Lost Ark PC Game Review

Deepak Gupta February 8, 2022
Updated 2022/02/08 at 6:42 PM

Lost Ark game for PC

Lost Ark is a MMORPGs top-down action game developed in South Korea that’s packed with addictive combat, sleek visuals, and a massive amount of endgame content. This free-to-play PC game has been available in other regions for a while now, and comes to the West with nearly two years of trim and content updates. The cash store of Lost Ark is oddly sparse pre-launch, and its controller support could be better, but the Smilegate-developed RPG title is a great one. MMORPGs well worth your time (and maybe your money).

challenge the world

Lost Ark is an expansive game with lots of regions to explore, resources to hoard, and gear to earn, but combat is at the heart of it all. Lost Ark doesn’t use the traditional MMO roles – Tank, Healer, and DPS – to balance the content. Instead, there are several exceptional classes with support perks, rather than dedicated roles. Dealing damage is the main focus of every class, so while it’s nice to have a class that can heal in the party, everyone is responsible for knowing how the boss mechanics work, attacking the boss and how to avoid taking damage. The healing classes of Lost Ark can’t babysit like the counterparts of Final Fantasy XIVbecause they are simply not designed to do so.

That said, combat is easily the greatest strength of Lost Ark. The abilities look good, sound powerful enough, and are fun to use. You can’t help but feel like a god of battle as you dive into a crowd and blast fodder monsters to bloody chunks. Each class has a long list of abilities, and you can shorten eight of them at once. Each attack ability can be upgraded and modified with effects, such as higher AOE damage, higher single target damage, or additional stun effects.

What’s more, Lost Ark launches with 15 diverse playable classes. If you’re a swordsman, you might gravitate towards the Warrior class, for example. This umbrella class is divided into three subclasses: Berserker, Gunlancer, and Paladin. Berserkers are great swordsmen with highly damaging sword skills and a powerful berserk state that further boosts their strength and resilience. Weaponcasters wield a mechanically enhanced blade and large shield, and possess a defensive stance to deflect damage, as well as group protection abilities. They are the Tank class equivalent of Lost Ark. Paladins are magic-oriented fighters who possess strong melee skills, holy magic, party-building and healing skills.

No two classes are the same, even within the same umbrella class. For example, I chose the Scrapper subclass from the main Martial Artist class. Scrappers use massive, bulky gauntlets to attack enemy clusters with powerful, hard-hitting skills. Martial artists can also choose the Soul Fist, a combat class that combines area-of-effect magic with light strikes and magically enhanced blows. These warriors possess a unique, Dragon Ball-esque look and feel. Even better, the intro lets you test out each subclass before committing.

Go alone or with friends

Despite its MMORPG label, Lost Ark is dense with solo content. You start with the main story which introduces you to the combat system. A powerful demon ravages the world in search of the Lost Ark, a powerful magical relic that banishes evil. You, the protagonist, have ties to this ark and are the only person who can overcome the demon’s rampage. The dialogue and voice acting border on corny at times, but that doesn’t really matter: the action is at the heart of the game. You travel across the world in pursuit of this demon and the lost Ark, destroying all the malevolent enemies that get in your way with arcade-like combat action, while picking up valuable gear and items along the way.

As you progress through the story, you eventually unlock a housing system to obtain and grow valuable resources for gear upgrades. You also get a ship that allows you to sail to distant islands and continents filled with unique environments and associated quests. There are also tower challenges, tests of progressive difficulty that offer increasingly better rewards as you move up the floors.

Of course, there are also plenty of dungeons to go through, either solo or with other players. I’ve gone through a lot of them solo, as the story-based mobs aren’t particularly difficult and the bosses are much more interesting when they’re just focused on you. Overall, the quests and story-relevant content aren’t difficult. The base story is quite laid back and serves more as a way to ease you into the endgame content, where the real challenge begins.

