Publisher One or Eight and developer Team EARTH WARS have just released Lost Epic, and it certainly lives up to its name. The game touts a Souls-like (read: challenging) experience in a 2D side-scrolling environment). While this hack-and-slash foray does have some high points, much of it feels a bit unpolished while parts of it come across as downright unfair and not fun.
Let me paint my initial experience in the world of Lost Epic for you. You enter into a lush landscape teeming with plants and fields. It feels vibrant and colorful, heavily contrasting your character, who is effectively a dark person-shaped void. Soon after you enter the field, things start to feel familiar: an obstacle in your path or an enemy on the road, a weapon. The tutorial is underway. The hack-and-slash combo system gave me Dust: An Elysian Tail vibes. I enjoyed playing Dust, so I was excited to dive in. Not long after, however, the enthusiasm began to wane. The backgrounds start to come across as more muted, generic, and with enough gigantic foreground elements that block the sight of your chatter to become a distraction.
While the game is difficult, which I am comfortable with as a player, there is a fine line between a challenge worth overcoming and unfair & frustrating. As previously touched on, Lost Epic relies on a combo attack system. A mix of weak, strong, and powerful attacks, that all consume stamina, requires intentional attacks. While executing combos, your character is locked into the attack animation that they are performing until it cycles and opens up for the next input. Many times while in combat, enemies will come at you from both sides and will interrupt your attacks and take a chunk of your health with them. This, paired with enemies that are effectively damage tanks, requiring several “finishing move” style attacks, the hack-and-slash approach married to the combo system without an attack cancel option seems to work against one another, resulting in more deaths than deserved.
If this is the type of challenge you enjoy overcoming, then this game may sing for you, as there is a robust leveling system with several skill trees, upgrades, and several weapon types. At the very least, this will be a good game to keep you entertained while waiting for the next big title.
Lost Epic has the whisperings of a truly epic adventure with a few blemishes. It doesn’t seek to push the rogue-like, hack-and-slash, or RPG realms into new and exciting territory placing this game firmly into the inoffensive category.
A review key was provided by One or Eight and you can pick up your copy of Lost Epic on Nintendo Switch.