Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story Review — We Are The Champions

With Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, developer Airship Syndicate finds itself in an unenviable position. The studio behind 2018’s Battle Chasers: Nightwar has been tasked with taking its critically-acclaimed approach to the JRPG format from that game and adapting it for League of Legends (LoL), one of the most popular video game brands in the world. Battle Chasers proves the developer can make a solid JRPG out of a short-run comic book, but League is in a different, uh, league thanks to featuring more than 150 champions and having a decade’s worth of lore and worldbuilding to reference. Conjuring a story worthy of the name sounds like a monumental task, but not only did Airship Syndicate do LoL justice with Ruined King, the JRPG mechanics bring the LoL experience to a whole new genre in an engaging and unique way.

Ruined King: A League Of Legends Story takes us to the pirate city of Bilgewater, a sprawling behemoth of wood and salt occupied by swashbucklers and sea dogs. Sarah Fortune–Miss Fortune to the LoL savvy–has recently taken over from the villainous Gangplank when the town is besieged by a black mist containing horrible monsters. Her story is then intertwined with five other champions–Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Pyke, and Ahri–as they journey to find the source of the Black Mist and contain it once and for all.

The first thing to appreciate about Ruined King is the bustling metropolis that is Bilgewater. Wooden paths curve and twist around each other as you journey through it, with branching paths leading to all sorts of discoveries. There are harbors, posh estates, rough and tumble watering holes, and more to find throughout this city of the sea. As you progress through the game, you’ll find other locales that are also neat–a few late-game dungeon designs still stick out in my head–but nothing compares to the majesty of Bilgewater, which is a good thing, considering you’ll spend nearly half the game there.

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