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Can You Play CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story If You Haven't Played League of Legends?

Can You Play CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story If You Haven't Played League of Legends?

Games set in vast universes can sometimes be scary, daunting, and bordering gatekeeping when it comes to their lore and gameplay. I seldom try to jump into games with established lore because it's difficult to keep up with all of the rulesets and political parties present — look no further than me avoiding The Witcher franchise alongside Dragon Age (I'm getting there — put down the pitchforks!).

So when I jumped into CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story, I could only imagine how it might feel to play the game from the perspective of an outsider. Jargon and characters that should otherwise be important are completely missed because you don't understand anything, and lacking a self-contained story can boggle the experience into a tedious mess. So, if you love metroidvanias and have been eyeing Riot Forge's latest release, here is the information you need!

The Gameplay

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Starting off with the gameplay basics (for a more in-depth look, you might want to check out my review), CONVERGENCE does a great job at introducing you to Ekko's many, many, many abilities and gadgets without being overwhelming. Even though I'm pretty sure Double Stallion — the developer — didn't intend for the game to be played on controller, they somehow manage to fit every little ability into the buttons, an impressive feat considering the sheer amount of abilities Ekko has. The slow introduction to these mechanics is nothing short of great, as you not only get shown the most important ones first — letting you get used to the most crucial abilities — but you also have to unlock them at a steady pace of one per chapter.

The unique gameplay is a definite plus on the side of playing CONVERGENCE — the strange gameplay in higher difficulties veers into a unique, unexplored genre in the form of precision action, mixing the memory-based gameplay of precision platformers with the reaction-focused combat of action titles. You need to adapt on the fly to each encounter and, at the same time, use your rewind ability to correct your mistakes. But if you're not a hardcore gamer — or don't like harder difficulties — CONVERGENCE is also as accessible as you want it to be, reducing itself to a hack-and-slash in the easiest mode available.

The Story

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The biggest worry in terms of joining a franchised title is actually its narrative. CONVERGENCE may not do the most incredible job at introducing you to the world of Runeterra slowly, but it ensures that at the end of the game, you know what's necessary to grasp the story's conclusion. Although the game does have cameos and essential characters from the League of Legends universe, it works more as a nod to fans of the world rather than a gatekeep to newcomers. Jargon and terminology may sometimes appear in the form of "Hextech crystals" and strange words like "Syntixi", "Zaun", and "Piltover", but CONVERGENCE manages to get you to grasp the concepts as you advance through the narrative. Even if you do get lost, you get to read a codex that reminds you of all of the individual things you’ve already managed to find, including information on the previously mentioned areas along with other jargon from the universe! It might not be perfect to inform you of everything, but it does teach you about what you need to know to enjoy the narrative.

You won't come out the other side of CONVERGENCE as a lore expert, and that's a good thing! The game introduces you to the important information that you need to know to advance through the narrative and grasp the story being told; anything else, from the vast amount of characters to the cities, cultures, politics, and wars, are aside of the matter. The game does its best at ensuring you only know and hear the critical information to the protagonist (Ekko) and the setting (Zaun), without info dumping about all of the other characters and worlds to explore.

Should you play the other games first?

Don't get me wrong — CONVERGENCE is a great title that you will absolutely appreciate more if you know Ekko and understand his story from the beginning... but I'd say, in this case, League of Legends is definitely not something you have to go through to actually enjoy the game.

Not only are the two titles in completely different genres, one of which is literally a MOBA with no story elements, but it also will not focus on Ekko in the slightest, failing to enrichen the experience. Even if you picked up League of Legends now, you won't get to know enough about the game to enjoy the cameos, winks, and nods that old-time fans have. The universe may be shared between the two, but the lack of narrative that is expected of a MOBA title won't overlap with CONVERGENCE in the slightest.

Can you play CONVERGENCE without knowing anything about League of Legends?

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The short and sweet of it is yes. Regardless of whether you understand the cameos scattered throughout the world or not, the gameplay experience remains all the same — it's a good and unique metroidvania. It's accessible and action-packed, and it works as a good way to start familiarising yourself with the world in case you want to dip your toes into the vast universe that is Runeterra.

If you do decide to pick up CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story, make sure you let us know your experience in the comments below!

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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