League of Legends
Review by Shard_Fenix
"Worst competitive game ever made"
Graphics / Sound
While the sound effects are pretty good, the music and graphics lack a lot of imagination. The game was released in 2009 but looks like an N64 could run it. The low-poly cartoonish characters make the game look like a kid version of Warcraft 3, and the only shader the game uses does so at a very low resolution, making the game look buggy when zoomed in all the way. The same music plays every single game, and the track is short compared to average game time, so over the course of a single match, you'll hear the same song 10 to 15 times in a row.
Gameplay is really where this game falls short. The game comes with a huge selection of champions (around 60 at the time this review was written) with one being added every week or two, so there's a lot of experimenting for you to do. However, the vast majority of the champions play very linearly and become boring quickly. Most champions have four abilities - 2 for damage, one for increased damage, and one for utility - often a movement speed increase. Very few champions require any skill whatsoever in order to be effective - most are able to spam their best skill all game to success. The overall balance of the game is a joke, and is easily the worst of any pvp game on the market today. Some champions are never even used because they are overshadowed by clearly superior champions with similar abilities, while other champions are able to fulfill literally every role with just a single build. The balance patches Riot releases periodically never address any problems - they instead change seemingly random abilities, sometimes nerfing already weak champions and sometimes buffing already strong champions. The mechanisms chosen for this game include uncounterable invincibility, teleports with no cooldowns, stuns that prevent you from doing anything whatsoever, and stealth, which is free but is very expensive to counter. With some champions, it is even possible to kill another champion of the same level in a single hit. If you're used to playing competitive games where personal skill matters, you'll be easily sickened by how bad LoL's pvp is.
The control scheme is simplistic and easy to learn, and anyone who's played a DotA before will quickly pick this game up. It's a basic top-down RTS-like system. Skills and items are all hotkeyed next to each other for easy access. Champion abilities usually have a targeting beam or circle showing you the range and behavior of their skills (except in some cases where the range is misleading or missing completely). With such a huge selection of champions, the chances of playing the same game twice is small, so replay value is a high point of this game if you can overlook the poor balance work. Playing with friends makes the game more fun.
Most competitive games have bad communities, but LoL's community is one level worse. If you play LoL alone, prepare to constantly get teams with leavers and afkers. The sportsmanship in the game is horrendously bad, with trash talking occurring almost every match, even between members of the same team. Nobody on the forums takes the game or anyone else seriously, resulting in a forum atmosphere filled completely with trolling. If you pick this game up at all, I suggest just avoiding the forums altogether, and skip out of lobby chat as soon as matches are over.
If you don't care about balance and just want a free game for you and your friends to blow things up in, then League of Legends might be for you. If you're looking for a cool pvp game to show off your skills, look elsewhere.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/09/11
Game Release: League of Legends (US, 10/27/09)
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