“Ruined King: A League of Legends Story” arrived without much warning on all entertainment systems. Developed by the Airship Syndicate studio, the same responsible for the title “Battle Chasers”, this time unites the extensive universe of League of Legends, in an isometric view of its world, with turn-based combat mechanics and everything that an RPG is entitled to.
This title tells the story of Viego, the “Ruined King” and his impact on Runeterra, the world of League of Legends. It all starts with the player playing the role of Sarah Fortune, more commonly called Miss Fortune, across the lands of Bilgewater. Bilgewater is not exactly a friendly place… On the contrary, it is marked by violence, or this was not a meeting point between pirates of the seven seas and their respective wooden leg gangs.
Miss Fortune wants to unite the rival gangs of Bilgewater and form a larger group between them. To initiate this process, she executes the rival gang captain, Gangplank, or so she expects. In the midst of these events, the curse that affects Bilgewater called the “Harrowing” returns with nefarious effects to Sarah’s gang. This plague consists of a ghostly mist composed of tormented spirits with the intention of massacring the most unsuspecting. This is where the player takes action in an attempt to fight this fog from the outskirts of the city and get to the root of the problem, the “Shadow Isles”.
Every thing between “Bilgewater” and “The Shadow Isles” is characterized by its beautiful artwork that, between cutscenes, opens up to the player and tells the stories of the six playable characters.
It’s super interesting to see all the interactions between characters, which connect and intertwine and expand in brief moments during the exploration of the map, on occasions where the group takes a few moments to rest or for a meal. Who says there can’t be love in the world of League of Legends? It’s even more interesting because all these cutscenes have voice acting.
It is not necessary to have any kind of contact with the lore of League of Legends to appreciate the story of Ruined King, however, for those who know the subject, it is pleasant at times to have certain notes of characters who are not present in the adventure and which consequently sweetens the senses of the players.
The combat although interesting does not present anything new to the genre, just a mechanic of “Lanes”. At the beginning of each fight, the action that will be applied in each “phase lane” is presented which essentially adds a buff or a debuff to the battle. It is thus possible to acquire “critical change” buffs, health recovery, “stem”, among others, and poison debuffs that deal damage over time. Note that this “lane phase” is applied to both, party members and enemies, so there is a whole strategy behind simple combat to place character X within this area. On the other side, there are also abilities that allow a character to push the enemy out of this area, making it impossible for him to receive the long-awaited help from the buff.
That said, there are normal attack skills, magic skills that help in the course of combat, Lane skills that as indicated above place the player within Lane areas, and the “Ultimate” skill that differentiates between characters, between attacking skills or defensive. Some of these abilities use the “mana” bar displayed under the characters’ health bar and the “Ultimate” is charged between turns. In fact, I found that the Ultimate bar loads very fast and even on higher difficulties it’s not necessarily a difficult game, not only for this reason but overall.
As in League of Legends, the MOBA, there are items divided between defense like armor, attack like weapons, rings, and wires that allow you to customize the characters’ stats the way the player wants. There could be no lack of Skills and Runes that help accentuate the choices made.
The areas are locked in relation to the level of enemies, by this I mean that if the player passes an area that he has already passed before, but with the level of the characters high, the same will not happen to the enemies that wander there.
Regarding less positive things, performance on the Nintendo Switch is sometimes poor, load times are somewhat large and the Menu interface is somewhat confusing. Every time you open a tab in the Menu or even the map in a different area, the question appears: “Do you want to watch the tutorial?”. This option, even clicking on “No” dozens of times, is not disabled. It’s really frustrating.
Hats off the work that Riot is doing to expand the League of Legends world to different horizons and game genres. On the same day of the release of “Ruined King” the title “Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story” which stitches itself between rhythm and platforms, was also released. And what about the slap and kick title, “Project L” yet in development? The future will tell.
For now “Ruined King” is an easy title to advise, both for repeaters of the Turn base RPG genre and for people who have never felt the breeze of Riot titles. With well-built scenarios, characters, and maps, they allow the player hours of rewarding exploration, as in every corner it is possible to find desirable equipment for the most complicated encounters.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for Nintendo Switch, provided by Riot Games]