The new mode is a five player cooperative game where each one plays as one of the Guardians. Each run will have seven different encounters, and the game ends in a final boss fight. Between each encounter, the players will be given a level and a flat amount of gold so that they can buy items in preparation of the next encounter.
Encounters come in four varieties. “Survival,” where the players have to kill waves of enemies, “Escape,” where at least one of the five players must make it to the goal line alive, “Defense,” where the players are confined in an area and must hold out against an enemy attack, and “Boss,” where the players must defeat a boss character.
There are a large variety of enemies to defeat in Invasion, which will add to the difficulty of moving from one encounter to another. The designs and abilities of each enemy “monster” largely resembles the champions on which their design was based, and some even have more powerful forms that do damage to players in different ways. For example, the base form of Cho’Gath will approach the players and use his Rupture ability to do damage and apply crowd control, while his more powerful form will follow one player and swallow them when they’re close enough. While the player is swallowed, Cho’Gath can be slain by the other players to set the swallowed player free, but unless he is killed within a time frame, the swallowed player will die.
Other champions are closer to fodder, like Kha’zix, who is invisible while popping in and out dealing damage to one player, or Kog’Maw, who deals rapid ranged damage to the nearest player. There will also be a unique monster added to the lineup, which follows around another monster and making it invincible, un-targetable, and glow.
The Rift Herald makes a guest appearance in the game mode as well, and is most likely the boss monster based on its myriad of abilities. It fires projectiles in a spiral, (which can be evaded by being behind cover), rushes forward to deal massive damage to players, creates ruptures to incapacitate players, summons other monsters, and even has a weakness in the form of a giant eyeball that opens periodically.
In order to stay alive, players can pick up Health Packs that periodically spawn by the Star Guardian’s familiars. Using one will return health and mana to all of the players. In the event a player dies, one of the living ones can stand where their ally died for two seconds to bring them back to life. This gives both the “Resurrector and Resurrected” a brief moment of invulnerability. The cost of resurrection is a portion of the Resurrector’s health, and the Resurrected gets health back based on that portion of health.
On top of all of this, Onslaught Mode will be added as a more intensive version of Invasion. Unlike Invasion, which has a fixed set of two rooms to play through, Onslaught’s succession of rooms will be fully randomized within a set. This mode is accessible by either unlocking the mode through beating Invasion at least once or queuing with a friend who has the mode unlocked.
Following the conclusion of each room will be a letter grade up to an S+. The points will be based off of how quickly the game was finished based on the target time of each room. Bonus points will be added if the team finished the room with little casualties. At the end of the whole run there will be another letter grade based on the average score of each room, with the boss room being counted twice.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games