Riot Games presents its new RPG inspired by League of Legends. Take up arms, the ghosts of the Mist await you. Test.
Following the release of the animated series Arcane, which has largely convinced us, Riot Games has again bet on its franchise League of Legends with its brand new game called Ruined King. It is an RPG centered around the Fallen King Viego, and the curse of the Black Mist that haunts the Dark Isles.
This new entry, although it takes many elements of the lore of League of Legends, approaches this universe with a style very different from the adored MOBA of Riot Games. This title, with a much sharper narrative and strategically different gameplay, has it succeeded in convincing us that a spin-off is always good to take? Answer in this test Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.
Welcome to Bilgewater
Yes Arcane takes place in Piltover and Zaun, Ruined King takes place in two very different places of the lore of League of Legends, namely Bilgewater and the Dark Isles. We follow the story of several champions, whom players will easily recognize, who wish to end the suffering caused by the Mist and its summoner, Viego.
These champions then become members of a team which is refloated at each meeting and for which we are fully responsible. To name a few, we find Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum or even Ahri, who will all play a part in the epic adventure that awaits us. In Ruined King, it is therefore neither the characters, nor the environments that will disorient us.
We easily find the visual atmosphere and the atmosphere of the places imagined by Riot Games through rather elegant graphics. The title mixes several styles, which are not incompatible by nature, but which create a shift too large to be completely harmonious. We often go from 3D to 2D, the last being much better done and more authentic than the first.
Indeed, 3D is sometimes poorly approached, some animations are crude and stain with the beauty of 2D, only during non-combat phases. This one adopts a more static and less immersive comic book style, but which serves the narrative aspect much more. Only the cutscene of the beginning in 3D animation succeeds in convincing us of the choice of Riot Games. For the rest, there is a big problem of proportion during the gameplay phases with regard to the characters and their environment, although the whole forms a mixture which is pleasing to the eye.
In addition to the visual aspect, we also find the history of certain places League of Legends Throughout the game’s narration. This is linear, you won’t have much choice but to follow a main quest all the time. Initially fragmented and disjointed, the story gradually regains its meaning and we come to understand why we go from one character to another for no apparent reason. We can also change characters by pressing a button, which gives us access to the whole team at the slightest effort.
If the isometric view and the phases in 2D do not allow us an optimal immersion, the game makes up for the dubbing which, even in the French version, is excellently done. The dialogues between the characters are often funny and we find a pleasure to let them scroll automatically, as if we were in front of a perpetual cinematic or an anime.
That said, the loading times a little (too) long between certain scenes quickly put us back on the ground. Other than that, there are few interruptions in the gameplay which remains smooth and enjoyable even over long durations. Exploration is not really an aspect that is put forward a lot, especially given the quality of the rewards disseminated, and we tend to stupidly follow the main quest. We would have been really disappointed if, however, the isometric view did not spoil the exploration phases a bit.
So, RPG or MOBA?
Fortunately, there is always the fighting to get us out of very linear gameplay phases. In Ruined King, the combats are played turn-based, a style that is almost always effective when it is well exploited. This is the case here. Obviously, in terms of strategy Riot Games is already well established. The characters all resume more or less the same attacks as in League of Legends, with some interesting twists.
First of all, the game introduces a “way” mechanic which allows us to visualize the place of the attacks of our characters at each turn, but which also allows us to influence our strategic choices. Unlike a hack ‘n slash, it won’t be enough for you to press the same keys all the time to win.
During combat, we have access to all the necessary statistics such as the HP of enemies, his own, the damage inflicted, mana, etc. Depending on the enemies, you have the possibility of inspecting them to understand their attacks but also their weak points and their resistances. All this put together, we obtain a recipe that we would not qualify as complex, but complete and balanced.
Like any self-respecting RPG, we also have the right to a whole game of improvement outside of the fighting. Thus, we can buy potions, improve our champions thanks to runes and skill points or even boost our equipment and our weapons thanks to a craft system. This is where all the ingredients you find or buy will come in handy.
Note that if you are not a fan of the fights, you can switch them to Story mode, but be aware that this takes away a good part of the interest of the game in our opinion. Of course, those who are not afraid of this kind of gameplay, Ruined King opens the way for you with the toughest Heroic difficulty.
After this test, we cannot say that all the players of League of Legends should rush on Ruined King, because there is much less diversity in terms of gameplay, but this is a good spin-off that can make a smooth entry into the world of LoL, or a standalone game for RPG lovers who are allergic to MOBA.