League of Legends aka LOL DOTA

League of Legends aka LOL DOTA

Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of a little game called League of Legends. It has been around since late 2009 but recently LoL (the official term) has been picking up steam recently. I mean c’mon, with competitive matches as exciting as this who wouldn’t want to play?

Actually actual gameplay

Anyway, League of Legends from the classic DotA mod for Warcraft III (those of you familiar with DotA gameplay should feel free to skip the following paragraph). For those of you who don’t know, DotA (Defense of the Ancients) featured five on five teams each working, for no particular reason, to destroy the other team’s Nexus, the magical building which protects/powers their item shop. The Nexus also spawns minions, AI controlled chump units, which march endlessly in waves toward the other side of the map attacking everything that gets in their way. The minions walk down one of three lanes protected by powerful turrets which must be destroyed through player intervention for minions to proceed further forward. Players (referred to as Summoners in LoL) choose champions with which to attack the other team, each with their own set of unique abilities and attributes, and advance by earning XP (leveling) and gold (to buy items) by killing stuff, including player, minions and turrets. Simple enough but, apparently, this was fun enough and a big enough deal that developers Riot Games, of which several members were contributors to the original DotA, decided it needed to be its own standalone game. And thus, League of Legends was born.

Look at thost huge...harpstrings...

Not a whole lot has changed from the original formula.  The graphics have been heavily updated and new generation of champions has been hand crafted for the newest incarnation, but not a whole lot needed to change, it’s pretty fun as is, at least once you find a champion that fits how you want to play the game, and with over 60 different champions to choose from there is most certainly one for you (personally I prefer Sona). You can be pushy, you can be sneaky, you can be defensive, you can be whatever you want, a touch of variety that was somewhat lacking in DotA.

There is one problem though: It is solely a multiplayer game. This means that you will have to venture out into the dark depths of THE INTERNET! Honestly, though, the LoL community is pretty cool. While, on occasion, some serious trolling does occur it is very rare. It also offers incentive to not rage-quit in the middle of a game, forever branding you a leaver if you do. Light, but enough to keep people in the game to the bitter end, which can very often turn around quickly. One suggestion that should be taken to heart by new players is that it is usually best to play with people you know (making use of the refer a friend) as, is often the case with internet games, random teams formed in the spur of the moment fail to mesh well most of the time and can lead to a bad time. A few people who are at least comfortable enough to yell at each other and give advice as needed can really improve the quality of the game. Personally, I prefer not to play with a team entirely of internet people, but that’s because I’m better than them.

It israther tempting

Though, the price you pay is worth a little bit of noobish-ness. Did I mention that League of Legends is free to play? 100% free. The catch: You can only pick champions from a pool of 10 champions that rotates weekly, at least until you either give them money or play enough to earn enough IP (figure out what it stands for) to unlock a champion of your choice. The upside to this is that you should, at the very least, get a good experience with a variety of champions to find one that fits you. Also available if you give in and purchase Riot Points with real world money, you can purchase purely cosmetic skins which, while looking cool/funny, don’t really do anything but are a nice aesthetic touch.

As far as free games go, LoL is pretty good. Yes, the out of game menus can be slightly unwieldy at times but the in game substance makes up for the mild inconvenience. If you’re looking for 40-50 minutes to kill, there are few better alternatives I can think of than a game of LoL. It is available for download here and, internet connection pending, you should be ready to play in 30 minutes or so. Remember, champions rotate every Monday, so start playing now to get the best of the week’s offerings.


    • Stephen
    • December 13th, 2010

    Dude, great review! =D The trolling link was hilarious!

    • Classy Emotional Vampire
    • December 13th, 2010

    A most refined review of an exceedingly refined game. Good show, wot wot.

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