Civilization 6 is a solid console port, at too high a price

First, the good news: Civilization 6 works great on consoles. I played the Xbox One version, and came away impressed with the job done by porting house Aspyr, which worked with original developer Firaxis.

Civ 6 is a complicated, turn-based strategy game, and players have to be able to click with precision, move through pages of data, and take in a large amount of information while playing. It’s not a natural fit for a console-style controller.

Aspyr makes it feel easy to navigate the screen, move units around, and deploy orders to cities. I cross the screen by skidding along its hexagons, moving quickly and smoothly from one continent to the other via my gamepad. This serves as a slower navigational route than using a mouse or trackpad to point and click, but it works well enough. I use a simple matrix of left thumbstick and main buttons for most unit movements, as well as shoulder buttons for deeper menus. I found a few occasions when I felt lost in menus, but nothing I couldn’t figure out for myself.

Civilization 6 is an engrossing game in which players create their own civilization (based on real historical leaders) through choices of military conquest, technological superiority, cultural or religious dominance. It’s about building cities, improving them, and expanding your nation’s borders. It’s about being bigger, stronger, richer, and smarter than the other civilizations. I’ve played many hundreds of hours on PC and iPad, and I won’t hesitate to recommend this game if you’re curious about historical strategy and civilization planning.

If you have a PC, Mac, or modern iPad, those are better platforms than console. After all, this is a game designed for PC, and those are better platforms for games that require lots of pointing and clicking on a large map. But the console versions are perfectly fine if they’re your only option.

But while I do recommend this marvelous game, I also think the price tag is too high. The Civilization 6 game itself is the standard console game price of $59.99. But the two add-ons that were subsequently released are a further $49.99, collectively. This means that if you want to play the game in its present form, rather than the way it was back in 2016, you’re being asked to pay nearly $110.

Other versions of Civ 6 are priced the same way (on Steam it’s frequently featured in sales and special offers). As I argued when I reviewed the most recent update, Civilization 6’s DLC prices are too high, and the entire package should be offered at a much lower price.

The original game came out three years ago. It’s a decent game in its base form, but the improvements offered by its subsequent updates render it inferior to the full experience. The “loyalty” systems in Rise and Fall (2018) are transformative to the game’s depth. If you build a city too close to a culturally dynamic rival whose cities are brimming with happy people, there’s a high chance that your city will rebel and switch sides. This has a marked effect on how players grow their empires, making the strategy of grabbing faraway chunks of land self-defeating. Organic growth from the center is more realistic to real empire building. It also means that rival civilizations that spam faraway land masses with remote cities can no longer thrive, which is still a significant annoyance in the core game.

Global warming and natural disaster systems added in Gathering Storm (2019) give Civ 6 an added richness and complexity, especially in late game. Players must deal with rising sea levels. Diplomacy shifts in emphasis as nations agree on a need to cooperate to combat a shared threat.

Taken as a whole, these post-launch improvements are fundamental gameplay advances on the original design. They render the core game dated.

Both the updates, which are packaged together, also include the sort of DLC added-value stuff you might expect, such as new civilizations, characters, maps, and items. But their real value is in the details of the gameplay updates, which radically improve the game.

We live in an age when companies regularly update their games as a service to players. The time when paid-for downloadable content updates (DLC) dominated the post-launch commercial strategies of publishers is fading away. At this point in its lifecycle, Civilization 6, as an entire finished package, should cost the standard $59.99, not more than $100.

Civilization 6 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is out on Nov. 22.


RBI Baseball returns in 2020 with promises of a makeover

Major League Baseball’s official game, and the only MLB game for Xbox One, returns next year with RBI Baseball 20, with developers promising a makeover in its hitting and pitching systems, plus an update to ball physics and fielder AI.

A launch date was not given. Typically the game launches in March. RBI Baseball 20 will be released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Android and iOS mobile devices.

Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2018 National League MVP, is the game’s cover star, although the $29.99 game is more frequently bought online. MLB used today’s announcement to tout the Brewers’ new uniforms, which celebrates the franchise’s 50th anniversary in Milwaukee with a classic design and the ball-and-glove MB logo made famous by the 1982 American League champions.

