Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
A little while back I recommended one of the big-name MOBAs in this Have You Played… stream. Now it’s time for another – League of Legends.
League of Legends is generally billed as a 5v5 lane-pushing game where you pick a champion, join a team and do your damnedest to knock other the other team’s nexus building thingummy. There are other modes but this is the one which you’ll see in pro play and which people are generally referring to when they speak about LoL.
It might seem slightly odd recommending something which, according to Riot, already has 67 million players logging time every month but that’s actually part of why I’m suggesting it. There’s a massive community out there to tap into, so if you end up liking the game there’s a whole bunch of other material – hyperspecific Reddit discussions, cosplay, tournaments… – to enjoy. There’s also a thriving pro scene. In terms of what’s to look forward to in 2015, North America and Europe are both getting two additional team spaces in their top tier leagues (the LCS) next season, plus Riot have used the off season to make a bunch of tweaks to the existing game, particularly to how the jungle works so it’ll be fun to see how that impacts play at the highest levels.
But that’s all peripheral to the game itself. The main reason I’m recommending League of Legends is simply that I enjoy trying to figure it out and have fun playing it with friends. I come from a Dota background where the general perception is that LoL is an easier thing – more straightforward and with fewer ways to play with the systems. Sometimes that feels true (no pulling and stacking, you say?) but it also makes you think differently. The idea of winning a lane without stacking and pulling and last hitting was one I needed to turn over in my brain a few times before it sank in and makes me play slightly differently – same thing with the lack of a courier and the whole recall functionality.
League won’t be for everyone but when I play it I generally have fun. If you’re worried about being overwhelmed I remember there being a whole bunch of tutorial time at the start which should help you with the basic mechanics. If you’re worried about being flamed perhaps see if you can get four friends interested and try it out together. GLHF!