Breakout PC action MMORPG Lost Ark was first released in South Korea all the way back in 2019. Only earlier this month was it finally released in the U.S. and Europe. It’s quickly become one of the most popular games in the entire history of Steam, with over 1.3 million active players last weekend. It’s currently the number-one most-played game on the service, beating out mainstay classics like Counter-Strike: GO and Dota 2. And with that many people playing, you better believe there are a ton of Steam reviews.
Overall, the Steam reviews for Lost Ark have been positive. However as the game has continued to struggle with long server queues in Europe, the Diablo-like MMO’s seen an uptick in negative evaluations. That’s reflected in some of the most popular reviews on Steam, with some players even sharing various recipes for food you can make while waiting to get online. Other reviews comment on how they’ve waited years to play this game, as Smilegate first announced it in 2013. So between that and the server issues, there’s been a lot of waiting.
Many of the reviews, positive and negative both, express how much they enjoy the combat, often calling it satisfying and fun. This is something I mentioned in my first impressions of the game. While it has a bland story, something other Steam reviewers pointed out too, the combat is really the star of the show. The use of “hitstops” and large groups of enemies really helps elevate the action above that of other ARPGs. In Lost Ark you feel super powerful, basically from the start, which is a nice change from how most MMOs go.
Of course, many reviews also reference Diablo. It’s almost impossible to talk about Lost Ark without doing so. In fact, it might be illegal? Everyone else talks about Diablo when talking about Lost Ark so I’ve been doing it too–better safe than sorry. Interestingly, a not-insignificant number of reviews suggest Blizzard should be concerned about how Diablo IV compares to Lost Ark. I’m not so sure about that, but there are probably some lessons to be learned from any game that clicks with so many people so quickly. (Though I think Blizzard has…other things to worry about right now.)
Some Steam reviewers point out that a lot of Lost Ark is very generic and samey, which isn’t wrong. You do spend a lot of time collecting things to take to NPCs and then repeating that over and over. But the numbers go up and that’s fun.
Overall, it seems that things are going well for Lost Ark. Even the spike in negative reviews from angry folks unable to log on seems to be subsiding after Smilegate and its partner Amazon added more servers this week. Will Lost Ark continue to dominate the Steam charts for the foreseeable future? I don’t know, but based on a lot of these reviews, I wouldn’t bet against it.