MLB resurrected RBI Baseball in 2014 with RBI Baseball 14, as a modern console revival of the arcade-style gameplay remembered from the Nintendo Entertainment System classic. The game is developed by the MLB Games and VR Team, a unit of MLB Advanced Media, making Major League Baseball the only league that produces its own video game.

Christian Yelich, batting lefthanded and looking left, awaits a pitch, bat held high. MLB Advanced Media


Steam Remote Play Together launches today, taking couch co-op online

Steam Remote Play Together, a feature that connects friends to play local multiplayer games online, launched today after a monthlong beta test. The full launch extends remote local multiplayer to iOS and Android devices using the Steam Link app.

Steam Remote Play Together, ideal for couch co-op games like Enter the Gungeon, Cuphead, or Wilmot’s Warehouse, joins up to four players and “even more in ideal conditions,” Valve said. Only the host needs to own the game, too.

For those needing suggestions on what games work best with Remote Play Together, Valve kicked off a streaming event at noon, running to 8 p.m. EST. There is also a sales event featuring Steam’s usual deep discounts applied to many local multiplayer-friendly titles and franchises.

The feature is initiated with the Remote Play Together icon in the host’s friends’ list. Simply click on it to invite them. The game should behave on the host’s device as if all the invited players had a controller plugged into it. The other players will only be able to see the game, not the host’s desktop or overlays.


Shenmue 3 is passable as nostalgia, but not as a game

When playing a game like Shenmue 3, a sequel that has almost two decades of expectations, hype, and pressure riding on its shoulders, it’s rare for the end result to be exactly what one would expect. Usually there’s some gimmick added, or an aspect of the design modernized, but there’s almost always something unexpected to shake up the formula, to add something to our understanding of what the series can be.

Shenmue 3 is, for better and worse, exactly what I expected it to be, based on the original two games in the series. Faithful to a fault, Shenmue 3 feels like a time capsule of a game, flooding me with nostalgia while also reminding me just how far games have come since the original two Shenmue games.

What it doesn’t do is move the series forward, nor does it seem interested in looking to the future to see what Shenmue might become. It’s a game that spends all of its time looking backward.

A mystery that still isn’t solved

I play as Ryo Hazuki, a teenager living in Japan whose father was murdered. Ryo takes to the streets with his martial arts skills, and a willingness to move crates with a forklift to pay the bills, and tracks his father’s killer across the world to get revenge. Shenmue 2 ended with the revelation that Ryo was part of an ancient prophecy, possessing one half of a pair of mirrors which, if united, might cause the end of the world. It was a hell of a cliffhanger, especially when you consider how many years it took for there to be any payoff.

Shenmue 3 begins literally the moment after Shenmue 2 ends, with Ryo and his new partner Shenhua Ling, a young woman also tied into this prophecy, trying to discover where Ling’s father has been taken after a kidnapping that seems tied to the murder of Ryo’s own father. The two characters wander into a nearby rural village, and suddenly I’m back in the world of Shenmue, a world that has apparently not been touched by any of the past 15 years of mechanical advancements in game design.

The environments look fairly beautiful and detailed, but the faces have the nostalgic familiarity of a Shenmue HD remaster with slightly smoother edges. While it looks nice enough, other aspects of the game don’t hold up as well.

The basic rhythm of Shenmue 3 is the same as it always was: Ask everybody you meet a question until someone knows the answer, get an entry-level job to make money, buy toys from gacha machines to complete sets of collectibles, maybe get into a fight, and then return to slowly plodding around, asking people questions. This much busy work with these many repetitive tasks hasn’t grown easier to recommend with age.

Most of my time is otherwise spent running back and forth around the world, trying to find leads, and occasionally getting into fights. Sure, you’re not police, but you are both the children of people who crimes happened to, so apparently that’s enough for most people to let you snoop around for answers.

Investigations involve talking to basically every person I see until someone happens to know the information needed to proceed, which gives the entire experience the feel of a wild goose chase. You’re basically just running up to strangers, telling them your dad was murdered, asking them about vaguely described criminals, and moving on to the next possible lead. The trick is just to go everywhere, and talk to everyone, until I find a crime scene.

