23.07.2024

Review: Convergence: A League of Legends Story – Time is on our side

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Riot Games was not joking when they loudly announced the expansion of
the League of Legends universe – today, in addition to the actual MOBA,
we have the Arcane series, whose popularity has eluded the gaming community,
and as many as four solo games in different genres. The fourth was Convergence,
a 2D metroidvania adventure about a young inventor, Ekko, who knows how to
control time.

  • Developer: Double Stallion
  • Publisher: Riot Forge
  • Release Date: May 23, 2023

I stopped playing League of Legends sometime in 2017, but managed to get to know Ekko – this character was introduced in 2015, at that time he became the most mobile and complex due to the ability to control time. After 8 years, the young inventor was awarded his own game, which reveals his past and future in more detail.

A deafening explosion in the city of Zaun sets the stage for Convergence: A League of Legends Story. Ekko, deftly moving through the streets in the style of a Victorian steampunk, unwittingly becomes a witness to sabotage, like all the other residents. A little later it turns out that these are the tricks of the Zarkon clan, and, of course, our hero will be drawn into a conflict with him.

On the streets of Zaun, we have to jump a lot, fight a little less – these are two components of the Convergence: A League of Legends Story gameplay. Let’s consider them in more detail.

Platforming in the game takes up most of the time, and it reminded me of the Prince of Persia series – to overcome obstacles you have to use acrobatic abilities and connect them in long chains. Like a prince, our hero spins the sun on the crossbar, then runs along the wall and even manages to slide along the rope – and all this in a matter of seconds.

Mistakes in these actions are not so terrible, because our hero also has a semblance of the sands of time.

The game would not be so attractive if it were not for Ekko’s inventions that give him special abilities. One of them is time rewind, at any moment you can use it to rewind time by 5-10 seconds. It’s convenient and fun – any mistake, whether it’s a ridiculous fall or a missed opponent’s blow, can be corrected. True, a limited number of times – the rewinds are not endless, but are restored over time.

The Key of Time can be used as a boomerang to attack and open passages, while the Parallel Approach will help slow down time and overcome some obstacles.

Metroidvania mechanics are carefully crafted in Convergence: A League of Legends Story. Fourteen districts are open for exploration and hide many secrets and zones that will become available only after the invention of new mechanisms.

At the same time, the game does not artificially close passages, most of the caches are available with a limited set of abilities, so the influence of metroidvania is not particularly felt – it’s just a nice addition to the gameplay.

The battles unexpectedly reminded beat’em up – in battles you need to show accuracy, dexterity and speed, and any blow is felt. The dummy turned out to be diverse – some hit close, others shoot long-range shells, others are equipped with shields through which even a temporary key cannot pass. A particularly annoying enemy migrated from real life, his name is a mosquito. Tracking down this annoying kid is very difficult, but he hits hard.

The bosses turned out to be simple, but elaborate – each with its own set of attacks and features that will have to be studied in more than one attempt. There is no question of the difficulty of the Dark Souls level, but there are no light battles either.

Sometimes, when Ekko is attacked by a lot of enemies, the battles turn into chaos – there are too many elements on the screen (projectiles, enemy models), which are extremely difficult to keep track of.

At such moments, the game turns into a bullet hell, and the ability to rewind time only exacerbates the situation – having solved one dangerous situation, Ekko instantly finds himself in another. It’s fun at first, but then it gets annoying.

I will note the research element in Convergence: A League of Legends Story: in the game world, Ekko will find artifacts, rare parts, figurines, and even paints. All collected items will be useful for development – gears and the main currency can be spent on crafting and unlocking combat abilities, and paint – on character customization. Although these are not costumes, but color sets for the base skin, it’s still nice that the appearance of the hero can be changed.

Crafting and leveling turned out to be common, but I note that you don’t need to grind for them (although there is such an opportunity).

In addition to useful items on the hero’s path, there will be notes that tell in more detail about the city of Ekko and other small stories. You can take your time if you are involved in the history of League of Legends. What about other characters and references? I deliberately delayed their description, as other league champions look unnatural and illogical in this title. I will not speak about everyone, but the battle with the psycho Jinx looked very strange.

The picture turned out to be pleasant, it is drawn and resembles rather old titles in high resolution. In terms of graphics, Convergence also resembles solid beat-ups.

The main drawback of the game, I would call management. Not only is it clearly designed for a gamepad, and we are simply not allowed to redistribute the keys, but I also often noted the facts of unresponsiveness. In a platform game, this lack of control is critical to accuracy – because of this, Ekko often fell into an abyss or missed a hit, although the button was pressed in time.

I had to get used to the controls, and press the buttons harder, but this is clearly not the most pleasant experience.


Despite the control issues and other minor flaws, Convergence: A League of Legends Story turned out to be an excellent game. With an interesting plot, moderately difficult battles, spectacular parkour for accuracy, a large game world with a bunch of secrets and metroidvania mechanics.

The doors of the mysterious town of Zaun are also open to those who are not familiar with the League, and it is definitely worth going there.


PROS

  • Interesting story related to time travel
  • You don’t need to know the LoL universe
  • Platforming for speed and accuracy
  • Fair difficulty of battles
  • Spectacular abilities of the hero
  • A world that is interesting to explore
  • Unobtrusive metroidvania elements
  • Adjustable difficulty
  • Russian voice acting
  • Nice drawing

MINUSES

  • Sometimes there are too many elements on the screen, which creates chaos
  • Controls tailored to the gamepad
  • Management is unresponsive at times

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