Just some of the over 90 champions available in the game. 05 Feb

League of Legends has been around since late 2009, and more and more of us here at Elder-Geek have finally dipped our toes in its waters. Given this, we thought it was high time we gave League of Legends a review; so, here goes.

League of Legends was developed by Riot Games, a studio founded by creators and contributors of the original Warcraft 3 custom maps; Defense of the Ancients (DotA). League of Legends follows the same formula, all be it with layers added both on top, and beneath.

The Summoner's Rift map.

League of Legends follows the classic DotA formula, with three pathways (or lanes) with a team base at each end, and defensive turrets belonging to the respective teams. Waves of monsters spawn at each team’s base, breaking off into smaller groups and marching down each lane. The non-controlled monsters from each team will battle it out for eternity until the intervention of a player champion, pushes the odds in one team’s favor.

As a game progresses player champions gain experience and gold by defeating enemy monsters and champions. When one side inevitably gets sufficient control of a lane, they push on towards the first turret.

This continues until all turrets, and finally the main base of the enemy team, is destroyed. With each turret being progressively stronger than the last, it eventually becomes necessary for the whole team to coordinate and attack as a group.

Adding another layer to this cake is the item system. As you earn gold you’ll want to purchase items that boost stats and awards special abilities. You can’t just purchase any item, however, as some items are better for some champions, and some are downright useless. Knowing which items to buy and when to buy them is extremely important.

Haunting Guise...really?

The game provides a list of recommended items. More often than not, however, these will not be ideal. The only way to find the right mix of items for you is to experiment through trial and error. A calculator comes in handy as well. There are plenty of online guides available, but these don’t take into account individual play-style. Experimentation is key.

It’s a brilliant formula that makes for some of the most hectic and fun team play we’ve ever experienced. At first glance it can seem like the first 10 minutes determine the remaining 50, but any team with good coordination and a strong defense can turn the odds in their favor. League of Legends is a game of skill, but the balance isn’t perfect, with some of the champions having clear advantages over others.

Riot has included two extra modes, one called Twisted Treeline where instead of three lanes there are only two, and instead of five players on each team there are only three. It makes for an interesting change of pace, but it’s little more than a distraction compared to the regular mode, Summener’s Rift, where all the real action resides.

Dominion is the equivalent to domination mode found in most modern first person shooters. The map has one circular lane with five control points scattered across it. The team that holds three or more control points slowly chips away at the enemy team’s tickets. Once one of the teams reach zero tickets, the match is over. In Dominion, champion and minion kills aren’t as important, as every team member earns experience at an even pace. Winning isn’t about having the strongest players, but rather, holding the most control points.

Humility apparently doens't go hand-in-hand with failure.

Sadly the community’s patience for new members is, for the most part, nonexistent. While learning to play the game, be prepared to hear derogatory comments left and right. The use of the “r” word is, for example, more frequent in this game than such classics as “is, a, the, and it”. Perhaps most annoyingly, be prepared to be blamed for other’s mistakes by those not big enough to admit their own wrongdoing, innocent as it may be.

The game is, in principal, free to play. Each week 10 random champions are made available for free. However, if you want to play your favorite champions every week, you’ll have to purchase them using either Influence Points (IP), or Riot Points (RP).

You earn IP through playing the game, but the rate at which you earn these points is painfully slow and the points are better spent towards the purchase of Runes; stat boosters that can only be purchased with IP. RP on the other hand are easy to obtain, provided you have a credit card and some disposable income. If you take a liking to the game, you’ll more than likely end up spending upwards to 200 bucks on the game. Otherwise known as four brand new games.

To some, however, it’ll totally be worth it. The excitement from Jungleing a Trundle– popping in and out of lanes to scare the bejezus out of the enemy team–is unmatched. Or playing a tanky Maokai; making his team near invulnerable with Vengeful Maelstrom while dealing massive damage to top it all off. Or Urgot; with is ridiculous range and massive attack damage, sniping people who thought they were safe and sound behind a turret. The list goes on and on.

Just some of the over 90 champions available in the game.

There is a magnitude of details we aren’t able to cover in this review, which demonstrates the incredible amount of depth Riot has managed to put into a fairly simple concept. Singing the praises of this game could hardly be easier. Sure we wish the micropayments were cheaper, and that the learning curve wasn’t so steep, but those are minor details when measured against the amount of pure fun you’ll get out of this game, provided you sufficiently engross yourself in it. The only significant thing wrong with League of Legends is the people playing it, but we can’t really blame the game for creating such a passionate fanbase, for better or worse. Given that the game is free, we definitely recommend trying it out. It’ll be up to you if you want to spend money on it or not. We certainly have.

– – – – – – –

Name: League of Legends

Available on: PC

Developed by: Riot Games

Published by: Riot Games

Release date: October 27, 2009

EG Score: 4 out of 5 / “Worth Trying”

12 thoughts on “League of Legends Video Review”

  1. I would love to play with you guys. I’ve pretty much only been playing on my smurf account, Charliekun. Feel free to add me as a friend.

  2. Well, aparently everyone on Youtube says LoL will be easier to get into than Dota 2, so I might give it a shot after all.

    1. You should play a little bit against bots, then watch a few livestreams of high elo players (like TSM, SK, CLG, or Guardsman Bob). Also, watching ESL and other tournaments gives good commentary (better than SC2 imo) and helps you understand what is going on.

      1. I really wish these games had a story mode. That’d be a good way to get me hooked to do some MP. I’m very reluctant to give any MOBA game a go with the entry barrier as high as it usually is.

        1. It has a story, but a story mode would make it more of a bad Diablo clone. Instead, Riot focuses on giving new content for all players. The AI matches are the closest thing to a story mode, and you can have a lot of fun with others just playing those non stop (like a match where everyone was singing the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody in the chat).

    1. I created a new account, Korne333, on the EU West server, but it will be a while till I am lvl 20 and can compete with you.

  3. Very nice video and review, I’ve missed your voice a bit =)

    I don’t think this is my ‘cup of tea’. Looks alright though, reminds me alot of starcraft 2, just the way the units move and highlight, very colourful aswell.

  4. Never thought I’d see reviews of free games… not that I don’t love league of legends, but it just seems like if someone was on the fence about trying it the fact that it’s going to cost them nothing would’ve already swayed them 😉

    But either way, I agree – League of Legends is worth trying, and playing against bots until at least level 8 is absolutely 100% mandatory. If you play at level 1, you’ll never play again – the community is full of complete asshats who like to troll level 1-5 players to get easy wins… so whatever you do, avoid that.

    But League of Legend’s barrier of entry is much lower than DotA due to not having the absolutely ridiculous concept of ‘denies’.

    1. Totally agree with this. Been playing on the EUW server at low levels, and maaaaan, it is bad.

      For one, so many people complain about scrubs and noobs and stupid stuff like that, meanwhile committing some of the worst offenses I have seen in the game. I tend to not talk bad to anyone, especially the ones that are doing bad and could be new players. I try to encourage them as much as I can.

      And two, I am done playing support champs this at this level. I am tired of supporting players who are incapable of carrying (mainly because they don’t know how to yet). If I was any kind of jungler, I would just do that all the time. For now, I will stick to my Teemo, AD carries, or bruisers.

Comments are closed.