As the next installment in League of Legends’ spin-off games, Mageseeker is a solid entry that is action-packed and filled with Runeterra lore. If you’re looking for a fun indie game where the “spun-off” part doesn’t matter, though, Mageseeker might fall a little flat. While overall it’s a solid game, Mageseeker is its most fun in the ways it integrates the characters, history, and magic of League of Legends itself.
Best in the company of champions
Mageseeker’s plot is a tale as old as time; a good man is pushed to violence because of injustice and oppression. He wants bloodthirsty revenge, but circumstances force him to get help from rebels. Over time, this angry but good man grows a heart and becomes a leader.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Mageseeker’s story. Many of its story beats are well-rounded and focus well on injustice and community. The problem is just that, at the end of the day, nothing about Sylas’ journey is particularly unique or inspired.
What doesn’t help Mageseeker’s story is that the rebels you work with are quite boring. While there are highlights like Gideon and his husband, Benjiro, as well as the feisty Yordle Yops, they are all basically a handful of tropes. Hope-driven, bland leader, surprisingly powerful teen, sarcastic elder, you get the picture. It’s the League of Legends lore elements, like Yordles, Silverwings, and the setting itself that elevate some of these tropes into being something interesting. But to the story’s credit, there is one element that saves it: the League of Legends champions.
Mageseeker’s story is at its best when you start encountering familiar faces such as Lux, Morgana, Jarvan, etc. Not only are they much more well-rounded, interesting characters, but the action and stakes pick up around them, too. It’s in your conversations and fights with them that the game starts to shine. Shyvana and Jarvan are a delightful pair. Garen and Lux’s sibling relationship is heartwarming. Lux, in general, is a much more compelling, hope-driven leader. If Mageseeker’s original characters struggled to inspire people, it would’ve been better for the story to lean even harder into the League of Legends aspect and just make Demacian characters like Lux and Sylas the focal point.
Chained in epic combat
In the beginning, Mageseeker’s game mechanics are rough at best. The game clearly knows this because they take time to walk you through distinct tutorials for every skill and ability. Alas, that doesn’t make said inputs any less finicky at best and difficult at worst. On one occasion, I hit E to retry a boss fight, but while the game highlighted Retry, my mouse was over the Return to Base option. As a result, instead of restarting the boss fight, I tragically went back to base and had to restart the mission all over again. I cried a little.
Once you get used to the controls and start getting a hang of it, though, the combat can be quite fun. Especially once you’ve unlocked a handful of spells and upgraded your mana. Then you actually feel like a legendary champion and can enjoy the bigger boss fights Mageseeker starts throwing at you. And boy, are those big fights worth it. When Sylas is powered up and you’re dashing across the arena while fighting Garen — that’s when Mageseeker is at its best. You get to see classic League of Legends moves in a new light, and get to have an epic battle fighting off powerful foes. And if you know anything about League of Legends, the action is even more fun. Who doesn’t want to escape Morgana’s iconic chains in active, invigorating combat?
A hint of Skyhold
Now, as well as Mageseeker does reel in players, there is one big hurdle for the game: how similar the story is to other games.
A character gets chained up and blamed for the death of an important figure. They are eventually recruited into a rebellion force trying to stop worse problems across the lands. They ally with mages and remorseful anti-mage-wardens alike. Over their missions, they forge bonds with several fellow group members and recruit people into their ranks to create a stronger team. The game even includes side missions connected to certain allies. Meanwhile, a strong enemy who’s doing evil magical experiments creates awful monstrosities you have to destroy until you topple that enemy.
If you know anything about Bioware, you’ve caught on by now. Yes, the way Mageseeker displays its story and character interaction, It’s just Dragon Age: Inquisition, but indie-gamed.
In all fairness, Mageseeker is a solid, but ultimately decent game. But when competition such as Dragon Age Inquisition is right there being so vast and beautiful and well-loved, it’s hard not to say “unless you really like Hades combat and League of Legends lore, might as well just play Inquisition.” It’s got more content, more in-depth characters, and stories. What Mageseeker does win out on is that it won’t take 30+ hours to get to the end, so if you want a quicker adventure, Mageseeker is superior.
To become or not to become unchained
Mageseeker is an enjoyable game but it’s not uniquely breathtaking. If you’re focusing on the beginning of the game, Mageseeker is harder to get into because of the weaker story, characters, and less thrilling building blocks of its combat. If I only played the first half, it might only get a 5 or a 6. But given that I played the rest of Mageseeker, it deserves a lot more credit for how it pulls those elements together into some memorable scenes with its League of Legends champions and quite a few really cool boss fights.
If you just wanna have an enjoyable but somewhat forgettable dozen hours in the League of Legends world of Runeterra, Mageseeker is not a bad way to go.
Mageseeker was reviewed on the PC with a code provided by the team. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch starting April 18.
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- Late-game combat is a blast
- Nails the League of Legends champions, setting, and vibe
- Sticky early mechanics
- Similar to Dragon Age: Inquistion’s story progression and style but less compelling