Lost Epic Review – An Entertaining Mash Up of Genres

    Title: Lost Epic
    Developer: Team EARTHWARS
    Release Date: July 27, 2022
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: oneoreight
    Genre: Action RPG

Developer Oneoreight has finally released version 1.0 of Lost Epic. This game is a colorful blend of Metroidvania-style 2D platforming and action with many flavors of the Dark Souls series. While it doesn’t exactly hit every note perfectly, it still stands well enough on its own in a sea of titles trying to do the same things.

In Lost Epic, you play as a Knight, a custom character of your choosing, on a quest to kill the new gods. The story is standard for the genre, though it does have some somewhat bitter moments. Even then, the plot doesn’t stand out as new or innovative. The strongest point, by a relatively large margin, is the visuals. Every zone is bright and detailed, contrary to what fans of the genre might expect.

Every room has its own personality, making it easy to remember where you are in the zone without having to look at the map a dozen times. Most areas are outside, and the amount of color and flavor in them is welcoming. That isn’t to say that there aren’t dark and dingy areas, but the zones are varied and unique.

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On the other hand, the character models and animations leave a little to be desired. They aren’t by any means bad; they are actually detailed, especially the enemy designs. However, the models and animations don’t seem to fit the rest of the visual design. Actions feel weightless, making it difficult to know when you land a hit or get hit yourself. This can cause some mild confusion in more significant combat situations.

Still, Lost Epic provides a lot for action-seekers. Your character can wield a variety of weapons, and battles are fast-paced. You have your standard light and heavy attacks, a dodge, and guard, but also skills to use depending on your weapon. These skills are the depth that combat provides. With a wide variety of attacks and buffs, you can learn and adapt to any situation. Some attacks are good at stunning heavier enemies, while others can take out aerial threats. Enemies can also be staggered, allowing a finishing blow to either outright kill the enemy or inflict heavy damage.

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There are three classes of weapons, Standard Blades, Great Weapons, and Bows. Each weapon of each type has a skill attached to it, and after mastering the skill in combat, you can apply it to any weapon in that class. While you can’t mix skills from different weapon types, you still have plenty of variety to discover. On top of your primary weapons, you have several Sub Weapons that can provide their skills, support, and attack.

Sub Weapon skills can be used regardless of the primary weapon type and the type of sub-weapon equipped. These skills, called Divine Skills, not only deal damage but can also counter specific enemy attacks to create openings for a combo. To acquire new weapons, you must evolve them. In addition, you gain new recipes as you complete quests or find hidden monuments around the map.

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These recipes unlock more of each weapon tree. Each recipe calls for either monster parts or zone resources, which can come in multiple types. Using these different parts can alter the nature of the resulting weapon. For example, you can add a chipped fang with a fire property to the craft to give the resulting weapon a fire element.

You can also double up to add a status ailment like Poison or Sleep and an element to the weapon, though you can’t add two elements to the same weapon. As each weapon has new skills to learn, it’s beneficial to craft as many weapons as possible. The crafting system also allows you to craft various cosmetic items, armors, and healing potions.

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Like the crafting system, the leveling system also has depth. You can spend experience earned from fighting enemies and completing quests to gain levels at checkpoints. You also get 1 SP to spend on increasing your stats for each level you gain. The upgrades are all in a tree, meaning you must progress along certain paths.

While most upgrades are simple stat boosts, some increase elemental and status resistance. Since the upgrades are spread out to different trees, you must first unlock them by beating a boss or completing a quest to progress along later upgrade trees. As this is also a Metroidvania-style game, these upgrades allow you to explore further in various areas, such as the ability to swim or to charge attacks to break certain walls. It’s important to plot out how you want to grow because, like in the Souls games, you drop your experience if you die.

There are plenty of things to do even outside of combat. There is fishing, cooking, and minimal farming. You can plant seeds that will grow into resources for crafting or cooking. You can learn recipes to cook foods that can heal and grant different bonus effects. Fishing gives you mainly different fish for cooking but also can be done to find the biggest fish. While not the most in-depth, these add a good bit of flavor to the game.

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Lost Epic enthralled me for many hours as I explored the vast areas. The fights are fun and fast, the bosses interesting, and the world beautiful. There are a few hiccups in terms of overall quality, but I enjoyed my time with it and strongly suggested that anyone who enjoys Metroid-souls-like games give it a try.

Score:
8.5/10
A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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