Ruined King PC Review – Avoiding Ruination

Developer Airship Syndicate and publisher Riot Forge have joined forces to create turn-based, story-driven RPG Ruined King: A League of Legends Story that invites players to rise against Ruin. It is up to players to explore Bilgewater and Shadow Isles and to challenge the Black Mist and its master in this single-player take on Ruination.

Checking out the League of Legends story without having to play League of Legends? Count me in!

As comes from its name, the events of Ruined King: A League of Legends Story are set in the universe of Riot’s hit MOBA League of Legends, featuring familiar characters and locations. To be more precise, the story revolves around Viego, the Ruined King in question, and his late wife. In a desperate attempt to revive his love, young Viego brought Isolde to the Blessed Isles to use the Waters of Life.

However, his actions instead brought forth the Ruination – a blast of dark power that devastated the islands, from that point on called the Shadow Isles, twisted the inhabitants into monstrosities and unleashed the Black Mist.

At some point, the Mist begins to spread across the lands of Runeterra, and a group of six powerful heroes are tasked with confronting it.

In the game, you get to meet and control some of the beloved LoL characters, including Miss Fortune, Braum, Ahri, Yasuo, Illaoi and Pyke. Through the events of the game, you will learn more about them, including what brings them to Bilgewater and inspires them to take on the Ruination.

A bit about our heroes:

  • Sarah Fortune is the leader of the city of Bilgewater, a pirate captain and a rival of tyrant Gangplank (murderer of Fortune’s mother Abigail).
  • Pyke is a renowned harpooner that met his end in the belly of a gigantic fish… and returned.
  • Illaoi is the prophet of the Great Kraken and the Truth Bearer of Nagakabouros. She’s not at all what you’d expect from a priestess.
  • Yasuo is a swordmaster from Ionia that arrived in Bilgewater with his companion and ward.
  • Ahri is a mysterious fox-like vastaya guarded by Yasuo.
  • Braum is a famous Freljordian warrior that arrived in Bilgewater to find a cure for a disease ravaging his homeland

You will start the game by controlling Miss Fortune in the city of Bilgewater and gradually discover more locations and heroes, simultaneously learning more about their history and motivations. For example, the very beginning of the game sheds light on Fortune’s tragic past, what happened to her and her mother as well as what she did for her city to be as respected as she is.

Leveling up your characters in Ruined King is a simple, uncomplicated matter. Each character receives a certain amount of experience for finishing a battle, whether they were present in your current party of three or not. Those slacking away on the bench receive a tiny bit less experience than those duking it out, however.

When the level of your hero is raised, you get an opportunity to improve a particular skill by choosing a development branch. For example, adding more damage to an attack or providing you with some extra healing for your party.

You can further strengthen your heroes by utilizing items: weapon, chest armor, amulet, ring and trinket. The equipment increases the characteristics of characters and can be further enhanced to provide an even bigger bonus.

Creating a tank out of a damage-oriented character is not possible. The only real way to proceed through the game is to bring along the holy trinity – a tank, a damage dealer and a healer at the same time.

Ruined King follows a classic single-player RPG structure, similar to early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, with our champions fighting against powerful enemies in turn-based battles. The game’s core gameplay revolves around battling groups of enemies that spawn as you explore locations.

The development team added the initiative scale to keep things fresh – you can find the bar at the bottom of the screen to see the order in which characters are supposed to take their turns. There are three ways to use abilities, depending on which Lane you choose: quick, standard or the one providing extra damage at the cost of extra wait.

The devs also introduced a couple of interesting combat mechanics such as enemies’ immunities to certain types of damage and buffs/debuffs applied during combat.Keeping an eye on enemy stats and acting accordingly is strongly advised if you don’t want to find your party completely randomly obliterated.

Ruined King also features the Wildcard mechanic. At the start of combat, the game chooses a random bonus or curse that appears as an area of effect on the initiative bar. Everyone falls under its effect, provided your character is in the affected area of the bar. So if you want to avoid getting an enhanced attack against your party, you might want to push your opponents out of the zone. Simultaneously, it is best to use the appropriate Lane to ensure your characters receive the bonus or avoid the debuff provided by the Wildcard.

The game also allows the party to charge up ultimate abilities – the bar is contributed to by the entire party and gets emptied by a single Ultimate use. These abilities are a lot like their LoL counterparts: strong, beautiful, featuring epic animations. There are a few variations depending on how you choose to level up your hero.

The battles will eat up most of your time in Ruined King, with the game rarely providing players with an opportunity for other types of entertainment, be it exploring locations, searching for notes, talking to NPCs, fishing or more.

If you try to clear out as many mobs as you can to press on with the story, returning to the locations might feel underwhelming as they would appear almost dead. The locations feature a number of NPCs that you can chat with. Some may provide you with side quests, mostly of the usual variety that includes finding or killing someone.

While traveling through the in-game locations, you can find places to rest that allow characters to restore their health and exchange words. Additionally, there are places for fishing – to partake, you have to own a fishing rod and bait that can be acquired from merchants.

In addition to the actual fish, you can also fish out some artifacts. You can sell them to the vendors on the black market to acquire black marks. They can be used later to purchase weapons, armor, etc.

The visual part of the game is quite delightful. The aesthetics perfectly convey the atmosphere of Bilgewater and the mysterious Shadow Isles. The background art gives the feeling of the scale of what is happening around our heroes as opposed to running through the same old corridor.

Note: the game is a verified purchase by the author.

Similar to: Battle Chasers

Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is the best way to explore the story of Viego and the Shadow Isles.
  • Location design
  • Atmospheric soundtrack
  • Lore & Story
  • Great graphics and animations
  • Interesting characters & their interactions
  • A great amount of fights of the same type
  • Linear, corridor-like locations
  • Might require knowledge of lore to understand exactly what is going on

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