The newly localized action/RPG Lost Ark from Smilegate and Tripod Studio was first launched in South Korea a few years ago and thanks to its western publisher Amazon Games it’s now getting its hands on English territories as well. While Lost Ark may look and play like Diablo or Path of Exile, it is an MMO through and through, offering immersive group content such as dungeons, raids, and world bosses in a vast, explorable globe. My time with Lost Ark had its ups and downs, but the more I stuck with it, the more I wanted to spend time in his world.
Lost Ark opening hours are boring at times, but necessary to set the stage for what is to come. After creating my character, I was drawn into a quest to find a mythical artifact called the Ark, which is at the center of a more milkettish fantasy narrative. Much of the leveling experience follows a military campaign to help a prince reclaim his lands and claim his rightful crown as king while battling unrelenting demonic forces. Although much of the storyline doesn’t grab my attention, it does have some great moments. Key characters like the contradictory half-demon priest Arden and the magnanimous Prince Thirain have compelling arcs that occasionally pull me out of my boredom.
The world eventually opens up, allowing free shipping to other continents, which deal with much more varied and interesting aesthetics and themes. The critical path took me to places like an island with a Honey I Shrunk the Kids-like adventure with tiny Mokokos where I was miniaturized smaller than a ladybug, a martial arts tournament in a Japanese-inspired country, and a high-tech continent full of futuristic robotics and mechs Once I sailed into these unknown lands The world of Lost Ark lost any sense of a cohesive identity, but after opening hours I was ready for a drastic change of scene, and the variety presented brings a lot of life to the experience. Because of this, I admire the diverse late-game content far more than I care why one country lives on cyberpunk body mods while others live in medieval times. I always look forward to the surprises that await me on islands I haven’t visited yet.
As an isometric game, the world of Lost Ark lacks some of the environmental splendor of other MMOs, although it shines in standard moments where we get a new perspective on the world. The most spectacular points in the narrative or dungeons are spiced up and highlighted with camera footage that gives a better sense of the surrounding world and environment. The world becomes a much more interesting place when cutscenes pan and rotate the camera to show the ruins I’m exploring or the hundreds of devils storming a contested castle. Those moments go a long way in helping it feel like there’s a lot more to Arkesia – that this is a fleshed out world to live in, rather than just a mainly flat, dungeon-like landscape.
I’m amazed at the level of customization available to each of Lost Ark’s 15 classes thanks to the tripod system. This gives each of your class skills three tiers of perks to choose from, which can greatly modify those skills. Some perks change minor aspects of a skill, such as B. the attack speed or resource consumption. others apply elemental bonuses and can fundamentally change major characteristics of the attack or spell. With my Soulfist character, I’ve set up my skill bar to focus on trapping nearby enemies in stunning AOE attacks and taking them down with massive meteoric palm strikes or tearing them down with machine gun energy blasts. Skill points and the tripod perks can be changed at any time for free, leading me to spend hours happily experimenting with cool combos that would explode hordes of demons in a satisfying gory mess.
Much of the game’s content can be completed solo, including dungeons, which I appreciate as a mostly solo MMO player. However, it’s much more fun to delve into a dungeon with a group of other adventurers. Players can create guilds and team up with friends on a specific server, but unfortunately leveling with friends can be a nuisance. When playing with a party, you’re often forced to split up when moved into a story instance, resulting in the team having to re-invite and regroup when the offending narrative content ends. With other players roaming the world, Arkesia feels a lot more alive and dynamic, especially when I encountered a disparate group of players and teamed up to take out a Goliath-missile-loaded wandering tank or a brutal boss in the middle of nowhere desert. The map is full of encounters of this type and it is always a pleasure to find them.
Lost Ark has no shortage of activities to complete and collect items, many of which I enjoyed seeking out. World bosses, dungeons, raids, PvP, naval exploration, finding the 1000+ Mokoko seeds, collecting maps, crafting items, farming materials, befriending NPCs and much more can fill hours upon hours. Almost every one of these tasks has a set of rewards that make almost anything worth doing. There’s even an entire island fortress to expand and customize that feels like an entire game in and of itself. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface with my collection of items, which fortunately in many cases carries over the progression to the other characters I’ve created on the server. However, all regional achievements recorded in the Adventurer’s Tome must be completed for each character.
Amazon Game’s second foray into the MMO market is very impressive. Years of content already created for Lost Ark offers an enticing package that’s packed to the brim with fun activities and exciting locals to explore. Each class is wonderfully unique, and the customization systems allow a wealth of freedom to adapt them to a variety of playstyles. I had a great time playing Lost Ark in those early days and look forward to spending many more hours in it with friends over the coming weeks and months. Those looking to scratch an action/RPG itch or immerse themselves in an MMO won’t go wrong by giving this adventure a fair shot.