Lost Epic is a 2D action-RPG with beautiful character and world designs. Brought to us by “Team Earth Wars”, the developer of Earth’s Dawn, Lost Epic is only their second release. A mixture of many different gameplay elements, Lost Epic attempts to meld the best elements of all your favourite RPGs into one sprawling adventure; and to my surprise it was largely successful.
The game begins with you awakening in a shadow form to learn the controls and do a quick tutorial. Following the direction of a mysterious witch named Cecilia, you assume the role of a Chosen Knight; a group of powerful warriors who are tasked with slaying the Gods of the realm. The form you choose is simply the visual style of your avatar, which kept the early game decisions lite and breezy. Cecilia also requests that you bring back the crystalized souls of any defeated gods directly to her, as she may be able to work her magic on them… which sounds totally harmless.
After the introduction, Lost Epic gradually adds in new gameplay tutorials and gimmicks while you adventure. Levelling up allows you to spend skill points in the skill book, which is actually a book containing many pages of unique and increasingly powerful skill trees. New pages are unlocked as quests are completed and bosses defeated. Levelling up feels powerful and each new page is more powerful than the last. Side quests are picked up as you enter new regions. They encourage exploration, offer great rewards, and help reinforce the extra features of the game like fishing, crafting, and NPC side quests. Each of the game’s huge areas have lots of hidden rooms, items to find, enemies to kill, and quests to complete.
Outside of adventuring, the main gameplay of Lost Epic consists of the combat. There are three main weapon types: sword, great sword, and bow. I found all of them to be viable choices, each with many unique Divine Skills. Up to five Divine Skills can be equipped at once, offering great customizability and choice over your play style. Divine Skills can be learned by crafting or finding unique weapons, and then using the newly found ability a few times until it is permanently unlocked and free to use with the corresponding weapon type. I had a lot of fun trying out new abilities and playing around with Divine Skills to find the most powerful combos, which was required to defeat Lost Epic’s more powerful bosses.
At the end of each region you must slay a God. There are mini boss fights as well, but the fights involving the Gods are the most difficult and engaging. Each God was as beautiful as it was deadly, offering cool battle mechanics and appropriate challenge. Lost Epic has a really neat feature I want to mention about boss fights. Before readying yourself to enter a boss area, the witch who helps you craft, level up, and manage your storage will always give you an idea of how powerful you are compared to the upcoming encounter. She may say “you do not seem prepared for the fight ahead” or “you seem ready to confront the gods” before opening her usual menu. This small detail was really cool and helped me understand why I was getting hit so hard on a few occasions.
In general, Lost Epic delivers on everything it attempts to. There are a few quirks worth mentioning before I finish up, however. The movement feels rigid at first, and takes time getting used to. This rigidity applies to a few animations as well. Whenever you break an enemy’s guard and open them to a free attack, there is a jerking of the camera and character to make the animation line up properly that never stops looking or feeling a little awkward. There is also a network feature that allows players to link up and play together. Through my 30 hours of gameplay, I was never able to link with another player in any way. Other players either had full parties, or there was a network error when trying to connect. That said, I was only trying multiplayer to experience it for this review and didn’t feel like I was missing out not having others in my world.
At the end of my time with Lost Epic, I was impressed. From the beautiful backgrounds to the engaging music, I got more time and enjoyment out of this title than I was expecting. The fully voiced narrative was a nice touch too, even though it was only in Japanese. If you’re looking for a sprawling 2D action-adventure title with lots of RPG mechanics, Lost Epic is highly recommended.