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Gamer Roulette: A Noob's Intro To League Of Legends

James Nguyen |
August 11, 2012 | 1:48 p.m. PDT


A free to play online multi-player real time strategy game (League of Legends)
A free to play online multi-player real time strategy game (League of Legends)
Since its release in 2009, millions of users world-wide have tried their hand at playing the free online game: League of Legends. I joined the ranks of these gamers at the start of the summer when I found myself with a lot of spare time. Two months and a lot of invested hours later, I still find the game just as fun and interesting as I did the first time playing it. 

I was first introduced by two of my close friends who occasionally brought it up. I finally decided to give the game a try one night, and I have not regretted my choice at all. It’s fun and exciting, a great way to spend some time with friends when you don't feel like getting out of the house. Plus, if you can manage to set up an internet call with your friends (skype or whatever you may use), the experience can be even more enjoyable as you hear your friend’s reactions from trying to wriggle out of sticky situations. 

League of Legends is a game where teams of five players go up against each other (5v5) on a battle arena type of map. Each person chooses a champion to use, of which there are currently 102 characters to pick, each with individual abilities, distinctive character backgrounds (lore), and unique designs and artwork. This is one of the things I really like about the game. 

When I first started League of Legends, I asked my friends (as I do with most games), “Who is a champion that can run into a group of enemies, kill someone, and walk out unscathed?” And that’s how I came about picking up my current and favorite champion, Olaf. He is an awesome Viking style warrior with large axes that he throws at people. Of course when I use him, I run into a more experienced group of champions and die, which is rather unfortunate to say the least, and no doubt equally frustrating for my partners.

That being said, the developers put a lot of time and effort into the design and feel of these characters and it really shows through in gameplay. Because a player has so many options, the team compositions can vary greatly from game to game, meaning gameplay doesn’t get stale as quick.

Artwork for Dominion State (League of Legends)
Artwork for Dominion State (League of Legends)
If by chance a match on the standard map, Summoner’s Rift, gets too old, there are additional maps like Twisted Treeline (a smaller 3v3 player map with a different motif), as well as a totally different game mode known as Dominion, which involves the same heroes but in a more territory based game, somewhat akin to capture the flag with a few twists. Personally, I still prefer the classic setup of five vs. five on Summoner’s Rift because it feels like the larger map area and higher amount of players allows for deeper strategy and tactics. 

When it comes to which type of champion you can choose to play, the sky seems to be the limit on this one. From red champions to blue and green ones, to ones with big swords, big guns, big shields, small guns, small swords, musical instruments, funny looking hats, support types, attack types, melee and ranged; there is an insane amount of diversity found in over the dozens of champions you can choose from. Again, that’s 102 unique characters, with a brand new one thrown into the mix every so often.

There is still a lot more to the game, such as its huge pro scene (where tournaments can rack up over a million live viewers online) but of course, besides being a fun and challenging game to master, League of Legends is completely free to download and play. There are different costumes or outfits (skins) for your characters to choose from that you have to pay actual money for, but that is totally up to you. Regardless, I think League of Legends is definitely a great game to be playing and I would recommend anyone to go out and give it a shot, they won’t regret it. Unless they get curb stomped and rage hard, then I totally understand otherwise.

Reach contributor James Nguyen here and follow him here
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