Lost Ark Review – Why’d It Have To Be Snakes

MMOs are a risky and fickle beast. Plenty have come and gone in the past, disappearing into the ether as their player numbers dwindled, while others have only grown in popularity with each passing year and new expansion. Based on the early returns–at least for its arrival on Western shores–Lost Ark looks like it might settle into the latter category, as its servers are already filled to the brim with eager adventurers. The fact that it’s free-to-play is an obvious advantage in this sense, but this stylish Korean hybrid of MMO and action RPG has a lot more going for it, with spectacularly punchy combat and heaps of content to sink your teeth into. It’s not without its fair share of faults, both from a design and monetary perspective, but the early signs are certainly encouraging.

Lost Ark’s overarching plot adopts a well-worn and stale structure, pitting the mortal world against an invading army of demons. The story primarily focuses on a continent-spanning hunt for the seven eponymous Arks, as possessing these powerful artifacts is essential to humanity’s hopes of winning the war against this demonic horde. Further adding to Lost Ark’s glaring narrative issue is its one-dimensional cast of characters that fail to wring anything compelling out of this familiar narrative. Hamfisted writing and mediocre voice acting also contribute to an entirely forgettable story where you’re better off skipping past most of its dialogue altogether.

Fortunately, the narrative’s shortcomings do little to undermine Lost Ark’s tremendous sense of scale and penchant for exciting set pieces. Most of the major story beats conclude with large-scale battles that encompass hundreds of warring units at any one time. Much of the early game takes place in the region of West Luterra as you help an errant king regain his throne from a nefarious usurper. The culmination of this questline sees you recruit various factions from across the region until it all coalesces in an immense castle siege that more closely resembles The Lord of the Rings’ Battle of Helm’s Deep than anything you’d expect to find in an MMO or ARPG. From pounding on a war drum as your siege tower edges closer to the baying enemy swarm, to cleaving your way across the castle’s fortifications while flaming rocks and hefty chains penetrate the walls and crash all around you, it’s sheer spectacle and more than enough to get the heart pumping.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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