Arcane Is More Than A Series For League Of Legends Fans

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This article is free of spoilers.

History tells us that there are rare cases of successful adaptations of video games to cinema and vice versa. It is true that they are media that share similarities, but ultimately, they are radically different types of entertainment that cannot be creatively approached in the same way. What works in a video game may not work in a movie, and when you think about cases like League of Legends, adaptation can be even more difficult. How do you take League of Legends gameplay and put it not in a movie, but in a Netflix series? Riot Games’ response was to completely ignore that factor and focus on telling a good story… sorry, a brutal story.

I started watching the series with a white screen. I haven’t read the synopsis or seen the trailers. I expected something light in terms of narrative, with a greater focus on battles between Champions on Summoner’s Rift (the most famous map in the game). I couldn’t be more wrong. If you didn’t know better, it would be impossible to point out that this was a series based on the Riot Games game. It certainly takes characters that fans will immediately recognize, but it delivers something much deeper than you’ll ever get in the game (or even reading the official lore ). In the three episodes I had early access to write this, I was hooked and heart in my hands. The series is a whirlwind of emotions, even for those who know little or nothing about the universe.

Riot Games, Netflix, and the writers were smart in their approach to adaptation. Rather than focusing on explaining the game’s complex universe, the series is centered on the story of a small group of characters in the city of Piltover and the underground zone called Zaun. It is a fantasy universe, where there is magic (which is called Arcane, hence the name of the series), but which presents very human characters, with feelings and emotions with which you quickly relate. The series does what I never felt in the game, which is to get closer to the characters and feel that they are tangible. Until now, I looked at League of Legends Champions as mere puppets that I controlled with mouse clicks.

“Instead of focusing on explaining the game’s complex universe, the series is centered on the story of a small group of characters”

It’s one of the best video game adaptations I have in my memory, which doesn’t bother to transfer any scene that brings it closer to the game to the series. Characters are the most important thing to build a story and in Arcane this is clear. Riot Games doesn’t think of the series as a replacement for the game or even as a way to attract more people. For fans, Arcane is an add-on, offering something they don’t get from playing. For the rest, Arcane works perfectly as a standalone, story worth knowing. The fact that it’s animated rather than real actors can be deceiving. This is definitely not a children’s series (and by the way, the animation quality is top notch).

“For fans, Arcane is an add-on, offering something they don’t get from playing. For everyone else, Arcane works perfectly as a standalone, story worth knowing.”

So if you have Netflix, regardless of whether you like League of Legends or not, Arcade is a worthwhile series and an example to follow for other adaptations. At the time this article is published, you have the first three episodes available, which make up the first arc. On November 13th, three more episodes follow, with the second arc, and finally, on November 20th, the last three episodes with the last arc will become available. I couldn’t be more excited to see what happens next.

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