Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Video Game: League of Legends

League of Legends was a game I was pretty sure I wasn't ever going to get into.  I had heard about it a few times from various people, but with such a surplus of choices in this world, and the most valuable resource being one's time, I just didn't expect I'd ever come across a situation where I would be playing it.
Eventually several friends got into the game and urged me to download it.  It is actually a free to play game with a unique system which gives incentive to spend money on it, while it not actually being necessary.  This is a pretty great system because virtually most any playable aspect of the game is attainable if you play enough and earn points to make purchases, but at the same time if you want a character or aspect of the game sooner, you can spend real money and simultaneously support the game through funding.

The game is a little hard to explain, but one way to describe it would be to liken it as a cross between StarCraft and Diablo.  It is a RTS with action elements.  It is based upon the gameplay of a Warcraft 3 mod known as Defense of the Ancients.  Typically a match consists of 5 on 5, in a symmetrical map.  The objective of the game is to break down a path through three different lanes in order to reach the defensive side of the opponnents map and destroy their Nexus.  Throughout each of these lanes are turrets that defend from entry.  There are a constant spread of mindless minions that flow up each of these lanes for both teams, inevitably running into each other and fighting.  You use your unique choice of champion and their select abilities to help these minions push past the opponents minions, reach a turret, destroy it, and continue on in the lane moving ever closer to the nexus in order to attain victory.  Meanwhile the opponent attempts to defend their turret while trying to push yours.  It may sound pretty complicated at first, but is pretty easy to get the understanding during the first rounds of play and becomes extremely addictive and fun.

Each week there is a rotation of free characters to select from which allows you to try out champions at no cost and make a determination if there is one you would like to spend your hard earned points or cash on.  Characters range from tanks, support, damage dealers etc.  I have provided a pretty barebones description of the game for simplicity sake, but as you further in it there are all sorts of ways to customize and buff your characters via mastery points that you gain each level up (with a total of 30 levels.)   These are like talent trees in WoW for the familiar.  As well, there are different runes you can purchase that give certain perks to the characters as well.  Starting out, none of this matters though and as you progress it is pretty easy to pick up and understand.  It is a pretty competitive game.  Most people advise to start out versing in computer rounds so you may get the hang of your respective character.  If you have friends to play with, it is all the more enjoyable because it is a game that thrives on cooperation.  If you can get a group of friends together on skype so you can quickly communicate, you've already got an upper edge on a group of who aren't communicating.  One user's experience could vary drastically from another depending on this factor alone.

Regardless of that last notion, I highly suggest you try League of Legends out.  Right now it feels like the definitive version of this type of gameplay, while other game companies are scurrying to develop their own knock offs.  Both Valve and Blizzard themselves are working on "sequels" to Defense of the Ancients, which will inevitably provide a more of a fleshing out of this genre as a whole.  Right now though, you have nothing to lose but time by trying out League of Legends as it is free of charge.  Give it a try with some friends.  If cooperation and competitive gameplay is your thing, you are sure to have a blast.


  1. I have some friends that are pretty strung out on this game, they will spend hours clicking away frantically.

  2. It definitely looks like the game for me!

  3. I really need to try League of Legends.