But crime scenes are no less methodical, and they’re certainly no more enjoyable. I’m usually stuck in a room with dozens of interactive objects to slowly open, look through, and close again, searching for clues. It’s hard to know where to start, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The best way to continue to move ahead is to check literally every single possible option for information, which is quite the chore.

Combat in Shenmue 3 is also essentially unchanged from previous games in the series, despite the increased resolution and frame rate. I’m still taking part in third-person combat with a light and heavy kick, light and heavy punch, and combos you can pull off as you progress. The combos however are initially limited, and to unlock more means doing more busy work for money to spend on combo books.

Ryo and an enemy fight
The fight scenes are some of the most fun you can have in Shenmue 3
Ys Net

The fights are a lot of fun, but are relatively rare in the early hours of the game. This isn’t an action game, although combat does heat up a bit as the game continues. Toward the end in particular there is one very impressive fight scene that’s a highlight of the entire game.

And despite the promise of ancient prophecies and supernatural powers, Shenmue 3 is surprisingly banal. I have one meter that describes hunger, health, and stamina, and keeping that meter full by doing odd jobs for money that I use to buy food takes up a hefty percentage of my time. The meter constantly shrinks with time as I get hungry, which means that I have less stamina with which to run and less health if I get into a fight.

To stay strong I need to mash buttons to chop wood, use the money at a shop to buy a few dozen bulbs of garlic to eat, and then get back onto my quest to see how the story ends up. It’s not the most enjoyable aspect of Shenmue 3 but, again, this focus on mundane tasks is true to the spirit of the original two games.

It’s that dependency on the original games that makes Shenmue 3 such a disappointment. Shenmue paved the way for games like Red Dead Redemption 2 by introducing a world that at least tried to feel real, forcing you to hold down a job while seeking revenge on your own time.

Shenmue tried to show players what happened between the exciting parts of most action or role-playing games, and the slow pace was part of the point. Life is slow, and you don’t always get to rush to the good stuff. Those games felt like a major step forward in design and goals, and they inspired the dedicated fans that have waited so long for a third release.

At times, Shenmue 3 does manage to recapture that rhythm. It’s less a game about actually getting the revenge you seek, and more a game about experiencing places and people far away from where you began. It’s a game about cycles, routine, and getting ever-closer to the day the case breaks open and you can go save the day. That may sound contemplative, but the hours of drudgery and characters who seem to be answering questions I never ask keep the game from ever feeling very enjoyable.

The technology caught up with Shenmue, and then some

Part of the problem with Shenmue 3 is that it isn’t that technological masterpiece that the original games were, and the design decisions which made those games feel broad and huge make the same ideas feel like padding in 2019.

The investigations of crime scenes is a good example of this issue. Opening or searching through so many items felt like a demonstration of realism, or at least complexity, back in the day. But opening 30 drawers in 2019, while Ryo repeats the same few lines about not finding anything, feels disrespectful of my time. I’m not being asked to solve a puzzle or think through a problem, I’m just brute-forcing my way through a lot of stuff, none of which adds anything to my understanding of the world or my place in it, or the mysteries I’m trying to explore.

It’s just hours and hours of dead space, without even the novelty of technological achievement to help make it tolerable. Not everyone could have made a Shenmue game when the first two were released, but that’s no longer true, and there are good reasons why developers have left this design behind. Shenmue 3 is a game from a team that doesn’t seem to have learned much, or evolved much, since the release of Shenmue 2. It’s stagnation, disguised as fan service.

The script is just as bad

One of the most baffling elements of Shenmue 3 is the writing. It’s hard to believe that the script was ever read in its entirety by a native English speaker, due to the large number of awkward interactions and conversations that just don’t make much sense in English.

Let me give you a couple of examples. Each of these dialogue snippets includes what I said, combined with the answer given to me by a character in the game. They never quite match up, and this happened all the time in the course of playing.

“I’m looking for someone called Yuan”
“No, I haven’t”

“Could you help me? I’m looking for someone”
“No, I didn’t”

“How do you know Yuan?”
“I guess so”

The poor translation and often impenetrable dialogue combine to give the entire game a sense of jankiness, and comes across as a lack of care and polish. And this is long before I’m introduced to characters that seem locked into harmful — not to mention ridiculously outdated — stereotypes.

