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League of Legends GDC Hands-On Demo Preview!

League of Legends: Clash of Fates

League of Legends is a new title by Riot Games that is similar, and considered by many die-hard fans to be a sequel, to DotA. During the Game Developers Conference this past week in San Francisco we had a sit down with the League of Legends development team and had a chance to play the game! We've posted previously about League of Legends Screenshots and an Exclusive League of Legends Video Trailer, so excitement for the game here has been growing. Sitting down and actually playing it was a great experience, we played a 3v3 match on a map very similar to the picture on the right.

Playing the game

The game starts each summoner with one champion at the designated respawn point which is also next to an item shop. The item shop provides upgrades as you gain experience and gold from killing enemy summoners and minions. You can also obtain several types of items and combine them to make super items towards the end of the game. Each side (Red VS Blue) has several buildings inside their main base area that offer services to the champions. A few buildings spew out rows and rows of minions that do battle in the center of the map; their primary goal is to defend your towers and area of influence. Left alone, minions from both sides will continue to clash without much progress either way, but when you combine the help of champions with their powerful spells and abilities and they become a force to be reckoned with.

There are also defensive towers and a few buildings that control upgrades for your minions. Defensive towers for each side are spread across the map and help keep enemy minions at bay, as they're destroyed the enemy progresses and there doesn't appear to be any way to rebuild them (Which is good unless you want a game to last forever). The buildings in the main base area benefit the minions and champions as long as they stand and they level with the champion. If they're destroyed the bonus is lost and you'll see the results. In the demo we played our own building was destroyed and our minions became much much weaker then the competition, resulting in our imminent defeat. The total game lasted about 30 minutes and had very little downtime after the champion hit the ground.

Features

League of Legends will have several features not seen in similar predecessors that will make playing League of Legends much more exciting and less aggravating than anything you've played before. Here's the list of the new features:

  • Champion Options - Dozens of champions to choose from, each with their own style, unique skills, and abilities.
  • Enhanced item shop - Very simple to use and upgrade items, even in the heat of combat.
  • Hand Crafted Battle Arenas - Several highly stylized and unique handcrafted battle scenarios.
  • Summoner Avatars - Persistent Summoner avatars and customizations as you progress in the game.
  • Persistent Summoner Ranking and Skill Accumulation - Ability to advance your Summoner in rank and power to gain skills and abilities to assist the Champions you summon as they do battle.
  • Practice Modes - Practice new strategies and learn how to play by engaging intelligent single player Bot-AI and by playing Practice Games online.
  • Persistent Unlockable Content - Unlock new content through persistent gameplay and mastering the game.
  • Integrated "Leaverbuster" technology - Prevent people from quitting the game and ruining your experience.
  • Massive focus on community - Web-enabled game technology allows for close interaction between the in-game and out of game community.

New Screenshots

We also received some special, never before seen, screenshots of the newest game level for your viewing pleasure:


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