Released in Korea in 2018 and then in several Asian countries and Russia, Lost Ark is finally coming to us in early February 2022. An unexpected release for a much-anticipated MMORPG whose Founder’s Packs continue to dominate Steam sales in the upcoming opening servers. We’ve had the opportunity to play at home a full month before Lost Ark’s release, and after 70 hours of gameplay, it’s time to share our verdict.
With its explosive and well-made animations, its many classes with varied gameplays and its massive content, Lost Ark presents itself as a respectable MMORPG. And after 70 hours of going through the different realms and endgame content, we can show. And of course, like any good self-respecting MMORPG, it’s only the surface of Lost Ark that has been scratched in 70 hours. Nevertheless, this privileged time allowed us to explore the different content, be it the main quest, exploration, the different events in the game or even the endgame content, from the chaos dungeon to the cube that goes through its tower.
Isometric view, hack’n slash, terms that have a hard time resonating with our traditional MMORPGs. Originally from Korea, Lost Ark features a different plastic than our usual giants. Despite this, the gameplay is very easy to learn. Eight spells that can be customized with different skill points, enough to offer different builds depending on the current activity. As he progresses, the character will (eventually) unlock skills and skill points from among the 5 classes and 15 subclasses, which he can distribute as he pleases. Each skill can be upgraded by up to three levels with points. The highest levels are the most expensive, especially since skill points are limited.
come as you Are
A customization that makes each build unique and allows you to focus on a specific part of the game according to your needs. The necessities will not be the same depending on the ride in PvP or PvE, although the enemies there are also different. But in Lost Ark, you can complete the content regardless of whether you have a build that focuses more on DPS, tanking, or healing and boosts. A strength for an MMORPG that can be played both as a lone fighter and in a solid and well thought-out group. No door is closed, or almost. Although the endgame portion is more quickly devoured by several people, Lost Ark proved to us that it offers an adventure meant for all types of players.
The player embodies a being destined to save the various kingdoms of Arkésia from chaos, five hundred years after the Great War pitted local forces against determined demonic forces. Throughout the adventure, Lost Ark shares a wealth of information whether you are level 10 or 50. From equipment and abilities to exploration methods, combat objects and endgame content, everything is explained and described in detail so that the player is never stuck. Mandatory training as the content is massive. Although it takes around 30 hours to go from level 1 to 50 (which takes time), Lost Ark invites players to reach level 60 (55 in the European or American versions) in a marathon-like race.
And for good reason, endgame content unlocks at level 50. This is where tweaking begins with unlocking the daily dungeons, aura system, and recovery. A level that can be reached simply by following the path given by the game.And in this game, Lost Ark is well thought out. The quests follow each other quickly and avoid unnecessary round trips as much as possible. Thus, an area is explored through its secondary quests and its secret dungeons, leaving it up to the player to linger there to harvest or not the many resources related to crafting. An exploration that later returns to the charge for optimization, while areas must be completed at 100% for the character to unleash their full potential. But by then it will not have been a few dozen hours, but several hundred.
a captivating AD
The strength of Lost Ark, in addition to its particularly complete content, lies in its artistic orientation. The zones follow each other and are not equal, ranging from the green zones of the Kingdom of Departure to the desert plains at the other end of Arkésia. The biomes are varied and Lost Ark ensures that you explore the different areas as you experience them. With its graphics pushed to the max, Lost Ark is easily seen as a beautiful game, a plastic pleasing to the eye sublimated by the artistic direction adopted for specific dungeons. Real dives into paintings that sometimes turn out to be really sublime, sometimes more classical.
Although the sets change, the principle is relatively similar. The quests are linked and look the same: talk to various NPCs, eliminate X monsters, collect X resources, pick up such an object, deliver such an NPC, quests that remain varied for the gameplay offered, but some over time maybe tire long term . Nonetheless, Lost Ark surprises with its exploration proposition, which begins on land before heading into the sea: Relatively early in the adventure, you acquire possession of your first ship. A tub that can be upgraded and personalized through finds. Ships, Lost Ark offers you several. Special ships that allow you to reach certain areas of the map or sail in them more calmly. A map made up of several large islands and a multitude of several small islands that host side quests and other well-hidden secrets.
A fully translated and dubbed adventure for its main characters that will absorb you from start to finish. While some replicas lack realism, overall dubbing remains of good quality. Note that while Lost Ark is fully translated and full of tips and hints, it sometimes remains mysterious about the objectives that need to be completed in order to unlock certain stages. However, its existence in Korea and Russia allows it to be referred to to collect certain information, especially quests that deserve to find their place there.
a game within the game
An optimal information system, which can be found in particular on the “Housing” page. In Lost Ark, the player inherits an entire island that proudly features a mansion, laboratory, dock, and fields. An island that can be personalized in abundance thanks to artisanal decoration elements, allowing you to get even more resources for a significant investment of time. On his island, the player can interact with the landscape, the local manager, the various buildings at his disposal, and a traveling merchant.
An in-game game that also allows for Expeditions, where a ship and crew are sent to complete a mission in exchange for rewards. A more or less competent crew and ship that will be swapped out throughout the adventure. This additional content does not change the face of Lost Ark, but is presented as additional side content presented as a practical alternative to completing endgame content. And with good reason, thanks to the ships, it is possible to complete certain endgame content, for an entrance fee of course.
The game starts at level 50 or almost
As soon as level 50 is reached, the actual aspect of Lost Ark begins: namely its endgame part. From level 50 the player can now take part in the main activities of the MMORPG: the Chaos Dungeon, the Abyss Dungeon, the Tower, the Cube, the Abyss Raid, the Guardian Raid and the Legionnaires’ Raid. Dungeons, Raids and Towers are free to complete while the Cube requires a key. Tests where monsters follow each other while an hourglass expires. The Guardian Raid is presented as a solo or group activity that pits you against a gigantic monster with no life bars in a confrontation that looks like a quest straight out of the Monster Hunter franchise. Though intended for multiple players, the Guardian Raid can be completed solo.
These activities allow the player to get their hands on equipment whose usefulness is based on their stats and more importantly their item levels. In order to unlock the different difficulty levels of endgame content, the player must increase their level of equipped items by upgrading their equipment. A relatively long task that can be completed in different ways and more or less quickly. Note that Lost Ark can be consumed in small doses, up to a few tens of minutes from time to time, but also up to several hours a day.
With its huge content derived from regular updates released over several years, the Korean MMORPG has something to keep you busy for thousands of hours. In order not to get bored, it is recommended to try several classes. To make it easier for you, Lost Ark grants a fast growth ticket from initial progress to level 50. In exchange for 30 minutes and a focus on the main parts of the story, you can take a new character to level 50 and get a gear set that gives instant access granted to the first rank of the Chaos Dungeon. Equipment, Engravings, Gems, Lost Ark will appeal to tweak enthusiasts who won’t fail to repeat the same dungeons over and over again hoping to gradually improve their character to be able to access the rest of the content. .
With its absolutely gargantuan content, successful artistic direction, and easy-to-learn but hard-to-master gameplay, Lost Ark is poised to be the next MMORPG of the moment. From the main quest to naval exploration, including crafting, housing, endgame content and optimization, the coming thousands of hours will delight any Hack’n Slash and RPG enthusiast. It’s hard not to recommend Lost Ark as the formula succeeds, especially since the game is free. What about microtransactions and the store? We couldn’t assess the effects on the gaming experience during our test period because the shop there was closed. As for Lost Ark, it’s a big yes. A MMORPG that will define the genre in the coming weeks.