| Tags: General, League of Legends, Reviews
| Author Bence Loksa
The Mageseeker Review: Weave Your Chains in the Newest League of Legends Story
Digital Sun outdid themselves with the story of Sylas, and while the game is fairly short, the gameplay makes up for it tenfold.
On April 18th, Riot Forge released it’s newest title called The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story. The latest entry of the games looked to build on the success of The Ruined King game in terms of the name and universe they represent, but in a completely different genre – and Riot Forge delivered yet again, thanks to the expertise of Digital Sun, as the story of Sylas’ rebellion is an incredibly fun game.
The Story of The Mageseeker
Without spoiling too much, the story of The Mageseeker starts at the beginning of the mage’s rebellion in Demacia. We get a little bit of backstory, then jump 15 years ahead in time when Sylas steals Lux’s power in order to escape his execution and jumpstart his fight against oppression. While the story doesn’t reveal much at first, League of Legends players and lore enjoyers will be in the loop, and for people who are encountering the world of Runeterra for the first time with The Mageseeker, the game explains everything throughout the main questline in the form of flashbacks – so the relatively short and unrevealing prologue shouldn’t scare anyone.
In the first mission, the game explains the core mechanics, such as attacking, dodging, pulling ourselves to terrain elements and to enemies, and dabbles into the magic system a bit. Sadly, you can’t enjoy the chaos and basically unlimited power (because of the weak, tutorial enemies), and you meet none other than Garen Crownguard, who beats you easily in true, Dark Souls “tutorial boss but extremely strong” fashion. Of course, Sylas doesn’t meet his end in the Capital, and with a little help, he finds some rebels in the woods of Demacia, and together, they can start to overthrow an oppressive Kingdom.
The strongest part of The Mageseeker is it’s gameplay
As I said, I don’t want to spoil too much of the story, so let’s talk about the most important part of a game like The Mageseeker: the gameplay. While for inexperienced players, the controls can be a bit much at first on both controller and on keyboard, you can get the hang of the game pretty easily.
There’s a Light Attack and a Heavy Attack, which both chain with themselves as well as with each other, meaning you can optimize your damage with your simplest tools. There’s a big focus on the chains of Sylas, which can be used to either pull ourselves to enemies, unlocking new combos, or pulling ourselves to “chain links” sticking out of the ground, which means we can reach areas that are otherwise unreachable, and can get around faster (or dodge attacks from Bosses later in the game).
The chains are of course the tool which Sylas uses to Hijack spells from enemies, turning the magic of his foes against them. There are 6 types of magic in The Mageseeker: fire, ice, nature, wind, mystic and lightning. While user’s of each type are resistant to it, ice is weak to fire, nature is weak to wind, and mystic is weak to lightning (and vice versa), which means that if you use the right spells, you can defeat your opponents much easier than with just regular attacks.
There are two ways you can use spells: either you Hijack them, which means it’s only a one time cast, but it’s free; or you can cast spells that you’ve chosen at Shrines (Bonfires, basically) for mana. Mana is a limited resource, but you can regenerate it by attacking enemies with Physical Attacks. You can unlock the spells that you’ve Hijacked before at your Hideout, but you meet all the enemies holding the spells fairly early, so it’s not before long you’ll have access to all of the game’s arsenal.
There’s also another way to customize your fighting style: Outlaws. Outlaws are members of the Mage Rebellion who help Sylas on his missions indirectly. By taking an Outlaw with you on a mission, Sylas gains a different combo or combo finisher, which has magical properties, so you can deal extra damage without needing to spend mana – and there are some other tools you can unlock by progressing the main story.
Overall, the combat system of The Mageseeker is incredibly fluid and satisfying, with the different tools combining really well against enemies. With the i-frame dodge system, you can basically avoid any damage as long as you’re dodging well. However, you can’t brainlessly button mash through the game (believe me, I tried), as you will be severely punished for it, but if you focus on your dodging and pulling yourself around with your chains, you’ll have a great time with the game.
On the border of the gameplay and the world, there are the missions. Players can find 3 types of missions in The Mageseeker: main quests, which progress the story and gives new spells and awesome power ups; secondary missions, which gives insight to the history and the current events of the Demacian Kingdom – and loot; and Guerrilla actions, where instead of you, your Outlaws do quests, for which they can get new recruits and resources for the cause. The secondary missions are the most interesting, as they have some rogue-like elements: you can get a new, unstable spell with every room you complete, which gives special effects or a stat boost to Sylas, but can only be used until the end of the mission, as they are too dangerous. While these missions are not mandatory, the loot they give certainly helps players, the lore is interesting, and the rogue-likeness keeps the game fresh.
The World of The Mageseeker
Digital Sun decided that they’d give a retro look to the journey of Sylas, and while I’m usually not a fan of these kind of graphics, it really suits The Mageseeker. The 2.5D view is fairly hard to execute in my opinion, but the game played it safe by looking similar to games such as the Binding of Isaac, but with it’s own spin on it, so it feels rather unique. The effects are great, the animations are as fluid as the combat, and the arts during conversations look fantastic as well – although I do miss the voice acting from the cutscenes and such.
Going a bit deeper into the practical uses of the World, the maps are the first thing that are a bit lacking. While they are gorgeous, the layouts are a very samey: there is usually a path which you are meant to follow, and one or two that you can explore for some chests or a collectible Silverwing. But the paths are not really hidden, and sometimes are dead ends, so you have to backtrack until you reach the main route, and the map of a level is available from the start of the mission, so there’s little to no exploration either. This isn’t a huge problem, but Digital Sun could’ve been a bit more creative in this regard, so the layouts match the gameplay.
But as I said, the world of The Mageseeker is gorgeous, with many different biomes in the Woods, frightening Dungeons and the beautiful (although, a bit ravaged) Capital of Demacia, so players have a scenery to slay Mageseekers in.
The Mageseeker is an Excellent Game
Overall, Digital Sun and Riot Forge has really hit the mark with The Mageseeker. While the game is not a rogue-like per se, it’s up there with the greats such as Hades and Curse of the Dead Gods in terms of gameplay and story elements. The combat is engaging, the new characters are interesting (although sometimes a bit stereotypical), and the story expands upon the lore of League of Legends well. Players who like fast paced action games or souls-likes will enjoy the adventures of Sylas immensely, but with the three difficulties, newbies of these kind of games can have a great time as well. The only issue I have with the game is it’s length, as The Mageseeker can be completed pretty quickly – I could have fought oppression for more than a few hours. Nevertheless, I think this entry of Riot Forge is almost perfect, and I graded it accordingly:
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story gets a 9/10 from me and from ESTNN. It’s well worth the 30 bucks that they are asking for it on Steam, so if you have the funds and want an epic adventure in Runeterra, don’t hesitate to pick it up! Also, don’t forget to follow ESTNN for the latest gaming guides and reviews!