League of Legends – PC preview pulled from PAX

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At last year’s PAX, I came across a game that felt just perfect for me.  I’ve always been a bit of a strategy gamer but, like some others, I hated micromanagement.  The thought of having to control dozens of individual units made me cringe!  Then, Demigod came around.  The RTS game that grants you the ability to control one Demigod and no one else.  The game did fit me like a glove, but that glove grew old and tattered.  Then, a game awaited all those that attended PAX.  I felt some force drawing me towards the Riot Games booth.  This booth contained League of Legends, which is a game that didn’t fit me at all like a glove.  Instead it was more along the lines of a gauntlet foreged in hellfire and brimstone that melded to my flesh better than Peregrine’s computer gaming accessory.  All I have to say is this, whether you prefer RTS games, RPG games, action/RPG hybrids, or some chimera combination of all those mentioned, you will want to play League of Legends.

Let’s get one thing out of the way, yes League of Legends can be shortened down to LoL but I don’t wish to demean this game by confusing those as to whether I’m talking about a PC game or laughing out loud.  I did before talk briefly about Demigod.  This had to be done because both games are within the same genre (RTS sans micromanagement on a massive scale), but Demigod only bests League of Legends in one domain.  Visuals.  But, I’d rather play a game offering forty characters that has a lesser art style than a pretty game with only eight demigods.  Oh, you didn’t read that wrong.  Not fourteen, forty!  Forty champions covering all sorts of mythos, archetype, and play style.  Each is just as unique as the other thirty-nine beasts, demons, magi, warriors, and other countless playable characters.

Take Annie, the Dark Child.  I did, when I was tossed into a makeshift 5v5 game at PAX.  Annie is filled with dark humor and is cute as a button.  She skips throughout the level, tossing fireballs at enemies, launching a cone of flame at all those caught in her path, and summoning her teddy bear, Tibbers.  Tibbers is no ordinary teddy bear, far from it.  Tibbers, whom Annie asks constantly if you have seen him, is a demonic creature that roams alongside Annie’s side mauling all those that may threaten her life.  If you see Annie skipping along a trail, teddy bear in hand, do not underestimate this small and precious parcel.  For powerful, dark, and deadly things await within this small package.

Currently, League of Legends is only in beta with approximately twenty champions made combat ready.  Though, the game does lie within the realms of beta, it is easily played on a non-gaming laptop.  Sure, the graphics may be turned to an extremely low setting in that situation, but the game is still enjoyable and with very little lag.  Just don’t be too shocked should you find yourself dying at the hands of Ashe courtesy of her long range arrows being shot your way off screen.

If you are wondering about the visuals within Legends, it is most comparable to Warcraft 3.  No, not World of Warcraft, though a World of the League of Legends MMORPG, might not be a bad idea.  It has a slight resembling to a fair anime art design with a dash of cel-shading thrown in for flavor.

If you are curious about this game, stop.  Do you like RTS games?  Do you hate micromanagement?  Can you play well with others?  Do you giggle when you spy a small child roasting a large demon?  If you answer yes to all this, then go pre-order League of Legends right now!  Just don’t rage quite after you receive a few fireballs and are the victim of the business end of an angry teddy bear, courtesy of a high leveled and well equipped Annie.

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