League of Legends Review

Score: 80 / 100
Full Name: League of Legends: Clash of Fates
Good: Nice cell-shaded visuals, 40 heroes to choose from, tons of items, free-to-play feature, fun singleplayer mode
Bad: Monotonous, Warcraft III DotA...again
Reviewed On: PC

If you don't know what DotA (Defense of the Ancients) is: 1. get out from under your gamer rock, 2. you probably didn't own Warcraft III and 3. pay attention.

The Backdrop...

League of Legends is not just another DotA clone. League of Legends IS DotA, by the original creators of DotA, and what they wanted DotA to be all along.


The game (and something that could be considered a game type) is based around the concept that a player selects a 'hero,' beats up other heroes and creep, and saves gold to purchase items for said hero to better beat up other heroes and creep.

There are also the objectives of destroying enemy turrets to push further into the enemy base and destroy the enemies main 'HQ' or 'Nexus'. Though that doesn't fully encompass what DotA is all about, it should give you a pretty good idea of where League of Legends is coming from.

Let's Get Down to Gameplay...

League of Legends makes you ask yourself one question: do you like DotA or do you hate DotA? If you hate DotA, I would just quit reading at this point. If you like DotA, League of Legends is not only for you, but it provides a great new take on the game type.

One of the main features is the ability to keep track of all of your games and actually level up your account just by playing League of Legends. This will give you access to new skills, new heroes, and other unlockables as you progress through levels.

Another feature that has been developed for this title is the League of Legends store. You can use in-game currency called Influence points or actual money to buy Riot Points. The store will offer new heroes, Runes to increase stats, skins, and boosts to xp.


While stat management and in-game shopping is great, what really matters is the gameplay. League of Legends, after selecting a hero and getting your skills/stats in order, starts you off with other teammates in your HQ area of a map. Heroes can venture out of this area and start attacking other heroes or just wait for the creep to spawn. After the creep start to spawn, the game really begins.

League of Legends pretty much follows the formula that was created with DotA: Level your hero, kill creep, kill other heroes, kill towers, buy items, and kill the enemy HQ. Though this right-click hero killing fest sounds simple enough, games can take up to an hour to complete.

The Visuals...

Cell-shaded is the first word that comes to mind. The second word that comes to mind is simple. Not simple in the bad sense of the word, but simple as in 'beautiful' and 'to-the-point'. League of Legends sports a beautiful streamlined graphics engine that provides outstanding vibrant visuals without sacrificing performance loss. Though some of you might not like comic book style cell-shaded graphics, I personally think League of Legends being cell-shaded captures the overall persona of the game perfectly.


The Disappointments....

League of Legends has been done before. Not only can you play DotA for free with a copy of Warcraft III, but other titles like Demigod and Heroes of Newerth have all taken a stab at what seems to be a growing fad: stand alone DotA clients that may have missed the trend train.

Another problem with this title is frankly the gameplay. I, for one, grow very tired of doing the same thing over and over in video games. Monotony is a huge problem when it comes to League of Legends. Yes, it has a lot of replayable gameplay. No, it is not different from what you did the first time you played it. Also, if you played DotA in Warcraft III, you will notice League of Legends is almost a carbon copy.


A final problem that I would like to bring up is the concept of leveling a character for nothing. Maybe it is just me, but I can't stand spending an hour leveling to 18 to have it all taken away from me at the end of the game. I can tell they tried to compensate for this with leveling your main account up, but starting from level 1 every time gets very old, very fast.

Overall...

League of Legends is a great take on the DotA game type. Though we may have seen it before, there is a certain charm this title brings to the table. Whatever that charm is, it is easy to see that League of Legends was definitely made for DotA fans with them in mind.

- Tyler Sanders (Chiko)

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