A battle against Demecia

Demon Seeker: League of Legends Story Review

Demon Seeker: League of Legends Story Review

need to know

what is it? A League of Legends spinoff that shares a conceit with Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.”
release date April 18, 2023
expect to pay $30 / £24
developer digital sun
publisher Riot Forging
Reviewed on steam deck
steam deck Verified
associate Official Website(opens in a new tab)

What creates the conditions for revolution? Often, events that have occurred or policies that have been enacted have grown beyond what can be tolerated and entered divisive territory where compromise is no longer possible. It is at this point that society can no longer be voted or legislated for meaningful reform; the new world will simply emerge from the ashes of the old.

In Runeterra, that’s it. Definitely only in Runeterra, nowhere else.

The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story, developed by Digital Sun (creators of Moonlighter) and published by Riot Forge, the worldbuilding-focused publishing division of Riot Games, is the origin story of Sylas the Unshackled, a League of Legends The Melee Burst/Scammer Champion was added in early 2019. Depending on who in the playerbase you ask, Sylas is either a particularly edgy anti-hero, or a straight-up villain, a revolutionary figure or a murderer—with seemingly no interior—in between. Mageseeker aims to set the record straight.

We first meet Sylas after a brief introduction to his origins in the kingdom of Demacia. He was drafted as a child to join the anti-magic secret police, the titular Mageseekers, for his ability to visually recognize other people’s magical auras—essentially, becoming a drug-sniffing dog for humans, but for secret mages. When one of his latent magical powers explodes on a mission and accidentally kills some villagers, he’s locked in a high-security dungeon for 15 years with nothing but a few dubious books and a vengeful mind. Anything can accompany him.

Cut to today; there’s an all-out revolt against the Mageseekers in Demacia. Sylas, who has just escaped, is guided to a secluded rebel camp in the nearby forest, from where we are faced with a choice: do we seek the revenge Sylas so desperately wants, or help the rebels build revolutionary power?

(Image credit: Digital Sun)(opens in a new tab)

The action underpinning this political drama is strong. Sylas was initially able to hit people or whip them with his mail gloves, and those same gloves allowed him to get closer to his enemies, steal their magic, and even throw himself onto the battlefield for safety. While basic attacks are basic, you can unlock some devastating elemental combos by recruiting elite mages and choosing up to two to complete each quest. You also have a ton of elemental spells to choose from, which you can slot into up to four unlockable spell slots. These spells help in a pinch, especially if you’re trying to keep your enemies at distance by attacking from a distance or in a large area.

The elite mages you recruit can themselves recruit a cadre of up to 15 rogue mages.This has the material effect of significantly increasing the size of the rebel camp and Powerful Sylas’ mobile setup. This is especially important because enemies, especially bosses, can be brutal if you’re not paying attention. There were a few times during a boss fight where I looked away from the screen for a second and Sylas was already down. The good news is that the checkpoints are fair – I’m only a room or a hallway away from where I passed out. The end result is a challenging action experience that doesn’t lose its popularity.

friendship is magic

(Image credit: Digital Sun)(opens in a new tab)

Different people have different reasons for participating in the revolution, and the game explores many possible motivations.

I’ve never really gotten into League of Legends or its various spinoffs, but it’s refreshing that I don’t need a PhD in Runeterra knowledge to understand The Mageseeker’s story – its frank and surprisingly aggressive narrative left a deep impression on me. No bullshit here: the Demacian state is evil at imprisoning and killing mages, and it – or at least the organization that does most of the incarceration and killing – needs to be disbanded. Sylas is out for revenge, and in that regard he’s initially one-sided, but everyone else in the cast counteracts that single-mindedness. Different people have different reasons for participating in the revolution, and the game explores many possible motivations.

Rebel leader Leilani dreams of a post-revolutionary world where mages no longer live in fear. Then there’s Gideon, a former Mageseeker who defected after his mage husband was arrested and imprisoned, and is now looking for a way to right the wrongs of his former employer. Yops is a yordle warrior who fights to stop the Demonseekers from continuing their heinous experiments on humans and nonhumans alike. We even get a pacifist resistance perspective from Sylas’ former friend Lux ​​Crownguard, as she defends the mage’s sanctuary in Terbisia.

(Image credit: Digital Sun)(opens in a new tab)

Revolutions are necessary; mages are evil; the Demacian monarchy is corrupt.

These characters don’t just pop up and get a pat on the back for Sylas having done a brutal job; they disagree on his motivations and tactics at various points during the roughly 12-hour story mode. While he tries to hold on to his original beliefs based on bloodlust, in reflection he even seems troubled by his own single-mindedness. Ultimately, he has to face the fact that a revolution cannot be made with vengeance alone; people need something else to hang their hats on.

But if you’re looking for some kind of middle-of-the-road “both pox” to validate Sylas’ villain status or something, you won’t get it. Revolutions are necessary; mages are evil; the Demacian monarchy is corrupt. These are not subject positions that can be negotiated, and we see this clearly in the actions of those in power. Sylas himself is far from evil, and he never takes out his wrath on random townspeople. He doesn’t terrorize random villages or massacre indiscriminately. To paraphrase a common saying, he only tortures the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.

While The Mageseeker can feel a bit didactic at times, its willingness to make explicit ideological claims when many of its contemporaries recoil like violets at the mention of politics is refreshing. It backs this up with engaging gameplay, a great soundtrack, and vibrant pixel graphics. If you like media that combines high-octane action with bombastic political intrigue, Mageseeker is well worth your time.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.