League of Legends is a consistent action RPG from Riot Games Inc, which is based on the very popular Defence of The Ancients (DoTa) mod for Warcraft 3. Players take control of a powerful champion unit in team based and multi player combat to destroy the opponent’s bases. Combining real-time strategy elements, an RPG style levelling system, the facility to buy new equipment as your champion progresses with AI controlled foot soldiers and turrets’ looking for your champion’s demise makes this game feel like you’re really fighting for something important.
The game design is relatively direct but still has a lot of nuance and the core strategies are basic but still allow for multi-layered tactics. The game consists of 3 types of game modes 3v3, 5v5 and the newest release dominion. The former are your regular push and pull tactics, with champions controlling each lane to try and get there army (NPC minions) to the opponents’ base in order to achieve victory! Although as the game is balanced around 5v5 game play a few of the champions feel a little too powerful for 3v3, you will find that this can cause frustration when you are the better team but your opponents won because their champions are stronger. Dominion is the new game mode that is based on capture and control with 5 champions per team, each side fight for dominance over 5 objectives. By capturing these objectives you will slowly drain the enemy’s victory points bar, when you have drained there points bar to 0 the game is over and you win.
Riot games have created over eighty different champions, within this extensive selection you can choose from big bad brutes to eccentric mages or slippery to name a few. The visual style for the champions are endearing, so you’ll see werewolves, giant robots, big purple mad scientists, depressed mummies all fighting it out with crazy and colourful visual effects. As you defeat enemy NPC minions and champions you’ll level up and gain access to even more powerful abilities that will enable you to drag enemy champions, set traps, fire machine guns and a host of other options. At higher levels you can really hack and slash through enemy minions and even other champions. This can all be a bit confusing with almost too much to choose from, thankfully you can filter the champions based on the general characteristics you’d like and even investigate their abilities and read tips for fighting as and against them.
If you liked the colourful and bright style of Warcraft 3, you’ll like League of Legends. The game’s visuals are very lively, particularly when the crazy spell effects start flying. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the stylized approach gives it a nice edge. It can sometimes get a bit too much when lots of units are involved in a fight and at that moment it can be particularly difficult to pick out targets or even your own health bar, even when zoomed all the way in. The audio side of the game is very pleasant with solid music and effects that add to the overall style of play, which works very well. One thing that will get quiet repetitive is the constant unit acknowledgements, especially with some of the more “squeaky” characters, hearing “let’s go clubbing” a thousand times in one game can get under your skin.
There’s a lot to like about League of Legends. The strategy and RPG elements are sound and it can be fun to just pick a lane and start chewing through minions as you work your way towards enemy towers and champions. But sometimes it feels like League of Legends throws too much at the player, both in terms of the number of champions and the general confusion of the larger battles. The game design is enjoyable and there are a lot of great champions with nearly limitless in-game customization options.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.