Lost Ark by way of Screenshots
I don’t often do ‘screenshot posts’. I find I am generally fairly happy to just include them in my usual posts as I go. Even if they don’t always precisely match the content under discussion. ;)
One of the issues Bhagpuss has expressed with Lost Ark is that the game never really lets you see anything of note save for in cutscenes or in the brief Vista viewpoint shifts, where the camera suddenly awakens realising it isn’t fixed to a single position for all eternity and gives you a more sweeping view of things.
So I took up a challenge. A simple challenge, to capture screenshots of scenes I liked that didn’t take place in any form of cutscene or atypical camera angle. I also avoid anything particularly spoilerific. The only concession I made toward the aesthetic value of a shot was to disable the UI. (You can cycle elements of the UI off until it’s entirely gone with Alt-X.)
Some of these I liked for the lighting effect and tone — although I must confess; I’m sorely disappointed in how the image compression has ruined much of the impact of these. Image compression generally doesn’t bother me. Oft times I’m one of those folk who can barely tell the difference. Well, I sure can this time. The rays of light become smudged and much of the detail is lost. As a result, I’m making the click-through on these shots go through to the full size which returns some of the detail back.
There are two particularly impacted by this where the whole reason I liked them was the subtle interplay of light in an otherwise very muted colour palette.
Note: This is not at all the name of the island. I’ve utterly forgotten what this place was called, which will certainly make it difficult to track down again! I came here for a sequence of co-operative event quests and came away with a new song for my troubles. :)
The first shot is from the frosty northern continent of Shushire. I need to go back and collect some more screenshots from this area later on, as the exterior frigid beauty of the area no doubt is worth capturing. I was largely done with this continent before starting to think about capturing shots for this.
Rohendel, home of the Sylvain people. This is where my adventures have me visiting presently, and where I’ve been while intentionally looking for screenshots that don’t utilise a vista or cutscene. So unsurprisingly, this is where most of my screenshots are! Even while staying thematically rather consistent, I do love how varied the areas manage to remain.
To Bhagpuss’ question of, “Is the game beautiful?” I would certainly place myself in the camp of people that says ‘Yes’. … For the most part.
Is the initial continent rather bland? Yep. Does it have some exceptionally rough patches? Yep… Do animations sometimes hilariously get out of sync, particularly when one object is waving around another? lol, yes. (There is one part on Tortoyk where a tree gets waved around, and it is just… Well, it’s a thing to be experienced.)
I also recognise this post hones in on and pinpoints just one of many valid issues Bhagpuss has with the game. There is no intent here to attempt disproving the whole by picking on one element even by implication. In fact there is a post bubbling away under the surface — just in thought so far, not a word written to its name — where I want to dive into how much of my love for Lost Ark is driven by the simple fact… I wanted to love it.
But maybe it isn’t entirely that simple either. That’s a topic for another day though. :)