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Lost Sea Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While I love the idea of island jumping and helping survivors, Lost Sea left me all wet. The gameplay is shallow and repetitive, something that is only made worse by the lengthy run time. It's also frustrating, thanks to how the computer-controlled characters act in and out of combat. It's not bad, but there aren't many compelling reasons to discover Lost Sea. Rating: 50%
Lost Sea
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  • Review Score:

  • C
Island life is not for me. While Gilligan seemed to make it work, I fear it wouldn't take more than a few hours for me to lose my mind and start blaming a series of unlucky numbers on my unfortunate mess. Without internet connection and a map, I'm completely lost. And I don't mean in the fun Dharma Initiative/smoke monster kind of way.

Thankfully, the survivors in Lost Sea are a lot more prepared for island life than I would be. Our hero wakes up having been washed ashore, a little disoriented and vulnerable to the dangers of the jungle. But don't worry, the castaway knows how to wield a machete and convince fellow survivors to use their skills to jump from one island to the next in search for a way home. The result is an occasionally fun action game that drowns in repetition.


Lost Sea is an overhead adventure game reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda, Ys and Secret of Mana. You play one of the eight characters, tasked with exploring a series of tropical islands in search for mystical tablets, valuable loot and other survivors. Along the way you'll need to take down countless bad guys, including an especially pesky boss with a penchant for cannonballs.

Although there isn't much story to be had, the setup is immediately compelling. The jungle island is bright and colorful, filled with enemies that are as adorable as they are deadly. We hack and slash our way through the stages, gathering experience points and gold coins that can be traded in to upgrade your hero and ship in a lot of useful ways.

As tempting as it is to go it alone, there is a certain level of team work required to beating Lost Sea. We're able to team up with the other survivors, allowing them to tag along as you clear the island of wild animals. In return, we're able to take advantage of their skills, which range from building bridges to unlocking treasure chests to literally raising the dead.

Lost Sea (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

On top of having practical job skills, these computer-controlled characters are able to make our hero stronger and even gain more experience. You'll quickly realize that locating these stranded survivors is just as important as finding the tablets and advancing the story, especially if it's the kind of person that can bring our hero back to life.

While this is admittedly a cool mechanic, it also leads to some of the game's biggest problems. It's easy when you only have one other person following your every move, but a five person party quickly spirals into frustration. The four computer characters have a tendency of getting stuck on walls and not following the leader. This becomes a major issue as the randomly-generated stages grow increasingly complex. It's not fun having to constantly backtrack because somebody got stuck on an invisible wall.

Their helplessness is also frustrating. They don't fight or run away, they just curl up in one spot and hope nobody attacks them. This works early in the game, but there are too many characters that seem to target the vulnerable survivors. You might run away from an attack, but they'll just sit in the middle of the battlefield. There is an upgrade you can buy that will prevent some of this from happening, but countless islanders will be killed simply because they chose not to run away from the fight.

Lost Sea (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Even if I could forgive the survivor's stupid actions, I would still be left with a repetitive adventure that does very little to change over time. There are five different island clusters in all, including stages set in the jungle, swamp, desert and snow. Sadly, the stages don't change much from one environment to the next. Every level plays out pretty much exactly the same way, which would be more acceptable if the game was a lot shorter. It took me close to six hours to play through the entire game, and yet it felt twice that length. There isn't any variety here, it will all begin to blur together before you even hop off of the first set of stages.

Speaking of repetitive, I was shocked to discover that every boss battle is the same. We go up against a cannonball-loving pirate, a guy who refuses to take his defeat lying down. This fight is fun, albeit simple, the first time around, but then you'll have to do it several more times. Sure, each time is a little harder, but that doesn't make up for the fact that they recycled the same boss a bunch of times.

It's also worth mentioning that Lost Sea can be punishingly difficult at times. It's not that the challenge will ramp up over time, but rather that enemies will pop up out of nowhere and kill you without warning. This is made especially frustrating by the fact that dying means losing all of your skills and ship upgrades. The good news is that you can jump straight to later stages, but those are nearly impossible without the skills and upgrades. It's heartbreaking when three or four hours of progress is erased because of circumstances outside of your control.

While I love the idea of island jumping and helping survivors, Lost Sea left me all wet. The gameplay is shallow and repetitive, something that is only made worse by the lengthy run time. It's also frustrating, thanks to how the computer-controlled characters act in and out of combat. It's not bad, but there aren't many compelling reasons to discover Lost Sea.
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