Lost Epic – Review
Follow Genre: Hack-n'-slash, Side-scroller
Developer: oneoreight
Publisher: Team EARTHWARS, oneoreight
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested On: PC

Lost Epic – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Lots of content, good combat
Bad: Difficulty spike later on, some questionable design decisions
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Hack n’ Slash games have been around for a very long time. While not the most innovative genre, new releases tend to be consistently entertaining due to the low barrier to entry. Lost Epic is a recent release combining this type of combat with some Soulslike elements in order to create a unique experience. Here is how it fares.

Story

Lost Epic’s story follows the player, a Knight, who is tasked with defeating the new gods of the world in order to free humanity from the wasteland they’ve been confined in. Throughout the game, a few more details about how the gods came to power are unveiled, adding some depth to the story, although it still remains rather shallow. There are no characters worth speaking about either, with a supporting cast whose dialogue would fit on a single sheet of paper. However, the latter is not a bad thing as it provides a more condensed, gameplay-focused, experience with a simple narrative to get things going.

Graphics

The game’s graphics consist of rather good 2D sprites with grandiose backgrounds and environments. While the area designs are consistently varied and unique, the same cannot really be said about the enemies, with most of them being reskinned versions of previously encountered ones. Not counting the bosses, the total amount of unique enemies doesn’t go past the dozen.

Sound

Lost Epic boasts a rather good soundtrack, featuring 16 unique tracks split throughout the different areas. The game also boasts somewhat comical SFX and this is due to how over-the-top and exaggerated most of these are, not really matching the animations they’re made for. The game also features full voice acting for story-relevant dialogues, although it is currently only available in Japanese.

Gameplay

As previously stated, Lost Epic is a hack-n’-slash title featuring some Soulslike mechanics, namely losing all money upon death, the addition of some RPG mechanics and enemies respawning after accessing save spots. Throughout most of the game, players will be tasked with exploring areas segmented into different rooms, sometimes requiring specific abilities to progress. Although the game could be partly considered a Metroidvania, this would be stretching the definition, since those cases only occur a handful of times, and the abilities you require to progress tend to be within the same area.

The abilities players will have access to while exploring and in combat consist of heavy and light strikes, and a dash. Later on, more abilities, such as a parry or a double jump, are also obtained, adding some level of depth to the game. Additionally, enemies will sometimes perform special moves marked with a yellow exclamation mark, which can be countered by correctly timing an ability to interrupt it, dealing additional damage.

While progressing through the game, players will acquire weapons and materials to improve their equipment or craft new items. Depending on the equipped weapon, players will also be able to obtain new combat skills, known as Sacred Techniques. These skills can be improved with use, and are also the ones used to interrupt enemy techniques. Alongside their main weapon, players will also have access to secondary ones. These secondary weapons are called gauntlets, and these provide support or magic techniques.

Lost Epic has a rather glaring issue with its utilization of magic abilities. This is due to how players will only have access to the gauntlets for the most part of the game. Proper magical weapons can only be realistically acquired in the late game stage, forcing players to either spec into magic from the very beginning, and make the game harder, or give up on effectively using it for damage.

The leveling system is something the game also borrows from Souls games, allowing players to invest their acquired currency, Anima, at save points in order to increase their level. Upon doing so, they’ll obtain skill points that can freely be used in the skill tree. Said skill tree also becomes further unlocked by defeating the game’s bosses and finding Monuments scattered throughout the map, which will grant extra abilities or blueprints for weapons.

Something Lost Epic does particularly well is allowing players to access almost any area at any point of the game. Beating the bosses in order, while recommendable, isn’t required. At any given moment, a player could choose to beeline towards the fourth boss unimpeded. That said, this is not something the game particularly encourages, since areas are largely linear and the closest boss is always the one marked on the map, although this sense of freedom is welcome.

One of the game’s weakest points is its handling of consumable items. Similarly to something like Bloodborne, Lost Epic doesn’t have a renewable healing source, forcing players to instead craft potions. While three of these will always be provided for free, this amounts to 60% of the player’s health, which is almost nothing when bosses may dish as much if not more in a single hit. What this entails is that players will be forced to either waste time scavenging for crafting materials or ignore consumables altogether and brute-force fights. This scavenging is made especially inefficient since healing materials are random drops or confined to specific areas far enough from save points (to which players can warp) to be inconvenient.

Other than this, Lost Epic also has some questionable designs for several areas, particularly the ones featuring water segments, where controls become unruly, as well as areas shrouded in darkness. The latter is particularly annoying since the player is left unable to see past their nose unless they’re using a torch that takes up the place of their weapon, which makes combat rather slow. Should this mechanic have served a purpose other than being a nuisance, perhaps it could’ve been excused, but its current design is simply bothersome.

While the game’s combat is also pretty good overall, its flaws become more evident later in the game. Once enemies acquire the ability to critical hit and deal most of the player’s health in a single hit, the inability to cancel animations becomes evident. Should a player begin utilizing one of their Sacred Techniques, it has to be fully finished before being able to dash or evade. Combined with the fast pace of combat, this will lead players to inevitably die time and time again. Although this is somewhat mitigated by save points being right before bosses and important fights, some polish could be added.

Conclusion

Lost Epic is a very entertaining game that lovers of the hack-n’-slash genre will undoubtedly appreciate, although the game has a few issues dragging down the overall experience. Featuring a large amount of side-quests and content to explore, the game boasts over 20 hours of content for a first playthrough, disregarding new game+. Sold for €20,99/£17.49/$24.99, the game is worth its asking price for those who know what to expect and are willing to ignore its flaws, although waiting for a sale is, as always, recommendable.

Personal Opinion

“I have a soft spot for hack-n’-slash games. They’re something I can turn on and veg out to while watching videos and doing stuff on the side. As long as the combat feels good to engage with and the world is worth exploring, I feel right at home. Lost Epic definitely provides this, regardless of the mentioned issues. Sure, a bit of polish could be added and those late-game fights need tweaking, but overall I had a lot of fun with the game. I’m not going to lie though, balance is kind of out of the window at times, with paralysis being incredibly strong for dealing with enemies, magic being useless for damage, and other status effects being somewhat of a joke. Despite all that, I’ve sunken 30 hours into the game and I’ll probably go for a new game+ and perhaps all achievements (although the “find all weapons/enemies/food” ones sound like a pain). I thoroughly recommend giving this game a shot if you like the genre or if you are looking for something you can easily get into. That said, the water and dark levels can rot.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Lost Epic - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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