The numerous visual glitches, including people floating off the floor, or seeming to sit down on chairs that don’t exist, create the somewhat surreal feeling of a game that’s both been rushed, but also hidden away for a decade without any meaningful lessons learned from the maturation of gaming as a whole.

Ryo watches an old man blow into the air
The characters are certainly higher resolution, but they still look like they came out of a much older game
Ys Net

Games have moved on since Shenmue 2, and my tolerance for games that disrespect my time is a lot lower. The game’s structure has aged more like wine than cheese, and I was left wondering what Yu Suzuki might have done with a larger budget, in a development environment in which he might be able to once again guess about what the future might be, without being forced by external constraints to just repeat the game’s design while only somewhat moving the story ahead.

Which brings us to the last point: Shenmue 3 was also an amazing chance to wrap up the game’s story in a conclusive way for fans who are likely ecstatic to be able to revisit the world at all, but sadly the temptation to set up yet another sequel that may never come proved too great.

It’s not the lack of elegant dialogue or the glitches that make this game so disappointing, but the idea that a series that was so obsessed with what would be possible from gaming in the future has turned into a way for people to attempt to revisit the past.

Shenmue 3 is now available for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC through the Epic Games Store. The game was reviewed using a final “retail” PS4 download code provided by Ys Net. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.


Pokémon Go is bringing back all Community Day Pokémon in December

Pokémon Go is closing out the year by bringing back all the Community Day Pokémon back for one special weekend.

On Dec. 14 and 15, all the Community Day Pokémon from this year will spawn in the wild more frequently from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. in your local time zone. Pokémon from 2018 Community Days will spawn in raids during this time period.

Any Pokémon evolved during this time period will also learn their respective Community Day moves, so if you nabbed any of these Pokémon with good IVs or missed your chance to get the move, you should remember to evolve them during this time period.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in your local time during these Community Days, there’ll also be doubled catch Stardust, doubled catch XP, and half egg hatch distance when eggs are put into Incubators. A handful of featured Pokémon will get an even bigger spawn rate during this time.

Here’s a full list of what Pokémon are available when:

Pokémon available on Dec. 14, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. in your local time:

  • Spawning wild: Totodile, Swinub, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Ralts, Slakoth, Trapinch, Bagon, Turtwig, and Chimchar
  • Raids: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Eevee, Dratini, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Larvitar, and Beldum
  • Hatching from eggs: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Pikachu, Dratini, Totodile, Mareep, Swinub, Larvitar, Treecko, Torchic, Slakoth, and Bagon
  • Spawning more from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.: Totodile, Swinub, Treecko, Torchic, Slakoth, and Bagon

Pokémon available on Dec. 15, 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. in your local time:

  • Spawning wild: Totodile, Swinub, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Ralts, Slakoth, Trapinch, Bagon, Turtwig, and Chimchar
  • Raids: Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Eevee, Dratini, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Larvitar, and Beldum
  • Hatching from eggs: Squirtle, Eevee, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Mudkip, Ralts, Trapinch, Beldum, Turtwig, and Chimchar
  • Spawning more from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.: Mudkip, Ralts, Trapinch, Turtwig, and Chimchar


Pokémon Sword and Shield has an even rarer type of shiny to collect

Everyone knows that Shiny Pokémon are supposed to be rare — there’s only a 1 in 4,096 chance you’ll find a monster in a special color, unless you use a special method to increase your odds. But Pokémon Sword and Shield has introduced another type of Shiny to the mix, which, if found, will enter the battle with a slightly different type of animation.

Players are calling these ultra-rare monsters “square Shinies,” because their animations appear diamond-like, rather than the typical sparkles that you see for most Shinies. According to hackers who have looked at the files, there’s only a 1 in 16 chance your Shiny will be a square Shiny. Which, statistically speaking, means most people stumbling onto a Shiny will find the standard sparkles, not the square ones.

Here’s what it looks like in action — note that it’s a subtle effect, but still, it’s different.

The odds differ depending on what method you use to Shiny hunt. Random Shiny encounters and breeding have the 1 in 16 chance, but if you’re using the chain method to Shiny hunt, then the odds are inverted — there’s a 15 in 16 chance they’ll be squares.

