Ruined King A League of Legends Story | Review

Ruined King A League of Legends Story | Review

Riot Games has created an incredible and fascinating game universe with League of Legends, a title that owes its success not only to having brought the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre to the fore, but which must also thank all the storytelling work that is was made so that his many Champions were not just yet another characters with different looks and abilities. Constructing stories, narrating events and painting the places where these stories develop through images and videos, are fundamental elements of the success of League of Legends.

However, it is not always easy to get close to such a world large, which shows no signs of stopping its expansion, without feeling a bit lost. On the other hand, it is not even easy to approach a game that over time has become so competitive that it feeds a community that is not infrequently hostile towards new players, despite the team's attempts to stem the most damaging phenomena for the growth of the game itself. game.

Reaching new users has become a rather natural goal for a brand like LoL which is opening up more and more to new genres and forms of storytelling. First Legends of Runeterra, then the arrival on the screens of the animated television series Arcane which convinces precisely because it does not simply speak to gamers. More recently it was the turn of the launch of two very different titles: Hextech Mayhem and Ruined King which we will talk about in this review. All these products have a point of contact: they do not need to really know every aspect of League of Legends and are therefore easily digestible even outside the sphere of the enthusiast.

The advance of the Dark Mist

Ruined King begins his story in the city of Bilgewater, home to new beginnings that welcomes the many sailors who go there every day to its port. In town, with no more Gangplank to impose her dominion, the fearsome Sarah Fortune is trying to consolidate her control over the other captains. However, things soon take a turn for the worse when the spirits dragged to Bilgewater by the Dark Mist begin to haunt the port city. Once the crew has been assembled, the route to the Shadow Isles can be plotted. Each one is animated by a different reason to reach that cursed land, which once shone with light, and in the course of the game we will have the opportunity to learn a little bit about each of the 6 playable Champions: Sarah Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Pyke and Ahri.

All the characters are introduced calmly and progressively into the most classic of RPG development that sees new party members acquire as the adventure progresses. This can reassure those approaching League of Legends for the first time. We already knew the history of these fighters, but the game seemed able to present them to an audience totally unaware of the facts thanks to illustrated videos, descriptions and interactions between the characters themselves. The interactions and moments of in-depth study do not have the depth of games like Numenera, but the personality and distinctive traits of the protagonists emerge clearly.

Their uniqueness is also expressed in the exploration, in fact each character is equipped with Dungeon skills that allow him to be useful to solve small environmental puzzles or find treasures and facilitate navigation within the scenarios. The style of the settings, with the unmistakable trait of Joe Madureira, is pleasant to look at and gives life to contrasting environments: on the one hand the liveliness, even chromatic, of an always busy city like Bilgewater and on the other the ghostly Shadow Isles landscape shrouded in menacing powers.

The importance of the Lanes

Ruined King is an RPG that draws heavily on Battle Chasers: Nightwar, after all, behind Ruined King c 'is the developer Airship Syndicate. This results in an interesting combat system and wider customization that harks back to the concept of builds well known to League players. Thanks to the presence of tutorials that can be viewed at any time from the menus and a well-marked progression, it is an RPG that wants to facilitate its learning curve even for those who do not have much experience with RPGs. This should not be viewed negatively because it is still strong in a well-marked role-playing component, provided that one wishes to measure oneself with a difficulty that is not always balanced at best. From whatever perspective you look at it, the Ruined King formula, which extends its hand to both novices of the universe created by Riot and to those who prefer more tactical clashes, is a winner for us in bridging two realities that meet for the first time.

League of Legends is a game that does not encounter major problems in being transformed into an RPG because many of its systems are already the basis of a game where the composition of the team, the skills of the individual, the Permanent or temporary equipment and improvements make all the difference when you take the field. Ruined King has the advantage of being able to take all the key features of League and sew them on to a turn-based RPG that maintains its uniqueness despite not diverging much from what other games belonging to the same genre do. It is in the small details that the care of this adaptation emerges.

