Lost Epic is one of those games that starts off REALLY well, but slowly becomes more of a trudge the longer you play. It’s a shame too, because it has a lot going for it: a cool blend of Metroidvania and Souls-like action, slick 2D visuals that ooze with personality, and a fun god-slaying premise. Unfortunately, some repetitive combat sequences, a lack of enemy variety, and some harsh checkpointing could make the game drag throughout its later hours.

Check out some screenshots down below:

The world of Lost Epic is ruled by six gods known as the Pantheon of Six, with each having split the world into their own domains and ruled over them in a cruel manner. It’s up to you to bring an end to their spiteful rule. Taking on the role of the God Slayer and with the support of a witch, you must traverse across the land and bring an end to each of the gods, all whilst slaying any foes that step in your way and helping any folk out along the way.

The narrative is fine, though I did find it hard to really care about the world and its characters. It felt very by the numbers and didn’t bring any exciting twist and turns, whilst the writing could be a little iffy too. I can’t say that the story was necessarily boring, but rather that I found it hard to invest myself in the woes of the world. But hey, any excuse to go kill some gods, right?

Luckily, the core gameplay experience has got a bit more to it. Lost Epic blends together Metroidvania-style exploration with Souls-like combat, with players exploring a vast map that has areas that are inaccessible until you have the right skill (you’ll unlock these naturally as you progress) whilst the combat is quick-paced and sees players stringing together both light and heavy attacks. There’s also room for some magical abilities which are pretty cool, whilst you can switch between a neat variety of weapon types (both ranged and up close) and unlock new gear as you progress. It gets the basics right and is more than competent as a typical 2D action-RPG, whilst there’s an extra layer of depth to combat thanks to things like the sub-weapons and ailment effects.

“Whilst combat is a lot of fun, a lack of enemy variety and emphasis on grinding can make it feel boring as time ticks by.”

However, the longer you play the game, the more the cracks start to show. For one, whilst combat is a lot of fun, a lack of enemy variety and emphasis on grinding can make it feel boring as time ticks by. Fighting the same enemies over and over again just felt like a chore, especially when backtracking through areas or trying to get the experience points or items required to upgrade your character. There can also be a long distance between checkpoints and the game utilises the Souls-like feature of players leaving their experience points behind if they die. If you don’t return to them without dying enroute? They’re gone for good. It can make for a frustrating formula thanks to the game’s need for grinding and doesn’t have the same sense of satisfaction seen in similar titles.

In fairness, there are some really cool encounters in the game and the boss battles feel like a spectacle, but it’s just very inconsistent. Add to that the fact that the screen can feel VERY busy at times with enemies (and everything can kinda merge together because of the colourful visual style), and it can just be a little tough to appreciate the better aspects of the combat.

At least there’s plenty to do across the world along the way, with side quests aplenty and small tasks like fishing, crafting, or cooking adding variety to the experience. Whilst these systems don’t provide a ton of depth, they do break up the monotony of grinding and give players a bit more purpose when scouring through the same areas again – even IF a lot of the questing does focus on fetch quests and gathering items.

Check out some screenshots down below:

It feels a little unfair to be too harsh on Lost Epic because it does get a lot right. It looks beautiful too, with the vibrant hand-drawn landscapes and character animations proving to be wondrous to look at throughout. Whilst the story might tell of a world in struggle, you wouldn’t notice it given how gorgeous the sights you encounter are, with Lost Epic’s land one that I loved to explore. The same goes for the enemy design too, which is creative throughout (even if it is limited in scope).

It’s just a shame that level of quality isn’t consistent throughout the game. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun playing Lost Epic, but it felt limited to the moments where the game wasn’t trying to hold me back or put me through the same encounters over and over again. If the levels could be scaled back a little and a bit more enemy variety was included, it could be a special little game; as it stands though, I just found myself getting a bit bored and frustrated during the moments in-between progress.

Lost Epic Review

Lost Epic has some slick combat and a wonderful looking world to explore, but it’s let down by some repetitive and often frustrating gameplay. It felt like a trudge backtracking through the same areas over and over again to grind, whilst the lack of enemy variety made the stronger aspects of the combat feel repetitive too.

It’s definitely not a bad game and the blend of Metroidvania-style exploration and Souls-like combat can work really well, but there’s a lack of consistency across the overall quality of the game to make Lost Epic feel like a must-play experience.

Developer: One or Eight, Team EARTHWARS
Publisher: One or Eight
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC
Website: https://one-or-eight.co.jp/lostepic/en-us/