Lost Epic is a 2D side-scrolling action RPG with Soulslike elements thrown in for flavour. Lost Epic has an art style that harks back to the PS2 classic Odin Sphere as well as other Vanillaware games. A cutesy anime style with a lot of edge. Every creature in this world acts as though their bodies are made of cardboard and they have nails holding their limbs together giving them full circular freedom. Does that make sense? I am struggling to explain what I mean, but that’s the best I can do. It’s a really interesting design choice, and I think it was handled well. But is Lost Epic as good as its art direction?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very fun game, and I feel like it has a lot going for it, but I was quickly lost on this one. It suffers the same issue that Salt and Sacrifice suffered. Salt and Sacrifice is another game I reviewed on BBP a few months back. Lost Epic wants you to grind. It becomes apparent way too quickly that this game is going to be a grind-fest. This wouldn’t be an issue if the game had other forms avenues of gameplay to distract you every now and then, but I don’t feel Lost Epic does that. There is a large amount of padding in this game to make it feel more grand than it really is.
A lot of the environments are HUGE. Absolutely sprawling. However, very few of the areas feel connected in any way. These areas are cumbersome to get through due to their size, and you often go several spots on the map without finding a fast travel marker or any sort of checkpoint to replenish your items. I often found myself going through the same areas over and over again to get drops from enemies so I could craft a new item or upgrade my weapon. Running through these massive areas over and over got repetitive real fast and the fun quickly drained away.
The combat for the most part feels really responsive. Every hit felt chunky and like it had weight to it. It was very satisfying for the first couple of hours. But then it started to dawn on me that this heavy-feeling combat felt slow. Because every hit had so much weight and the game was sprawling and I was in a constant state of grinding, I lost all joy in these fights I was loving for the first few hours. It quickly felt like a chore.
What was even more frustrating on top of this was that the experience earned also doubled as your currency. This is inspired by much better Soulslikes except instead of having a separate currency, they decided to melt it into one. Lost Epic has a very traditional skill tree, but I never felt like I was able to fully use it to its fullest. This is because I often felt like I was picking between leveling up or buying items and upgrading my weapons. Normally you can do a bit of both in other games because the currency and EXP are different, but that is not the case here. I often felt I was highly over-leveled but with a shit weapon, or super under-powered with a shit weapon. I never really got a weapon that I felt happy with.
The fact that the skill tree and all the shops utilized the same currency made it feel like the grinding was multiplied because I knew I’d have to go back again and again to go to the same shopkeeper to buy shit from a different menu. It was honestly quite infuriating after a while. However, most of Lost Epic‘s interesting upgrades were earned on the skill tree through progressing through the story.
Lost Epic has some fairly decent enemy variety. Of course it has its fair share of reskinned enemies without any new moves or differentiators, but that’s to be expected nowadays. The bosses were interesting enough and posed a pretty good challenge for the most part. None of them really stood out to me as a highlight, but at least they were unique designs. I always appreciate that in games like these. The areas were also all quite different but they weren’t very interesting, nor did they feel even a little cohesive. It was hard to accept that all of these places were a part of the same continent. Lost Epic‘s areas often felt like a mish-mash of different ingredients that never totally blended into a smoothie I would drink, if you get my point. Individually they were interesting, but as a whole it just didn’t make any sense to have these places next to each other.
Lost Epic is hard to recommend for me, personally. Its biggest flaw in game design is that it forces you to do a comedic amount of grinding. It’s the sort of grinding that you’d normally pay a micro-transaction to skip over for you or have others help out in an MMO setting. Except this game doesn’t have micro-transactions and the multiplayer is very minimal in comparison to MMOs. You had to do everything here by yourself. It is an absolute herculean task to get that much grinding done alone and there’s no other way to earn these things other than to repeat the same actions over and over and over and over again. I wish I had better things to say about Lost Epic, but most of the good things I had to say were quickly washed over by repetition of the nth degree.
The more hours I sunk into this game, the more I felt lost and epically disappointed.