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Lost Ark is the “new” online video game that everybody is talking about and playing right now.
It has been acclaimed by everyone who is playing it right now as the perfect combination between Diablo and World of Warcraft, but free (that is the best part), and it is already one of the best and most popular games in Steam history.
Why did I say “new”? Because the game was released for South Korea only back in 2019, so the game has been in everybody’s mouth for a couple of years, and until a few days ago, on February 11, we were able to try it and play it thanks to Amazon, thank you Jeff Bezos.
As I said before, Lost Ark is something like Diablo, but it is also like Torchlight, Minecraft Dungeons, Path of Exile, and Mu in the sense that it is an action RPG that is played from top-down perspective that is all about exploring levels filled with lots of loot and great numbers of enemies; and just like those games, defeating a few enemies is not hard at all. What is really dangerous in Lost Ark are the large swarms of enemies that can suddenly appear and overpower anybody’s character even if your character is powerful and well equipped.
The story of Lost Ark is the classic “angels and humans team up to face demons and save the world” basis, but it suffers from bad writing and voice acting that makes the tone and pacing feel very awkward at times. The cutscenes are very action-packed and they both tend to help tell the story and to be a visual treat. Character’s voices sometimes tend to bounce between either lack of emotion or over-exaggeration, there is no balance between, and as a result, they generally come across as forgettable or one-sided rather than both interesting or striking.
What really saves Lost Ark is the great action sequences, which are really well scripted and creative enough to carry the story on its back. I am not saying that Lost Ark is a bad game; I’m just saying that the story is not on the level of, say, The Lord of the Rings – story-wise, it has a lot of flaws but it is not something that seriously could damage a good game like Lost Ark.
The gameplay is really good, and it surely will remind you of Diablo 3 more than PoE, Grim Dawn, or Diablo 2. The Hotbar has a set of skills and special attacks that, like any other RPG game, have their cooldowns, but there is no forced skill that needs to go in any one slot; in Lost Ark, you can mix it to your heart’s content, which lets you get creative with your builds. But despite all this customization, the classes will have a specific role no matter what: The Striker will always be a DPS class, the Gunlancer will always be a tank, and the bard will always be a support. Despite that, it is really nice to be able to swap or specialize your skills in the moment.
Just like any other MMORPG, as you progress you will find better and better loot and you will level up your character, unlocking new skills, upgrading them, and making yourself stronger every time. The game has varied regions; from graveyards full of zombies to dense forests, and any region is dotted with collectibles, tons of loots, side quests, and dungeons. But where Lost Ark differs is in how the combat feels; often in other RPGs like PoE the combat is satisfying but it is not impactful or heavy. You can see a ton of magical explosions or swords being whipped but it does not feel completely right. Well, in Lost Ark that is not the case, every hit or spell has a quality that makes every enemy encounter worth fighting it.
One of the big reasons why the combat feels like it is because the game employs hit stops. And what are hit stops? ‘Hit stop’ is a term used to describe a technique where the time slows right at the moment of an impact to create the impression that it hits harder. This technique makes the fights more intense and the strikes look more powerful.
In some fights, you will need to face many enemies at once and you will need to use your skills correctly to survive the encounter. Sometimes you will need to hold the skill’s key down in order to power them up or to keep them rolling in a combo. In Lost Ark you can use a limited rolling dodge to get out of harm, some battles require you to use it correctly.
The boss fights are great and every boss differs from one another from their visuals to their fighting styles; some bosses have unique mechanics, such as Rekiel of Despair who is protected by a shield that makes his attacks hit harder, or Jagan, the giant dragon that you need to kill several times throughout the dungeon; but what makes him interesting is that he can rip apart the stairs or walls as you move through the stage.
The tutorial is short and enjoyable, and once you have finished it you can choose to forge ahead into the story content alone or with your friends (the party is up to four players). Obviously, playing with your friends makes the game 4 times better but this is not entirely necessary, in fact, the only content where you need to play with your friends in a party are the Void Dungeons and the Guardian Raids.
With everything said above, Lost Ark takes an impressive stab in the isometric RPG genre. The game is fun and extremely addictive, one of the best current online free-to-play video games out there. Also, you don’t need expensive, late-model hardware to play the game, that is one of the best parts of Lost Ark, so if you have a good pc with medium-tier hardware you will enjoy it without any problems. Lost Ark is a video game worth playing, so if you are not playing it right now, what are you waiting for?
Now it’s time to hear from our Nerdgenic community. Have you played Lost Ark, and if not are you considering it after this article? Let us know by leaving a comment below.