Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: League of Legends

Cost: Free with Micro Transactions
Website: Leagueoflegends.com
Modes: Tutorial, 3v3, 5v5, random pairing, premade teams, and ranking play
Style: Top Down Co-Op PvP
Final Score: 4.2 out of 5

League of Legends(LoL) is officially the unofficial sequel to Defense of the Ancients(DotA) which was a player created game from a map in War Craft III. This game takes the top down feel of Zelda mixes it with the interface elements from War Craft III then sprinkles in RPG/MMO spice, a dash of tower defense, and then adds it to the Co-Op PvP style of combat. With all these different elements you might think the game has a ton going on (and it does) but it has exactly the right kind of mix to keep you entertained with out being overwhelmed.

The Facts (on a 5 Hammer scale)

Graphics - 4

With multiple screen resolutions and graphic quality this game is playable on most running PC's with out looking too bad. On the top end you get a beautifully cell shaded game with movement and shadow that looks very natural. On the bottom end the game is still very playable but you get more generic looking avatars for everything that still allow the game to be playable even if its not goregous.

Replay Value - 5

At my last count this game offers you 62 champions to play all of them with unique abilities that makes each one fun and engaging to play. As you progress though the game you will earn Influence Points (IP) that allow you to upgrade your character through runes as you progress and eventually purchase champions with them.

Community - 3.5

I am giving this game a 3.5 for community for two reasons. One) not a lot of people talk during game play on the random matches and Two) those that do are less than nice. The reason this didn't get any lower on the community scale is because there are a few members who go way out of their way to host tutorial matches to help new players pick up and learn the game and also create very detailed leveling, equipment, rune and talent tree charts.

Mechanics - 4

Layer, layer, and then another layer..... oh, one more layer

First, there is the game that you play, then there is the section where you have a talent tree ala WoW and, next you have the rune pages, and finally the free champions are rotated out every week. Oh and on top of that you level during each match (up to level 18) and you must purchase gear with the gold you get as you level. These things were confusing at first (as in the how do I effectively do them all confusing) but after tinkering with them a bit they are picked up easy enough.

However if you have ever played any kind of RPG, MMO, or Tower defense style game then the over all game play will be easier to master.

Feel - 4.5

The over all feel of this game is very cohesive with little to no gaps. There are a few things you are going to have to seek out on your own to understand like what "jungeling" is because its not explained in the tutorial. Other than that the buttons are in a good spot and with one hand on the keyboard and another on the mouse you never have to move because all of your buttons are no in reach.

Only reason we are not getting a perfect score here is because some of the buttons are in an odd spot (easy once you get used to it) and I played my first 3 matches (horribly) before I realized there was a vendor on the map you had to purchase armor upgrades from.

Personal Impressions

First it is important to say that I am not a fan over all of PvP but I love LoL. Having not even played it long this game I can see it as a game that I easily move in and out of with out feeling I have to relearn the game over every time. There are two things that were frustrating to me at first that I addressed in the Mechanics section but now that I have learned them they are easy to cope with.

There is a lot to this game. If you can get in and spend 2-3 hours right after you first download it then I think you will be more satisfied than if you didn't

Getting Started

  1. PLAY the tutorial
  2. Jump in and try out a match or two
  3. Check out the community forums (invaluable info here)
  4. Don't be afraid to try new things with gear and talents and rune mixes.
  5. Try and stick to ONE champion at first (this is hard if you don't want to pick up any [RP] to get a perm champion at the beginning)

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