The League of Legends franchise continues to expand with a new spin-off aggressive, addictive, if at times repetitive.
Riot Games announced in February the arrival of three new games from the League of Legends universe: three spin-offs published by Forge, the label used for alternative projects that revolve around that fulcrum still linked to the LoL experience. The Mageseeker, Convergence and Song of Nunu are the three titles we are referring to, and the first of these – developed by Digital Sun – has just recently arrived in our hands: it is a 2D action RPG that puts us in the shoes of Sylas, available on PC and console. We tried the PlayStation 5 version and we were particularly impressed (by the way, you can read our review of Ruined King A League of Legends Story here).
In 2019 League of Legends had welcomed a Sylas, a champion designed for melee combat: the unleashed revolutionary, raised in one of the districts of Demacia, has on his side the great ability to detect hidden sorcery. His power and tendency towards darkness drove the mage-seekers to imprison him.
Once he managed to free himself, the champion chose to launch a revolution that would spur the entire population of Demacia to give new honor to the wizards and to destroy the kingdom of which he was initially a servant. Now with The Mageseeker, Riot Games wants to delve into the origin of the character, a successful marriage between antihero and antagonist. In the hands of the player, Sylas will have to be guided on his path to redemption, trying to shake off the reputation of a bloodthirsty murderer and revenge.
The team throws us into a robust political drama, solid above all thanks to the depth of the League of Legends lore, already quite rooted in the collective imagination. Sylas’ personal growth also presents a respectable development, taking him from being a subversive skeptical of anyone, to becoming an anti-hero capable of trusting his fellow travelers.
And speaking of adventure partners, by upgrading the rebel camp that serves as a hub, our guild will get richer up to a maximum of 15 wizards with which to interact in an optional way, consequently expanding the knowledge of the lore. In short, for fans of the world of LoL, the entire origin story of Sylas will be full of goodies to discover. For all the others, however, that of The Mageseeker will be a canvas which, in its solidity, follows the stylistic features of a classic story of war, politics and revenge.
A faithful spin-off full of easter eggs
For the entire adventure we will play the role of Sylas, but The Mageseeker will not fail, as can be guessed from the plot, to involve some characters that derive from the LoL universe, such as Morgana, Lux, Shyvana and Garen himself,. In any case, the experience, both from a narrative point of view and from an emotional involvement, can be enjoyable regardless of one’s familiarity with the world conceived by Riot Games.
It will seem obvious to underline this, but in case you are able to grasp the numerous easter eggs scattered throughout history you will notice even better is the commitment made by the teams. The elements that underline the continuity of development with League of Legends are also found in the NPCs that will give us support, such as Leilani, whose presence will be fundamental both for the first role-playing aspects that we will unlock. The Mageseeker’s battle system might seem very limiting at first, directed more towards a 2D action, however after a few hours a plethora of possibilities will open up before us which will make the system much deeper and more stratified than initially conceivable. Strengthened by his chains, Sylas almost looks like a Kratos ready to get the better of any threat he faces (by the way, here is the review of God of War Ragnarok). Between a heavy blow and a light one, it will be possible to use the chains to hook enemies or even objects of the environment, projecting itself like a catapult in the desired direction. Furthermore, the addition of spells will allow you to unleash all your magical power.
Sylas has the ability to borrow spells from his opponents as the main ability of his moveset: if in principle this talent will be momentary and you will only be able to return the spell that was cast to you, by progressing in the adventure you will also be able to unlock a skill tree which will give you access to 30 different spells divided into six different elementsuseful depending on the missions you have to complete.
To get them, in any case, you will always have to steal them the first time to your opponents, so as to create them later in your hub: this is a fairly shrewd game design choice, because it tickles the strings of the completionists, who will be encouraged to look for the different types of enemies even during the secondary missions. The progression of the spells is well balanced, with an always gradual growth during the 15 hours of play necessary to complete the experience.
At first Sylas will make his way with elemental projectiles, but later he will have area spells and even protective buffs, healing and boosting attacks. Such a system enhances the variety of the combat system, giving a certain dose of freshness especially to the optional missions, which on the other hand will end up recycling the same environments and scenarios quite often, and which involve repelling hordes of enemies through different approaches.
For example, archers will have to be dealt with by relying on timing, paladins will require more strength to destroy the protective barrier that surrounds them, while the wizards will be killed using the opposite element to the one used to cast their spells. For this reason, during the battles a certain speed of choice in the strategy to be adopted will be necessary, since you will find yourself faced with hordes that will require rapid changes between the talents supplied. Staying on the subject, the presence of statues that will recharge your health will allow you to recompose the entire spell ring whenever you want, so as to being able to correct the approach to individual internships during construction.
The monotony that peeps out
From the map contained in the hub we have already told you about, Sylas will have access to the various levels, divided as per tradition into main and secondary, necessary to recover new spells, resources and also any other allies. The latter can be selected at the beginning of each challenge up to a maximum of two companions, and will provide you with passive bonuses that will apply to your skills.
Therefore, when the number of supports starts to be conspicuous, the gameplay will become even more strategic and deep. Unfortunately the side missions suffer greatly from a certain amount of monotony, due to a spiral of elements that becomes cyclical and repetitive right away. On the other hand, the main stages manage to offer some more marked variations, although they in turn often end up trapped in the same playful loop.Between very simplistic platforming stages, who ask you to use Sylas’ chains to move through small chasms, and the hordes of enemies to defeat, you will be able to open doors and gates that delimit the areas only after having overcome all the threats. Similar play structure culminates with a boss who will summarize the skills of the enemies encountered up to that moment. In short, at times the absence of substantial variations that could have made exploration more exciting is accused. Opening the hidden chests will give you nothing but additional resources, as well as the absence of environmental puzzles it is accused above all when the platforming is reduced to simple dash to be carried out.
At least, as already mentioned, the battle system is very dynamic and layered enough to largely support the scaffolding of the gameplay, making us turn a blind eye to some limits of the experience. Another point in favor of The Mageseeker is its audiovisual sector, with a expressive 2D pixel art style and a well composed soundtrack: faced with the chaos of battles, it was essential to rely on a very rapid pace, able to tell the climax up to the clash with the boss on duty. Finally, everything is enriched by a localization in Italian complete in all its parts.
The Mageseeker A League of Legends StoryPC Analyzed VersionThe Mageseeker is a concentrate of speed and action, penalized only by a monotony of the stages and a scarce variety of contents offered in the exploration. Thankfully, the very deep and properly layered battle system manages to counter this issue. In the 15 hours needed to finish the adventure, The Mageseeker will certainly not encourage replayability or backtracking, but will be able to put your skills to the test even in secondary missions. In short, the sum of the parts makes this League of Legends spin-off worthy of being played even by those who are not a strict connoisseur of the Riot universe.