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League of Legends - First Impressions
Sometimes it's difficult to find something to say about a game, and sometimes these reviews all but write themselves. When it's the latter case, it's usually not a good thing for the game, and unfortunately, such is true of League of Legends.

LoL is, as the game often makes apparent, a DotA clone. If you don't know what that means, LoL never takes the time - i.e. four fucking words - to explain it to you. For reference, it's Defense of the Ancients, a mod for Warcraft III that sees each player controlling just a hero. Each side has defensive towers and AI-controlled minions that attempt to destroy the other side's forces, towers, and eventually, base, but heroes are crucial to the offensive. You kill, gain experience, level up, gain gold, and purchase gear. The mod has since become a genre unto itself, containing games like Demigod - which, for the record, is far more polished and professional than LoL, but actually much, much worse as a game. LoL notes that it's from the creators of DotA All-Stars, which I presume is another fan-made mod. This is actually quite telling, because LoL - despite being a "professional" product, in that it's free to play but has features you can purchase with real money - feels very much like a fan-made mod. Which isn't really a good thing.

The first sign of this was when I booted the game up for the first time, and it asked me something along the lines of, "Have you ever played dota before?" Note two things: dota, all in lower case, and dota, completely unexplained. I guess the question answers itself - if you don't know what dota is, the answer is no. On the very next screen, it asked something like "How much experience do you have with games like DotA?" Note the capital-D o t motherfucking capital A. That is the proper way to abbreviate Defense of the Ancients, but it's also different from the first prompt, which asked about "dota", no caps. I know this has no effect on anything of any consequence, but that shit just screams unprofessionalism to me.

After that I booted up the game launcher, hit new game, and went to the tutorial. Let me stop to explain something here: I am left-handed. I have setup Windows such that my mouse is left-handed. Right click is left click, and vice versa. It's a Windows setting, and everything inherits it. When I play The Witcher, it's left-handed. When I play Sins of a Solar Empire, it's left-handed. So on and so forth, with a few very notable, very infuriating exceptions. When LoL told me to right click to move my hero, I left clicked, since that's what a right click is for me. Nothing happened. I did it again, and nothing happened. I have run into this before, so I sighed, hung my head, waited for the anger to die down (a little), and then right clicked. My hero moved. LoL has, for whatever stupid fucking reason, hard coded the mouse to be right-handed. This is amateur, hack shit, and it fucking sucks. I actually quit the game after the tutorial, telling it I didn't want to play a practice game, and left it alone for a day. I considered dropping it altogether, and were it not for my friends playing it, I would have.

Later, I decided to give it a second try, so I booted up the game and moused-over the practice game option. Nothing happened. I clicked. Nothing happened. I bitched to one of my friends, who told me that they'd turned off practice games for no apparent fucking reason. What the fuck. It's like the game is fucking trying to make me fucking hate it. Now I'm forced to go into a real game, where I will not only burden my unfortunate teammates with my complete lack of knowledge of how the game works, and how my character works, and so on, but I'll also probably get my ass slammed into oblivion by far better players. ALSO! I cannot change my fucking machine fucking settings unless I'm fucking in fucking game, which means I can't adjust my goddamn resolution or key bindings unless there's a fucking match going on! What the fuck!

Speaking of key bindings, I got into a match and decided to rebind them from qwer, which is very cramped when your mouse is on the left side of the keyboard, to number pad 123 and so on. I clicked "bind alternate button" for my first ability, clicked number pad 1, and the game said, "nope, can't do that." I did it for number pad 2. Same response. At this point I was really wishing I had a physical copy so that I could break it over my knee and burn it - I guess the only saving grace of the game is that I didn't pay money for this amateur bullshit. Eventually I found out that the secondary binding doesn't work at all, the number pad keys don't bind at all, and sometimes the primary key binds don't bind on a whim. Press h to bind an ability to it! Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't! Next up, I bound my keys to nm,., and then played a game. Whoo, fine, it works, whatever. I got into a second game, and noticed that my third ability, bound to comma, no longer worked. I rebound the keys. Still didn't work. I cursed and told my friends that the game was a piece of shit. Eventually I rebound to jkl;, and that worked - though it took a few tries to actually fucking bind it.

At this point, I could talk about the game, which is fun enough, I guess, when you're (by which I mean I'm) not clicking the wrong fucking button because they're swapped and you can't change that, and when your key bindings work, and when you have some idea what the game is about and the character you have does, since you can't practice against bots, and when you're not getting your ass stomped by players that are way better than you, and when you're not getting your ass stomped by over-powered characters that literally kill you in less than a second despite you being max level and well geared.

I love LoL when I love it, and I hate it when I hate it.


 
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