A League Of Legends Story

Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is a turn-based RPG spinoff to League of Legends. However, the game has more in common with another Airship Syndicate game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar. That was a 2017 title. Ruined Ling looks and plays similarly to that so it’s like a spiritual successor.

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While it may star familiar faces such as Sarah Fortune and Illaoi, there is no barrier keeping newbies out. The game is presented as its own thing that longtime fans can enjoy just as much as new players to the franchise. Is this time investment worth it though? The aggregate reviews are around the 70s and 80s so let’s figure out what Ruined King’s does right and wrong as a League of Legends spinoff.

8 Best: The Art Style

The most distinctive thing about Ruined King is its art. The colors are simply wonderful be it on the new consoles or the Switch. Using the new OLED model should make it pop in handheld mode. The overall graphics of the game look great too. Even better are the character portraits and the animated comic-like cutscenes. The Bestiary has a nice design to it too which is useful for combat besides being a good read.

7 Worst: Technical Setbacks

Most platforms this game runs on have their fair share of problems. The Switch might be the best troubled to play the game on as it is a traditional turn-based RPG. Grinding on the go in an RPG is a natural fit for a handheld. It’s also the worst platform.

There are loads between battles, going in and out of areas/buildings, and even in cutscenes. These aren’t short either. There are also texture pop-ins and frame rate slowdowns when the camera pans out from time to time. The main letdown is the load times though at least on Switch.

6 Best: Turn-Based Combat With A Twist

Gamers could play Ruined King like most turn-based RPGs. They just wouldn’t be getting the most out of it. The most unique element in combat is the lanes. Placing an attack on one of the three lanes will determine order and power. Every playable character has a unique to.

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For example, Braum is a character who is great for beefing up party defenses while Yasuo is a nimble powerhouse. The lanes mimic the main MOBA series, League of Legends, nicely. The auto-battle and speed increases in combat could have been better implemented. They still deserve praise as not every RPG gets these features at all. At least Ruined King tried.

5 Worst: A Slow Start

Sarah Fortune seems like the lead character based on the opening of the game. However, the perspective then goes to Illaoi for a good chunk of time. The story zips around to a lot of characters and it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on at first. It can make players feel disconnected from the story.

The beginning of Ruined King is also a bit slow. It takes a while for the gameplay to open up properly. Once all of the menus do present themselves from upgrades to enchantments, Ruined King gets a lot more fun. It’s a good thing to warn players to pace themselves for the first three hours.

4 Best: The Music

The music captures the very essence this game is trying to convey: a swashbuckling pirate RPG. There are sea shanties and accordions galore. One of the coolest things about the music is that the battle themes change between encounters. This may not sound that revelatory as most RPGs have many battle themes.

There are normal battles, boss battles, desperate battles, and so on. Ruined King has all of that kind of music as well. On top of that, the normal battle themes change up regularly. Because the music switches so much, it doesn’t feel as repetitive even after the hundredth enemy encounter. This can help alleviate the tedium.

3 Worst: The Run Speed

After the first couple of hours, Ruined King opens up. There are quests to tackle, hidden chests to uncover, and even secret battles. There is also time for fishing mini-games which is somewhat standard for RPGs. Don’t skip these areas as there are plenty of treasures below besides fish.

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The downside to all of this exploration is the movement speed. There is a way for characters to run, but this boost could be better. It feels like characters are going from a walk to a slight jog. It’s not ideal for any game let alone an RPG of this nature.

2 Best: The Story

Aside from the art, the selling point of Ruined King might be the story. It’s well-told and well-acted. Almost every piece of major dialogue is voiced which is a plus for a smaller indie adjacent RPG like this. The main story begins with Sarah Fortune taking over Bilgewater as the pirate queen as it were.

Eventually, her manor is attacked by a black mist that calls forth other heroes from the League of Legends series to track Sarah down. The main story is intriguing even for gamers who never even batted an eye at League of Legends. The side moments with characters are also great like when the team stops and rests for food.

1 Worst: The Dialogue Choices

Ruined King tried its hand at dialogue choices and they don’t amount to much. No choice made in the game will have a bearing on anything major happening later in the game. Because of this, they feel a little tagged on.

The reason why it comes across this way in Ruined King is that most branching dialogue sections aren’t voiced. Whether they were added at the last minute or not is not important. They’re not dynamic either way. Most are tied to quests which also aren’t that interesting. The story’s writing seems to have taken priority over quests which is a double-edged sword.

Ruined King: A League of Legends Story was released on November 16, 2021, and is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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About The Author
Tristan Jurkovich (605 Articles Published)

Tristan Jurkovich began his career as a journalist in 2011. His childhood love of video games and writing fuel his passion for archiving this great medium’s history. He dabbles in every genre, but he’s particularly fond of RPGs and portable consoles. Aside from writing, Tristan also produces a plethora of videos on his YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer. Check it out!

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