This competitive strategy game is fun, though it offers only a fraction of what you should expect from a retail product.
- Fun and addictive gameplay
- Lots of different heroes and a ton of ways to customize them
- Smooth online play.
- Multiple features have yet to go live
- Too few arenas
- Easy AI means there is no reason to practice offline.
Have you ever had the feeling that you paid good money for a game that's still in the beta-testing stage? As of this writing, if you buy the $29.99 retail edition of League of Legends: Clash of Fates, you are paying for features that you receive not now, but later. For now, what you get in the retail box is exactly the same as the freely downloadable version, which is a sparse package. Yet you shouldn't dismiss League of Legends outright, for while it clearly appeared on store shelves before it should have, you'll still get enjoyment from this fast-paced strategy game. If you've played the immensely popular Warcraft III modification Defense of the Ancients, you'll already have a basic understanding of what League of Legends offers: an addictive team-based experience that never plays the same way twice. It's a good thing matches are a total blast, given the number of not-yet-implemented features. Developer Riot Games promises these features are coming, but for now, be aware that what you're paying for is highly entertaining but not yet a complete game.
League of Legends is easy to learn, though this isn't to say that newcomers will immediately grasp every nuance. At the start of each match, you choose a champion, join a team of up to five players, and set out to destroy the opposing team's central structure, which is called the nexus. However, your real-life foes are not the only obstacle to becoming a true legend: The routes that lead to the enemy's nexus are defended by powerful turrets that are quick to dispatch you if you let your guard down for even a moment. This is where minions come in. A stream of AI-controlled units is frequently released from your base, and by assisting their charge down their predetermined lanes, you can more easily take down the towers--and players--that stand in your way. The click-heavy, Diablo-esque gameplay is simple enough, but the subtleties take time to master. You'll need to learn how to use minions to your advantage, when to push the lane (that is, aggressively charge forward) and when to pull back, and how to best utilize the strengths and weaknesses of your chosen champion. Matches are tense and exciting because there is little to no downtime. The action is quick to get started and the opposition isn't about to let up, so be ready to give each match your full focus.
Successfully fending off an attack means more than just frantically clicking on your enemies. Your champion levels up during the match, and in turn, you earn and improve your four primary skills (you also have a fifth passive ability). These skills determine the role your chosen champion plays during the match. Corki, a mustachioed gnome that flits about in a gyrocopter, is good for crowd control, enhancing his ranged fire with additional machine-gun rounds and area-of-effect attacks. Annie is a creepy little girl who flings fireballs at targets and summons her pet bear to assist in battle. While champions don't have the varied skill trees featured in Demigod, a similar Defense of the Ancients-inspired game, the large number of characters offers more general diversity, and almost all of them are great fun to play. Further diversity comes from the in-game item store, where you can spend gold you earn during the match on equipment and consumables that improve your health regeneration, enhance damage resistance, improve your speed, and much more. If you're confused by the number of items available, don't worry: The game offers smart suggestions based on the champion you choose.
League of Legends is a multiplayer-focused game. You can practice offline, but even new players aren't apt to be challenged by the pushover AI, which comes in only two difficulty levels: noob and easy. You'll want to join online games as soon as you can, and the matchmaking option lets you find other players who are theoretically around your level of ability. Yet even during your initial games, you're likely to face experienced players who are familiar with the formula's subtleties and are not afraid of vocalizing displeasure with a teammate's performance in--er--profane ways. Thankfully, if you've never tasted this particular game recipe, a tutorial level will introduce you to the basics, including one of League of Legends' unique additions: brush. You can hide in brush to conceal yourself from enemies, and good teams will use it to set up effective ambushes. Like Demigod, League of Legends does not feature any kind of single-player campaign, but online play is buttery smooth and finding a match is quick and easy.
