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Lords of the Fallen’s co-op is both the worst and best multiplayer I’ve ever played in a Soulslike

Notice – Gameplay and final image show advanced stages and bosses of Lords of the Fallen

Almost 2 weeks ago I published the analysis of Lords of the Fallen, a soul of extremes: lots of good original ideas, but serious performance problems and it goes too far with the enemies in too many moments. And I stand by my words! However, multiplayer was a section that I wasn’t able to cover as much as I would have liked and I want to tell you what my experience has been since then with a new character.

Hexworks and CI Games presented a co-op that promised to be the best a Soulslike has ever seen, even better than what was seen in Remnant 2. It rests on two very important pillars: seamless experience to the point that you can play the entire story with another player and the crossplay or a cross-platform game.

Today I can tell you indeed Lords of the Fallen It’s the best co-op experience I’ve ever had in a soulslike game… but it’s also the worst online experience I’ve had in a video game of this genre. The contradiction surely confuses you and may even cause more than one person to close the publication, but I am sure that in the end you will understand my point of view.

Lords of the Fallen: the best and the worst at the same time

FromSoftware never allowed us to play freely and uninterrupted with our friends or other players beyond the final bosses. While it is true that you can visit the town of Yharnam (Bloodborne) accompanied, the common denominator of Souls has always been to be expelled after defeating a final boss and/or being dead. And that was even the case in Elden Ring.

While FromSoftware has maintained a clunky and limited co-op system, other soulslikes like Lies of P don’t even have a multiplayer mode. In my opinion, it’s just a lack of weight. Neowiz Games has this room for improvement in the face of DLC and sequels.

Cooperation with Elden Ring

In this context, Rest 2 introducing seamless co-op with the ability to obtain all items available in the host world, whether in chests, dropped by enemies, and/or awarded by final bosses. The only thing that is not shared is the progression of the world, since everyone has a different version of the others.

Shortly after, Hexworks opted for a similar multiplayer mode and added crossplay to the equation. The death of the host results in the return of a Vestige, but the host can resurrect the helper at least once before it enters spectator mode. Additionally, players can be separated a bit, although there comes a point where the wizard is teleported back to the host.

It’s an absolutely brilliant idea on paper, although things went a little wrong when I put it into practice. I even closed the game a few times because the experience was so disastrous that it was simply impossible to help anyone.

Performance and connectivity

I’ll start with the most obvious point: yield . If the game already had serious problems in this single player section, imagine when a second player is involved as a permanent companion (PVE) and possible invaders (PVP).

The result: connection issues, join errors, bugs, and some of the worst lag I’ve ever seen. The first few days things were so bad that I saw the boss in one place, but he was in another. My blows did not penetrate him, but his thrusts penetrated me. I don’t even want to imagine the comedy that the host would watch.

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The problems got so bad that Hexworks had to announce the disabling of crossplay to improve performance. And certainly the problems have lessened, but those related to connectivity remained for a few more days before improving.

Nowadays, it can be played well in most cases… when there are no errors when joining. Today October 23 at noon, I recorded the gameplay you have in this section so that it is as recent as possible. On the other hand, this week another patch is being implemented with solutions and the reactivation of crossplay. It’s true that there were issues with performance and connectivity, but there is a solution and improvements have been made.

Why play cooperatively and how does progression work?

The cooperative of Lord of the Fallen The “worst” label is not given because of performance, but because the reward for helping someone couldn’t be poorer or more unfair. Anyone with little time to play and/or a modicum of selfishness has more disadvantages than incentives to lend a helping hand to another person. So much so that finding a match is easy, but getting help is complicated.

Progress is not shared in any way. The only rewards are vigor (souls) and items dropped by enemies or a specific minor boss. All the really useful items, like those in chests, are reserved for the wizard.

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Currency obtained by helping other players in cooperative

I understand that the physical progression of the game is not shared, that we have to defeat the bosses in our game and do everything related to the main story. However, it seems unfair to me that the helping player leaves half empty even though they faced the same challenge as the host…sometimes even contributing more to the fight. And following this philosophy:

  • The remains are not shared (bonfires) when unlocking, even when the wizard does it.
  • We do not have access to Evocation Rewards (Soul) of a boss when you defeat it. I insist: only the evocation, the defeat should still be pending in our game. And I remind you that we must pay Threshold Scraps to unlock each specific element.
  • Many objects do not exist for the assistant. From what I’ve noticed, these are usually weapons, rings, amulets, and quest items. Although I understand the idea, I follow the same logic as before: the assistant faces the same challenge.
  • No trophies/achievements unlocked when you are the help.
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Anyone who aspires to progress even in the slightest has no reason to help other players beyond altruism and Vigor farming, because they are effectively wasting their time. I know perfectly well that this all works because two days ago I helped a player defeat the last four story bosses, including the final boss, and I was able to see the credits. Reward? Vigor for 3 levels in total… with which I reached 100. More than 50% with Coop Vigor.

Hexworks did not lie: we can complete the story 100% and without interruption with our friend, although it has been left aside that the assistant does not get a fair reward or progression for his character. The effort and time it takes to help another person, especially bosses, is not worth it. Why should I help someone for 3-5 hours instead of improving my game?

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All this does not mean that Lords of the Fallen It’s infinitely more fun in co-op, more comfortable than others in the genre, and the synergy between the different classes can be truly devastating when both players get along well. Even with so few rewards and assuming Hexwork will eventually iron out the technical issues, this is still the best co-op I’ve ever played in a Soulslike.