For those of you who are unfamiliar, DotA (long for Defense of the Ancients) is a special scenario from the real time strategy game Warcraft III, where the player's goal is to defeat the enemy's "ancient" in the other corner of the map with the help of his champion and AI-controlled small helpers. So what happened is that avid DotA players realized how fun this scenario is and many of them decided to branch out and make new similar games, and eventually this movement evolved into something more than just a sub-genre of RTS games.
Now I'm not a pro DotA or LoL player, but I believe that I played enough of LoL to get a good image and understanding of this game, but by no means is this an in-depth review. Also, due to the nature of the game, I will divide my review into two parts: In-game and Summoner Menu.
You have the choice to play against players or AI. In either case, it's 3vs3 or 5vs5. Similarly to DotA, your goal is to control your champion, level it up, get new items, and with the help of your teammates, destroy the enemy's most important building, the nexus. Sounds simple, right? Well it's not. The whole reason why this genre became popular is because of all the necessary skill involved in controlling your champion. Moving it in the wrong direction or using the wrong skill will often cost you your life, and teamwork is essential. Advanced players talk about tactic elements such as jungling, area control, feeding, ganking, etc. This shows how complex and professional LoL can get.
There is not much to say about visuals and sound. It's decent looking for an online game although some champion drawings seem awkward at times and some menu colors make me wonder of which sexual orientation that developer was. Obviously this game does not require a strong video card, but on the other hand a good internet connection is very important, since nobody likes players who disconnect all the time or who complain about dying due to "lag."
Personally, the game is pretty fun and addicting but there are some things I dislike. First, it gets repetitive and boring. Due to lack of game modes and maps, you often end up playing the same exact game but with different people. Most new players will get turned off by this, but the ones that keep going are motivated to play to increase their summoner level, to get new stuff at the store and most importantly, to increase their ranking. Secondly, the community is mostly made up of snobs, assholes and mutes. Some say that the European server has nicer people, but it's still arguable.
When you're not actually playing in a match, there are many other things you can do. These include:
- A store where you can purchase runes (that give bonuses to your champion), new champions, cash items (such as exp boosts and champion skins) and new spells, among other things.
- Acquire new passive abilities as your summoner level increases.
- View your personal stats, ranking, etc.
- Check out the LoL lore, which includes champion backgrounds and various "news articles" straight from the world of LoL.
As you might have noticed, there are some RPG elements which give some players an advantage over others simply because they played longer, BUT it is not all that significant compared to how much actual SKILL counts. So if you consider yourself a CASUAL player and you don't want to be at a disadvantage against kids who have no lives, you can STILL have fun and win.
One last thing: this is a very elitist and competitive game so if you have an abundance of testosterone and the speed comparable to a pro Star Craft player, you will most likely love this game and won't mind its flaws.