Lost Gate is the latest browser-based MMO and though it may not do anything revolutionary, it offers a number of progressive features not often found in the popular, free-to-play genre. Set in a vibrant fictional universe, the game draws inspiration from Chinese mythology and YeepGame’s own trademark approach to fantasy. As either an Assassin, Warrior, Warlock, or Sorcerer, you begin your adventure as the sole survivor of a brutal onslaught and must ally with mythic beings and kingdoms in order to restore peace to the realm.
When we hear the term “3D MMO” we instantly think of genre milestones such as Everquest, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars. They, like many other popular MMOs, share exactly the same framework with a few nuances here and there. Lost Gate, on the other hand, is a 3D game with a twist. Its graphics may be fully three-dimensional but the gameplay and systems that underlie it are robust and unconventional.
This is demonstrated most clearly in the game’s combat. Unlike most MMOs, in which you freely select targets and queue abilities, Lost Gate is semi-turn based with each battle being its own separate instance; think Pokemon or Final Fantasy. Depending on which class you select, certain spells and abilities will be slotted into your action bar and can be selected in between auto-attacks. Even in the game’s later stages it’s still incredibly easy to grasp, despite its continual expansion.
Another big part of Lost Gate is the inclusion of Minions. Instead of just having your hero fight in battles, you can muster a team of tamed creatures to fight alongside you. These companions attack automatically and can think for themselves. What’s particularly interesting about them is that they, like your own character, can carry gear, level up, and learn new skills. After reaching a set rank they can even evolve.
Through battling and completing quests, players will earn experience and gold which can be spent on upgrades and gear whilst giving you an overall boost to your stats. This traditional form of progression is given a number of quirky boosts, however. Firstly, you will be constantly rewarded by Lost Gate simply playing; even when idle, the game will, at intervals, shower players with gold and items. Daily quests, goals, and legends also offer up hefty rewards whenever you complete a certain list of tasks. Lost Gate even has a “Meditation” system which can be used to gain XP and spirit without having to do anything.
Whatever you do in Lost Gate, you will level up considerably faster than in other MMOs. This is mainly helped by the way in which the game is structured and its use of “Auto-play” features. The world is split into numerous zones, each with their own quest-lines, NPCs and instances which operate exactly how an experienced MMO player would expect. Where Lost Gate begins to differentiate itself is how it streamlines its content. By pressing the spacebar, the game will automatically take you to an objective once you begin a quest. Similarly, when playing instances or roaming open areas, you can toggle the auto-run/combat setting and sit back as Lost Gate does the work for you. As a result, it can feel somewhat akin to popular social games such as Clash of Clans or Farmville but with plenty of MMO elements to lead it astray. Loot, for instance, is still a massive part of the game with items needed to operate mounts, unlock new skills and equip characters/minions.
Lost Gate exhibits classic tendencies of the F2P genre with a real-money storefront. However, its VIP system offers a payment option some will find more agreeable. Available in several tiers, it allows players to access certain features and capacities. Those below V3, for example, cannot use the game’s auto-run options to clear instances.
Its art direction may be stronger than its graphical prowess but there’s no denying that Lost Gate looks good for a browser game. Those wanting to edge that little bit more out of the game can do so by running the dedicated mini-client.
In short, Lost Gate is a combination of familiar MMO traits with experimental features that pay off more often than not. Taking on board its many systems such as Esteem, Spirit, Soul and Tactics can be overwhelming though, once mastered, all add to an enjoyable, unique MMO experience.
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