It’s funny how things work out sometimes. League of Legends, the MOBA, is something that I’ve only played once, when a friend tried to get me into it by showing it to me and getting me to play a few matches. Sadly, I couldn’t manage to fit its mechanics into my head. While I’ve had experience playing a MOBA with Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, the whole genre has never really clicked with me in any way.
Even so, as a fan of fantasy, the worlds and lore built around these games still interest me somehow, so when I heard there were some LoL spin-offs into other types of games, I figured I’d give one of them a shot. Case in point, Convergence: A League of Legends Story – officially upper-cased and stylized as CONV/RGENCE – a quick pick ‘em upper action platformer starring one of LoL’s many heroes, Ekko, the wiz kid.
Developed by Canadian studio Double Stallion and released under Riot Games’ Riot Forge banner, from which a couple of other games developed by outside teams set within LoL have already been released, Convergence is set in a futuristic world where things aren’t that much different from our reality, where the rich and powerful feed upon the lower working class.
When a new and powerful probable source of energy springs up, all bets are off on just how badly folks will want to have it and what they’ll do to ensure their success in acquiring it. An explosion from an unknown source sends the entire city into chaos at the start of the game. That and a message warning Ekko of an impending catastrophe are enough to send him on an exciting adventure, one that will keep you hooked for a few hours of gameplay.
Platforming is tight enough, but the main course for Convergence is Ekko’s suite of abilities that work not only when dealing with traversal, but also and most often, during combat. Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to his skillset in LoL proper, but from what I could gather from watching some gameplay videos, his powers definitely translated well into this game, such as stopping and rewinding time by using his signature invention, the Z-Drive.
There isn’t much in the game that hasn’t been seen in others in the past, but even so, it does everything well enough to warrant a playthrough. And honestly, lightning doesn’t always have to be trapped in a bottle in order for something to be great. By doing things as it does competently and in enjoyable ways such as how Convergence does them, I’m happy to have given it a chance.
Ekko is an energetic protagonist that helps propel the game more than the usual fare of brooding heroes with dark pasts. He’s just living the life he’s dealt with in the megalopolis he lives in. Ekko helps his parents out and keeps busy by inventing all manner of contraptions, most of which he uses during the game in order to reach new heights and protect himself from the many dangers around. He’s a pretty clever kid, and through his skills, he can even control time… for a little while, anyway.
I’ve no idea what LoL’s lore is about other than what it’s apparent by the many products surrounding the brand, like Netflix’s Arcane show, which gives the vibe that there are a whole lot of color, powerful characters, and a ton of conflict at play within. And yeah, to some degree, that translates into this game, but it manages to convey that without going out of its way to say “hey, you should go play League of Legends after you’re done with this”, which I was expecting it would.
Regardless of whether that is indeed what this game is supposed to be, I did enjoy Convergence for what it is, a very serviceable action platformer with some neat powers. Then again, to a certain extent, for those who have yet to try the MOBA proper, it’ll probably have work as intended, an entryway into LoL.
Convergence: A League of Legends Story is a fun game on its own merits, but I wouldn’t trick myself into thinking it’s something that would have existed in the first place if it weren’t for the giant that is LoL.
That said, what it strives to do it does so well enough to warrant a playthrough, and in that, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, which is saying a lot considering how bad spin-offs tend to be. And in that, I’m going to have to begrudgingly give Riot credit for delivering it with this game, especially as someone who’s not exactly a fan from the start of the source material.