Free to Play Gaming Done Right
I pre-ordered League of Legends (LoL) before it was released and soon after was invited to participate in the beta for a game type I had never played before. I had never played DOTA (I still haven’t), and only pre-ordered the game because I saw a trailer for it and thought that the game looked cool. I was pleasantly surprised to find a game rich with personality and unlimited potential for expansion which continues to be interesting and updated with new content since its release.
Gameplay: Fast, fun, and with new champions being released every so often always changing in new and interesting ways. To quickly explain how this type of game is played, imagine a baseball diamond, where Home and 2 base are connected by a lane. There are 2 teams of 5 players each and they fight over control of the 3 lanes (Home to 2 Base, Home to First to 2 Base, and Home to Third to 2 Base). The two bases that a team can own are either at Home Base or Second Base respectively and the first team to push the enemy team back into their base and destroy it wins. Now when you consider that every hero is different, and offers different benefits and disadvantages to a team and that there are dozens and dozens of heroes to choose from, you have a game that really is always changing and always feels new.
Graphics: The graphics are not cutting edge from a technical point of view but from an artistic point of view it is very enjoyable. If you have yet to look at screenshots of the game imagine World of Warcraft or a “cartoony” looking game with bright colorful characters. In a day and age when a lot of games are released with realistic looking browns and greys, it is refreshing to play a game that looks bright and colorful, without coming off as childish. If you are one of the few people out there that are put off by these types of graphics don’t let that stop you from trying out this game, because in the heat of battle you really don’t notice that everything is bright and colorful, it is all about the hectic and exciting gameplay at that point, trust me.
Story: No story to speak of. It does not hurt the game but is should be noted. This is a multiplayer game through and through which means there are no cut-scenes there is no explanation for this world to exist. There are small paragraph sized backstories for each hero, but that’s about as complex of a narrative as you get with this game. All you need to know is as the player, there is a blue team and a purple team, you have a base you must protect, and they have theirs and you must do everything in your power to beat them, that’s it.
Sound: Sharp and well done. It is a multiplayer game, so you’ll hear characters screaming things as they cast spells or as they die, and there is an announcer which will let you as the player know that an enemy has died or someone on your team has fallen prey to them. Again much like the story aspect of the game there is no orchestral sequence or great soundtrack, it’s not that complex, it’s a multiplayer game were heroes cast magic at each other.
Overall: I will not deny my experience with this game. I have played over 700 hours of it (I am not joking) and after those 700+ hours I must say the game is as fresh and exciting as it has ever been. They release new heroes on a regular basis and every time a new hero is released new strategies of how to play the game are created. It really is amazing how they have released dozens of new heroes since launch and yet the game still remains balanced and fair, for both paying people and completely free playing members alike. It may take free players a bit longer to get every hero but by allowing them to get it eventually by playing the game, it really is fair to everyone, which explains the game’s boom in popularity.
I see no reason why anyone should rob their chance at playing such a fine example of free to play gaming other than not being interested in this type of game. It’s completely free, it auto updates (as if it were on Steam) and it keeps getting better as time goes on. I look forward to playing Valve’s DOTA 2, but until then it’s hard to argue otherwise, this game is kind of perfect in every aspect of it’s design.