League of Legends
Anmeldelse af: Leah B. Jackson
Publiceret d. 13/02/2014 @ IGN.com
It was one of the first big free-to-play games, and one of the first big multiplayer online battle arenas, or MOBAs. But going on five years later, League of Legends still holds firm as an example of excellence. With its amazing variety of Champions, rewarding progression systems, and fast but intensely strategic team play, it easily hooked me and refused to let go. That addictiveness and competitive spirit, combined with a generous free-to-play approach and frequent updates from developer Riot Games, has created one of the biggest and liveliest gaming communities anywhere.
Like most MOBAs, League of Legends’ main attraction is its five-on-five matches on its staple three-lane map. Called Summoner’s Rift, this map is brightly and colorfully designed, and it creates a distinct playstyle with the way its dense brush allows you to conceal yourself and surprise enemies. I particularly love how the distinctive jungles on either side of the central river are filled with NPC monsters that give buffs to players who take a break from battle to go on the hunt – it’s a constant temptation to risk venturing into the other team’s territory to attempt to steal their buffs. The choice between engaging the other team directly or attacking their resources allows for interesting strategies and depth beyond simply fighting until one Champion or turret is dead.
Inside each team’s base also lies an Inhibitor which, if destroyed, causes the opposing team’s side to start spawning super minions. It’s an extra strategic objective to target in the enemy base, and having one more building to take down often leads to exciting and game-ending team fights.
From Ziggs, the bomb-loving little rat, to Jinx, the blue-pigtailed maniac, it’s electrifying to coordinate with your team to mow down your opponents and push lanes with League’s characterful and cartoony Champions. They each have an innate passive ability that helps make them more dynamic without increasing the already-complex management of active abilities. Teemo’s passive Camouflage power, for example, is a great way to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies. Plus, the quirky things they say and their flashy active abilities make the Champions memorable. I can’t help but laugh every time the adorable Lulu says, “Yep! That tasted purple!”
As free-to-play games go, League of Legends is a model of generosity. Though it doesn’t give everything away like Dota 2 does, it serves up a weekly rotating selection of 10 Champions for free, and you can purchase and play with any of the 117-character roster for a reasonable price of between two and eight dollars each. Yes, that adds up to a princely sum if you intend to buy every single character, but there’s no need to buy more than you intend to actually play. The Champion rotation is a nice way to try before you buy, and helped me to pace myself by learning just a few characters at a time.
You can also unlock every Champion at a satisfying rate without spending a penny, which is not only fulfilling, but it sets League apart from the type of free-to-play game that deliberately makes it impractical to play at a competitive level for no cost. Since many players opt for a completely free experience, it’s exciting when the roster changes and pushes the community to try out fresh characters and new strategies.