Also On: PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Riot Forge
Developer: Double Stallion
Disclaimer: I have never played League of Legends. Not one time, ever. I am familiar with League, I know what League is, I have played something like a thousand hours of SMITE, but I have never played League before.
When Riot Forge approached me to do a review for Convergence, as well as an interview with Creative Director Rowan Parker for the Pressed for Time show that fellow editor Benny Rose and I host, my interest was piqued. As a fan of pretty much any good 2D Metroid-Vania style platformers, Convergence looked to be right up my alley even with the lack of knowledge around the League property.
With Convergence, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous art style and environment. You take control of protagonist Ekko (who I understand longtime League fans will be very familiar with) and jump straight into the action. The game takes place in the city of Zaun which is something of a cyberpunk dystopia, which further lends itself to the incredible styling that Double Stallion has infused this world with.
In addition to the great art style bringing the world to life, I would be remiss if I did not bring up the voice acting in Convergence. Both foreground and background characters have moments that help flesh out the world of Zaun a bit more, and give context to a non-league player that I found extremely helpful.
Fans of 2D action platformers like this will feel immediately at home, as the movement, platforming, and controls are all very familiar. The big departure here which sets Convergence apart from other games in this genre is the ability to turn back time which you are able to use to devastating effect. If you take too much damage or miss a jump and start falling to your death, you can simply use the Z-Drive to turn back time a few seconds before those unfortunate things happened to you. You can also use the ultimate form of this ability in combat to drop yourself back in time and release a shockwave doing massive damage to anyone around you.
As far as combat goes, Convergence offers a relatively simple, streamlined take on this style of game. It is not terribly difficult, but definitely not a walk in the park. Once you get the hang of your gadgets and how to use them, things get simple enough to navigate. Boss fights are plentiful and unique, offering a different challenge each time and demanding a slight adjustment to your play style.
All told, Convergence can be beaten in just a few hours, but it offers a lot of replayability and additional exploration which I think is fantastic. In my conversation with Rowan, we touched on the goal that Riot Forge has which is to ensure that these games being published in the League of Legends universe strive to be great games on their own, separate from that massive property. The games should be approachable for folks like myself who have no real familiarity with the overarching franchise or narrative. I felt that Convergence was a complete, standalone experience that left nothing out for me. As Riot Forge continues to grow and allow stories to be told inside the League universe across different genres, I look forward to seeing what the next few years will bring.
Note: Riot Games provided us with a PC code for review purposes.