Ruined King, the League of Legends-set RPG revealed a bit back, now has a broad release window of “early 2021” for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Steam and the Epic Games Store. There are complimentary upgrades for those that own it on PS4 or Xbox One to the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X variations respectively, which are coming “quickly afterwards”.

Developed by Airship Syndicate, the studio behind Battle Chasers and the enjoyable surprise that was Darksiders: Genesis, Ruined King is being released under the Riot Forge name – a sort of internal publishing arm from Riot Games, particularly targeting “completable” video games in the LoL universe, established by other, non-Riot studios.

It’s a turn-based RPG (different to the other RPG-looking video game Riot teased in 2015 as ‘Project F’), and single-player just, indicating no co-op or anything of the like. There are 6 playable characters, all champs from League of Legends – Miss Fortune, Braum, Illaoi, Yasuo, Ahri and Pyke, for those acquainted with the MOBA – who you’ll contribute to your group along the method and turn in and out of a celebration of 3. And it’s embeded in Bilgewater and The Shadow Isles, which are 2 areas – an argey-bargey piratey one and a scary underworld one – in the LoL world of Runeterra. Here’s an expensive brand-new trailer providing it a tease:

There’s not a terrible lot else that’s learnt about it right now – we ought to ideally get a take a look at gameplay “in the coming months” – however we talked to the head of Riot Forge, Leanne Lombe, plus Airship Syndicate CEO Joe Madureira, who provided us a bit more information.

“This one is narratively focused,” Madureira stated, for one. “So the characters are continuously engaging in and out of fight – the experience and story components are simply as crucial as the fight.” Although there’s no romancing – condolances to thirsty BioWare fans – Madureira did assure it was a “real RPG”, with “a great deal of expedition and interaction with both the environments and tonnes of NPCs.” There are likewise more League of Legends characters set to make a look, Madureira stated, although he would not elaborate any even more.

“We had a world map in Battle Chasers, we eliminated that,” he included. “So you do not move on little nodes, you’re really on the planet checking out the environments, the characters remain in the environments, all the NPCs you connect with. So it’s a far more immersive experience, which was necessary for us. We didn’t seem like for League of Legends with as abundant as and substantial as the world is, that gamers would be content simply walking on a map. So all the expedition is truly expanded.”

Ahri, Braum, and Miss Fortune.

Loombe likewise worried the the truth that it’s still an “indie” video game, in their eyes, instead of a triple-A joint, that makes sense as Airship Syndicate is still a small group, of around 20 approximately designers full-time, in-house. It’s something Madureira likewise reckons assisted the studio deal with the results of the pandemic, “I believe if we had numerous individuals attempting to do this, it would be leaving hand. I believe we’re still a workable size to where it didn’t affect us, as it most likely did some other designers.”

Madureira’s individual background, on the other hand, is really in comics, dealing with Uncanny X-Men among others, therefore “the handmade, custom illustration,” as Loombe put it, as seen in the trailer and art work launched up until now, is “certainly something that I believe sets the video game apart,” and likewise part of what made the collaboration so appealing. In her words, the objective with Riot Forge is to concentrate on video games that can “truly drive the narrative forward for the League of Legends universe,” which the studio is eager to “reimagine League of Legends in a various method,” with Madureira’s art and Airship Syndicate’s background obviously being an essential part of Riot’s choice to approach the studio.

I was likewise curious about just how much liberty Airship Syndicate would have, what with this being a “canon” video game still handled by Riot as publisher, and whether this was a Disney, Star Wars, EA type of circumstance where things needed to go right up the chain. Loombe stressed just how much Riot desires the designers it coordinate with to “artistically own the video games,” though, with Madureira including that the designer had “a fair bit of liberty,” still. “The liberty was certainly there – I do not seem like we were ever informed ‘no, you can’t do that’… it was remarkably smooth. I state unexpected since I have deal with other individuals’s IP,” he included with a laugh.

What else? Well, information on things like cross-buy, cross-save and so forth are still up in the air (“as you understand with brand-new generations of consoles, things do get exercised at the extremely eleventh hour…”), and things like Game Pass have actually been thought about although once again, “we require to determine what makes good sense for gamers and the video game,” was how Loombe put it.

Early days then, essentially, however with the heft of Riot behind it which flair for a great time Airship Syndicate revealed with Darksiders: Genesis, perhaps one to watch on.