Arcane Preview: The League of Legends series lands on Netflix

Arcane Preview: The League of Legends series lands on Netflix

Arcane Preview

One of the most important video games of the last decade was undoubtedly League of Legends which, net of the many detractors, has reached unimaginable goals. We are talking about a video game that in addition to boasting a huge audience, actually record-breaking, has also contributed to considerably spreading the export, with a world championship final more followed than that of the NBA, a result that clearly cannot go unnoticed. br>
Riot Games undoubtedly deserves the success, the result of a tight planning that has allowed the video game to grow to such an extent. The aspect that struck us most and certainly the most relevant for the purposes of this preview, however, remains the fact that we were able to create such a vast and varied narrative universe within a moba, a type of game that is difficult to do. lends itself to storytelling.

Whether or not the characters had backgrounds and ties wouldn't make any difference from a gameplay standpoint, it was the will to build something bigger that brought the League to life of Legends we know today, which led Riot Games to want to expand its horizons, first with game variants such as Teamfight Tactics, then aiming for different mediums such as Arcane, a TV series signed by Netflix to which we were able to give a taste in a few days in advance.

One of the most important relationship points of the series is that between Vi and Jinx, both orphans and united in difficulties. The series consists of a total of nine episodes, grouped into three acts, which will be published on a weekly basis. During our preview we saw the first four episodes, then the first act in its entirety and the beginning of the second, just enough to understand that these will be separated by a short time gap, necessary to allow some situations to evolve.

At Riot they know very well what fans want and the main goal of Arcane, in order for the project not to fail, had to be to maintain a narrative coherence with everything that was shown, or said, over the course of the years. Although one might think the opposite, it is by no means a simple task, but they have succeeded in the enterprise, exploiting the various holes to add bits of history.

As the champions represent the heart of the videogame, the characters are the fulcrum of this story. Among the known there are obviously Vi, a woman with a combative character always ready for a fist fight and Jinx, formerly known as Powder, a sort of sister, with a slender body and blue hair, and characterized by a chaotic way of doing. Then there is Caitlyn, coming from a noble family but with the desire to be at the forefront, Jayce, a young man with an out of the ordinary intellect and the resourcefulness of a few and Heimerdinger, a yordle over a hundred years old and with the reputation of being an inventor fantastic. Almost as a side dish we find, finally, Ekko, another of the children abandoned to their fate in Zaun and Viktor, albeit different from how we have known him.

Watch on YouTube. There are also new faces, such as Vander, a big muscle man who has buried the hatchet and represents a sort of adoptive father for Vi and Jinx. But also Silco, a villain who does not even try to hide his evil, characterized by a frightening eye, and a whole series of noble-looking figures that make up the city council.

Speaking of the settings, the tale continues to bounce between the mighty buildings of Piltover, a thriving steampunk-style city that represents the vanguard of technological progress, and Zaun, a disgraced underground suburb where poverty is rampant, with all that comes with it.

There are notoriously strong frictions between the inhabitants of these two regions, with the Piltoverians looking down on the outcasts, a metaphor for society. It is inevitable that these tensions lead to conflict, including thefts, reprisals and armed clashes. It was during one of these that Vi and Jinx's parents lost their lives, and this is where the narration starts.

We are not going to go into too much detail, also because having seen only a part of it is really difficult predict where history will lead us. Suffice it to say that several narrative lines will be developed simultaneously: on the surface Jayce is working with unstable crystals, in an attempt to harness their energy, to give life to what we know as Hextech; while in Zaun virtually everyone else is faced with Silco and his special drug. These two stories will inevitably intertwine, between a clash and a raid, and this will only fuel a tension that is already on the verge of endurance.

Among the new characters, Vander is certainly the one that will be most appreciated by the public , both for his charisma and for his relationship with Vi and Jinx. The first act represents a sort of origin story for characters like Jinx, Jayce and in part Vi, showing how the character we know in the "present" was formed and what events led them to go down a certain path. In the second act, in addition to an affirmation of these, we also witness the possible beginning of an evolution that will mainly affect Vi and Viktor but which we do not yet know if it will end before the next act.

We found this choice of rhythms perfect: each character is led to develop in a personal way, according to his own times and experiences. We were surprised to see that delicate themes were touched, with scenes that were also quite heavy. The viewer gets to the point of experiencing feelings such as resentment, sadness or simple sorrow for what he is watching, thanks also to the expressiveness of the characters.

Speaking precisely of this, from a technical point of view Arcane proves to be amply up to expectations, thanks to the quality animations created by the French studio Fortiche, which in the panorama of League of Legends is certainly not a stranger, having already worked on K / DA's POP / STARS music video or trailers dedicated to Ekko and Jinx, both characters involved in Arcane.

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The sound sector seemed to us quite right from the start, with the notes of Enemy during the opening theme. The new song by Imagine Dragons (and JID) is not even the first time that the American group collaborates with the League of Legends, considering that already in 2014 it released Warriors, one of the very first musical pieces composed for the world championships and whose official video clip it was created by Fortiche. It is almost fascinating how all these elements, both fictional and real, continue to fit into the immense "ecosystem" built by Riot.

The dubbing is also of excellent quality, both the Italian and the original, with actors such as Kevin Alejandro in the role of Jayce, one of the most beloved characters of Lucifer, another Netflix series that ended just a few month ago.

In conclusion, it does not matter if you have never enjoyed League of Legends as a video game, if over the years you are no longer enthusiastic as a genre or if you have never been interested in the narrative universe created by Riot Games. The only thing that matters is that Arcane, at least as far as we have been able to see, would seem like a TV series suitable for everyone, capable of involving both players and those who have never held a mouse if not to browse the web. In short, an excellent opportunity to discover the imagery built by the US studio.

The expectations we placed in this project were great, a consequence of the commitment that the American company has always put into the contents it produces, and we can only be satisfied with what we have seen. We are curious to see what the remaining five episodes will reserve for the public, between veiled references, mysteries to be discovered and sequences that are simply pleasant to admire.

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