Christmas is coming and that means all sorts of wonderful little features and round-ups have to be written and assembled, mainly by me. Games of the Year, Fails of the Year, Gaming Moments of the Year, Cheesecake of the Year, Year of the Year – the list goes on. So far, I think my Gaming Moment of the Year is playing World of Goo at home with my family. My Game of the Year would be Batman: Arkham Asylum. My Fail of the Year is League of Legends.
I got a lot of stick for my opinions on League of Legends when I did my review, but I think I was as fair as possible. It’s a DOTA-clone – or an avatar based RPG/RTS, if you rather. Most of the battle is automated except for the actions of the one character you control, who has a wealth of options and levels up over time, etc. It works pretty well even if it is entirely copied from a mod that you can get for free, right down to the map design.
The problems really start when you look at it as a retail product though. I wasn’t surprised when I heard from people within the publisher who said the game had been plagued with problems and was pretty much being hung out to dry. It’s a game which you can download for free, but is available to buy in the shops for £30. £30 nets you a bunch of stuff you’d have to otherwise unlock in the game – but you can’t choose what to unlock and they are all very, very lame. £30 for a free game with some alternate character skins? Please.
Functionality is lacking too. There’s only one map to play on, one game mode, one automatically set-up team-limit and matchmaking that’s at the shittiest end of the shitty-o-meter. The game takes forever to load and the online store where you supposedly buy new content isn’t working – so the developers just made all the content available to everyone and destroyed the reason to pay for the game in the process. What you’re left with is free game which you have to pay for only to find out that it’s broken and incomplete and has no value for money, supported only by the most belligerent community I’ve ever seen.
In other news we have a rebuttal to my Is PC Gaming Dying feature coming up, which I commissioned someone else to do in the sake of fairness, I’m still at work on my mega-feature which got rejected and I also got nominated for Employee of the Year at Dennis Publishing. It was nice and is another ‘…of the Year’ to add to this post. Winner isn’t announced yet, but in the meantime I’m still getting enough congratulations to make my skin crawl. I guess I’m just not a very gracious person, though I do appreciate the nomination.