League of Legends' core gameplay is an excellent take on a formula that's growing in popularity. However, the retail product is not a good value--at least, not yet. The game is freely downloadable, and a player store (not to be confused with the in-match item store) is set to go live later this month. At the store, you will be able to purchase champions and champion skins, as well as runes, which can be slotted in a rune book to further enhance your battle potency. The retail box includes 20 champions unlocked from the start, four runes, and $10 in store credit--$10 that you can't yet spend. Right now, the lack of a store means that the rune book is unusable, and because all 40 champions are temporarily available for the initial launch period, the value of the retail box is based around future features, which is a questionable and confusing pricing strategy.
Much of League of Legends' value, in theory, will stem from the so-called "metagame." Players, known as summoners, will level up and earn points to spend in the player store (again, features not to be confused with the leveling and purchasing performed during matches). The value this metagame will offer, however, is unknown. Due to the store's absence, the only metagame benefits to leveling up are points that can be spent on masteries, which are universal branching perks similar to talent trees in online role-playing games. In other words, if you buy League of Legends now, you're buying a game that is effectively still in beta testing. The slim selection of maps further makes League of Legends feel stripped down. While the map selection screen makes it clear that more arenas are planned, there are currently only two maps on which to play, though one of them comes in two varieties--summer and winter. The other arena is still labeled as a beta map, and is not available in matchmaking play, only in offline and hosted matches.
At least Defense of the Ancients refugees will feel at home on those few maps, which are obviously inspired by Warcraft III's colorful art design. League of Legends is a good-looking game, not because it pushes the capabilities of modern graphics cards, but because its vivid color palette and stylized environments jump right off the screen. Exaggerated animations give champions a lot of personality, while spell effects are vibrant without being distracting. Most importantly, the game runs smoothly and maintains a consistently high frame rate. The cartoonish look is further enhanced by hammy--and only occasionally annoying--champion quips, along with fitting sound effects and music cues.
In its current form, League of Legends' patchwork of features has yet to be stitched into a finished product. The clear focus and passion of the development team have instilled a lot of faith within the game's dedicated community, but in this case, promises come with a price tag. Taken on its own terms, League of Legends is a rousing and addictive skeleton of a game that isn't yet ready for prime time.
Editor's Note: The preceding review is based exclusively on the League of Legends "Collector's Pack" being sold at retail. A free version of the game can be downloaded from the official League of Legends Website.
typical gamespot score for good games...giving shit games high scores...this game was better than HoN out the gate...if this is your most popular game you should be updating this you unprofessional POSs
@Cat_Astrophy LoL is the p2w noob version of Dota.
@Cat_Astrophy nah, this makes no sense because this game is crap, so your statement is incorrect
@Cat_Astrophy Look at the date of when the review was written as well as what version of the game that was being reviewed. Why would he update a review from 2009?
OMG! Plz RE-review this three and a half year old game to validate my current opinions on it! The Vortruvian doom cricket that has taken residence in my brain has informed me through increasingly threatening whispers that should you replace the original number in your review with a slightly HIGHER arbitrary number(say 7.5 or so), he'll stop making me set fires and scream mythologically inspired racial profanity at passing airplanes. I simply will not be at peace until you've atoned for such a grave injustice! Perhaps if you'd wait a good two to three years for extensive patching and updates before reviewing games, you wouldn't have made such a complete fool of yourself...YOU HAIRY NECKED, COW FACED LANYRINTH MONKEY!
...that last bit wasn't for you. A cessna flew over the house. Where was I? Oh right! And THAT'S why I think the emperor of France is actually a lizard person. The end.
This game is really good and adictive , it gives new members in DOTA games an easy way to learn how to play , because WC3 dota and DotA 2 aren't really new player friendly .
i think this game deserves 7.5 because it's a great game and really addictive but it also have alot of bugs and lag problems , and a really doll managment , you can see tons of trolls every game and it really destroys the game .
