After years of playing League of Legends, it’s clear to me that its most appealing aspects are the universe and the in-depth character story development. While MOBA might not be the most appropriate genre to explore lore in depth (only through temporary events or skin lines), Riot has thankfully started releasing new content in various formats: comics, the popular Netflix series Arcane, and just another attempt to conquer other genres with titles like Legends of Runeterra. One of his most recent projects is games A history of League of Legends, a collection of works of various genres created by different studios that allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the lives of our favorite characters. And hold on tight, because it doesn’t stop there: Riot Forge has prepared the launch of a new adventure in 2023.
The Mageseeker is an action RPG developed by digital sun, creators of Moonlighter. Same as the well-known title India, The Mageseeker stands out for its beautiful 2D pixel aesthetic with picturesque environments that will leave you speechless as you progress through the map. Although it is a very fun and even addictive experience, it also has some flaws.
The story begins in Demacia, a kingdom where magic is absolutely forbidden. I play like Sylas of Dragbourne, a magician who was locked up for 15 years due to an incident that revealed his inability to control his power. At the start of the game, a cinematographic sequence introduces the beginning of the adventure: Sylas has managed to escape by stealing the powers of Lux, his friend. After burning down the city, he flees and begins to plan revolution against the tyrannical monarchy and witch hunters.
The dynamic begins with a series of simpler sequences that serve as an introduction to the most basic controls and mechanics. League of Legends fans will be delighted as Sylas’ abilities and playstyle have been perfectly suited to the RPG genre. Our main character is a lone wizard who is played as a murderer. His weapons are petricite chains with which he can absorb magic from his surroundings. Like in the main game, it has a basic attack and a charged attack. Additionally, he can grab an enemy or environmental item with his chains to slide towards them. All of his main features are retained, to the point that he can also steal abilities from enemies and use them in battle.
Even when playing on the medium difficulty mode, the mechanics are quite clear and easy to master. The fights can be a little more difficult for someone new to the genre, as they will have to learn the different skill combinations and get used to grabbing items with the chains, but it can be surprisingly easy for more experienced players. . If you are looking for a challenge, you should directly choose the highest difficulty mode. However, do not let your guard down: sometimes the scenes go from a fairly empty space to another where a series of waves of opponents follow one another relentlessly.
At first glance, it might seem like the fights get boring as soon as you master them, which you’ll probably do pretty quickly. However, they have a special twist: the magic system is focused on elemental abilities. Just as it sounds: fire, ice, thunder… Each element works to counter the other, so you’ll need to use Sylas’ flight ability wisely and choose which attacks to fly. Additionally, magic depends on mana, which can be replenished by inflicting physical attacks. Thus, the game loop becomes much more interesting: draw, attack, slide, strike and start again. Players have to focus on different enemies to defeat them using a specific item, which is great fun when there are so many things happening on screen at the same time.
After a few waves of simpler enemies, the game pits you against a slew of more complex bosses, so you can spend some time getting used to new attack patterns and abilities.
That said, choosing which enemy to grab can be quite tricky when they’re too close together, and there are a few bugs that slow down the action. For example, there are mages that stop attacking when you get too close. Enemies can also feel a little repetitive when encountering opponents of the same type too often, especially in side quests. Despite this, the game adds quirky combat from time to time, as it lets you battle some popular League of Legends characters and steal their ultimates.
When you’ve completed each mission, it’s time to return to the Rebel Hideout. You will be able to convince characters you meet along the way to join the cause, then they will go to the camp and sometimes open their own shops or workshops where they will offer you the main improvements that you will have to buy with the resources you will get from chests and enemies. Some options are to learn one of the abilities you permanently stole, improve your stats, increase your mana storage, and add as many upgrades as needed before starting a new quest. Additionally, Sylas will encounter outlaws who will join him and provide him with new elemental attacks during missions. It’s true that this is a single-player game, but the Outlaws are your team and leveling them up is crucial to reaching your maximum power.
In the hideout, you can enjoy the more plot-driven and character-story aspects. Most of the gameplay is attack and strike, yes, but the plot is beautifully crafted and allows you to delve deep into Sylas’ past to understand his thirst for revenge. The story shows that he’s not just a villain or a savior, but has many nuances that make him special. You can also interact with minor characters and start conversations that will lead you to learn more about their lives and even strike up a friendship with them.
As I mentioned before, the retro and pixel art aesthetic style is totally stunning, paying great attention to detail in the exterior and interior environments. Upon entering a new environment, I couldn’t help but take a few seconds to admire it. Plus, the League of Legends character animations are also amazing – the first time Garen used his ultimate, my jaw dropped.
Aesthetics aside, the map itself was too simple, like many other aspects of the game. I tried to interact with it in multiple ways (breaking objects, trying to find new areas by approaching doors, stairs or areas that seemed to hide a secret), but it was just very linear and without surprises. Finding the resource chests was very easy, but I think the game could have done some puzzles or maybe more opportunities to explore the map more, beyond reading lost notes.
Overall, this title is a lot of fun and enjoyable, suitable for League of Legends fans and newcomers alike. The Mageseeker stands out as a unique and individual game, and it might even attract some people to the famous MOBA, as its beautiful story and enchanting environments will likely catch the attention of more than one RPG fan. Despite its flaws, I highly recommend this experience which will only take you about 12 hours to complete.