PC Review: League of Legends

Is this League worthy of these Legends?

League of Legends is a competitive online game set in an imaginative world. Gamers take the role of a powerful Summoner, calling forth and controlling brave Champions in battle. League of Legends is an action-RPG, combining elements from both strategy and role playing games. Enter the Fields of Justice with your most trusted allies as you fight for your right to rule the world of Valoran.

• Take on the role of Summoner as you build your masteries, select your available spells, equip your Runes and call forth your Champions to battle

• Select one of over 40 unique Champions, each with unique special abilities and innovative gameplay mechanics

• Level your Champion from weak to powerful and make RPG-style advancement decisions from empower abilities to equipping items in fast paced battle scenarios

• Go head-to-head in competitive multiplayer matches with and against your friends, or compete in solo matches against configurable AI bots

League of Legends was created by the original creators of DotA Allstars for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. I can’t claim to be familiar with DotA (or Warcraft III for that matter, since I was a late PC adopter) so I didn’t know what to expect from League of Legends. Will I be shocked that I missed out on DotA or will I be relieved that I kept away from it?
To be honest, my opinion lies somewhere in the middle. League of Legends is a brilliant game that is free to play online, which is a huge plus in my book…but there is a rather large learning curve and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. The good thing is that you can always practise with AI opponents to prepare you for the tougher battles against real people.

The game is a bit slow to start with, but you make good progress no matter what. But the most important thing to remember is that you must work with other people to make the game work. Trying to play it solo online is asking for trouble, it’s almost impossible. So if you are a lone wolf gamer, you may want to think twice about getting this. But on the plus side, those who enjoy multiplayer gaming will find some great gameplay here. Battles can last for ages and are very engaging.

League of Legends still feels like it’s in semi-beta. There are features still being tested that haven’t been included yet and the game relies on in-game transactions to fund it. Online games that work like this have had mixed results in the West, so time will see if it pays off this time.
Graphically, League of Legends is beautiful with its visual style. The game runs smoothly and best of all, you can reconnect to matches you have been disconnected from. Audio is also a strong point with great music and sound effects that seem just right. Overall, the presentation is strong.

The Verdict

I was a bit mixed about playing League of Legends, but I’m glad I gave it the benefit of the doubt. It’s a tough, but rewarding experience that any fan of DotA has to try. It does take some getting used to but it does pay off in the end. It’s hard to tell if the business module will take off and how long the game will last, but just enjoy it for now and wait for more features coming.