Thursday, 5 April 2012

League of Legends Impressions

Terribly sorry for the long hiatus people. Now that exams are approaching thick and fast, I decided to revisit the wondrous world of blogging. Wise decision, ey? Okay enough of this irrelevant nonsense, you people aren't here for my sob story. Let's get straight to business.

Ashe, one of the many champions
I decided to give this real-time strategy game a shot after hours of endless lauding from my friend. With my experiences, LoL is a unique game within the genre as it gives players control of one champion unit in a team-based battlefront with one aim: to destroy the enemies' base, or Nexus as it is referred to in-game. It has familiar elements such as turrets and AI units which one finds in a RTS, combined with characteristics from a RPG game such as leveling abilities, buying equipment and assigning mastery points. 

The major shock, to me, was that I had no control over my AI units nor my turrets. I could only control my sole champion unit for the entire duration of the game, which in some cases could last for 45 minutes. Even though the game provides a plethora of champions to choose from, the gameplay became quickly repetitive and monotonous. Not only that but the map choices were also limited which also added to the boredom. Moreover, there is a very strong dependency on others. One poor player (either due to skill or lack of participation) can jeopardise the entire scenario. Finally, I found the gameplay to be quite slow. Yes, even for a RTS. Waiting for the next wave of AI units to spawn for you to use as cannon-fodder really does slow the game down. It's a necessity to do this as the champion is misleadingly, not that strong. In addition, some champions are far more overpowered than others. You realise this as you progress throughout the game.

Lush, bright graphics
On the bright side, the visuals are colourful and vibrant. And the entire concept is unique to me, though I am told it's based off Warcraft III. There are tactics and strategies involved which do make gameplay interesting and these are uncovered as you play the game more and more. A strong positive is that the role-play elements actually enhance the game majorly, not detract from it. Deciding which abilities and masteries to level based on your gameplay and champion does keep you occupied well. Moreover buying items and equipment is also quite interesting, as you need to purchase basic items to forge more advanced equipment. The game also provides further incentive to play by having in-game currency called Influence points which enables you to buy new champions and equipment. Riot points are another type of currency however this is purchased with real money and only provides you with access to items such as skins for your champions which do not alter gameplay.

The limited number of maps, control of a single unit and the general mish-mash confusion in a large encounter just isn't my cup of tea. Although there is a lot to like about this game, especially with the large variety of champion units to choose from and sound strategies involved. On the contrary, I do feel that the repetitive gameplay hinders this game. It doesn't possess a terrific lasting appeal, but it does fulfill its purpose of being a small, addictive, and in short bursts, a rather fun game.

Overall I feel that LoL deserves 7/10.

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