The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story Review – This magic can’t be contained
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story combines quick-paced improvised combat with a surprisingly philosophical story about a band of revolutionaries struggling in an oppressive world.
Sylas’s introduction to League of Legends brought a new focus to Demacia’s darker side, and building a separate game around his struggle has proven to be a great way to expand on the world of Runeterra.
From the moment he breaks free from prison to the end of the credits, Sylas receives some of the best character work of any Champion in League history, and his ramshackle bunch of mages are the cornerstone of this action RPG’s appeal.
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story key details
- Price: £24.99 / $29.99
- Developer: Digital Sun / Riot Forge
- Release date: April 18, 2023
- Platforms: PC and Nintendo Switch
The Mageseeker Trailer
What is a revolution?
The Mageseeker is an action RPG where you play as Sylas of Dregbourne, an escaped mage blamed for the murder of the king. Over the course of the game, you build both revolutions and friendships with other mages in a nation where magic is seen as dangerous and unstable.
And with Sylas, they might have a point, at least to begin with. At the beginning of the game, Sylas is hell-bent on revenge, and is willing to do and sacrifice anything in order to get it. What makes the story so compelling are the ways it questions how best to help mages in Demacia.
The nature of revolutions and what makes them tick is the core idea here, and each new mage that joins the team brings a different outlook on the best way to dismantle oppression. Leilani, the revolution’s leader who recruits Sylas at the beginning of the game, is focused on building a more optimistic future. Other characters are pacifists, and others want to lead assassination attempts.
Each of these characters change as the game progresses, both in skill and ideology. One of the most satisfying parts of The Mageseeker is seeing the revolution grow not just in power but in maturity, as they flesh out the best way to rescue mages from tyranny.
Think on your feet
After consulting with your allies before each mission, you’ll be sent off on an objective, whether it’s taking down a key member of the mageseeker establishment, or rescuing a powerful mage to recruit to the cause.
Combat in these missions is fast-paced and highly improvised thanks to Sylas’s ability to steal enemy spells. Enemies have a Pokemon-style type weakness, so fire spells deal more damage to ice mageseekers, and vice versa. This gives each fight an extra consideration, as you’ll have to calculate who the best target is for which spell you’ve stolen.
As you gain more allies, you’ll also be able to “bring” them on missions, giving your basic attacks additional effects and elemental damage. These are a great way to experiment with builds and combos while also covering any elemental weaknesses.
However, not all mages are born equal apparently, because some of these upgrades are much more powerful than others. Shoutout to Nia the fire mage, who you recruit very early on and grants you a huge AOE fire attack with no cooldown. Needless to say, I never took her off the roster.
This is also an issue when considering the spells you take on missions. Once you steal a spell, you can buy it and use it permanently by speaking to allies in your base camp. Because Sylas has both a dash and a very forgiving gap closer, he’s almost always on top of enemies, so spells that deal AOE damage are by far the most efficient way to deal damage.
Ultimately these are minor quibbles in a well-thought-out combat system that shines when there are lots of enemies on the screen. Sylas never feels out of control and the combat peaks during boss fights, where mobility becomes much more important. On the highest difficulty, where Sylas dies in two or three hits, these fights become an insane adrenaline rush.
A game fit for champions
Surprisingly, Sylas’s relationship with Lux takes a back seat in the story, with The Mageseeker instead focusing on new, unexplored characters. However, there are plenty of recognizable faces here too.
It wouldn’t be a game set in Runeterra if there wasn’t a healthy dose of some of League’s favorite champions in the story, but each champion earns their place, and it doesn’t feel oversaturated with characters that don’t belong there.
A surprise highlight is Jarvan and Shyvanna, who have a very complicated relationship as the game progresses and anti-magic sentiment grows. It’s not just Sylas getting a lore upgrade here; all six champions that feature get great additions to their story and personality.
Verdict – 4/5
The Mageseeker triumphs as a complex exploration of revolution and prejudice, while also breathing new life into champions old and new. A couple of small bugs and odd combat choices don’t stop this from being one of the most successful expansions of League of Legend’s lore to come out of Riot Forge.
Reviewed on PC