League of Legends Dominon Review (PC)

League of
is an entirely new mode for the MOBA, Dota-like, or
whatever you
want to call it genre.  Just
like the
typical games, these pit teams of 5 champions each against each other
while AI
controlled minions push forward , with the goal being the destruction
of the
enemy Nexus base.  The
pretty much end here though, as Dominion is a capture and hold style
map, much
like Arathi Basin of WoW fame or a variety of FPS games recently.

Now, since you don’t start at full
power in these games and
have to buy items and gain levels, you might think that such a mode
doesn’t work and would be passive, boring, and just silly for the genre. Surprisingly enough, they’ve overcome
the pitfalls of the
genre and created something new with it!


As with everything in this genre, the trolling can be intense and vulgar sometimes. Such is the beast that is online gaming.

Gameplay - 95 / 100

Controlling a single hero, you roam a
map with 5 capture
points in a star formation, fighting for control over the pivotal
zones.  Capturing is
done by a simple channeling
animation that takes a second or two to start up and has a slight
which prevents you from ducking in and out of range.  
Every little bit that you capture helps
though, as it does ‘damage’ to the point until it is neutral or yours.

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Rarely will
fights breakout
between points.  People realize that rampant killing does
nothing, which is astounding.

The points themselves function as
defensive positions
though, and the turret on them is no slouch.  
It does great damage that stacks further damage on each
hit.  The downside
is that any opponent channeling
a capture will disable the turret, but you can stop them with a simple
smack of
any sort of player-based damage.  This
leads to several point defense and offense mechanics of people diving
onto the
players defending, while another or all of the players alternate
capture to
disarm the turret from ripping them apart. 
There’s also the new ability Garrison, which either
supercharges one of
your turrets, or greatly weakens one for the enemy 
with an 8 second duration.

Power-ups litter the map, with short
duration speed boosts
available to all and constantly available inbetween points, and there
health packs located by the points and pivotal fighting spots that can
picked up for a quick burst of HP and mana. 
In the middle of the map, there is also a special buff
that can be
captured for each team.  
It gives a
damage shield and on-hit lightning, and each one refreshes with time. style="">  It also makes the champion
with it 50% larger
and all the more intimidating!

New gimmicks and mechanics aside, the
champions of League of Legends remain
unchanged.  They are
exactly the same as their
counterparts on the other 5v5 and 3v3 maps, and the changes to the core
gameplay for them come from a slew of new items and a few removed items. style="">  The items are focused
around making gameplay
more active, and involve stuff such as stealth reveal and speed boosts,
take out some of the bigger defensive pickups such as Banshee’s Veil,
blocks a spellcast every 45 seconds and encourages more defensive play.

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You also get a
lot of new art before and after battle with Dominion.

Unlike the other primary map, bots
are not available here
yet.  If you’re
going to fight here, you
have to fight players.  The
good news is
that a game of this will rarely go beyond 20 minutes simply because of
how the
game works—each team has 500 points that decreases with deaths, and
that they control less points than the enemy, it decreases over time. style="">  There are points where
each team will control
1 or 2 points and the scores won’t decrease naturally, but the vast
majority of
the time, someone will be losing and a stalemate is impossible. style="">  Thus, your times being
stuck with bad
teammates are  much
less painful than the
possibly hour long games of Summoner’s Rift, the traditional game of League
of Legends.

Graphics - 77 / 100

While all champions and spells remain
the same, the Dominion
map itself is infinitely more vibrant in color and variety than the
other maps of
the competition and within League of
itself.  The
action is all
too familiar, but the greatly enhanced effects of items such as Odyn’s
Veil and
Hextech Sweeper makes combat a little bit prettier. 
It’s no overhaul, but Dominion does look
better than the base game from both a technical and aesthetical point…
but it
still has nothing on the paid players like Heroes
of Newerth
and the Dota 2 looming
on the horizon.

Sound - 82 / 100

With a few new musical tracks for the battle, champion select, and a new announcer for the game, there’s some new sound variety at least. It’s fairly catchy and good quality music for the back and forth battle. Of course, it’ll get old after 10 matches, but it’s a welcome addition to the new mode. All other effects remain standard to the champions and items that carried over from other modes.

Multiplayer - 90 / 100

Normally, games have ‘snowball’
heroes that gain in power quickly, tons of farming of minions to afford
big items to turn the tide, and stalemates.  Dominion removes
all of these.  You start at level 3 and there is a passive
aura that makes everyone hit harder and gain experience/mana passively,
so people progress amazingly fast.  Throw a massive 3.5/sec
gold income  rather than the pittance of 1/sec from the main
game and you don’t have to sit around killing neutrals (which don’t
exist now in this!)  or enemy minions for an hour in order to
feel powerful.  You can go in, kick ass, die with the greatly
reduced death timers for the mode, buy a new item, and repeat.

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out the new combat summary
screen too.  Slick!

The minions themselves only spawn
between contested turrets and aren’t worth much in terms of experience,
so most players will simply ignore the waves and harass/push
points.  This makes gameplay an offensive frenzy for the
majority of the game and great fun!

Value - 97 / 100

It’s free. It’s available to everyone. And everything you own from the game’s other modes carries over (champions, runes.)

No catch here. Dominion adds a ton of value to one of the biggest players in the genre and it’s all still free to play. While there might not be any new fancy engine upgrades or champion effects, Dominion itself is a great boon to the game’s fun and provides a huge injection of much needed variety to players.

Lasting Appeal - 87 / 100

People have been hyped for this for a while, but already some are saying that it’s a ‘scrubby’ mode that encourages reckless and poor play as opposed to the more traditional 5v5 of Summoner’s Rift, the DOTA style map. But even if it is, it is friggin’ fun, and an awesome way to take a break after a series of losses or a hard fought win on other modes. There is no ranked play for it yet, but you bet your ass people will turn highly competitive in this just like Arathi Basin when it happens.

Pros and Cons


  • Completely free upgrade to the
  • Totally new feel for the
    genre—all offense and action, all
    the time
  • Kudos to Riot for doing something


  • Some item/champion balance issues
    exist, but will be ironed
    out soon I’m sure
  • Communication is key and can make
    playing alone suck
    compared to with a group of buddies
  • I’m going to want this in every
    MOBA game now!


Dominion is something of a game-changer in the genre. Other games have simply added more maps to the exact same gameplay, and this turns everything upside down. Champions that were considered garbage are now overpowered, items are being purchased that were gathering dust previously, and everyone is discovering a new meta-game of picking and playing. It’s a great experience to an established juggernaut of a game, and the fact that it’s all completely free and relatively bug free strengthens the fact that this is a title that will remain in the hearts of players of the genre for years to come.

Overall 88/100 - Great


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