Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is a game that, as the name suggests, exploits the League of Legends (LoL) mythos to develop and deepen the storylines of the characters. Riot Forge, Riot Games’ third-party publishing arm, is responsible for the game’s release. Riot Forge allows these games to benefit from the knowledge of numerous third-party developers. In this article, we are going to dive deeper into the Ruined King review, so stay hydrated and read on!
About the game
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is a turn-based role-playing video game released by Riot Forge in 2021. It was produced by Airship Syndicate. Ruined King is a spin-off of Riot Games’ League of Legends that incorporates characters and a setting from its parent game.
The game takes place in Bilgewater, a thriving pirate city, and the Shadow Isles, a cursed land plagued by the Black Mist, a corrupting power. To uncover the source of the Black Mist, the player commands a group of six League of Legends characters.  Pyke, Braum, Miss Fortune, Ilaoi, Ahri, and Yasuo are playable characters.
Ruined King was supposed to be released in 2019 for League of Legends’ 10th-anniversary celebration, however it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The developer and publisher did not offer a release date until November 16, 2021, when it was released with Hextech Mayhem for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. It will be backward compatible with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in the future, with free updates to the native versions planned.
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Airship Syndicate, which is best known for the critically praised Battle Chasers: Nightwar, will have their job cut out for them. It’s no easy task to convert a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) into a turn-based role-playing game (RPG). After all, MOBAs are known for their ultra-detailed and fast-paced competitive gaming mechanics, whereas turn-based RPGs are more leisurely, with a focus on story and less urgent fighting systems.
Not only that, but it also has the onerous burden of appealing to both LoL fans who aren’t into turn-based RPGs and turn-based RPG enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with LoL.
Ruined King takes place in Bilgewater, a significant location in League of Legends. The game is a terrific way to learn about the city and brings it to life in a way that LoL as a MOBA couldn’t. As players go throughout the city engaging with the different NPCs, the idea of Bilgewater as a haven for lowlifes and criminals is completely filled out. In Ruined King, there are two primary places to explore: Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles. The overworld is full of puzzles, side missions, and prizes, making exploring enjoyable. The location begins to take on a more tangible form in one’s psychogeography when one converses with NPCs and collects lore materials.
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The game features Joe Madureira’s instantly recognizable artwork, with players controlling a squad of League of Legends champions such as Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, and others in order to preserve Bilgewater from a terrible mist that has already engulfed the adjacent Shadow Isles. While the plot has a number of emotional beats and complexities, such as Miss Fortune’s troubled background with Gangplank’s murder of her parents, the story follows the tried-and-true heroes as they overcome the Big Bad formula. As a result, there are no major surprises, and the writing is both safe and risk-free. This type of tale works rather well and hits all of the typical emotional beats. Nevertheless, gamers have had enough of this kind of story, and while Ruined King does a good job of telling it, it will struggle to stick in their minds.
Airship Syndicate does an excellent job at translating each champion’s skills and trademarks into Ruined King. Braum, a champion with a massive shield and bulging biceps, is a tank who can withstand a lot of damage, while Illaoi, a Kraken Priestess, gains strength by releasing tentacles that may be used to heal teammates or slay opponents.
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While the fighting system is turn-based, it manages to combine certain MOBA elements. The player can select between the Speed Lane, Balanced Lane, or Power Lane for various attacks and actions known as Lane powers. The Balanced Lane is the default, while the Speed Lane has a faster assault but lesser impact, and the Power Lane has a slower attack but greater power. The Initiative Bar, which displays the sequence in which enemies will attack, reflects this. Players may check if their attack will go through before the enemy and if they’ll be able to get more than one attack in before being hit by hovering over each Lane Ability. Players may optimize each combat by being pickier about the Lane they choose, ensuring that they take the least amount of damage while doing the most damage. Because the Lane powers are not static, this adds a layer of complexity to the fight, and it is an extra component for participants to handle.
Environmental hazards appear on the Initiative Bar and are a feature in fights. When these dangers are activated on specified spots on the Initiative Bar, they might have bad consequences for the player’s group. As a result, depending on how they anticipate the conflicts will play out, players will have to choose between avoiding the dangers and enduring the consequences. This adds even another layer of intricacy to the game, giving it even more flavor and depth.
The fighting system experimentation is a pleasant sight, and when you have three characters to handle, it’s easy to understand how clashes in Ruined King might drag on for a long time. That’s a nice thing, because in other turn-based RPGs, while the plot and overworld exploring are vital, the battle is where the action is. This is due to the fact that fighting is when the player is most involved, as they must overcome problems utilizing the tools and knowledge provided in each combat encounter. Ruined King’s solid fighting system, at the very least, guarantees that the game is compelling to play.
Ruined King at times feels like an interactive diorama of a League of Legends environment, where players get to know both the individuals and the city, but with a save-the-world plot thrown in for good measure. The numerous side missions, fishing mini-game, crafting, and culinary system all contribute to this theme.
The more time we spent playing Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, the more the LoL universe left us yearning. From start to finish, we were engrossed in the magnificent graphic book art, which was supported by outstanding character development and voice acting, as well as a good tale. The complex but simple turn-based fighting and upgrade systems encourage experimentation and discovery while also enabling more systematic methods to shine. The game’s frequent and untimely game-crashing bugs, mediocre map screen and limited variety of locations, and sparse autosave system are all minor annoyances, but considering we’ve been waiting years for the League of Legends universe to branch out into other genres, Ruined King’s turn-based RPG format is an absolute fit.