It has been a while since my last review, but now I finally have the motivation to write something. A few moments of thinking, and I knew I just had to review League of Legends. The game is different from your typical MMO or MMORPG, and the difference is quite positive and refreshing.
League of Legends really is something. The game does not feature any exceptional graphics or sound effects – both being quite average for a modern game. The graphics are actually quite poor, if it comes to this, but that is quite acceptable for an online game. In that sense, zooming in is a very useless option – not only does it make the graphics look bad, but it also decreases the field of view, which isn’t very big even at the minimum zoom. The sound effects are unique. Each champion (character) has its own voice and phrases which he/she says after giving an order by the player. Moreover, there is a voice that tells the player about major events of a game – such as kills, destroyed buildings and disconnections/reconnections.
Now I’d like to talk about the game itself. League of Legends is different from other MMOs because it doesn’t offer the typical gameplay that involves grinding, trading between players or strength that increases with levelling. No, LoL offers the player to play single games against other players or bots. Each game lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to even 1 and half hours, so if you are planning to play even one game, make sure you do have the time. Generally, though, a single game lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. During that time, the player gets to choose a champion to play with and work towards the victory with 4 other players. Victory can be achieved in two different ways: either the opposite team surrenders, or your team manages to destroy the opponent’s „Nexus“, which is the main building of the game, guarded by several towers.
What makes League of Legends even better is the balance of the gameplay. Although currently there are 95 champions to choose from, neither of them can be considered best or worst, disregarding their price in game currency or premium currency. The only reason for some of them to be considered better than others is when you meet an exceptionally good player. That’s also the reason for almost any champion to be called overpowered at some point in time. Of course there are champions that have higher win-loss ratios in the whole game, but that doesn’t mean they are stronger than others – every champion has their own strengths and weaknesses, making them counterable. Also, every week there is a random selection of 10 free champions, which are available for choosing for the whole 7 days. When the time is up, they are replaced by the next set of champions, with the old ones becoming premium again. One might argue that the game gets extremely repetitive (with only one map being played by 99% of the people), but that’s not the case in my opinion, and I consider myself quite picky regarding repetitiveness of a game. The constant change of champions really contributes to the freshness of gameplay.
As I mentioned earlier, there is two different currencies in the game. The first one is the free currency – the Influence Points, which are earned by playing games. Winning a game grants bigger rewards than losing, and once a day you will receive double Influence Points for a game that you won. Influence Points can be spent on purchasing champions or runes (small boosts to your stats in-game). The other type of currency is the premium currency – Riot Points, which are purchased for real money, just like in any other free-to-play online game. Riot Points can be used for any other purchases in the store: champions, runes, skins (the way your champion looks in the game) and boosts (for experience and Influence Points rewards). That’s actually what I like even more about League of Legends – paying for the purchases in real money does not give you absolutely any real advantage over other players, despite making you look better with your skins. Everything necessary for gameplay can be bought by working hard as a free player.