After The Mageseeker, Riot Forge offers us another spin-off to delve into the lore of one of the most famous League of Legends champions.
The Mageseeker (recover our review of The Mageseeker A League of Legends Story) had managed to captivate us both for its pleasant aesthetics and its effective gameplay, and for the merits of a story capable of leading us into the intricacies of the League of Legends lore . An important debut for a triptych of titles designed to expand the narrative universe built by Riot around its flagship game. Despite the success of the first test, the close launch of Convergence prompted us to wonder if this second spin-off would have managed to achieve the same results: a question that in fact represents the core of this article.
Ekko becomes Prince
If The Mageseeker respects the typical canons of action rpg, Convergence: a League of Legends Story follows a radically different playful route.
The protagonist Ekko, in fact, moves easily in environments built to accommodate the logic of a 2D platformer, relying on what is its main feature, namely rewinding time. Between sprints, double jumps and wall runs, the young man shows off respectable acrobatic skills, however failing to fully convince on the side of the fights, supported by less convincing mechanics than those seen in The Mageseeker, but which in any case we learned, with the progression from ours, to manage in the best way. Let’s go in order, however, and explain how Ekko will be able to emulate the exploits of Prince of Persia, using his powers to return to a previous point, avoiding running into an annoying game over. A useful mechanic so as not to lose your progress during exploration, in the event of a wrong maneuver, as well as to save you from defeat against your opponents, including bosses. You will have limited resources, but rest assured: by defeating enemies and breaking crates you can recover the loot necessary to ensure that your “time rewind” abilities never run out. Otherwise, the game over will peep out, which will send you right back to the last checkpoint.
The Sword of Time
Speaking of scrums, which represent an important share of the experience, initially players will have a very limited range of offensive techniques available, at the base of a combat system that in the first instance will not prove particularly effective.
Thanks to a well-structured progression system, however, over time we will be able to significantly expand Ekko’s range of possibilities, and shape his build to better enhance our fighting skills. The protagonist has the ability to attract opponents to himself, to launch a rotating disc that will do continuous damage (even in the return phase), and to use devices that slow down both the opponents and any obstacles in his path. Taking advantage of the workbenches, Ekko can also refine equipped gadgets in a series of slots that can be expanded by defeating the bosses of each chapter. Returning to exploration, especially in the initial stages you will have to face a good deal of backtracking. Following the path traced by the narration, central to the economy of the adventure but far from enthralling, at first we will not be able to indulge our desire to follow alternative routes and visit secondary areas: in line with the canons of the metroidvania, we will only be able to return second moment, after unlocking certain gadgets and skills, relying on an extremely detailed map.
Along the way, we will be able to use the collected objects not only as currency, but also as a bargaining chip to obtain dyes or upgrades, to be used to customize the structure of our alter ego. Already in the third chapter you will have in your hands a much more agile, capable and fun to manage Ekko.
Although the structure of the title is functional, what what is missing is the variety of opponents: if on the one hand we will end up learning all their movement and attack patterns almost immediately, on the other we will soon find ourselves having to always face the same figures, which will lead us to perceive more clearly the limits of a non-human combat system particularly varied or structured. This is in fact the main flaw of Convergence, which, net of a limited longevity (from 10 hours), tends to lose momentum over time.
The cyberpunk that comes from the past
Going into the stylistic component, however, Convergence relies on a somewhat captivating “comic book” aesthetic. There aren’t the serious veins of The Magiseeker, also because – unlike Sylar – Ekko faces his story and his encounters with more lightheartedness, while accusing the weight of the events: an aspect that is declined quite well by the artistic direction.
Beyond the frenzy of battles and stunts, beyond Ekko’s platinum crest we will find a rich and well-characterized sci-fi world, capable of telling us a story. In short, Convergence reiterates that artistic value that Riot is continuing to offer in its productions, both videogame and animated. As a final note, we cannot fail to praise the Italian localization, accompanied by a well-made dubbing.
Convergence A League of Legends StoryPlayStation 5 Analyzed VersionConvergence offers a playful offer supported by well-made gameplay – net of some roughness – and by a structured progression system, which over the hours enriches a formula that starts a bit with the brake on. Despite everything, having reached the end of the adventure, one gets the clear impression that the team has not managed to best express the potential of its creative vision, thanks to an uninspired and much less effective story than that seen in The Mageseeker. Net of its weaknesses, however, the title represents another good test by Riot Forge, waiting to see the third and final chapter of the League of Legends spin-offs.