For completionists who feel they need every single form of monster available for their compendium, this might sound like a nightmare. But, at least one Shiny hunter isn’t worried.

“For me it’s about the Shiny, regardless of Sparkles!” Shiny hunter aDrive told Polygon.


Switch fishing game turns your Joy-Con into a futuristic fishing rod

Bandai Namco’s next game is a Japan-only launch, but we’re tossing it up here — casting about, you might say — because of the nifty peripheral it includes: a fishing reel, which is attached to the side of a Joy-Con controller.

Granted, the premise of Bakutsuri Hunters sounds pretty rad, too: use your futuristic fishing rod to hunt down and land some mecha-sharks. But it’s a heck of a lot cooler when you’re using this contraption:

The Bakutsuri Hunters “Giga Rod” is a strange peripheral that attaches to the side of a Nintendo Joy-Con and resembles the reel on a fishing rod. Bandai Namco

That is the “Bakutsuri Giga Rod.” Bakutsuri Hunters uses the Joy-Con’s motion control to allow for a realistic line casting, short or long, according to the player’s throw. Then start winding that reel and bring that bad boy in.

But wait, there’s more: Bakutsuri Hunters includes some custom fishing lures that can be scanned into the game via the Joy-Con IR blaster, and used in your virtual expedition.

a fishing lure toy is scanned into a video game using the IR blaster on a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Bandai Namco

NintendoLife points out that Bandai Namco has something of a history in the wacky fishing-rod department. It developed a Nintendo 3DS game called Bakuchou Bar Hunter, again Japan-only, that launched in 2018 and featured a snap-on reel peripheral for the handheld, too.

Alas, it seems Namco has no plans to bring this delightfully creative peripheral stateside. It’s launching Dec. 7 in Japan for 5,280 yen. Western enthusiasts must either import, or get their kicks with the Nintendo Labo Fishing Rod.


Pokémon Sword and Shield guide: How to make the best curry

Making curry in Pokémon Sword and Shield is way harder than it should be. With no discernible way to tell how to get what rank, we’ve cracked the code on how to make a good curry.

If you follow the tips below, you should at least get Copperajah (silver) rank, which restores HP, PP, and status conditions, as well as increase your Pokémon’s experience points and friendliness. If you do all the steps below perfectly, you should get a Charizard (gold) curry, which seems to have the same benefits as Copperajah rank, based on game text.

Use a lot of rare berries

If you sort your berry list by type, the berries will list in order of how common they are, with more common at the top and rare at the bottom. Use more berries towards the bottom of the list to up your rank.

Specific berries don’t seem to have an impact on the ingredient you choose. Using a berry that’s “good for salad” with Salad Mix won’t increase your rank anymore than it would if you used it with Smoke-Poke Tail.

We recommend using at least seven berries to yield a high-ranking curry, but less may work too, depending on your berry rarity.

Fan the curry hard, but don’t burn it

The goal here is to get to the biggest size flame, as quickly as possible, without burning it. If you go one level above the right flame size, the curry will burn. You’ll be able to tell you’re doing well because not only will the pot sparkle, but Pokémon will come and celebrate your curry.

You want the fire to be the biggest size (without burning) for as long as possible to get that Charizard rank. Burning it for a second or two is OK, but if you get to that point, stop fanning and let the flame size decrease. The best fire size is shown below.

Players fan the fire under a curry pot in Pokémon Sword and Shield Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

If you’re having a hard time getting your flame big enough, enable “casual controls” in settings and try tapping ZL with your A button to double up on fan power.

Don’t spill the curry while stirring too much

Just go for a nice steady stir, without spilling. You can tell you’re doing good work if you see sparkles above the pot. The spills will also make your controller vibrate pretty hard, so you’ll be able to tell if you’re going too hard.

Aim for the light green circle

A Pokémon Sword and Shield curry pot that trainers are about to “put their hearts into.” Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

When it comes to “putting your heart into it,” aim for the lighter green circle on the inside. Note that the heart has a bit of a travel time, so you’ll want to press A when the circle is still in the darker green circle.

