When Lost Ark was revealed to the world, it caused a sensation that surpassed even all the excitement created by the highly anticipated Black Desert Online, if you remember its first amazing trailer. The makers of the popular FPS CrossFire, Smilegate, along with Tripod Studio, have been working on something that shows so much promise, so much confidence, that no matter how long and in-depth the first Lost Ark trailer was (a good 8 minutes), it left us with so many questions. Many of those were answered just a few days later, with the new 20-minute Lost Ark trailer, and the enthusiasm grew and confirmed that this wasn’t just for show; this actually seemed capable of delivering.
But what is Lost Ark? Well, we like to described it as the most ambitious Diablo MMORPG ever conceived, one which looks so promising that seems like it could be crafted by the skilled hands of Blizzard employees. Alas, it’s not from the makers of Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft, but from a clearly talented team of 160 workers under the banner of Smilegate.
This is without a shadow of a doubt a game that will make a lot of waves during 2015 and with a worldwide release already confirmed for Lost Ark – another proof of the ambitious and pristine plan of the studio –, we’re bound to hear and see a lot more of it. But now let’s pick our top 5 reasons why Lost Ark is a game for you to be excited about – very excited about, hopefully as much as we are.
It’s shaping up to be the ultimate Diablo MMORPG
Lost Ark looks like Diablo, only bigger, better, and quite frankly, prettier. With 18 classes planned, 7 of which were already revealed (Devil Hunter, Summoner, Berserker, Infighter, Arcana, Battle Master and Warlord), there’s plenty to choose from and with immensely diverse playstyles. There’s dungeon crawling but there are also open world activities, huge and impressive bosses and a lot more. While Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance looked like the game that would give the Diablo franchise a run for its money, Lost Ark just appeared out of nowhere and took the first place in the hack and slash MMORPG race.
Exciting, fast-paced and varied combat system
After seeing Lost Ark, nearly every other combat system looks pale and boring in comparison. All the classes shown feature some kind of unique skills and movement, making the choice quite frankly very difficult. It’s all extremely swift and exciting, with dozens of enemies that react in realistic ways to the blows that we land on them, not to mention the good taste going on in what concerns the visual effects – they’re not too little or too much, they seem just like the perfect amount. Also, lots of blood; this clearly isn’t a game that is dumbed down for a bigger audience.
Like it wasn’t good enough, combat includes another trick that will make the encounters even more varied and unpredictable: the Tripod System. Thanks to this, every class will have its unique system that allows for a detailed customization of combos in three levels. The Battle Master, for example, is able to choose an element (earth, fire, water or air), use it a couple of times and then increase the area of effect. The results are destructive and visually impressive. We can’t wait to see what the other classes have to offer.
Beauty isn’t in the eye of the beholder
While Lost Ark may look all tiny and cute from afar, this is a full 3D MMORPG that just happens to be played from an isometric perspective, a choice by design, not by concession. The camera will frequently twist and twirl to show us the horizon and just how detailed and beautiful the cities look. It could easily have been just one more run of the mill over the shoulder third-person MMORPG and still look impressive, but the idea of going for a Diablo point of view – well, most of the time – is obviously one with a clear goal: to participate in the heated hack and slash genre and to ultimately rule it. It’s not just the detail that is put onto the main characters – the Arcana and the Summoner classes bring all kinds of visual panache with them – but also on the impressive bosses.
In the end, the world of Lost Ark is incredibly beautiful and diverse, from the colorful, nature-filled places with all the cute fish swimming around, up to the gloomiest locations, such as the ghost ships. Lost Ark looks beautiful, no matter what angle you look at it.
You’ll get lost with all there is to do
When you see a hack and slash game, something that may come to mind is the repetitive, grinding gameplay – dungeon after dungeon of the same stuff, boring enemy after boring enemy until you get to go somewhere else and… do it all over again. But in Lost Ark we already had a taste of what’s in store for us and that’s more than enough to keep us entertained. You’ll have all the usual MMO staples, from fishing to mining or crafting, as well as mini-games (card game and drinking game, and probably a few more).
But there’s also a focus on hidden quests and locations that you can find in several ways: eavesdropping or excelling at archeology and astrology, for example. You’ll get to make some choices too, like saving a man or killing him, something that we hope will be a regular thing in this game. Open world events will appeal to your thirst for teamwork and you can also explore the high seas and look for treasure. You’ll lose track of time without even bothering with the main quest line.
Be the hero in your own cinematic dungeon
With the standardization of the MMO, everything just got a little bit too safe, too boring… Players are led by the hand through most of the mechanics, and in some games, they even spend more time watching the character running around than actually playing! So we need to bring the excitement back into the MMORPGs and Lost Ark is trying to do something new to fulfill just that. The cinematic dungeons will make sure that all the best and more intense camera angles are chosen and bring that sense of urgency that seems lost in most games. The idea is apparently to add huge spectacle to some boss fights (and other situations?), bringing some Michael Bay to the proceedings. As long as the camera knows exactly what to do at all times, then we’re all for it!
So these were just our Top 5 reasons to be excited for Lost Ark, but we’re sure there will be plenty more when Smilegate reveals additional features. What is your opinion on this game and just how excited in a scale of 1 to 10 are you about it? Let us know in the comments!