RAN: Lost Islands Demo Gameplay Preview – A tsunami of mediocrity

*RAN: Lost Islands developed by Jolly Roger Game, published by Jolly Roger Game, Zodiac Interactive – 2020 (PS4, PC)
*MSRP: TBA (Steam) – https://store.steampowered.com/app/986220/RAN_Lost_Islands/

RAN: Lost Islands is a third person action battle royale in the same style as Hunters Arena: Legends and Shadow Arena. These types of games rely heavily on a stun lock oriented battle system where the slightest mistake leaves you open to a chain of attacks that pretty much kill you instantly.

You can carry equipment out of matches if you make it out alive, much like Escape from Tarkov.

Lost Islands changes the formula up by simplifying existing mechanics and introducing some new game play elements. Your main goal is to find treasure and leave the islands alive, which will let you keep the items and carry them back into new runs, much like Escape from Tarkov. Finding treasure maps will light up golden beacons of light which alert you to the presence of high tier treasure.

A tsunami closes in on you causing damage over time if you don’t pay attention to the timer.

There is a shrinking circle in this game, except it is a literal tsunami. A wall of water pushes relentlessly across the map. You can be caught up in it if you are slow and it will definitely do damage over time but you can still swim through it to the new circle. I am well aware Fortnite has recently added something similar as of this writing.

Ah yes, full suits of armor and weapons just lying around everywhere for no apparent reason.

Lost Islands simplifies a lot of the game play loop by removing any PvE and MOBA elements and it plays much more like PUBG where you simply run into empty buildings to find loot and hopefully catch some enemy players with their guard down. The looting is much more simple compared to other games of the same genre as you simply collect the loot you desire off the ground or defeated players without relying on a crafting process.

There seem to be synergy to your equipment as well with certain types of armor providing bonuses to certain weapon types and vice versa, along with special active abilities.

This is me getting double teamed. I died.

While there seem to be some promising elements to the game, the demo was a poor showing as it suffered from some problems. Now I know this is a demo so it is not reflective of the final game but I will note the issues I ran into here so people can be aware of potential problems. For starters, the player population seemed low with each match having only a handful of people. Secondly, the demo seems poorly optimized and ran very poorly on my PC. Thirdly, the game seemed to lack the over polish and felt sluggish and unfinished compared to the other demos and betas I have played in. I understand that this is natural as a demo is an unfinished product.

The demo ran incredibly poorly even on low settings and I hope this isn’t indicative of how the full release will run.

Overall, RAN: Lost Islands will definitely find a niche but I don’t see myself recommending this game to most people due to the high learning curve, the obscurity of certain mechanics, and the highly difficulty and frustrating nature of the PvP. I’m always glad to see these types of battle royales released to a western audience however because I have hopes that just like Monster Hunter, this type of game will find an audience, and inspire new genres in the video game industry.

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