes from the "beautiful far" is now even in fashion, and there is nothing seditious in finding the keys and pressing the levers. Moreover, at some levels it is quite interestingly furnished.

Much worse that the authors Kings of lorn plainly do not know how to work with balance and complexity. Enemies hit hard, but when we are all in a row, even huge monsters, are able to fill up with one or two shots from a bow or crossbow – this is also abnormal. Moreover, at some point, when my hero got into a new world, the game gave him the whole set of available weapons. I still didn’t understand if it was a bug or a “feature”, but in the end the passage was noticeably and somehow dishonestly simplified.

Yes, sometimes difficulties still arise – there are a lot of opponents, they love to come unexpectedly from the back, and they will literally have just a couple of strokes to send us to the menu or to the last control point (checkpoints, by the way, are not so common). But still, the feeling of abnormality is not leaving.

Kings of Lorn: The Fall of Ebris game review

Fights are brutal, but still rustic.

And again the bugs …

Then, in another world, for some reason, all the equipment was taken away and forced to start again, in fact, with an ordinary dagger in hand. Here, already surviving and looking for new types of weapons, sometimes cleverly hidden, has become much more interesting. The level design and the process of searching for keys / pressing levers also began to look more inventive than before.

But even in this case, the opportunity, with the help of a distorted soul, to defeat almost any enemy, even the most powerful boss, has not disappeared – this is too powerful a weapon, at the level of a legalized cheat. And the local staves shoot incredibly deadly. As a result, feelings of bewilderment and resentment remain from battles with bosses – it’s somehow uncomfortable in front of them, perhaps …

Even more obvious trouble The fall of ebris – these, as you already understood, are bugs and general technical execution. Optimization is lame – with not-so-sophisticated (though not without its merits) graphics, heroes and villains keep getting stuck in textures, sometimes scripts break down and so on.

In some ways, it also looks like Skyrim, right? Only with Hexen mechanics.


Kings of Lorn: The Fall of Ebris – a game with potential, with an atmosphere, a sense of style and taste in both design and presentation of the story. But in terms of technical implementation, development, refinement of gameplay and balance, this, of course, is not yet a release, but rather an early version. It is already possible to go all the way to the end – and even get some pleasure at the same time, but not all of them will master it. The authors, thank God, do not quit the game, release patches, treat bugs and even try to do something with a balance of complexity – for example, they introduced different levels of it. Alas, so far this is not enough to realize the full potential of the project.

Pros: there is intrigue in the plot; dense, saturated atmosphere of despair, death and decadence; gameplay in the spirit Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Hexen able to evoke warm memories from the "old people"; many cool weapons; memorable moments in the design of locations; the graphics are not outstanding, but quite nice – especially pleased with the animation of the hands and the study of the details of weapons.

Minuses: not everything is alright with optimization and technical execution in general; the balance of complexity was broken on the release; Enemy AI sometimes also breaks down; gameplay originally from the 90s is often still too primitive even by the standards of the “nostalgia game”.

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