RUINED KING: A LEAGUE OF LEGENDS STORY
Recently, we have seen how Riot Games and its divisions actively promote the League of Legends universe to the masses. And they do it so delicately and powerfully that comparisons come to mind only with Blizzard in its best years – and even that one, perhaps, they surpassed. First there was the stunningly cool Arcane series, and recently Ruined King: A League of Legends Story came out, which, instead of local turn-based tactics for its own, turned out to be one of the best isometric RPGs in recent times. This, however, is not entirely a surprise – it was developed by the Airship Syndicate studio, which is responsible for Darksiders Genesis and the amazing (in our coordinate system) Battle Chasers: Nightwar.
Champions in the Mist
As with Arcane, you don’t have to be a LoL fan to immerse yourself in the history of Ruined King. Yes, it is played out by the forces of well-known champions from the original (among them are Miss Fortune, Illaoi, the cheerful brute Braum, beloved by many Vastaya fox Ahri and others), and the events unfold in places such as the port city of Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles. But in general, everything is familiar to anyone who has played / read / watched fantasy.
The plot tells how the champions are trying to stop the invasion of the deadly black fog from the Shadow Isles to Bilgewater. The deposed bandit king Gangplank initiated this threat. He was overthrown by Miss Fortune, who considered her mother’s killer dead, and one of the champions helped him survive, who, of course, is trying to hide this from the new queen of Bilgewater.
Fortune is not to be trifled with.
Yes, here, of course, there is not that level of drama, direction and character development that Arcane has, but this is not just a series of missions about fighting evil, but a solid fantasy. And the game itself looks great, because it is framed by the eminent Joe Madureira, who painted for Marvel Comics.
The picture in such plot scenes is very expressive.
There is intrigue in the plot; the characters now and then talk to each other (especially on vacation) and demonstrate their character in every possible way – even if they, like the dialogues, are not without stereotypes, the characters still look colorful. Yes, and bright phrases and humor slip in conversations. In this sense, the game is again reminiscent of Battle Chasers: Nightwar.
For example, the good-natured big man Braum with a funny animal poro is somewhat reminiscent of the famous Minsk and Boo from Baldur’s Gate. Therefore, for RPG connoisseurs who have never launched League of Legends in their lives, they will be like family. The thug at every halt either amuses or torments the allies with amusing tales – for example, about why he fights exclusively with a huge door torn from its hinges.
The game is well translated and voiced.
Explore and investigate!
In addition, there are many opportunities for free exploration of the world in Ruined King – there are more of them than in Battle Chasers: Nightwar. Bilgewater is divided into several districts, which please with excellent elaboration, detail and scale – you even have to use elevators to move around. Everywhere we find pages of diaries (which are interesting to read, by the way), merchants, fishing spots (this was also the case in Battle Chasers), chests, notice boards, as well as characters participating in numerous side quests.
When exploring locations, it is very convenient to highlight all the interactive objects around.
Additional quests are not limited to primitive exercises from the series “Kill so many of those” or “Bring seven carrots”. Or is it all interesting play. As soon as I took on my first off-plot assignments, I immediately began to participate in the investigation of a mysterious murder, volunteered to search for the missing cargo in the spirit world using a special device, and agreed to help build a career for a local minstrel, for which it was necessary to find suitable stories, poems and tools for him.
And in order to get to the local arena and the black market, where they trade for special marks, I had to solve separate quests – in particular, to poison the owner of an important key by making him run away to the toilet.
It’s nice to walk up to the board and get the reward right away.
Yes, this is still not the level of the same Baldur’s Gate, but the authors do not claim the laurels of the most serious moral and ethical RPG, but feel completely comfortable in the adventure fantasy niche. Some players still complain about constant backtracking, but I didn’t find it pointless. Running, looking for chests and completing quests is interesting and useful – money and cool equipment are always needed here, especially if you play on the heroic difficulty level.
And even during story missions, you can often be distracted to look for the same chests or, for example, explore a completely optional, but alluring estate, where ghosts and diaries will tell a dramatic family story, and as a reward we will receive a valuable little thing.