|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Riot Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Riot Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 26, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-12||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
League of Legends combines various related genres such as RTS, RPG, and MMORPG to bring forth a fast-paced, streamlined, action-oriented online game that is accessible to a wide range of players. It's fashioned after Warcraft III and Defense of the Ancients, but it manages to blaze its own path and arrive at a unique identity. It combines some of the best action elements from these genres and eliminates micromanagement as well as the online persistence that requires a huge time commitment. It won't take you long to get up and running.
League of Legends: Clash of Fate can be played by one or 12 players that will engage in bite-sized battles that last from 20 to 40 minutes. It's loaded with features and characters, and best of all, it's free. Yes you heard me, or read me, rather. League of Legends can be downloaded online for free. And since this is a review, and you're awaiting my verdict as to whether this is worth your time to play, yes it is but for crying out loud read this review so you don't go in blind. There are players online awaiting your arrival and you don't want to be making your entrance like an ignorant hillbilly who is using the internet at the local library.
In the war-ravaged world of Valoran, inhabitants of different races and affiliations have been feuding for millennia. As these factions, and societies in general, evolved, a decision was reached to contain and control these ongoing wars. Each faction would elect their best warriors in the form of Champions to do battle with each other, thus eliminating the need for massive armies. Matters that cannot be reached through diplomatic means are decided in battle. These battles let the population live in relative peace by eliminating collateral damage, and allow for more community services since the governments don't have to spend a fortune to construct and maintain an army.
To keep your hillbilly persona at bay, there's a great single-player tutorial that will teach you the basics. Don't pass this up because it's not just for you, it's for the other people on your team a well. Trust me you don't want to play with anyone that hasn't been through the tutorial, as they will be nothing more than a determent to your team, asking questions the tutorial would have easily answered. In the tutorial, you'll learn the ropes as well as some tips and techniques that will get you thinking in the right mindset. Getting started is fairly easy, the developers have done a great job in straightening out the learning curve by adding more elements to the gameplay incrementally. You'll unlock things such as new champions and challenges as you progress, giving you time to digest and put into practice things that you've previously discovered or been awarded.
Employing different, numerous, and unique strategies is what defines LoL:CoF. Despite the lack of micromanagement, there is no shortage of depth to the gameplay. Considering that the average match lasts half-an-hour, there's plenty of things to keep your mind occupied. You don't even have to worry about leveling-up your character, as your various skills will be upgraded almost automatically depending on your preferences as dictated by your runebook. If you're not sure what attributes to upgrade, there is a suggested list for your convenience. The better you do in battle, the more powerful your character will become. You can also fight NPC monsters to increase your abilities. But the leveling is not persistent, as it only lasts for the duration of the match. The cap is set at 18, and you can reach that fairly quickly.
At the outset, each player must create an avatar called a Summoner. The Summoner is the embodiment of the player's assets and abilities. It can never be used directly in battle, but its influence cannot be overstated, as it can be used to draw special powers from on occasion, especially spells. It's like the equivalent of a rich backer for your poker exploits.