Game Review: League of Legends

Developed by Riot Games Inc. in 2009, this Multiplayer-Online-Battle-Arena (or MOBA for short) offers various paces of action with a clever combination of strategy and RPG elements. League of Legends, also known as LoL, is a relatively new game out on the scene but it has gained an incredible following with over 11 million players enjoying LoL a month. Alongside that, the game’s competitive scene has taken a boon in popularity and the current Season 2 championship prize pool totals at ยฃ2 million.

In this online free-to-play game, you are a summoner that summons champions to fight in team-based arena matches for you. You earn influence points which can help you buy new champions, runes to boost your champions or other various upgrades. The classic mode pits teams of 5 against eachother and each battle it out, with the assistance of NPC’s called minions and a shopkeeper who sells you items (with the gold you earn), to reach the opposing team’s base and destroy their Nexus. The game is predominantly PvP (Player versus Player) with an option to play against practice bots. The benefits of this game being that it’s free to play, but you can choose to buy premium items like champion skins if you so wish. The vast selection of champions can create interesting and unique team combinations and there is replayability factor in terms of player versus player matches.

For a small backstory, League Of Legends is set in the fantasy land of Runeterra upon a continent called Valoran. Valoran has been ravaged by what is called “Runewars” and a powerful organization comprised of the Valorian Countries’ brightest and wisest individuals was formed to prevent further damage to the land. This organization is called the League of Legends and instead of open warfare, disputes are settled on fields of justice, where opposing sides summon champions to fight for their cause to gain influence and decide the outcome of such disputes.

The abundance of champions, each with their own special skills (a set of 4 for each champion) does indeed create unusual and fun combinations of teams and this is a real bonus. There are so many characters to purchase that there is a completionist attitude set aside for hardcore gamers who like “collecting” things and the gameplay can vary between fast-paced or strategic and this broadens the dynamics of what a MOBA game can do for players. This game accomodates for experienced and new players alike and aims to provide the best balanced matches available, but for new players just starting out, they can play against bots to get used to the game first. The effort that goes into providing visually stunning artwork, 3D models and animation effects shows that Riot Games have a talented and dedicated team of staff to provide the best experience possible. As well as the art and development team, there is a team of community support staff to take care of the gamer’s queries and problems, from all corners of the world. What really will grab a players attention, is the feeling of control and new players will feel a connection to the game based on the “flavour” of champion they choose and over time gamers can become attached to their favourite champions as they develop their in-game skills.

On top of the positives, Riot have gone above and beyond to create their own musical scores in-game and offer regular patches to update the game’s visual and technical details. Despite being a new company, there is an air of extreme professionalism that reflects in their popularity and economical fortunes through premium purchases in game with currency called “Riot Points” and merchandising. Players who retain a positive attitude can see the care taken and I along with the rest of the fanbase should offer apreciation for their attention to detail. There is a strong competitive scene (as there should be with MOBAs) that offers normal games and ranked matches where players compete to be the best of the leaderboards. Local, national and world tournaments sinew a roar of excitement and enthralling action to where everyone can set themselves goals, so hardcore gamers ALSO have this element to keep themselves happy. Of course being a PvP game, anyone can meet anyone and make friends through any of Riot’s game servers.

Unfortunately, there are some issues with LoL that do ’cause serious concerns… The most noted of all is the community. Sure there are some really nice people in the game, but the reputation of the LoL fanbase is tarnished by negative and abusive players that is kindled by the competitiveness of the MOBA genre. Insults and cursewords, as well as a habit called “trolling” is very much abundant in LoL and it often pits new and veteran players in uncomfortable and upsetting positions and can even deter new players. Alongside that, the competitiveness and the broad skillset of the gamers who play it mean there’s a stark contrast and sometimes a new player is pitted against experienced players through “smurfs” or just misfortune. The high skill-level required to keep up with League of Legends would not appeal to every gamer, but Riot tries its best to change that.

Overall, there are some serious kinks to work out such as the community behaviour and the competitive scene, but generally it is a fun and enthralling game that offers MOBA veterans and newcomers alike a fresh and free-to-play video game that can be tailored to how the player wants to play. In comparison to LoL’s competitors Dota2, Rise of Immortals and SMITE, they have the largest fanbase and still continue to grow which is thanks alot to the beautiful artwork and the fluid and ever-updating gameplay mechanics, as well as a constant addition of champions and content to the roster, which keeps the fans entertained. League Of Legends is certainly not for everyone, but experimenting and giving this some time should decide whether the game is fun for you to play. Ultimately, you play the game however you want, WITH whoever you want and WHENEVER you want.

If you are curious, here is the link to their website:

http://www.leagueoflegends.com

and also Riot’s website, that has company info and job vacancies:

http://www.riotgames.com

4 thoughts on “Game Review: League of Legends

  1. Solid review. The one thing that I have always liked about LoL is that you can’t spend real money to buy success in the game. Many other free-to-play games have been derailed by making the best equipment/stats/etc. available for those willing to drop tens or hundreds of dollars on the game, which leads to an unbalanced mess. LoL basically says “sure, you can buy skins and champions!” and leaves runes/leveling to those who earn it.

    • I’m glad you like it, since my review tend to vary in terms of length and in-depth analysis, so I’ll have to rein it in a bit. Indeed, the hard work to building your champion right is what decides a good player, from someone who has a lot of cash to spend. I thank you for your comment and if you have any recommendations, I will happily take them ๐Ÿ™‚

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