For those of you who grow bored of ďnormal gaming,Ē or are in need of a good online co-op game to play with your friends then allow me to introduce yíall to a game called League of Legends. Whatís that you say? Youíve never heard of it? Yeah, neither had IÖ but I will never again be the same after having experienced it.
What is it?
League of Legends is an online multi-player RTS game. The graphics look very reminiscent of Warcraft III (WC3). In fact, the game reminds me of a custom map I played back in the day from WC3 called Aeon of Heroes for those of you who may have somehow been lucky enough to have played it.
(Side note: Why is it that every time I mention Warcraft that the first thing people think of is WoW?)
Itís less complicated than normal RTS games in that you only control a single character. I kind of see it as taking control of a single Ďheroí unit from WC3. Each hero has their own unique abilities, stats, etc. You have your tanks, fighters, mages, etc. Each character is fully customizable as well. You can build your mages more like tanks or tanks into fighters Ė though it might not always turn out so well Ė but the point is that there is an endless amount of tweaking you can do to your characters depending on the opponents youíre facing off against.
How do you play?
Well, the game itself seems to be more of an open Beta so far as I can tell. Theyíre still making updates to it, adding new characters and such but for the most part Iíll explain from the vantage point of where they are at right now. Basically you pair up in teams of 5v5 on a big map. Each side has their own base and the game is won by taking out the enemyís main building (The Nexus) in the center of their base.
Sounds easy right?
Actually, it is easy to learn but hard to master. Each sideís Nexus creates minions that travel in predetermined lines to the opponentís base in waves that help to stem the tide of battle. During each battle you can purchase items and weapons from the shop by accumulating gold. You become more powerful during your match by gaining experience and gold by killing enemies and purchasing items. (No, you donít get to keep these items after the match is over. Every game is its own instance and all the items you acquire as well as character level are only for that one match.)
The game has a big emphasis on teamwork. If you try to go rogue, then chances are you may find yourself on the anal side of rape when the enemy team comes charging at you late game and your teammates are nowhere to be found.
If you want to read up more on the basics of the game then Iíd recommend the gameís tutorial page:
The game is still beta-ish so there may be issues encountered. The server does seem to go down occasionally, especially the chat client. Sometimes the game client lends itself to issues that youíll likely find out about yourself.
The notorious trolls in games. Yes, every online game out there cannot be complete without their own trolls. Those immature bastards that love to piss other people off be it their annoyingness, spammy talk or just the plain fact that they were born. Their goal is to make everyone as pissed off with their lives as they are. Fortunately, you still feel the sense of accomplishment when you do defeat enemy teams that have them.
Matchmaking system really needs a fine-tuning. If you play in premade groups with friends then prepare to be dismayed every so often as it pits you against high-level players. They have a way their system matches up teams but it seems broken half the time as I began the game with a friend and got matched up against teams with Lv 30 summoners on their team. (Lv 30 is the max level, fyi.)
The game is addicting. I just canít seem to get enough of this game. I have to play it at least once a day.
Thereís so much variation. You have over 40 characters you can try out and so many ways to play them that I canít see the game getting old for quite a while to me. And Iím a notorious person for getting bored with games fast. :P
Yes, Iím a bit of a complainer, hence why thereís more cons than pros but donít let that deter you from giving this game a try. Who knows, you may enjoy it and itís a heck of a lot cheaper of a game to play than WoW. Oh, and did I mention that the game is FREE
! Let me repeat, League of Legends is a FREE
to play online game. Yes, you can spend money to unlock lots of content but anything that will have any impact on actually playing the game can still be purchased via IP points that you can earn through playing the game. It just might take a whole lot longer to unlock all the content going the free way.
Heck, if you really like the game and want to get off to a good start then Iíd recommend throwing out $20 and buying the Collectorís Pack either online at amazon.com or at your local Walmart, Target, etc. (Donít ask me why a beta-ish game sells things like this.) Thatíll get you started with 20 champions and a few other niceties to get you tidied over til Starcraft II comes out Ė hopefully this year.
Final Score: 8/10 (Totally Rad!)