No more question of confining League of Legends to a MOBA. Aware of the density of the story and the lore of its flagship game, Riot Games is developing an entire extended universe. Comics, Netflix series and related games are all projects that seem to be a trickle. A multitude of spin-offs that will not only give substance to the characters, but also develop the world of LoL.
The extended universe of League of Legends is on the move. Netflix’s Arcane series has been a real tidal wave, allowing Riot Games to democratize its flagship license to a whole new audience. Aware that his MOBA is not to be placed in everyone’s hands, the publisher founded Riot Forge in 2019. Its mission: to allow smaller studios to create new games in line with LoL. After Hextech Mayhem and the RPG Ruined King released two years ago, the new subsidiary will return with three new proposals in 2023. The first of them, The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story is already available on all home consoles and PCs. An action-RPG game entrusted to the little guys from Digital Sun, the creators of the excellent Moonlighter, which is not as magical as expected.
Revolution in Demacia
Direction the kingdom of Demacia where the mage hunters have all the power to achieve their ends. Citizens gifted with magic are oppressed, hunted, imprisoned and indoctrinated in the name of law and order. Sylas de Liebourg is one of them. As a child, the one able to detect the magic of his friends and copy it at will, tried to save a young girl. An outpouring of magic and a heroic act later, the boy is arrested and sent to jail by the Order to which he belonged. From now on a man, the bodybuilder prisoner like no other is freed from his petricite chains, but his freedom will have a price. Between revenge and revolution, there is sometimes only one step. It is therefore the story of only one of the hundred and sixty-some heroes of the cast that The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story follows, although a few familiar faces pop up from time to time like Garen, Lux, and Jarvan IV.
By expanding the lore, the script is the cornerstone of adaptation. The writing, the characters who gravitate around Sylas the unleashed, the dialogues and the small notes coming to present the universe are one of the greatest assets of the game. of almost ten hours necessary to reach the credits, and the narration is really one of the strengths of the game. It even has the luxury of being accessible for those who would never have launched a single League of Legends match with its well-crafted story despite some agreed turnarounds. Unfortunately the journey is not as pleasant to follow as its history. On his way, the former prisoner will quickly meet other mages eager to live in a world where they would finally be free. The resistance is on the march and it is up to the last member, and the most surly of all, to take charge of the recruitment campaign. Do not expect to customize the base of the rebels, to enlist NPCs in spades, this is only a secondary aspect. Upon leaving HQ, Sylas has two options: rush headlong into his main quest, or go elsewhere to help out. All in all, we will quickly be confronted with a tiresome repetitiveness both in terms of gameplay which uses and abuses the same mechanics, as environments which struggle to disorient or redundant bestiary.
Unleashed gameplay that loses its magic
It was however promising the first hours. A handful of combos, animations faithful to the character of League of Legends, gameplay based on reflexes and some powers to copy on your opponents to better appropriate them later. Despite the heaviness of Sylas and some of his movements, The Mageseeker A League of Legends Story manages to captivate thanks to its nervous combats and its strategic dimension based on the elemental weaknesses of its enemies. Taking advantage of opposing mages and their specialty to better use them against their comrades adds a certain tactical dimension that frankly works well once you get the hang of it, even if it ends up becoming obsolete.
At its best, The Mageseeker is worthy of the great hack’n slashes of recent decades. The fights are enjoyable, aggressive and rebellious like Sylas. The number of spells to steal and unlock permanently allows us to diversify the whole thing a little, knowing that it will be imperative to choose which powers to take with you before each start of the mission, just like the allies who will accompany us to offer us some bonuses. and additional webs welcome. And this is where the first weaknesses of the game appear. Virtual money is needed to improve his character. A currency that is unlocked according to the missions, except that the game is so meager and the cost of new powers is so high that the arrival of the rise in power seems endless. It takes too long to be able to develop his range of combos and in the meantime, The Mageseeker quickly loses its magic and runs out of steam for lack of being able to fully renew itself.
Fights that are sometimes too messy
The game tries, however, by amassing even more enemies on the screen to always better bring its confrontations to the reflexes and give them more dynamism. The fights get harder as the hours pass, but only artificially. It’s always the same opponents and more, the same attacks, the same patterns, the same spells. It shoots everywhere and it quickly becomes too messy. The choice of pixelart is clearly lacking in these moments. The Mageseeker A League of Legends Story yet has a pretty face, teems with details and offers an artistic direction that catches the eye the first time you tread an environment. However, the visuals tend to blend during intense battles, without creating a pixel mush, but readability is clearly complicated at times.
The great linearity of the scenario also plays on this feeling of weariness. The main missions do not offer any freedom of movement. Each level is closed, as are the side quests. We finally chain the repetitive games in restricted arenas while waiting to discover the next dialogues and cutscenes to advance in the story. An almost grueling routine at its worst, and that’s all the more regrettable because The Mageseeker A League of Legends Story could have been a real stress reliever, a game with potato as it shows us during the boss fights. The clumsy game design choices will undoubtedly get the better of the most impatient.