The online strategy game, League of Legends was released during autumn 2009 and is a game which requires the player to have quick reflexes and excellent teamwork abilities. Overall, the game itself is very simple but also complex at the same time, for reasons which will be explained later.
The main aim of the game is to destroy the enemy nexus, however it is not all that simple to complete. Defending the nexus are three lanes of towers which are dangerous when you approach them, it is therefore essential that you gather the minions (creeps) that are spawned throughout the game, in order to build a strong team to aid you in overcoming the enemy nexus.
The summoner is a device which allows level progression in the game. Each individual player begins at level 1 and can play games up to level 30 where they can earn influence points to buy champions and runes to customise them during play. Do not worry about not having any champions when you start, there is always the free champions of the week. For those too impatient to earn these points, Riot points can be purchased with real money and can be used to buy champions straight away, where you can also buy different skins for the champion as well. Although this can be a pricey way to play the game, it is entirely up to you whether you purchase them and it must be emphasised that you can complete the game for free by unlocking everything apart from the skins, however this may take a very long time.
In actual, live gameplay, there are a whole host of different champions with different roles during the battle, from beefy tanks designed to take damage to the little appreciated supporters who contribute significantly in unseen ways. Each time a game begins the champion starts at level 1 and progresses to level 18, gaining a new skill each level. Each role comes together in mass team fights where tactics and positioning are paramount. Tanks are placed at the fore and the squishy magic casters and ranged physical damage dealers, also known as ‘carries’, in the back trying to kill the other team.
The game rewards careful gameplay and capitalising on the mistakes the other team makes, such as being out of position or going into the jungle between the lanes and getting ambushed. Killing the minions or creeps with the killing blow is the main income for the players in the battles and these allow the buying of items which will help the character be more effective. Killing champions on killing sprees will give the killer additional gold as will assisting in the kill. That’s a lot of kills there. There are other objectives apart from the towers and the nexus such as the jungle buffs, dragon (which gives additional gold and experience to the champions) and finally Baron Nashor, a giant pink worm coming out of the ground which when killed gives the team a huge buff, gold and experience. Team fights can and will happen around these objectives.
The game is very colourful with champion abilities having varied effects and colours, which may cause confusion at times but once seen a few times, can easily be recognised. The controls used when playing the game are quite simple, where players are required only to use the mouse and four keys to do almost everything in game. Overall, this is an easy game to pick up but can take time to master.
A word of warning though, there is a competitive edge in this gaming community and it has been regarded as one of the most unfriendly communities in the online gaming universe, as some players can be somewhat negative to others who have had a particularly bad game. This is a major problem with the game at the moment but it should not put you off an otherwise fantastic game.