If you’re hungry for multiplayer content, Lost Ark has it to spare. You can form a party to tackle the game’s many dungeons, world bosses, and raids once you unlock them. As mentioned earlier, dungeons can be tackled solo or in groups of five. Late game raids are where the really tough monsters and bosses live. Raids accommodate between eight and 16 people depending on the challenge, and they’re mechanically more complex than the spam battles you’ll experience for most of the story. Of course, raids reward you with some of the best gear and materials offered by Lost Arkso they are worth running once they become available.

Player versus player (PvP) interactions are another multiplayer aspect to explore. Game modes include a six-player team deathmatch, a six-player free-for-all, and team elimination, a mode in which two teams of three players fight one-on-one until all players on a team are eliminated.

Lost Ark levels gear and stats in its PvP modes, so all players are on equal footing when fighting. This allows for a much more fair and balanced combat experience, as your skill and execution dictate the outcome of the match, rather than your gear or level. It’s better PvP execution than what Blade & Soul implements. This title features multiple gear-based PvP modes with unique gear upgrade paths that produce a thoroughly frustrating system to enjoy as a new player; the statistical chasm between newbies and veterans is far too big to bridge. This is especially true in free-to-play MMORPGs, a genre that sees money-spending whales earning gear faster than people who don’t want to open their wallets.

Cash Shop and Future of Lost Ark

Cosmetic customization is a major aspect of any MMO. Any long-time MMO gamer knows that fashion is the true end of the game, and Lost Ark certainly does not disappoint on this front. Lost Ark has an undeniable oriental flair that is similar to Tera and other Korean MMOs. As well as a basic character builder, which you can use to customize your hero, there are plenty of armor sets to collect, as well as cosmetics to buy with money if you want to go that route.

The most important factor in determining the overall success of Lost Ark is perhaps how Amazon Games handles checkout. Beyond mere cosmetic items, free games tend to divide due to their pay-for-convenience or pay-to-win elements. These can be subtle buffs, such as experience-enhancing potions, or meaningful perks, such as better gear or upgrades. The way a free game distinguishes between convenience and outright advantage can divide or even destroy the community of said game.

The shop of Lost Ark includes cosmetics, such as skins for pets, mounts, and ships, as well as a 30-day subscription (price unknown at the time of this writing) that grants various benefits, including lower cooldowns for crafting, research, and despatches, experience boosts, and free teleports. None of this is radically groundbreaking, and these are mostly minor conveniences, but it remains to be seen what will be added to this store in the future. Cash shop monetization is another thing we have to wait and see play to determine the overall health of the game. This will be what ultimately determines whether Lost Ark worth staying long term.

Lost Ark is offline at the time of this writing, so this review is based on my time in the test servers. As a result, the health of the server, as well as the long-term health of the game, is on hold. However, Lost Ark was immensely popular overseas, so it’s entirely possible that the same success will carry over to this western release.

Can your PC run Lost Ark?

Lost Ark isn’t very demanding, which isn’t that surprising given that it’s been released in other regions for two years now. To run the game at minimum, your PC must have an AMD Ryzen 3 or Intel Core i3 processor, AMD HD6850 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, 50GB of storage, and system Windows 10 64-bit operating system. Recommended specs call for an AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel Core i5 CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU, and 16GB of RAM. In both cases, Lost Ark requires a dedicated internet connection to play and cannot be played offline.

On a desktop computer with a Ryzen 5 3600 processor, Nvidia RTX 2080 and 16 GB of RAM, Lost Ark ran incredibly well at 1440p resolution. With its graphics settings ticked to the maximum, the game ran at over 80 frames per second.

As with most Steam games, Lost Ark features Steam achievements, as well as partial controller support. This partial support is a little disappointing; you can use a gamepad for all combat and loot functions, but opening and navigating menus, or managing your inventory, is a bit too cumbersome without a mouse and keyboard.

Hack and Slash to victory

Lost Ark is an impressive action MMORPG that has the potential for great longevity. The top-down view of the game takes some getting used to, but Lost Ark features abundant and engaging single-player content, with dungeons, tower challenges, PvP, and dwellings to explore. If you want to get together, Lost Ark also has great content for that, in its party-focused dungeons, raids, and endgame. Time will tell if Lost Ark will find an audience, but it’s a polished, high-quality game that doesn’t cost a penny to play.

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