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‘Ruined King: A League of Legends Story’ Game Review

Riot Games released “Ruined King: A League of Legends Story” without so much as a warning. While it hasn’t been a month since its release, the game already seems promising when you first try it. Of course, going on first impressions alone isn’t enough to warrant a good review. So, is Ruined King worth getting? Let’s find out.

 

What Is Ruined King?

Ruined King
Photo from Steam

 

Developed by Airship Syndicate and published by Riot Forge, Ruined King came as a surprise to League of Legends (LoL) fans everywhere. Why is that, you may ask? Well, Riot Games did announce that Ruined King would be released sometime in early 2021. However, things became unclear as the Ruined King release date was indefinitely delayed after that.

With that said, it’s understandable why the November 16, 2021 release of the Ruined King came as a shock. That’s especially true when Riot never announced another release date after plans were set back. Nonetheless, it finally launched along with Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story during a special event.

With that out of the way, let’s talk a bit about what Ruined King: A League Of Legends is all about. To put it simply, it’s a single-player turn-based role-playing game set in LoL’s expansive world. In this game, you’re fighting against the Black Mist that’s bent on destruction.

However, what’s different this time is that it’s not only after Bilgewater Bay but also the entirety of Runeterra. The only way to save the world now is through the teamwork of an unlikely group of allies. Will the heroes be able to band together to rescue Runeterra? That’s what the League of Legends Ruined King is all about.

 

Playable Consoles

Where can you play the new LoL Ruined King game? Thankfully, it’s available on both PC and various consoles. For console players, you can access it right now on the PS4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the game isn’t immediately available on the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S at the time of writing. However, they will come out on those platforms at a later date. If you can’t wait, you can also purchase the PS4/Xbox One versions right now. These come with a free upgrade for PS5 or Smart Delivery for the Xbox Series X/S.

Play it on PC via Steam today!

 

PC System Requirements

If you’re a PC player, you can download Ruined King on Steam, GOG, or the Epic Games Store. However, to play League Ruined King well, you’ll have to abide by certain system requirements. Refer to the following table for the specifics before you get a Steam download:

System Requirements Minimum Recommended
OS Windows 10, 64-bit Windows 10, 64-bit
Processor Intel Core i5-2300 / AMD A8-5600k Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD FX-8120
RAM 8GB 8GB
GPU Radeon Vega 8 / Intel Iris Plus / Geforce GTX 650 / Radeon HD 7770 (2GB VRAM) Geforce GTX 660Ti / Radeon HD 7950
DirectX Version 11 Version 11
Storage 15GB available storage 15GB available storage
Others 1080p@30fps, minimum settings 1440p@60fps, high settings

 

Price

Is Ruined King free? If not, how much is the Ruined King priced? Unfortunately, Ruined King isn’t free and it costs $29.99 regardless of the platform you play it in.

The only time you get a free version is if you already pay for a game on older console versions. For example, buying the PS4 game will automatically give you PS5 compatibility. The same is true for the Xbox One version porting over to the Xbox Series X/S.

 

Ruined King Game Review

 

Is Ruined King good enough to warrant a purchase? Although the game has only been out for over a week, it has already made waves in the gaming industry. With that said, let’s examine each aspect of Ruined King to see if it’s good enough for you to download.

 

Gameplay

Ruined King Combat
Photo from Steam

 

When it comes to Ruined King gameplay, much of the heart lies in the combat system. However, it’s not the only thing that you engage in throughout the game. That’s because, as immersive the turn-based RPG and combat are, exploring the overworld is equally important to the experience.

In Ruined King, you get to explore the two main settings: Bilgewater, a pirate-ridden city, and the Shadow Isles, which exude an air of mystery. Throughout the game, you can talk to the villagers, find lore documents, and solve various puzzles. Moreover, it’s just as fun to simply explore the beautifully crafted environments the developers lovingly created.

In typical RPG fashion, exploring the overworld plays an important role if you want a more immersive experience. That’s because the environment contains tons of secrets. Moreover, the cities feel so alive and vibrant that it can be hard to not get lost in exploration.

