Project L: All of the gameplay mechanics and features we spotted in Riot's League of Legends fighting game

The short clips were more telling than you might have realized

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • October 16, 2019 at 1:54 p.m. PDT

After being officially revealed at EVO 2019 back in August, Riot has finally given fans a glimpse at what their upcoming League of Legends fighting game will look like. Referred to as "Project L" during their reveal yesterday, the video detailed several of the company's upcoming products and featured a handful of short clips of the fighter in action.

While these clips were very brief, keen-eyed viewers would tell you that they were actually surprisingly telling in terms of how the game might play. From gameplay to characters, here's everything we spotted in the League of Legends fighting game, Project L.

Right out of the gate, we can see that Project L appears to be a 1v1, 2D fighting title. Each of the clips featured two opponents slugging it out like a standard competitive fighting game, and there are very clear inspirations taken from popular fighters implemented here.

The Champions: At this point in time, Project L showed five Champions involved in the fighting title. Ahri, the female mage hero, male ax wielder Darius, big-gun user Jinx, and "the Sinister Blade" Katarina all saw gameplay footage, while Ryze was spotted in the concept artwork shown.

There are 145 Champions in League of Legends, so the character pool to choose from is certainly vast. It will be interesting to see who Riot adds to the fighting title and how.

Basic gameplay mechanics

Health bars: Like most traditional competitive fighting games, Project L has standard health bars as its primary way of reaching a win in combat. Some of the clips shown feature a look at the on-screen HUD (which is still a work in progress), but we see characters taking damage and their life meter depleting.

Combos are present: While that might seem like a no-brainer for any fighting game, titles such as the latest Samurai Shodown do mostly away with multi-hit combos in exchange for the focus on neutral play and hard-hitting single strikes. The Project L footage reveals that there are indeed multi-hitting combos, though they don't seem to be long, intricate sequences as the highest combo we see comes in at four hits.

EX / Super meter: At the bottom of the screen is shown a long meter with four bars that comprise it. This is the game's EX meter, which is confirmed by the clip that sees Katarina perform a flashy double teleport special move as one of those stocks is depleted from the meter.

We don't see any large, super-style attacks done here, but oftentimes with an EX meter there is an option to use the entire resource for an extra powerful strike. That very well could exist here in Project L, but we'll have to wait and see.

Odds and ends: Also spotted on the HUD are what appear to be two round win indicators (meaning there will be a standard two-out-of-three format), a character-specific meter that might operate like Injustice's character powers or more as a comeback mechanic, and a bar underneath the health meters that seems to be for stun or guard break.

What's interesting about this bar is that we can see Darius' go down when one of his attacks is blocked, though we aren't shown exactly what causes them to fill up. Being hit doesn't appear to do it, based on the short clips shown, so its function is still a bit of a mystery at this time.

What you may have missed

Back recovery: In one of the clips, we see the ax wielder knocked down and perform a backward roll when hitting the ground. A common defensive maneuver utilized in games like Street Fighter 5 and Mortal Kombat 11, performing a back recovery or roll allows you to escape pressure and okizeme situations after be knocked down, and such a mechanic appears to be present in Project L.

Back dashes: Keeping with the defensive options motif, Project L also appears to feature back dashes. When Katarina attempts her double teleport move, we see Darius spin around and move backward briefly in an attempt to escape and create some space. The character becomes covered in a similar glow seen during the back recovery, which leads me to believe that when one of these defensive options is used there will be an indicator for those playing and watching.

Air recovery: During one of the combos, we see a character being juggled by Jinx's bullets. After two juggle hits (which also have their own on-screen indicator in Project L), the fighter sports that same aforementioned glow and flips out of the sequence, having invulnerability until she hits the ground.

This air recovery / reset is a state that is common in other fighting games, and it usually comes after an attack that isn't meant to see a follow up after or if a combo ends prematurely. In this case, it looks as though the third bullet doesn't make contact, leaving enough time to flip out and pass through the fourth bullet unharmed, resetting back to a neutral state.

Counter hit: At one point in the footage, we see an attack land with the word "Interrupt" popping up on screen. Since we don't see the beginning of this interaction, we can't say for sure, but this definitely seems like Project L's counter hit system.

Essentially, whenever a player begins an attack but is interrupted by the opponent's move before it can make contact, this grants a counter hit to the latter. Counter hits typically add benefits for the person who scored it, including more damage, better frame advantage (a larger window to connect another attack after), and more.

Here's a cropped perspective of one of the screens we saw from Aurich. He added some notes on a handful of points of interest as well:

Proj L image #1
Click images for larger versions

What we've seen so far is undoubtedly an early build of the game, so a lot can change by the time we see it launched.

Were there any other interesting things you noticed about the Project L footage that we didn't cover? Let us know in the comments below.

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