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Lost Ark - What We Know So Far

Fans of the free-to-play "Lost Ark" have suspected a North American release of the Korean MMORPG since Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG signed an agreement in August 2020. At the time, Smilegate RPG CEO Chi Won Gil said that the developer would work with Amazon Games to bring one of Smilegate's AAA games to Western players the following year. Smilegate RPG has a resume of successful games like "CROSSFIRE," the world's largest first-person shooter, so it wasn't completely clear whether or not the game in question would be "Lost Ark." Now, it looks like much of the speculation was accurate.

"Lost Ark" drops players into the world of Arkesia, setting them on a perilous journey to stop the ancient demon Kazeros. Though he was sealed away in the past, Kazeros somehow returns with an organized army called the Legion to wreak havoc on the world. He opens the Chaos Gates, flooding Arkesia with hellish monsters and plunging it into war once again. It's said that heroes once defeated him by using the power of a relic called the Ark. However, the Ark basically become a legend lost to time. Heroes need to gamble on the truth of the mythical Lost Ark to defeat Kazeros.

Amazon Games offers a hefty amount of "Lost Ark" lore on the official site, but some of the details concerning the MMORPG's North American release are still up in the air. Here's what is known so far about "Lost Ark."

What is the release date for Lost Ark?

Previously, Amazon Games only released a statement in August 2020 that it would be working with Smilegate to release a game "next year."  During the Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live event, "Lost Ark" has confirmed a Fall 2021 release date, but the exact date is unknown.

Smilegate is a South Korean developer, so it makes sense that the "Lost Ark" beta kicked off in South Korea. After that, the beta migrated to Japan and Russia. The game has already gone live in those three countries. Amazon Games has announced it will be responsible for localizing the game into English, French, German, and Spanish for its Western release.

According to the official "Lost Ark" site, the North American alpha test is set to start on June 11, with a beta test following later in the summer before the official release. Both the alpha and beta tests are only for PC.

Is there a trailer for Lost Ark?

The "Lost Ark" trailer first appeared during the Summer Games Fest Kickoff Event on June 10. In just about two minutes, the trailer manages to paint a picture of a medieval fantasy world thrown into chaos by a reawakened darkness. Settings glimpsed in the trailer include serene blue seas, bloody battlefields, and cryptic catacombs. Demons appear in many monstrous forms, such as reptilian behemoths, black-scaled wyverns, and axe-wielding giants — just to name a few. 

The trailer builds a narrative of an epic adventure with the myth of the "lost ark" and inspires hope in the heroes' journey to find it. An assortment of heroes, from armored warriors to cloaked mages, fend off entire armies of demons in the cinematic trailer. Glimpses of intense action help to further sell the title as an action-packed MMORPG. Multiplayer combat against possible raid bosses is also seen throughout the trailer. 

What's the gameplay like in Lost Ark?

Characters split into 14 classes that fall under five categories: Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Classes each have their own special abilities and stat distributions that give players advantages in certain situations. The "Tripod" skill system also offers three tiers of customization for each unique skill as the player levels up, giving them even more control over their combat style.

In their journey to find the Lost Ark, players traverse various continents filled with different cultures and creatures. Expect NPCs to task you with solving problems through strength, skill, or cunning. Players earn loot through main quests and different dungeons, depending on what kind of rewards they seek. Players will get to explore Arkesia in an open-world manner, as well as find allies to aid in their journey to defeat Kazeros.

Players will also have the ability to build their own Strongholds and settlements. In the press preview (via MMORPG.com), the developers described Strongholds as personal islands for the players. Mining, foraging, and other actions can help gather materials for building these areas. Players can invite up to 50 friends at once to just hangout or take on challenges as a group. 

The game's PvP mode allows players to duel each other in 3v3 arena matches. Parties can also potentially help one another battle raid bosses in the future. Apparently, an open beta for open world PvP will release later this summer.