Genre: 2D action-adventure with anime art
Who doesn’t love a good 2D hack-and-slash platformer, especially one with nice animation and graphics that feel like they’re out of a Production IG animation cel? Lost Epic, a 2D action game with RPG elements from developer oneoreight and Team Earthwars, seems to take a page from gorgeous titles like Odin Sphere, even down to the 2D combat, a multitude of playstyles from close-ranged to long-ranged, and other RPG essentials like fishing, cooking, and crafting top-notch items.
It’s also hard as all heck and unwieldly, as enemies in this build seem to love taking huge chunks of health out of our custom protagonist.
I tried out Lost Epic for a few hours; I enjoyed the platforming, the fights with small and mid-sized enemies, and exploring the Metroidvania layout. I even like the finisher options you get when you fill up an enemy’s “break” meter with consecutive heavy attacks and specials; it makes crowd control manageable since you are invincible throughout the finisher animation.
That is, before it starts messing with me. While the early hack-and-slash parts were manageable, it gets pretty tough once you start seeing “red” enemies with high HP and damage, and when fight your first giant boss. The very first Elder God boss battle was quite an ordeal, as it had a lot of quick heavy attacks with not much telegraphing going on.
This means half the time you’ll either die in less than a minute or two, or you get lucky dodging its moves out of the way. Did I also mention that the game has a stamina meter that feels like it empties pretty fast, even if you’re using light attacks?
The game’s map is also pretty obtuse; it’s lacking quite a bit of detail needed for you to assess the situation on the fly. Plus, the environments really, REALLY need some sort of noticeable landmark so that I don’t have to refer to the map too often to get my bearings.
Maybe I’m just not used to the fighting yet; I’ll probably need to spend more time on it. But I’ve also played tough 2D platformers like Ori and the Will of the Wisps, so maybe the game itself needs more work with its movement and be a bit lenient with its dodges and defensive moves. That’s fine: Lost Epic is still in Early Access and has room to tweak its mechanics and formula.
While it’s decent fun for the first 30 minutes or so, I can’t say that the game will have that “try again until you succeed” appeal especially with some of its cheap & questionable gameplay designs. Here’s hoping the team can fix all this before its eventual release.
You can play Lost Epic right now in its Early Access form on Steam via PC.