We first heard about Lost Ark (opens in new tab) all the way back in 2014, when we described it as "an exceptionally good looking ARPG" that struck us as an absurdly over-the-top (but in a good way) Diablo-like. Lost Ark came out a few years later in 2018, but only in Korea. After that it mostly fell off our radar until mid-2021, when Amazon (opens in new tab) announced that it was teaming up with developer Smilegate RPG to localize Lost Ark for North America and Europe.
We took a closer look at the game during its November 2021 beta test, and even though seven years have passed we found that it still "redefines over-the-top (opens in new tab).”
"Every time I fast-travel I pull out an electric guitar and play a sweet lick and I still don't know why," weekend editor Jody Macgregor wrote. "When I hop on my mount I have a choice between a horse and a cloud that can put on a fireworks display. Where Path of Exile looks like it's been cursed by a witch to look drab so a prince won't fall in love with it, everything about Lost Ark is garish, cartoonish, and glorious."
I get the same impression watching this new Lost Ark gameplay video. It starts innocuously enough, with a quick rundown of the five classes—Mage, Martial Artist, Warrior, Gunner, and Assassin—and abilities, but moves quickly from there into character customization, a crash course in the setting and story, sailing ships (yes, there are ships, complete with crews), strongholds, raids, PvP, and more. There's a lot going on, to put it mildly, and it looks great.
Lost Ark is set to go live on February 11 and will be free to play, but you can get in early on February 8 by purchasing a Founder's Pack. There are multiple options ranging from $15 to $100 on Steam (opens in new tab) and Amazon (opens in new tab) and along with early access you'll also get an array of in-game items including a mount, a pet, avatars, currency, supplies, and more. You can find out more about what's happening at playlostark.com (opens in new tab).