Earlier this year, I happened to walk by one of the championship events for League of Legends. If you’re unfamiliar with League of Legends, don’t worry, you’re not missing out. You may have heard your friends talking about playing it for hours on end, but that’s alright. You don’t have to be them.
Let’s be honest about League of Legends: the graphics aren’t great, but graphics are rarely an indicator of a fun game or not. Look at the original Pokémon games: the graphics are simple approximations of the characters, but it manages to have a great pace, and great storytelling.
Overwatch moves quickly, pitting teams against each other in lightning-fast skirmishes. There are a lot of fun, unique characters, who are eccentric in their own ways.
League, doesn’t have a great pace to it. You spend two minutes dragging your ass from defense tower to defense tower, only to wait, because your minions haven’t caught up to you. It’s slow, to an almost clunky speed. Compare Splinter Cell: Splinter Cell is a stealth game that moves rather slowly, but has a reason to, in that you’re forced to hide from enemies who can kill you in five seconds. You are forced to sneak around them, and come up with new strategies to sneak around.
The main strategy in League of Legends is to wait for your minions to take the hits when you attack towers, so it’s basically the same plan as Operation Human Shield from the South Park movie, only less racist.
Then, you try to destroy each other’s giant crystals, so basically you’re the fantasy equivalent of the DEA, breaking up each other’s meth labs while secretly making your own product. But look, you can play as a monkey, that’s always fun right? Wrong.
Monkeys have usually made for great video games. Look at Donkey Kong 64, you could play as Diddy and use a jetpack and shoot peanuts at lizard monsters. AND there was the DK rap, which was great when you were 5 years old, even if it’s cringeworthy nowadays; a lot of things are like that. Ape Escape looked cool, but I never played it, but at least it was pretty neat when they had that Metal Gear Solid crossover.
But not even Wukong, the monkey king himself, can save League of Legends. It’s a slow, clunky, real-time strategy that could really benefit from moving like a monkey and less like an army of turtles.