League of Legends
The fantasy land of Valoran is composed of warring factions who each called on devastating magic to destroy their opposition. However, this unchecked use of magic caused almost irreversible damage to the world.
In response to this the League of Legends was formed. Located at the institute of war, directly between the two strongest factions, the League oversees all disputes in matches on specially made fields of justice. In this way the land is not further threatened by dangerous magic, full-scale wars are almost a thing of the past, and some measure of peace is restored to the world.
At first glance this game seems similar to games such as Warcraft or Starcraft, and for a few good reasons. First, these are games referred to as real time strategy (RTS) games and League of Legends definitely falls into that category. It is not turn based and is impossible to pause mid-game. Everything is live and real-time. The second reason is that League of Legends' roots lie in another game called Defense of the Ancients, which itself is a player created version of Warcraft III.
One of the major differences between normal Warcraft or Starcraft and games like Defense of the Ancients and League of Legends is that in the latter two you do not create units or manage an army. Instead you and 4 teammates choose a character referred to as a "Champion" that you will control for the duration of the game, and an opposing team of 5 players also choose Champions to play as the game begins.
The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy base. Weak minions are spawned to attack the enemy base in waves and powerful turrets stand between you and your goal.
Unlike other big block-buster games League of Legends is free to play. This means that you can unlock content as you play or by paying money for it. But let me stress one key point, you cannot buy in-game power. When you start out you have access to only the 10 free champions. These champions rotate in and out on a weekly basis, so each week you can look forward to trying something new.
For each game played you get Influence Points (IP). With IP you can permanently unlock a champion for your use, you can also purchase Runes that give you slight stat boosts in game.
When you buy things with money you purchase Riot Points (RP) that you then use as a currency in the store. The things you can buy with RP are slightly different however. For example, you can still purchase champions, but you can't use RP to buy runes. The other thing you can get with RP is champion skins, alternate looks for the champions you own.
Even if you buy each champion as they are released this does not make you a better player or increase your in-game power. That's the balancing factor so people with money cannot just walk away with the game.
After each game you will see an increase in what is called your Summoner level. This is your personal level that determines three things. First it determines what level of runes you can use, and level 1-9 you can only use tier 1 runes at levels 10-19 you gain access to tier 2 runes and finally at level 20-30 you can use tier 3 runes.
Another in-game bonus you get is mastery points. These are accumulated each level and can be assigned to different perks in three skill trees, these perks give small bonuses in game. The final thing that your Summoner level determines is what Summoner spells you have available. For each game you chose 2 Summoner spells to play that game with, these spells range among healing, movement speed, teleportation, and damage, the proper use of Summoner spells can turn a battle. At level 1 8 Summoner spells are available and 6 more become available fairly quickly.
After you have chosen your champion, masteries, runes, and Summoner spells, the actual game begins. Each champion starts each game at level 1 and during the game levels up increasing their stats and the power of their abilities.
Your team begins the game in your base on a mirrored map, meaning that both sides are relatively the same, and the enemy begins in their base. You start with a small amount of in-game gold to purchase items for your champion. These items give you stat increases such as more health, more movement speed, and increased damage as well as some unique abilities such as damaging surrounding enemies.
At the start of each match you have about a minute and a half of semi-safe time when no minions are spawning and as such it is suicide to attack an enemy turret. When the minions reach each of the three "lanes", paths that the minions follow to the enemy base, the real game begins. You try to kill more of your enemies' minions to gain an advantage and kill your enemy to gain an even larger advantage.
If and when you are killed your screen goes grey and a countdown begins, at the start of the game the countdown is shorter and it gets progressively longer as the game goes on. After destroying your enemies' turrets you can attack the enemy inhibitors, when the inhibitors are down you minions get a power boost for the final push at the enemy nexus.
A game of League of Legends generally takes about 25-45 minutes.
This game is interesting because of the diversity in the game play. Based on what champions both teams select and how each player plays those champions each game becomes completely different from each other. The basic roles that the champions can have are: Support, assassin, ranged, stealth, mage, tank, and fighter. No two games will be the same and so the game stays fresh.
With depth, fresh challenges, new player types, and great graphics, League of Legends is a great game for gamers strapped for cash and ready for some on-line team play. Add Skype chat, to coordinate your actions, and you've got an evening of plunder and battle ahead.
League of Legends
Minimum System Requirements:
2 GHz processor
1 GB RAM
(Windows Vista and 7 users will want 2 GB of RAM or more)
2 GB available hard disk space
Shader version 2.0 capable video card
Support for DirectX v9.0c or better
Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
(Mac OS is currently not supported)