In the original game, the lanes play an important role and also determine the position of a certain Champion in the game dynamics. Not being able to replicate this aspect in a turn-based game, the lanes have been inserted within the characters' initiative bar. In fact, each Champion has a unique set of skills that are played on a bar that shows their position in relation to the other characters involved in the battle. This bar is divided into 3 lanes: the speed lane, the balance lane and the power lane. The choice of a lane determines the time needed to cast the skill but also affects the amount of damage or healing, obviously increased the longer the casting time.

The position of the Champion in the Lane must be thought strategically also to get bonuses or avoid dangers, in fact, during the course of the fight, it is possible to meet on the bar some special colored regions in which to enter to get, for example, a shield, heals or increase the chance of criticism, or areas inside the which ones to avoid parking so as not to suffer damage. Some enemies may force the Champion to operate only in certain lanes. For example, some buffs can only be disabled by attacks from a certain lane, while more advanced skills can unlock their full potential when performed in different lanes such as Ahri's Spirit Healing skill which, when performed in the Powerful lane, heals everyone and not just the target of the cure.

Other abilities available to Champions to defeat enemies are instant abilities that require no mana to cast and can generate overload, that is, a special mana pool which is spent before base mana. Passive and Supreme abilities complete your attack and defense kit, the latter to be launched only when the Supreme indicator is full. They are, as the term suggests, very powerful attacks and able to turn the tide of a fight if used at the right time.

This combat system has the advantage of always remaining varied during the course of the adventure. because the situations that arise are also influenced by the composition of the team, the number of consecutive encounters and the buff and debuff factors that are not defined a priori. Important for the purposes of a dynamic fight is the diversity of the roles covered by the Champions. Just like the game from which it originates, Ruined King assigns Champions a specific function in battle, differentiating in some respects from the characteristics and abilities of the MOBA.

For example, Pyke embodies the figure of the perfect assassin by focusing on 'inflict very consistent debuffs on the opponent and then finish him off with targeted and devastating hits, attacks that Yasuo also prefers as a fighter who uses critical hits to end the fight. Illaoi plays the role of support / tank thanks to its healing abilities which it extends to the whole team if necessary, and can generate tentacles that deal more damage, give heal percentages and can be sacrificed for much more powerful attacks. Braum, in turn, is the protector par excellence who concentrates all his strength in the shield that he also uses to give protection to the whole team. Sarah Fortune, as a good leader, is the one who is not afraid to attack and uses double hits, storms of bullets and damage stacks to scale the opposing team. Ahri, on the other hand, is a hybrid character who in addition to healing can inflict massive damage and in a team that needs light support but all the firepower, she is ideal.

One satisfactory progression but beware of griding

Peculiar in League is the progression of its Champions that we find well designed also in Ruined King. If the amount of skills available for each character is already very indicative of the richness of possible interactions, it should be added that things get even more interesting when you get into the enchantment system. In addition to the classic pieces of equipment of various rarities, there is the possibility of applying buffs or even changing the rarity of a piece, through enchantments. Enchantments can be consulted through recipes, which will require a specific amount of resources to be made. These resources can be obtained from battles or chests scattered around the map. Interesting is the mechanics for which to increase the effectiveness of the enchantment by inserting more materials than required.

As already mentioned, the difficulty in some sections is not balanced at best. For the review we played on veteran difficulty and as key encounters with higher-ranking enemies and bosses approached, it was often necessary to grind to level up further, accumulate resources to improve equipment through enchantments, or unlock runes for further specialize team members. If you take this obligation to "grind" as an opportunity to explore all the areas or do secondary missions - as we did - you feel a little less the weight of the repetitiveness of the clashes. If things still don't work out, maybe it's time to take a look at the stats and points spent on improving skills. Cleverly, Ruined King offers free point redistribution to support whatever build you plan to build at different stages of the game.

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