Lost Ark Is NOT The Game You Think It Is
Since its announcement video was released back in 2014, Lost Ark has been something of a myth in the gaming communities.
Taking a huge leap, Lost Ark made its debut trailer a gameplay one and it looked way ahead of its time. A lot of gamers, myself included, thought that this “gameplay” video was fabricated to build hype and did not represent the actual gameplay. Keep in mind that at the time Path of Exile was just emerging as an ARPG and Diablo III was the top ARPG on the market.
Since the gameplay video used the isometric camera, which is the signature style of ARPGs, once again a lot of people including myself assumed that Lost Ark was going to be an ARPG. The video had this big One-vs-Many fights where our character would tear through multiple enemies with huge, anime-like skills with incredible animations. So this was going to be a Diablo-like ARPG but with flashier moves and bigger set-pieces.
Except it was not. While using the isometric camera, Lost Ark is a full-fledged MMORPG. If you want to talk in Blizzard terms, it’s World of Warcraft but with Diablo’s camera angle. It’s story-driven MMO where you do dungeons with others, work towards the endgame gear and cosmetics. While it does work similar to famous ARPGs, the whole “you’re a part of a huge world” part of MMOs are definitely more dominant.
So why the isometric camera? Since Lost Ark is an MMO, isometric camera is basically there to make sure you get to see how cool your character’s moves are. It also helps the developers create more cinematic and choreographed moves because the players can see what’s going on in the entire battlefield. While summoning a spirit dragon to crush your enemies is cool, it doesn’t feel all that great when you’re stuck behind, watching the dragon’s backside. Isometric camera allows you to enjoy your spirit dragon in all its glory.
Lost Ark also utilizes not being an ARPG by using the camera freely. While the isometric angle is there during the gameplay, most of the PvE content has these amazing cutscenes where the camera just moves around and gives you the lay of the land, shows off the boss & environment designs and big set-pieces.
While I’m sure I’ll be writing about Lost Ark a lot in the future, especially after the western release, I just wanted to clarify the whole ARPG thing. While Lost Ark borrows a lot from ARPGS, playing it as an ARPG will most likely disappoint you. Because the game is designed around regular MMO mechanics, such as gear upgrade chances etc.
Before concluding, I’d like to mention two things:
- Lost Ark is free to play. So there will be some options to spend money, but that doesn’t mean pay to win. Mostly because there is nothing to win, because PvP is completely independent of your gear and how much money you spent on the game. More on this later.
- Secondly, remember how I mentioned in the first section that the announcement trailer was a farce and was just there to generate hype? Well, it was real. All of it. Pretty much everything in that video is actually in the game, except a few cut content (such as riding dragons, which is a shame) and the game does look and feel as exciting as it does in the video from 2014.
Lost Ark is almost here. We have waited for SEVEN years, but it’s finally almost here and I can’t wait to experience it.