This thing does not need an update. The game is as repetitive as ever, new champions really dont change much, u can't have a single skin other than the original for free. Each skin costs far too much for a novelty item, and there is barely any variety in maps bar the seasonal changes (which are small). Horrible game, deserves the terrible rating.
Kevin stop reviewing games like these, too unpredictable and its a free to play game, so you are not up to the task to review it, best sticking to Halo or Gears of War, cause its definitely the best choice, on then?
the biggest problems this game faces are the terrible balance team, whoever thought up scaling abilities, and the player base. the last one cannot be fixed ever due to the game being a FTP, unless Riot decides to region lock their servers and only allow IPs from a region to access that regions server. that however wont happen, cause the people at Riot are not that smart.
just needs some maps i agree.. well with the rest of the negatives, not so much its an online game ffs, bots are practice
Well this review is out of date.
League of legends is free to download and although they are constantly striving to make their game better, it now has finished the 3 main modes that the game will strive off.
Summoners Rift, 5v5
Twisted treeline, 3v3.
Each of these maps are totally different, captivating various difference skills required to play them,
the AI goes up to intermediate and they're presumably working on a hard, however intermidiate isn't easy, especially without runes, experience etc. its the equivilent of combat training on blackops.
There are over 100 champions so however you like to play, whether it be walk into the enemy and laugh because you have that much health or whether you'd prefer to stay back and put out extreme damage is up to you, there are a million different ways you can play but generally people play 5v5 summoners rift and they set up like this.
Top lane-Bruiser, someone who puts out dmg and can sustain some himself, eg Jax, malphite..
Mid lane-Ability power carry- Someone who puts out lots of dmg with their spells, eg viegar.
Bottom lane- 2 people, Support and Attack damage carry, Supports job is to heal the adc as much as they can, stun the enemy, let them kill the minions and to essentially get them as much gold as you can,
Whereas the Adc puts out fast constant damage from a distance and will get lots of gold throughout the match to build in game items which massively improve stats.
As well as this you need to capture the 4 buffs on the map, 2 blue 2 red, blue gives mana and red gives damage, watch out, each put out a lot of damage.
then there is the dragon, the dragon gives everyone on the team a set amount of gold and a little extra for whoever finishes it off, dragon is very hard to kill and almost impossible by yourself without the right items and skills, if you think that sounds hard, there is also the Baron, a giant red thing that sticks out of the ground and puts out huge damage, you'll need everyone to kill it but if you do before the other team, everyone gets an even bigger boost as well as constant health regeneration, get that and you're ready to storm the enemy base in style.
If this sounds like the game for you, then why not sign up?
I'll help you if you have any questions, just mail me on here or in game
Sign up link below:
League of Legends is a really fun game. Just to clarify, it is similar to Dota, Dota 2, HON, etc, which are matched instanced games.
However, you cannot smoothly transit between the games, it took me time to adjust from Dota to League of Legends (minor things such as minimap positioning caused me to constantly scan the wrong place on the screen) The game developers are serious, and updates are frequent. Bugs are fixed asap, the servers are stable, the community is friendly.
Definitely worth a shot!If you wanna give the North America servers a shot, sign up here!
It'll net me a small referral bonus, and I can guide you in the game itself too :)
Why it's best not to review games that are more than likely going to be patched with tons of features. A few years later you get haters saying the review needs to be better.
without the added features and free-to-play it wouldn't be as attractive as it would be now obviously. But at present time i would give it about an 8.0-8.5, you can't go wrong with free to play thats for sure
This is a problem for games that don't release sequels and instead have large amounts of patch updates. There is no 'other' game review. There needs to be some sort of rule or standard that allows a game that has been massively updated to be re-reviewed.
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This game got me addicted to gaming again.. after WOW..
Must stop playing this game..but its so god damn hard to quit!
