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Don't lose yourself in this demo

  • Beregon
  • 03/10/2021 08:23 PM
  • 212 views
The Lost is a demo version of what will someday probably be a very polished full game. Not that the playable version isn't already well worth of being called a great game (even if it's just the first chapter of a larger story).

The game's setting is one of tribal, untamed lands, which are being invaded by soldiers from a great nation seeking to conquer the tribes. Of course, you are playing as characters from the tribes who are fighting against the invaders. In particular, the people of the Dokta tribe.

The first choice you'll make in the game is whether you'll start playing the introductory chapter as the Dokta's chief Kaan or jump right into the main game as Ragno, the tribe's strongest warrior.

Although Kaan's sequence is meant to be played first, chronologically it takes place after Ragno's part. It's also much shorter than Ragno's and is basically an introduction to the world and gameplay mechanics. Ragno's part is basically the main game and I much prefered it to Kaan's part.

Kaan's part begins in medias res, during a pitched battle of the tribal alliance against the invading army. While this can be an effective way of starting a story, the Lost has a number of problems in this aspect. First, there's not really much context to the situation the characters are in until after the fact, who they even are, what are their relationships to one another (like who exactly is Mila to Kaan). Kaan is mostly filled with terrible rage and stubborn pride and his supporting cast don't really add any context or much of anything to balance him out, atleast until much later. It has improved a bit in subsequent updates though, especially where Mila is concerned.

After Kaan's part is done, you jump into the main game proper with Ragno, to experience the events long before the previous chapter. Ragno is honestly a much better protagonist than Kaan. While he isn't exactly a ray of sunshine either, his situation and general demeanor allows a much wider range of emotions than pure rage, not to mention his supporting cast balances him out much better. The characters are great, by the way, especially Kael. The game is also also much more fun here and overall I much prefer it over the previous chapter.

To talk about about combat... there are four rows and each character's role in combat depends on in which row they are currently standing. The first row is for tanky Guardians, that protect characters in the back rows. Second is for melee damage dealers, third and fourth are for the fragile supportive classes and spellcasters. Characters can change rows or force other characters to move to a different row (and thus change their role). You have quite a few skill options at your disposal and there is certainly depth to it. It is very tactical and interesting.

For the negatives, you start out with a LOT of abilities, atleast in Kaan's part, which at first can overwhelm a player, leading to choice paralysis or just them using random abilities and hoping it works out. It might have been better if the abilities were unlocked more gradualy.

The second negative isn't really a flaw in the game itself as much as just a bit strange. Since character roles depend on the row they are currently standing on, instead of seeking to draw the weak and vulnerable characters in the back rows to the front so you can attack them, you instead have to knock back the tanky characters in the front rows to the back rows, so that they also become weak and vulnerable and allow attacks to hit their comrades. This feels a bit surreal, where being knocked into the backrow automatically transforms a tanky guardian into a fragile spellcaster (although a character focused on tanking can still resist some damage even then). I admit, this isn't really much of an issue and most people won't think twice about it.

There is a lot of content in the demo, sidequests, minigames (such as racing to the top of the mountain in one part) and optional events you can find while exploring. If you come across such event, you automatically start the quest and have to engage in the event right then and there, otherwise you'll fail the quest. You can't just go grind XP for hours while the village is burning and expect it to still be standing when you return after all.

I'm not really a fan of this though, the game says it's the players choice to diverge from the main path, looking for optional things, but seeing as you don't neccessarily know which way leads to the main quest and what areas lead to the optional stuff, you can possibly get stuck doing something else when you were looking for a way to progress the main plot. Not to mention completely unprepared for something that might be out of your league. It's a specific design choice I'm not really fond of, but not everyone will share that opinion.

To talk about presentation... it's great. Especially the custom artwork. The game itself uses a lot of RTP, especially the sprites, but it's all edited pretty well and it really makes you feel like this is a unique game rather than "Harold and friends vs Monster 1_8".

Seeing as it's a demo, I won't rate this. If I had to give a rating, it would probably be 3.5 stars. It's a nice, very polished demo that is already worth playing.

Posts

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Thank you for this review! I really appreciate you taking the time for it! You make some strong points, and as you said, many things have been looked at and will be further developed/polished (or have already been revised as I've been pumping out lots of updates lately).

I understand I could potentially burn myself by not taking traditional paths on how to approach certain stuff. I'm in a long process of figuring out how I could get it just right for the masses, and I've got the feeling that I'm going the right way.

Thanks again and good to read that you had fun!

-DpC-
author=DutchPowerCreations
Thank you for this review! I really appreciate you taking the time for it! You make some strong points, and as you said, many things have been looked at and will be further developed/polished (or have already been revised as I've been pumping out lots of updates lately).

I understand I could potentially burn myself by not taking traditional paths on how to approach certain stuff. I'm in a long process of figuring out how I could get it just right for the masses, and I've got the feeling that I'm going the right way.

Thanks again and good to read that you had fun!

-DpC-


No problem! Honestly, going against the expected isn't necesarily bad, you just have to make sure it's well polished and intuitive, else people will dismiss it as just being broken. I think you are in a good spot already and I expect this to only improve! Great job :)
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