League of Legends is considered to be one of the hardest games to get into, and its pretty easy to see why. It’s a game that requires split second reaction time, incredible awareness, and knowledge of all of its characters, and every move they have.

76 characters in total, and still they add more.

If you can get past all of that though? Totally worth it.

The basic gameplay is the same as the very popular Warcraft three mod “DotA”, or “Defence of the Ancients”. For those of you who don’t know what that is (which is likely most of you), I will do my best to explain regardless. First off, you are matched up with four other team mates, and pitted against another five man (or three-man, but lets not get too confusing here) team. Next, you pick your champion from a list of them, while trying to make sure your team is well balanced. I would try to explain what makes a team well balanced, but honestly I would be here all night. After you pick your team, the game loads and you see what you are up against. You are put on one side of a massive battlefield, and told to go destroy the enemy base.

A full-sized image of the battlefield "Summoner's Rift". Click if you want an idea of how big these fights are.

You are hindered in your mission by turrets (those huge towers along each path) which will turn you into hamburger, minions which are basically damage soaking useless fodder, and the enemy team, which can range from useless to ‘I am so dead.’, depending.

So how do you do it? Patience, timing, and coordination are key here. You need to push along a lane, and use your minions to soak up damage, while not getting jumped by the enemy team. At the same time you need to watch the map and see if you can help your allies jump an enemy. On top of that you need to defend your own towers, while killing enemy units to earn more money. THEN you need to use this money to buy better items so you do more damage so you can survive more fights and ARGH. It quickly spins out of control and if you don’t know what you are doing you will die, a lot. Respawning has no penalty (other than lost time, and giving the enemies more money and experience) but dyeing a lot can cost you the game. Each game runs for anywhere from 20 minutes to up to two hours for the totally ridiculous ones. Most will be about an hour though, so do not start a game if you aren’t willing to commit.

For those of you who can’t see why this is fun? I honestly can’t blame you. I have no idea what makes this so addicting, but everyone I know can’t get enough of it. If you get good at it, you can make quite a bit of money from it too: The 100,000$, which is a rather nice prize, and there are regular tournaments for the ‘sport’ as well.

The part that sold me on this game are the characters, and the sheer range of them. One character is a giant Minotaur, another is a horrible alien from another dimension. Sharing the field with ridiculous creatures like this are a woman who is a master of the bow, two pirates, three ninjas, a whole bunch of knights, and far, far more. Each character has at least three ‘skins’ too, which unfortunately cost money, and are probably not worth it. I have at least ten skins, and all of my major champions have a skin, because if its pointless and costs money I am all over it.

My favorite character 'Maokai', a giant, angry tree.

So what do I recommend if you want to get started? Just get started. League of Legends has a leveling system, which means if you create a brand new account and start playing, you will be playing with rookies as well, or at worst people who just don’t feel like playing high-ranked games, and therefore do not take it seriously. It gives you room to practice and learn, and its the only way to figure it all out. Don’t feel bad if you lose, it will happen. Research things on their (surprisingly extensive) Wikipedia, and try not to repeat your mistakes. You will get to the top eventually, and feel better for it. Make no mistake though, it takes a lot of work to get there. According to my rankings, at the time I am writing this, I have 215 wins, and pretty close to that in losses. Add to that my practice games (which aren’t included in this), and “co-op vs Ai” which is basically you and a bunch of people against the computer, and you have a heck of a lot of games to get to where I am.

Now for the numbers.

Cost: free!…Sorta. See, you can play for free, but there are extra skins that cost real money. There are a few other things that cost real money too, but everything but skins you can unlock just from playing. I have spent…easilly two hundred dollars on this ‘free’ game, so make of that what you will.

Fun: Fun if you are doing well. If you are losing, this is the worst game ever and it sucks forever.

Simplicity: HAHA No.

Multiplayer: You can play alone, or add your friends and play with them instead. I recommend you get friends for this, as its tough to play with people who don’t know what they are doing.

Overall rating: Check it out, but if it’s not your cup of tea, don’t feel like its your fault. This game is tough, but like most difficult things, once you figure it out, it’s worth it.

Download Link: their website

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