League of Legends is one of the most popular games around, and players are fiercely loyal to the game and to the company as well. The game is know for intense play in matches that never seem to be exactly the same. The developers have released a wide variety of interesting characters, and various forms of media have helped them develop a somewhat cult following around the game. Most characters even have their own music videos, making LoL more than a game and endearing it to so many different players.
However, sometimes players want something a little different but still want to stay within the MOBA genre. This week's Games Like column focuses on games like League of Legends and hopes to satisfy the new game cravings of even the most die hard fans.
A game based around an epic fight between gods and goddesses with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. What isn't to like about a fast-paced game with great lore, heavy development and lots of player support? While the game has a smaller base of support than LoL, it has enough similarities to earn it the top spot on this list of games like League of Legends.
Overall the game earns 3.5 out of 5 for similarity to League of Legends and rocks our socks off as a stand-alone game. If you try any on this list, this is likely to be the most interesting.
The game plays almost identically to League of Legends and even utilizes similar cool down timers, making it an easy game to pick up. Characters respond at the same rates, and many of the characters even have the same key bindings.
The rank system is also almost the exact same, leaving players with a clear sense of where they belong in the game world. There is no guessing about climbing the ladders or understanding exactly how many matches you need to be playing with the big boys.
The skins are also run on a similar limited edition rotation and have similar real world costs. While many players won't want to invest real world money, for those who do, this is one detail that makes life just a little bit easier.
The first thing that really stands out as different about Smite is the art style. Smite has a much more powerful look to it, and the characters are viewed in much bigger resolution as well. The graphics are also based on a completely different color palette, making it a bit of a shocking visual transition for new players.
The second biggest difference is the real world ties of the game. Characters in Smite are based upon gods and goddesses from the real world, with pantheons spanning the entire globe. Mythology plays rather heavily into the abilities of characters as well, making it easy for players to guess the role and skills of new characters before they come out.
Objectives are also placed in different areas, making it important to understand new choke points and to really pay attention to the map. This is the biggest hangup that many new players have, but it is easy enough to overcome.
Heroes Of Newerth (HON)
One of the games spawned from the original DOTA craze, this is an oldie but a goodie. It came out around the same time as DOTA 2 and had a rather hardcore fanbase that really loved the way that it played. Most people found that the game had a lot of replay value, but there were a few problems within the community. These problems have mostly been fixed, and it has a strong player base that really love the game. It earns a 4 out of 5 for similarity, and comes highly recommended as well.
Game play is almost the same, but there are a number of differences with cool downs and the ways that characters play. This means that there is a bit of a learning curve when jumping into a game, but you can usually pick up the differences within a few games. This is really important for players who feel like they want a change, but who also just want to be able to relax.
Many of the characters also seem to have similar skins, and the timing of abilities is pretty standard. Objectives are also located in similar areas, but there are more chances for deviation across the map as well. Players who enjoy exploration will enjoy this game a lot as it gives more control to players who truly just want to have a more leisurely experience.
The biggest difference is actually in the way that the game is played. Most of the time games of HON follow a set of skirmishes with very particular characters. Players will often choose their team combination based on the first choice, and certain characters play better together than others. There is no switching out of different characters, and for the most part, play is pretty static.
The level of skill needed to win is also different, with high level players have a much bigger advantage than they do in games like League of Legends. However, anyone who plays long enough is able to reach the top, and progression has a much smaller curve than in similar games. This makes it a bit more fun for people who just want to focus on one aspect of the game, not worry about the way that their rank will affect them.
While DotA was the original MOBA, Dota 2 is the spiritual successor to the game. It took an extremely long time for the game to come out, and many people thought that it would never launch. However, it has a strong player base and it truly was one of the most revolutionary games to come out of the Warcraft 3 build-your-own-map games. Since it launched during a similar time period, it actually has a huge number of similarities to League of Legends, and many players feel like they can switch between the two with very few problems. It is also a game that you can simply jump into a match and play, without a lot of extra stress that may come with learning a new game. This game gets a 4 out of 5 for similarity, and is also very similar to HON, making it a smash hit all around.
The characters all play almost the same, and actually seem like they might be able to switch out on the different battlefields. The overall effect is like being transported to another planet while still playing League of Legends. This often disorients players, but it can be a good thing as well.
The upgrades available for purchase within the game are also extremely similar, leaving players in a situation where they feel like they already understand how everything works. The different classes even use the same items, making it easy to learn the best combinations. Overall, skills learned within games like League of Legends translate into high levels of skill in Dota 2.
The Battlepass rewards add in a completely different tier that really shows who is the most dedicated player. This tier is only accessible by those who actually want to invest in the game, and of course features some extremely intense rivalry. This isn't worrying though, as most players stick with the more public matches. It is however a great way for players to find out if they have what it takes to make it to the top.
The maps are also drastically different, offering a bit more variety than games like League of Legends. This is something that many players have found to be slightly annoying when switching over, but that also gives players a chance to experience something new as well.
Because DOTA was originally played with Warcraft, the graphics tend to reflect this as well. This makes the game look a little bit older, but also gives it a much more nostalgic feeling. Players who remember playing the original DOTA are taken back in time when they jump into their first match.
The game also heavily relies on melee, with fewer spell-casting characters being truly strong. This can be a little difficult for people who really want to play the same as they always do. However, skilled players can make any character work and truly reap the benefits of their overall play time. This makes it particularly exciting to play on of these lesser played characters, and it can be a great way to catch other players off guard.
Overall there are a large number of games like League of Legends, and very few that actually capture the magic that is has brought to the gaming scene. There aren't any games that are perfect replicas, but that can be a good thing as well. All of the games on this list bring something unique to the table, but also maintain a play style that will be comforting to players who have been into League for quite a long time. Let me know if you decide to try out any of the games, or if you think there are games like League of Legends that I should have included.