Friday , May 17 2024

Videogame Review – ‘The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story’

Sylas

When I rest at night planning the end of the Mageseekers I think of my time in chains, used and punished for just being special. When I am filled with anger at my captors I remember that for a time I proudly aided those people in finding others like me and I feel shame.

That shame is something I will bear for all time, but it is also a fuel I add to my anger and hate at those who would chain and use us. We have magic, I have magic, we are the ones that are special, and that is why they fear and use us.

In my youth I was told and taught that mages were evil and had to be controlled; now I know that was their fear, their avarice. We are everywhere, from the lowly farmers to the loftiest perches of the nobility; we are legion and they should be afraid.

I had to use Lux, like they used me – that is another branch in the fuel that is my shame – but I hope she will one day understand. She is a mage like me, like us, and she deserves to be free and show her true self.

I will use this shame as a bulwark against further actions I must do, I will use my anger to fuel my rage and determination. I will use all of this and any mages who are willing to stand with me and tear down the Mageseekers with my bare hands and all the magic I can steal.

This will be a new Demacia, one where mages will be a force of power and structure. It all starts now, it starts with me burning it all down.

The World of The Mageseeker

When I saw The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story by developer Digital Sun Games for the first time at PAX East I knew there was something special about the game. The developers on hand were so passionate about the world, characters, story and action, and it comes through in every frame of the full game, delivering an excellent experience.

The game follows the story of Sylas, born with the ability to detect mages and brainwashed into joining the Mageseekers, a despotic group determined to enslave or destroy all who wield magic. As a young boy Sylas realized what he was doing and tried to save a young girl and ended up killing her and her parents. He was then jailed and tormented for 15 years until he escapes in dramatic fashion.

Determined to exact his revenge, Sylas teams up with rebel mages hiding nearby, and systematically tracks down his tormentors while rescuing mages and, in a way, himself. This is actually one of the truly special parts of The Mageseeker: a League of Legends Story: the characters have growth and dimension that belies the Hi-Bit pixel art style.

This setup delivers a great story and series of sequences that show Sylas and his partners finding each other, growing a rebellion and rescuing as many mages as possible. There is a deep main storyline, but also numerous optional side missions that allow extra resources or recruits to be found and added to the base.

While these missions are labelled secondary, they are certainly worth doing, as every extra mage rescued adds resources and skills to the champion mages that help Sylas on missions. These champions are magic-type focused (think fire, lightning, mystic) and two of them can be added to assist Sylas on each mission to add benefits and skills to his arsenal.

These champions can also be sent on side missions alone to add extra recruits or resources, further enhancing the base. More recruits mean that upgrades from various key mages get added and sections of the base get unlocked, enhancing the environment and exposing chests full of resources.

These features add depth to the world of The Mageseeker that I was not expecting, and made me want to explore every area and dungeon I could find. Thankfully the combat is frankly amazing and grows for the entire length of the game, making it get more and more interesting as the story progresses.

The Gameplay

Sylas is special in the fact that he can steal magic temporarily as well as craft spells with help from friends at his base once he has stolen the magic. This makes some incredibly entertaining game loops: steal spell, cast it, use own spells, attack with chains, steal different spell, use chain grab, cast stolen spell, rinse then repeat, making for fun and varied combat sequences.

The extra abilities learned from companion mages are also indispensable as they do not use mana and are generally fun button combos, adding some technique to the dash-and-cast gameplay. All put together, Sylas is a whirlwind of magic and attack combos that need to be switched up often, as some enemies are strong or weak against certain spells depending on their affinity.

The snappy and fun gameplay, coupled with the vibrant world, varied characters and missions, make The Mageseeker: a League of Legends Story a truly great experience. My only minor complaints are the lack of voice acting in the game (aside from some narrated cutscenes, minor yelps and sound effects) and that sometimes there are lengthy unskippable story beats you need to replay if you die fighting a boss.

If the game had been voiced, I feel an extra depth and dimension would have been added to the already great story. It’s understandable why the small team at Digital Sun didn’t add it, but it is missed. Regardless, the story comes across great and is a surprisingly complex weave of oppression, caste systems, court intrigue and discovering what is truly important when vengeance is sought.

Mageseeker: The Final Word

The Mageseeker: a League of Legends Story is a fantastic experience. I had a blast playing it. It’s in contention for one of the best titles of the year and well worth exploring. It’s out right now for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One as well as PC via Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store.

This game was reviewed using a PS5 code provided by the Publisher.

About Michael Prince

A longtime video game fan starting from simple games on the Atari 2600 to newer titles on a bleeding edge PC I play everything I can get my hands on.

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