Unfortunately, Ruined King doesn’t nail every aspect of gameplay as some of its other content is lackluster. For example, side quests feel somewhat engaging sometimes. However, they can feel redundant to play after a while, especially on easier game modes. Moreover, the cooking and crafting mechanics aren’t all that useful most of the time.

 

Story and Setting

Story
Photo from Steam

 

The story and setting of Ruined King are pretty straightforward when you first read about them. According to the official description, you “unite a party of League of Legends Champions, explore Bilgewater, and set sail for the Shadow Isles to uncover the secrets of the deadly Black Mist.”

So far, it seems like a generic game that prompts you to be the hero and “save the world.” However, simply reading about the game’s initial premise isn’t enough to gauge whether it’s good or not. That’s because, even if Airship Syndicate has a knack for botching stories in otherwise unique games, LoL is a deep enough franchise to make the story compelling.

 

Cast & Characters

In Ruined King, you meet an ensemble cast of characters who find themselves related to the Black Mist somehow. Some of them were there accidentally while others approached the threat with intent. Regardless, each character comes from various parts of LoL’s world.

What’s great about Ruined King’s execution is that it beautifully fleshes out the main characters through optional cutscenes. Through these experiences, you get to truly learn about Runeterra and its history in a way that makes you care.

In addition, the cast members themselves are so lively and vibrant. Everything from the voiceovers to the personalities is spot on and well-executed. Even if the game didn’t have great turn-based mechanics, the characters are compelling enough to let you stay.

However, do note that it isn’t perfect in all regards when it comes to the characters. That’s because the game focuses on an ensemble so not every character in the game shines. Some play more prominent roles while others take more of a backseat for most of the narrative. Moreover, don’t expect to discover some sort of deep philosophy in the game like you would in Baldur’s Gate 3.

 

Combat

Gameplay
Photo from Steam

 

Airship Syndicate is known for making great gameplay mechanics and that’s also true for Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.  Through its unique combat system, you find yourself making moment-to-moment decisions despite the turn-based nature. It’s simple yet effective and provides you with everything you need to know before you make a move.

Ruined King features some of the same mechanics you’d see in normal turn-based RPGs. For example, it still puts your party of League Champions on one side with the enemy party on the other. However, Airship Syndicate does add a few twists to the combat system that makes it that much more fun.

Firstly, you’ll be able to do an instant ability or choose a lane ability as you battle. Lane Abilities are more powerful and provide three options: Power, Balance, or Speed. Each option will dictate your character’s position in the grid in different ways and are useful for different scenarios. Throughout the battle, you’ll be forced to carefully think yet also almost sink into a rhythm.

 

Controls

When playing console or Steam games of any kind, controls play a big factor in a game’s enjoyability. In Ruined King’s case, this part can be a little hit-or-miss. By far, the largest disappointment in this area is the battle timeline. Sure, the combat itself might be great but the battle timeline’s design does hamper the experience.

For one thing, both the timeline and the screen dedicated to the action take up a lot of space. Hence, it’s often hard to recognize which character is which, making things difficult for the player. Moreover, there aren’t any letter labels on the timeline icon to help you distinguish anything.

In addition, the map situation in Ruined King is not that great. That’s because there’s no on-screen minimap to help you navigate the land as you go. Thus, you’ll have to pull up the entire map just to know where you are. Moreover, there’s no depth to the map design at all. You can’t tell whether paths intersect or overlap so it’s difficult to know how to navigate certain areas.

Lastly, while Ruined King has a decent collectibles system, it’s not always functional. For example, you can find random documents throughout the overworld that add up to lore points. Once you get enough points, you can unlock an upgrade for one of your characters.

However, the problem is you never get a notification to signal when your points are already enough. Thus, you’ll have to go through menus yourself just to check for upgrades. Moreover, you can’t upgrade straightforwardly and have to open a chest in your inventory to do so. This adds an unnecessary step to the process and the game doesn’t even tell you how it works.

 

Graphics & Sound Design

Ruined King graphics
Photo from Steam

 

Ruined King: A League of Legends Story has some good and bad points in various areas. However, we can say that in terms of graphics, the developers did a great job. Both the character and environment design are top-notch. They’re memorable, striking, and have incredible uniqueness and personality to them.

