Riot Games was once considered a one-hit wonder. The reason is, after launching League of Legends in October 2009, they haven’t launched a new game for years. They just launched a new game – Teamfight Tactics – in 2019. Indeed, making games played for more than 10 years is an achievement in itself. However, Riot didn’t seem satisfied with that anymore. They also want to explore the world of League of Legends more deeply. Because of this, they are planning to launch several new games. One of them is Ruined King: A League of Legends Story.
Who is the Ruined King?
The name Ruined King is certainly familiar to League of Legends players. Since the MOBA game was launched, there is an item called Blade of Ruined King. This legendary item can not only provide extra attack damage and attack speed, but also comes with a lifesteal status. It’s just that, until last week, Riot had never featured the Ruined King character in League of Legends.
The new Ruined King character was introduced by Riot Games on January 8, 2021 through a short video titled Ruination. In the video, you will see how the Ruined King – whose real name is Viego – fights Lucian and Senna. Viego’s goal is simple: to revive his queen and restore his kingdom.
In the video above, you can also see how League of Legends champions – such as Darius, Poppy, Samira, and Vayne – are trying to fight against Viego’s forces. The video ends on a cliffhanger: Viego gets even stronger and Lucian’s statement that he and Senna won’t be able to stop the Ruined King alone. It’s no wonder the Ruination video has a hanging ending. To Polygon, Ryan Mireles, Lead Producer of League of Legends, admitted that Riot will reveal the Viego story in several League of Legends stories and games.
Riot has even prepared three new champions as part of the Viego story. Unfortunately, so far, there is not much information regarding the three champions. One thing is certain, these three new champions have different roles: top lane Brawler, artillery mage, and marksman. Meanwhile, Viego will play the role of Jungler.
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story
It cannot be denied, League of Legends is a popular game. Even so, the MOBA genre is less conducive to telling stories. The reason is, the players will be busy fighting enemies and destroying towers. However, this does not erase the curiosity of League of Legends players about lore in the game. Riot realized this. Because of that, they wanted to make another League of Legends game with a different genre. One such game is Ruined King, which carries the RPG genre.
As with most RPG games, one of your focuses in Ruined King is exploration. The city chosen to be the location setting for the Ruined King is Bilgewater, a port city that is full of criminals due to the absence of a legal government. Meanwhile, of the 153 champions in League of Legends, there are 6 characters that can be played in Ruined King, namely Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Pyke, Ahri, and Yasuo. Apart from Bilgewater, another area that became the focus of Ruined King is the Shadow Isles, which were formerly known as the Blessed Isles.
Riot Games released the gameplay trailer for Ruined King in December 2020. The video focuses on showing the workings of the turn-based combat that will be used in Ruined King, without providing much information about the story of the RPG game. Players can explore with one character. However, in combat, there will be three characters that players can use. Each character will have unique skills that players can use to attack enemies or protect other characters.
Ruined King was developed in 2019. Initially, Riot planned to release this game in early 2021. Unfortunately, due to the corona virus pandemic, they were forced to postpone the launch of Ruined King. The good news is that the game will still be released in 2021. Ruined King will be available for various platforms, from PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X and S, Nintendo Switch, to PC.
Riot Games collaboration with Airship Syndicate
For years of focus on League of Legends, Riot Games realized that they had no experience creating single-player RPG games. Indeed, they could form a new team to develop the Ruined King. However, it will take a long time. As a result, Riot chose to partner with Airship Syndicate to create Ruined King. Later, the game will be released under the Riot Forge label.
League of Legends is indeed Riot Games’ intellectual property (IP). Even so, they gave Airship Syndicate freedom over how the developer will present and develop the lore and the world of League of Legends in Ruined King. That way, Riot hopes, Airship will be able to present a deep story as well as a complex narrative in Ruined King. The question is: will the Airship be able to meet those expectations? To answer that question, let’s take a look at Airship Syndicate’s track record.
The first game Airship Syndicate created was Battle Chasers: Nightwar, an RPG game with a turn-based combat system. Polygon said, Nightwar will remind its players of old school JRPG games that use a turn-based combat system. However, Airship has also added a number of new features – such as Overcharge and Burst. It’s just that, in terms of story, Nightwar doesn’t offer anything special. As with most heroic stories, the main goal of the players in Nightwar is to save the world.
Just like Ruined King, Nightwar is a game based on another IP, the comic Battle Chasers. Fortunately, Airship can package Nightwar in such a way that players can still understand the storyline in the game even though they have never read the Battle Chasers comic. Hopefully, this means that Airship will be able to present an interesting story in Ruined King, whether for loyal League of Legends players or people who have only heard of the MOBA game.
Another game by Airship Syndicate is Darksiders Genesis, which is the spinoff of the Darksiders series. Gameplay is the main advantage of Genesis. The game has two characters you can play: War and Strife. Depending on the character you choose, Genesis will provide a different playing experience. If you’re using War, Genesis will feel like a beat ’em-up game. Meanwhile, if you play Strife, you will get the experience of playing top-down shooter games.
In terms of graphics, Genesis has pretty good detail even though it looks simple. As for the story, Genesis still carries the same theme as the previous Darksdiers games, namely the battle between Heaven and Hell, with The Council as the mediator. Even though the story from Genesis doesn’t leave a very strong impression like Mass Effect or The Witcher – at least according to the Chief Editor Hybrid – Genesis still offers a plot twist of its own.
From the two games that Airship Syndicate has made, it is clear that Riot did not just choose the developer to create Ruined King. By creating Nightwar, Airship proved itself that they were capable of developing an RPG game with an interesting turn-based combat. Meanwhile, they also have experience in adding puzzle and platformer elements as they did in Genesis.