Lost Ark Closed Beta review
Lost Ark is a free-to-play top-down action MMORPG. Lost Ark was originally released in the Korean regions back on December 4th, 2019 and then moved onto the Russian regions shortly after. Lost Ark has seen great success in these areas and is now moving to the western markets. The release date at the time of this writing was March 31st, 2022.
The game takes place in a world called Arkesia. A fantasy world of magic, demons, swords, and guns. The main story takes your hero on a quest to hunt down a mythical item called the “Lost Ark” which is said to give the user the power to banish the demons back to their evil realm.
Initial Impressions of Lost Ark
My initial impressions of Lost Ark were that the game play was quite good, although it did take some time to get used to the controls. Even though the game is a tradition top-down action RPG, they took some liberties when it comes to the controls. For example, in most action RPGs that I have played you have the right-click to move and attack setup by default. This game has it set so that left click moves and right click attacks or vis versa. As far as I could tell there was no way to set one button to do both. This was by no means a huge issue just something I had to get used to as it was a bit different. The game also used “Q”- “R” and “A”- “F” for skills instead of 1-0. This is done because 1-0 are used for potions, scrolls, and other consumables.
The overall game play was quite fun once I wrapped my head around the controls. The combat reminded me a lot of Dungeon Fighter Online. The combat with trash mobs is generally about juggling\stuttering a group of mobs until they die, which is generally quick. The boss mobs are more about doing as much damage as you can before having to dodge a strong attack. Most of the bosses I fought (including 2-world bosses) did not have any difficult mechanics to learn.
First 10, err I Mean 20 Levels
So, with the closed beta, I started in a kind of transit station where I could test each advanced class available for the class I picked when creating the class. This was nice feature as it gave me a chance to test out each class. There are 5 primary classes, Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Each of these classes have advance classes which I will list below. The advancement to the new classes appears to take place at level 10, based on my experience in the beta. It’s also interesting to note that the Martial Artist and the Gunner have a male\female variant which does change the available advance class\classes. I found this out much later into the beta.
Warrior – Berserker, Paladin, Gunlancer
Martial Artist – Striker (Male), Wardancer (Female), Scrapper (Female), Soulfist (Female)
Gunner – Gunslinger (Female), Artillerist (Male), Deadeye (Male), Sharpshooter (Male)
Mage – Bard, Summoner
Assassin – Shadowhunter, Deathblade
The leveling experience from 1-10 was pretty much non-existent in the beta. All I did was complete a quick tutorial and bam I was level 10. I would assume this is not how it will be in the full game but that was my experience in the beta.
Level 10 to 20 was completely different. It took me a while to get to level 20 as I tested multiple classes before sticking with the Deadeye. The game is very much on rails as you follow the story line to each new location. You also level almost entirely from the storyline\quest exp. The exp provided from trash monsters is very minimal.
Throughout the story I was sent to multiple story dungeons, all of which where quite easy for every class I tried. I was also sent to 3 different “group” dungeons. I say “group” because they gave you the option to search for a group, but I was able to solo them on hard mode without much trouble.
What’s Good and Bad?
As stated before, the combat in this game is quite fun. As you play through, you learn quickly that certain skills work or flow well with other skills and before long you are combo’ing those skills together in most fights. The graphics in the game are well done. However, the effects really stand out in my opinion. They did a great job of giving you that over-the-top feeling when you are in combat.
So, what is bad? Well, the story… As stated above, I played through about 10 levels of the story and I read through every section, and honestly, it was just bad. There was no draw, or interest. The characters were bland at best, and very predictable.
On top of the story being bad, the game is just easy. I never once found myself struggling to pass an area. I think I died like once, the whole time I played the game, over 5 different classes (some tanky’er then others). This concerned me so I reached out to the community and most users stated that the game gets much harder in end game, which is at level 50.
Overall, I had fun playing the game, but I did find myself getting board towards the end of the level 10 to level 20 run. This was primarily due to the lack of difficulty and the very subpar story line. However, I have played many different free-to-play MMOs and the majority of them have subpar stories if they have a story at all. The story will not keep me from playing the game, but I am very concerned about the difficulty. If the game does not get hard in end game as stated by the community, then I would feel like I wasted a large amount of time grinding to end game. On the flip side, if the end game is challenging and rewards players who learn to combo their skills together while dodging horrifying attacks, then it could be quite a fun game at end game.