An Honest Review of Lost Ark

The TLDR Review of Lost Ark 

Gorgeous Korean Action RPG MMORPG with limitless amounts of content.

100 hours. With most games, after playing 100 hours, you would have expected to complete or be nearly finished with a game. However, after 100 hours of Lost Ark, it feels like I am just getting started…

The History of Lost Ark

Lost Ark is a Korean-style MMORPG developed by Smilegate and published by Amazon. Initially, the game was first released in Korea in 2019. Following its wild success, it was picked up by Amazon for distribution in the US and Europe. 

The gameplay is based around an Action-RPG combat style like Diablo 3 or Path of Exile, while drawing MMO skill elements from games like World of Warcraft. After 100 hours of gameplay, I will try to break down each element of the game to help you determine if this game is worth playing.

Lost Ark Colloseum

Lost Ark Story 

TLDR; Your average MMORPG fantasy story

Unfortunately, the story can only be described as generic. While the story certainly has plenty of content, the quantity does not make up for the quality. 

The main questline involves your character looking for Lost Arks to help defeat the growing Demon legion. Your character travels from continent to continent defeating a “Demon Commander” at each location – these Commanders are also looking for the Ark to help bring chaos to Arkesia. 

While the first Ark may have you invested in the characters you have helped save, this feeling soon dissipates. By the time you reach your fifth Ark, the repetition of incompetent allies, incompetent enemies, and general incompetence have you skipping through the story to unlock gated content.

Lost Ark Story Rating: 5/10 

Graphics

TLDR; Beautiful graphics even on low settings

While the story may be subpar, the graphics certainly make up for them. The game utilizes Unreal Engine 3 and maximizes all aspects of the game engine. 

Cutscenes are gorgeous and numerous, which probably explains the 80+ GB game size. Additionally, there are plenty of individualized skins for each class and color-changing options let you customize your character and outfit to whatever your desire. 

The game is also well optimized and can run on older computers. However, it is recommended to lower settings or turn off certain animations for large-scale raids.

Lost Ark Graphics Rating: 8.5/10 

Gameplay screenshot

Lost Ark Gameplay

TLDR; Challenging gameplay that keeps you wanting more

Lost Ark features action-RPG forward gameplay with a subtle mix of MMORPG elements. 

Your character’s damage in the game is built around item level. Item level is determined by equipment that can be upgraded in numerous ways. Players can run Chaos Dungeons, Raid Guardians, and Abyssal Dungeons that drop honing materials. 

Chaos Dungeons involve your character killing large groups of mobs. They’re a relatively simple dungeon that allows you to consistently obtain upgrade materials to increase your power. 

Raid Guardians involve a singular boss that has multiple phases. As you get through each phase, the boss powers up and begins using different attacks to slow you down. Raid Guardians can be difficult and often require teammate coordination. 

Ultimately, the pinnacle end-game content revolves around Abyssal Raids. These can be anywhere from 4-8 players and require lots of coordination to complete. Make sure to study up or ask your teammates for help before entering these! 

Finally, there is PVP available. Certain classes have a clear advantage over others but all classes are competitive and fun to play.

Lost Ark Gameplay Rating: 8.5/10 

Lost Ark feature 1

Sound

The music pairs nicely with the content, but nothing particularly slaps, other than the seagulls of course ?.

Lost Ark Sound Rating: 7/10

Innovation & Fit 

TLDR; Not very innovative but executes all the mechanics well

Lost Ark may lack creativity, but it is fantastic at executing known Action-RPG and MMORPG elements. 

The HUD is well done and not too cluttered with information. With the focus on the high quality of life the game allows you to have multiple high-level characters without the hassle of going through the story again. The game also has all of the MMORPG classics such as guilds, marketplace, and monthly events. 

Lost Ark does lack some of the community charm an MMO can provide. Gone are the days of sitting in a town with chat bubbles over your head trying to pawn off your recent ill-gotten gains. As a result, the game feels a touch too robotic and optimized for people trying to grind through content.

Lost Ark Innovation & Fit Score: 8.5/10 

How Good is Lost Ark?

I’ve played over 100 hours and can confidently say Lost Ark is not a bad game! To summarize, the story isn’t great, but this game scratches the MMORPG itch that hasn’t been satisfied since the days of Maple Story and RuneScape. I recommend you hop on with a couple of friends and explore all the game has to offer!

TLDR; Solid MMORPG that I am still playing 

Lost Ark Weighted Overall Score: 7.5/10

Lailai from Lost Ark
Lailai!

What are your thoughts on Lost Ark? Do you agree with this review? Join the conversation in the comments section!

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