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Lords of Exile Impressions

Lords of Exile throws you back to the golden age of gaming with its charming 8-bit visuals and a retro soundtrack that will lodge itself firmly in your ear. This Xbox title feels like a lost gem from the NES era, offering a thrilling side-scrolling adventure full of sword-swinging action and challenging level design.

Lords of Exile doesn’t stray far from the classic formula. You’ll traverse a series of linear levels, battling a variety of enemies with your trusty sword. While you start with basic attacks, the limited-use pick-ups scattered throughout the levels add a layer of strategic offense. Throwing daggers and uppercutting foes with scythes provide a welcome change of pace from swordplay.

Don’t be fooled by the initial ease, though. Lords of Exile quickly ramps up the difficulty. Enemies become more cunning, level design throws fiendish traps your way, and bosses demand mastery of their attack patterns. The frequent checkpoints, however, offer a lifeline, ensuring frustration doesn’t overshadow the fun. With perseverance, you’ll overcome any obstacle, making victory all the sweeter.


As you progress through Lords of Exile, you’ll unlock a range of skills and abilities that enhance your combat prowess. These start with simple upgrades like a longer sword reach, but soon you’ll find yourself summoning a samurai guardian, gracefully double jumping across chasms, and unleashing other exciting maneuvers that add depth to the gameplay.

Lords of Exile offers more than just the main campaign. Earned gold allows you to purchase items from a friendly vendor or tempt fate at a hidden slot machine. For those seeking a true test of skill, there are numerous achievements that require defeating bosses or completing levels flawlessly.

Those who conquer the campaign can unlock two exciting new modes: Boss Rush and Speedrun. These offer fresh challenges to test your mastery and put your honed skills to the ultimate test.

Completing the campaign unlocks a second playable character – Lyria. With her unique move set, you can experience the campaign afresh, offering even more replayability for those who crave a different combat style.

Lords of Exile might not be for everyone. The old-school graphics and emphasis on challenge might not resonate with all players. However, for those who fondly remember the classic side-scrollers of yesteryear, Lords of Exile is a delightful trip down memory lane. With its charming presentation, engaging combat, and rewarding sense of progression, Lords of Exile is a strong contender for one of 2024’s early gems. So if you’re looking for a challenging and nostalgic adventure, look no further than Lords of Exile on Xbox.



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blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

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