Since the early 2000s, Korean MMORPGs have begun to win the hearts of players around the world, and such games as Lineage, Ragnarok online, Aion and others have become a real religion for millions of people. And even now, despite the decline in the popularity of multiplayer RPGs, the Korean projects Black Desert and Blade & Soul continue their successful struggle in the field of online games. And recently fired Lost Ark follow their victorious path.
Lost Ark from Korean developer SmileGate, known for such projects as CrossFire and Epic Seven, is a mixture of isometric and classic RPG elements, reminiscent of Diablo III in its style, and so much so that the game community has already dubbed the project a clone of Diablo III. However, the Koreans brought here their oriental originality and unusual game design solutions. At the moment, the game is undergoing an open beta test on Korean servers, where they are only allowed by appointment. But for those who do not want to get acquainted with the game on OBT, a surprise awaits – a full release date has already been set for 2019.
The gameplay is based on a hack-and-slash system, where everything is extremely simple – you go through the levels, kill opponents, get levelups. But the design of these levels causes, if not admiration, then at least surprise – cinematography and high quality drawing will not let you get bored when passing along with a combination of fantasy and steampunk world of the game. Here are the traditional huge swords, and massive armor, and eerily practical armored bras, and firearms, and original robots. Juicy and colorful picture is just a joy to the eyes.
The plot of Lost Ark is extremely simple: you need to find, oddly enough, the ark in order to save the world and the people around you. But even here he does not slip into banality, such as bring this, take that away, kill that one, save another. The storyline changes based on reaching a certain level, where the tasks become more serious and unusual, with a lack of a clear division into good and evil and difficult moral choices. Even when the maximum level (50) is reached, the storyline does not end. During conversations with NPCs, in which, by the way, the camera approaches the character, which is a rather original solution, it becomes possible to admire the character once again. And a large number of cutscenes on the Unreal Engine and transitions to first-person mode when fighting bosses allows you to dive deeper into the story. The only frustrating thing is that the plot is quite predictable, and the design of the cities turned out to be not as brilliant as the locations.
As for the controls, everything is extremely simple here too: you move with the mouse, cast skills with the keyboard and cut opponents in batches, and during the battle with the boss you experience all his “phases”. If there are more dangerous enemies, then here Lost Ark provides an opportunity to go on raids with friends or random allies – the PvE mode here is represented by a bunch of modes. These are trips to dungeons and instances, and trips to individual bosses, where players have to not only kill the enemy, but before that go through traps and dangerous places and complete various tasks.
And in order to survive all the tests encountered, we are given a choice of four main classes with three specializations, i.e. twelve full classes. Plus, each comes with a set of archetypes, while the developers promise to add a few more subclasses and about eight main classes, which makes it possible to develop your own unique build and fighting style. And among the specializations themselves, there is no shortage of tanks, damage dealers, supports and generalists. Each class has eight active skills, which also allows you to choose between leveling options. Also, thanks to the Tripod combat system, skills can be modified, for example, increase overall damage or damage against a certain type of enemy, you can make the skill control or damage, by AOE or by one enemy.
But the PvE mode is not limited only to killing enemies and bosses – the developers also offer players the peaceful conquest of the sea on their own ship, which, however, still needs to be bought after reaching a certain level. This allows you to get hold of useful and unique things both for yourself and for sale, which allows you to quickly make a fortune. At sea, you can also engage in fishing and archeology, and those who lack the feeling of PvP content are given the opportunity to start pirate seizures and sea battles.
If we talk about PvP, then there is enough of it here, although, due to the peculiarities of the isometric camera, in places it is inconvenient and poorly implemented. Let isometry give better control of what is happening around the character, but does not allow you to know what is happening behind the screen. Therefore, for classes focused on long-range combat and covert attacks, such a system brings a lot of inconvenience and defeat. There are 3/3 modes, where two packs of players, three in each, enter the ring, and there is an interesting 1/1 mode, where there are also three players in teams, but they go out one at a time and fight until one falls, and then the survivor must face the second opponent. Therefore, it is likely that one player can put everyone from the opposing team, while the other two will turn out to be just fans. There is an arena mode where six people are released, only one of which will be the winner. Well, the previously mentioned mode of naval battles.
Lost Ark – video review
What is the result
Lost Ark already at the CBT stage showed itself to be quite a promising project, which will certainly become a rival to Diablo III. Despite the traditional set of classic MMORPG content, its implementation is interesting. And the status of MBT allows developers to bring a lot of new things and reform the old. A well-thought-out class system, an abundance of PvE content, cool quests – this game is definitely worth paying attention to at least for one evening. But there is one significant disadvantage – the OBT servers are located on the Korean Peninsula, so the localization of the game is still available only in Korean.