The Mageseeker is the second big and important game after Ruined King that pushes the League of Legends universe to the masses of those who did not play the original MOBA much and do not aspire again. Fans already know everything, but it’s also nice for fans to be in a familiar world and play the role of the rebellious mage Silas – one of the most famous champions of the setting. Both The Mageseeker and Ruined King are action/RPG games that place a lot of emphasis not only on combat but also on storytelling.
What have you done magic?
In general, this is surprising – the legendary esports MOBA, in which there is no intelligible and familiar narrative for us, gave rise to one of the most elaborate and interesting gaming fantasy universes. Books and comics have been written around the world of Runeterra, and the incredibly cool Arcane series has been filmed.
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The Mageseeker has obvious overlaps with Arcane. Both here and there, the focus is on very famous characters, in whose lives (as, indeed, in the life of all Runeterra), magic played a not very good role.
Jinx from Zaun, with the help of stolen magic crystals, accidentally killed her friends and rolled down the slope towards her eccentric and literally explosive madness. And Silas of Demacia was kept in prison for a long time by mage hunters (despite the fact that he himself was once one of them), until the prisoner finally broke free and rushed with the same insane zeal along the road of revenge.
It is clear that in terms of staging and developing the story and characters, the action / RPG The Mageseeker cannot be compared with a filigree series (although there are terry clichés there, like touching memories of motivational speeches). But still, a decent amount of time is devoted to the history, lore and characters in The Mageseeker.
The developers came to the aid of the Runeterra universe itself and the personal stories of the characters, in which there are many interesting nuances. Yes, the central nerve is obvious – Silas wants revenge, and this all-destructive revenge gradually comes into conflict with the desire of other magicians to create something after all. And he himself does not really understand what and how to do after defeating the enemies.
About the role of personality in The Mageseeker
But besides this, there are also personal conflicts. Silas is stalked and wants to kill a childhood friend with whom they once were mage hunters. He doesn’t have much luck with girls. Another ex-girlfriend, Crown Guard Lux, still cannot forgive Silas for using her to break out of prison.
Some enemies use these and other unpleasant events and memories of the hero and actually force him to fight his own demons in his head. We also meet other interesting characters, including a former mage hunter, a young blacksmith who wants to save his brother, and a funny 300-year-old yordle warrior who trains mage recruits with poisonous wasps and bugs – otherwise it would be “not enough legendary.”
In the shelter, in between missions, you can have a heart-to-heart talk with everyone, learn about their lives, about the past, ask for advice – new topics appear regularly. It is this communication that brightens up our leisure time until we set off to clear out the next base of hunters or look for and save an important character. The meetings are really bright – once, for example, Silas talked and fought with the local goddess, the legendary Lady in the veil.
And there is also a character in the shelter who regularly provides us with jokes and anecdotes. Do you know what happened when the thieves stole the calendar? Each received six months.
Stolen Magic in The Mageseeker
In general, The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story is not just another pixel action / RPG, but a thing with pretensions. But still, we fight much more often than sharpen flies.
It would seem that everything is clear – Silas beats enemies with chains or throws fireballs and other magic at them. But even here the Digital Sun studio, which created the non-trivial Moonlighter bagel that I praised, managed to stand out.
The fugitive magician does not have his own spells, but has chains made of petricite – a material that does not dispel, as everyone thought, but absorbs and accumulates magic. With their help, Silas can steal spells from his enemies right in battle and use them against them or against those who are especially vulnerable to one or another magic – for example, copy a fireball from a fire magician and throw it at an ice one. Some opponents cannot be defeated at all without such a counterspell.
That is how, stealing from enemies, we learn new types of magic. But in order for the spell to become permanent, and not temporary help, you need to give a certain amount of resources to the leader of magical resistance in the shelter.
From other specialists for the same resources (they drop out of defeated opponents and are found in chests of varying degrees of rarity) we open new slots for spells, increase the health, defense, magical or physical strength of Silas, pump the effectiveness of treatment with potions. And you also need to upgrade the local rage mode, in which the fugitive mage is able to use the most “absolute” spells – they are very rare, and to open new ones you need to defeat the bosses and bring the special runes taken from them to the shelter.
But you need to increase the effectiveness of spells of a particular element with the help of rebel partners. They join Silas as the story progresses and belong to different elemental schools. And we are free to take two rebels with us on the main or side mission – this enhances the magic of the profile school and allows you to use combo attacks.
In addition, during the tasks we save other sorcerers who automatically join the team of our rebels. The more recruits in each magic school, the more powerful its spells. Also, as the number of people increases, the shelter itself improves and expands, new opportunities open up.
That is, ideally, you need to decide which magical school to bet on, and regularly take the appropriate allies with you in order to pump this particular element. You can also send them on expeditions that will bring new recruits or replenish the general supply of resources.
Sometimes easier is better!
We’ve seen a lot of this in one form or another in other games – it’s just named and framed differently here. There were even mechanics that allowed you to adopt the skills of enemies. But still, the gameplay concept in The Mageseeker is non-trivial and interesting.
There are a few things that keep you from enjoying it to the fullest. The fights are dynamic, unbanal and very difficult, but sometimes oversaturated with mechanics. You need to keep a lot of things in mind – not only to copy and use spells against the right enemies, but also to dodge, teleport away from attacks, destroy statues that heal enemies or shoot at us. The controls aren’t the most intuitive, and it’s often easier to simply pull your chains towards enemies and call them out.
There are, of course, situations (especially in boss battles) when we have to use all the possibilities. But, as a rule, we do it not because we want it that way and it’s more pleasant, effective and efficient, but because we are put in such conditions. It’s more pleasant and more efficient just dashing around, pulling and scoring.
Comes to the point of absurdity. Having quickly dealt with almost all opponents in close combat, you are left face to face with some kind of ball, which becomes either fiery or icy. He does not attack us, and we cannot damage him with chains – you just need to copy his fireball, wait until the ball turns blue and cold, and throw fire at him (or, conversely, use ice). Very exciting, right?
As for the bosses, the sensations are also contradictory. There are unusual and difficult opponents with their own tactics. Others look simpler, and others are generally repeated several times – yes, they change their behavior in some way, but the fact remains.
There are many repetitions in the design of locations. More than once or twice, we will clean up approximately the same bases of mage hunters according to the same principle and hold back waves of enemies in the arena during side missions. Yes, there are more interesting missions, but I would like even more.
Yes, not everything worked out for the authors of The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story – the desire to stand out and come up with a non-trivial combat system even prevented them in some way. Still, there are a lot of positive impressions – in general, the project meets the high bar for products about the Runeterra universe. The game may well be interesting for both League fans and beginners.
Pros: the plot is interesting to follow; bright characters; difficult battles built on the theft of spells; many opportunities to pump and open something; The game looks and sounds great.
Cons: battles look oversaturated in places; recurring bosses, missions and locations.