League of Legends is quite the popular online game, with over millions of players from around the world joining the servers. Impressively, as of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month. Leagues, as it’s commonly referred to, is a multiplayer online battle arena game currently available for Window and Mac users to download. Owned and managed by Riot Games, what makes the game so enticing is that it’s free to play, and unlike other games that claim this statement, one does not have to pay-to-win to enjoy League of Legends with in-game purchases. I’m not a serious gamer, nor a professional let alone competitive one, but I enjoy gaming as a past time much like for reasons people who enjoy cooking, or sewing, or other hobbies. Gaming elicits euphoria, and when one wins a match, it is this feeling of victory and accomplishment that makes people come back for more.
League of Legends is user-friendly. With a navigable interface and an interesting story line to the gameplay itself, it adds depth to the virtual reality. Users play the role of “Summoners”, who control “Champions”, each with their own set of skills in the world of Runeterra. Players, such as you, are matched with other players from around the world and both teams are responsible for controlling their champions and utilizing their skills to kill each other and destroy the home base. Sounds a little violent you may ask? Well, fortunately, Leagues is classified as cartoon violence (so there’s no blood or gore, just awesome dramatic death poses) and the remarkable visuals really own the game.
There are several reasons why I would recommend Leagues to new players. To begin, it’s free to play. Available for download on the company’s main site, users who decide to purchase “Riot points” with real-life denominations don’t have any significant advantages compared to other players except the distinguished skins that are available in the shop. These skins just make your champion look so much cooler.
It’s easy for beginners to learn the gameplay required. There are tutorial and practice modes in the game client and several guides and how-to videos available to search on Google. One may say that it’s a lot of work to put into for a game, but those who enjoy sports such as swimming, baseball, or track and field, will know that the extra dedication and practice will pay off. Strive to learn new ways to become better, and more efficient at what you love to do. It’s the same with gaming! This game is challenging in the aspect that you want to work as a team of five to outplay, or outwit the other team so that your team can be led to victory. Leagues has reinforced how important teamwork, communication and skill really are if you want to win and make the most out of the game. Users will enjoy playing the roles of assassins, bruisers, tanks, magic-based champions and support. Lastly, what I like about the game is that the timing is definite. What I mean by that is, a single average game length ranges anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how long it takes for one team to destroy the other’s base. I’ve tried other games where the goal was quest-based, and personally, it was never ending. With Leagues, I know that if I have an hour to spare, I can quickly log in and play!
However, there are some aspects that could deter users from playing Leagues. The internet is not always filled with kind people. Players who are ‘inexperienced’, or “noobs” (in game language), can be verbally harassed by those who are, in my opinion, too competitive or serious about a game that is meant to be simply enjoyed by everyone. Even if you become really good at the game, there are players who will go out of their way to ruin the game experience for others by intentionally playing horribly such that a defeat is most likely. These people are known as “trolls”. In other cases, people may disconnect accidentally or intentionally, making the teams unbalanced and the favour of victory less probable. In addition, there are those who “ragequit” (intentionally disconnecting after becoming frustrated with the current game’s progress) and this selfish action is frowned upon. Thankfully, the number of good people in the community outweigh the bad and there are some friendly gamers who go out of their way to help you improve your techniques to owning your opponents on the battlefield! In addition, Riot Games has implemented a peer-reviewed “Tribunal system”, where users can report other players under a list of punishable offences.
Regardless of the cons, the general public agrees League of Legends is a fun, favourable game to play. It currently holds a score of 78/100 by Metacritic and 9.2/10 by IGN as of February 2014. One could say Leagues has a cult following. Plenty of game play videos from regular users are uploaded on YouTube and fans of the game have ‘cosplayed’ and dressed like champions from the game using their own creativity and fashion skills. There are tournaments done at the local and national level, with a world-wide tournament held annually hosting the world’s best competitive teams where the winning team can win up to $1,000,000 USD! Who knew gaming could reap such rewards?
League of Legends Game Review – Alexander Truong – Score: 8/10
About the contributor: Alexander Truong is a student at York University pursuing his BSc in Biology and a minor in French Studies. He enjoys many activities such as swimming, gaming, and volunteering. Favourite novels of his include Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and most novels by Dr. Seuss.