Make curry with other players (or NPCs)

Making curry with other people or NPCs has yielded Charizard-rank more often, simply because it’s easier to do everything we listed above with more people. You can make a bigger flame with more people while not having to completely destroy your A button, though you’ll have to watch out since it’ll burn easier.

If you don’t have Nintendo Switch Online or you can’t find any camping players in the Wild Area who want to cook with you, you can cook with any of the NPC characters camping along the game’s routes. You can fly directly to any route and it’ll plop you right in front of a camper. Easy!


Pokémon Sword and Shield guide: How to get more toys for your camp

You’ll start Pokémon Sword and Shield with two toys: a feather dangler and a Poké Ball toy. Pokémon can play with these at camp, whether it’s punching the dangler or chasing the ball. But there’s another way to get toys, and that’s by making curries.

Filling up your Curry Dex has its own benefits, of course — they heal your Pokémon and make them happy. But if you visit the Camping King in the Wild Area’s East Lake Axewell, just south of the Motostoke stairs. The Camping King can change the color of your tent, but he’ll also rate your Curry Dex, and reward you when you reach certain milestones.

Where to find the Camping King in the Wild Area Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

If you’re looking at the stairs, he’s to the left. Interact with him to pull up a menu and Select “Rate my Curry Dex, please.” He’ll take a quick look at your ‘dex and reward you for the number of curries you’ve made so far.

These are the toys available, up to 50 curries:

  • Fresh Ball — 5 curries
  • Weighted Ball — 10 curries
  • Soothe Ball — 15 curries
  • Mirror Ball — 30 curries
  • Tympole Ball — 50 curries
  • Champion Ball — 151 curries, according to Serebii
Talking to the Camping KIng Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Nintendo via Polygon

The biggest difference between these toys is how you throw them and how they move — the weighted ball is heavy, the soothe ball jingles and is quite light, and the Tympole ball has a squeaker that sounds like Tympole’s cry.

Playing with your Pokémon increases their experience but it always makes them like you more, which can impact battles. For instance, a Pokémon that wants to please you might withstand a critical hit.

Need help making curries so you can get more toys? We’ve got a guide for that.


Legends of Runeterra is too good to ignore, even if you’re not into League

Legends of Runeterra, the in-development collectible card game from the folks at Riot, is good. Quite good, actually. And I say this as someone who knows painfully little about the lore behind League of Legends. After spending a long weekend with the game, all I know so far is that it’s a very good CCG, and that’s enough for me.

Runeterra was announced only just last month. Since then, it’s only had a couple of short beta playtests, each with a limited number of players. The most recent ended Tuesday and, while I didn’t have enough time to investigate its economics, I can tell you that the gameplay is excellent. In fact, the tutorial alone is an achievement. Not only does it quickly get you up to speed on the mechanics of the game, it’s an awful lot of fun.

At first blush, Runeterra looks a lot different than other online CCGs. The cards are big and chunky on the table. There’s also a lot more animation on the screen, not just when big cards pop off but even in the movement of the cards themselves. Invisible hands push game elements around the screen with a deliberate flourish, expressing a confidence of play that I only rarely see from that one guy who shows up drunk to Friday Night Magic.

The result is a game that’s fun to watch, and that’s made putting in the time to learn the high-level game even more appealing. Compared to Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering Arena, Runeterra is much easier to parse, especially on a smartphone screen.

Being easy on the eyes doesn’t, in any way, mean that the game is simple. Far from it, in fact. The hook is its use of champions, the characters which decks tend to be built around. In Runeterra, champions can be played very easily. Bring them into the right situation and they become effective much more quickly than Magic’s high-level Planeswalkers. They’re also much more vital to the game than Hearthstone’s various stunt cards. Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised with just how engaging and playable Runeterra is in this pre-release state. It all feels like it’s building to an exciting launch once it finally comes out.

If you’ve been looking for a CCG to get invested in, both emotionally and financially, this might be the one for you. I missed the boat on plenty of other CCGs early in their launches, and I don’t intend to miss that period in the life of Runeterra.

To participate in the sporadic pre-beta play sessions, you’ll need to register for access. Riot promises a beta period in early 2020 in its official FAQ. The proper release is also expected next year.