IMHO this game still deserves a 6, Riot hasn't released a good patch in months, all the new heroes are op, but oddly they don't get a nerf and there are some heroes that need an urgent buff but get ignored. Good game bad developer
Actually the AI has been updated and is much better than before. They have also added a whole new game type. And as always it is a free game. You can't argue with that. I suggest trying it out http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/?ref=4e71220d7fce9530536854
The game needs an updated review, plain and simple. People read reviews for insight on whether a game is worth checking out, and this review provides no value in that regard.
Gelugon_baat's argument that a re-review would "cover up the past of this game" is absurd. An updated review could still mention the features missing at launch, and the slow rollout of them.
As it stands this review complains about a lack of AI to practice against, which is false. He complains about the price the game (when I'm not sure the collectors pack is still available) saying he doesn't like paying for features that arn't implemented; In reality the game is fairly feature rich.
@Steelscars Call it absurd, but I will still stand by it: it's covering up of the past, even if its lack of content during launch is just mentioned in passing in an updated review.
That said, about that lack of A.I., I have dug into the history of the game's updates. The first appearance of a bot was in the tutorial mode, which is not good enough for training. The tutorial mode was only updated a year later, and Co-op VS A.I. was only introduced in January 2011.
Would you furnish any evidence that practice A.I. as reliable and sophisticated as it is now was available from launch?
Also, the Collector's Edition was already available from the start for those who want to pay money up-front. All it gave was content that free-loaders can grind to unlock, as well as a lot of promises about features that had yet to be implemented.
That said, there are already two notes telling the reader that this is the review for the launch version of the game and that the current version is far greater. Isn't that enough change?
@Gelugon_baat "That said, there are already two notes telling the reader that this is the review for the launch version of the game and that the current version is far greater. Isn't that enough change?"
Not really. For all I know, it could be a totally different game. I agree with Steelcars. I don't come here for a history lesson, I come here to see if I want to buy a game. That review is no longer accurate, and so they should rewrite it.
@beardednun25 So if you know the review does not represent the present state of the game already when all you are looking for is to decide whether to "buy" League of Legends (when it's a "free-to-play"), why do you persist in asking for a re-review then?
You can always go elsewhere to look for information. As for the review, it is meant for the launch version of the game, specifically the Collector's Edition, which ultimately won't give the customer much of anything of value that a free-loader can't grind.
That said, I will repeat my opposition to any re-review. That would just gloss over the past of this game.
Kevin VanOrd, what do you know about games? Even when LoL was released it was clearly a diamond in the rough. Now it is the most played game period - eclipsing WoW in hours played: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/League-Legends-Beats-Out-WoW-MineCraft-Diablo-3-Most-Played-Game-44455.htmlThat reviewer should go get a job at EA, where everyone is as clueless as he is.
@nord1c Last thing you would do to change a person's mind is to call him clueless. Not everyone saw the launch version of the game as a diamond in the rough.
Unlike many of you here, I oppose a re-review to replace the original. I have to admit that I am not a fan of this game first though.
Replacing the original review just covers up the fact that this game was not what it is now - a far more sophisticated game with far better value, than what it was when it was released.
And when it was released, it's a barely done game that lacks the fine-tuning that it has now, and it was once asking for people's money - for how it was back then, a very empty shell compared to the far more fulfilling state that it is now.
So I am going to post right here, in opposition to the rest of you asking for a re-review, that I oppose it, because that is essentially covering up the past of this game.
This review is obviously now irrelevant and needs to be revised or there needs to be some sort of update at the top of the page similar to the review of Team Fortress 2. I mean really, how can a game that is currently free-to-play be bad value? Gamespot, you are really putting some people off from playing this game without reason. I love LoL to the extent that I have spent real money on it and I don't have the same amount of issues as the reviewer, especially considering that I paid no money to download and install this game. Please Gamespot, you need to fix your facts.
@Zaxteratron There's an After-The-Review addendum above. That's the most any heavily changed game will gain, not just League of Legends, from GameSpot.
Having a re-review just opens up a can of worms.
Truly great game and you don't need ''pay to win'' style.