In addition, this great design isn’t limited to your ensemble cast of characters. It bleeds into NPCs and other familiar LoL characters that you encounter in the game. Of course, the animation and design whenever you’re in combat also look stunning. Whether you’re shooting, slamming, or casting spells through battles, everything looks and feels polished with tons of character to them. Artist Joe Madureira & his co-creators certainly should get a pat on the back for all their amazing work.

As for Ruined King’s sound design, there’s not much to complain about. It’s not a prominent part of the game. However, we will say that the music for boss fights, in particular, was great. It’s immersive enough to provide a good experience for the world and battles in this LoL game.

 

Game Modes & Replayability

Now, is this League of Legends game good enough to replay? What are its game modes like? Unfortunately, Ruined King is a decidedly single-player game. So, don’t expect a Ruined King multiplayer version or even a mod anytime soon. It’s better not to expect it at all despite the franchise’s MOBA origins.

On the other hand, in terms of replayability, Ruined King doesn’t seem to offer too much. You can’t play any runs that don’t feature the story. Moreover, you can’t restart the game with all the perks you’ve previously gained.

 

How Ruined King Is Connected to LoL Lore

Yasuo
Photo from Steam

 

Not all franchises work in the same way. Some developers create spin-offs that don’t stay true to the core franchise’s story. Others lean into the canonicity of spin-off and non-main games, giving their stories more depth overall. In Ruined King, Riot Games decided to take the latter route and declared the story canon.

How is it related to LoL overall? The game is set after whatever happened during Burning Tides. Moreover, it features a reappearance of the Black Mist and the stories of other beloved LoL characters. Everything you find in the core narrative should align with LoL lore so far.

Of course, we won’t spoil things for you if you want to play the game. However, if your only question is who the Ruined King in LoL is, we’d be happy to tell you it’s Viego. Other than that, mum’s the word until you can play the game yourself.

 

Ruined King vs. Similar Games

 

How does Ruined King compare to similar games? There are tons of story-driven turn-based RPGs on the market. There might be too many to mention. Nonetheless, we can compare Ruined King to a few similar games and see how they differ. Moreover, if you’ve already played Ruined King and want something similar, then use this list as a reference.

 

Chrono Trigger

 

Despite being released in 1995, Square Enix’s classic RPG title still holds strong even today. It’s iconic and timeless — literally, because you can journey through time, whether past or future.

Moreover, Chrono Trigger is a great single-player game if you love retro art styles with pixel graphics. It’s also more vastly replayable compared to Ruined King.

However, unlike Ruined King, it incorporates real-time elements into its turn-based system so time is of the essence. You can easily check this game out for yourself because it’s available on multiple platforms including PC and mobile.

 

Divinity: Original Sin 2

 

On the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the best turn-based RPGs out there. The game might have been problematic and buggy when it was first released. Nonetheless, a couple of patches and a definitive edition later, it became one of the best RPGs you can play.

If you like turn-based strategy, party-based combat, exploration, or fantasy — everything that made Ruined King great — this game ios certainly worth trying.

 

Final Fantasy 9

 

One of the longest-running franchises in gaming today is undoubtedly the Final Fantasy series. However, that doesn’t mean only recent Final Fantasy games deserve a shout-out on this list. That’s because some of the older classics made waves in the industry and continue to remain strong.

One of which is Final Fantasy 9, a turn-based RPG with random encounters and an overworld released in 2000. However, don’t let that date deceive you as it delivers some of the best single-player fantasy RPG experiences out there. Through it, you can dive into the beautiful world of Final Fantasy.

Get to know some of its most iconic characters and locations as you play through this beautiful 3D world. Of course, don’t expect the graphics to be on par with Ruined King because of the gap in release date. Nonetheless, it’s still one of the best experiences with decently high-definition movies, characters, and stories.

 

Ruined King: A Must for LoL Fans

Whether you’re searching for Ruined King in Metacritic or other review sites, the feedback for the game has been positive. That’s understandable considering how unique and wonderful the combat system is.

Moreover, when paired with an immersive world, wonderful graphics, and memorable characters, it’s hard to give a bad review. While it does have a few quirks here and there, it’s certainly worth playing especially for LoL fans. Moreover, it’s also a great introduction to the franchise for new players just jumping in.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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