League of Legends is a real-time strategy MMO that inherits much of its gameplay from the Defense of the Ancients (DotA) scenario from Warcraft III. The actual concept of League of Legends (LoL from here out) is quite simple. You as a mystical being known as a summoner takes control of a champion and along with your fellow summoners you set forth to defeat the enemy by destroying their Nexus. You accomplish this by slaying enemy minions or creeps to gain experience and gold. You also can gain experience and gold from slaying enemy champions.
However, where it strays from simplicity is the actual game itself. There are a large variety of champions that range from little girls wielding fire and teddy bears to a poisonous rat wielding a crossbow to ninjas. Each champion has their own play style that takes a significant amount of time to learn. In addition, most champions have multiple ways of being built focusing around three primary damage stats (Attack Damage, Ability Power, and Attack Speed) or defensive stats (Armor, Magic Resist). Learning how to build a champion is typically the easier part of mastering them, but it does allow for some wide variety in gameplay. The gameplay is difficult to become stale because of its PvP nature. Because you're up against real players with real brains, you can be the best whatever champion you like out there are still lose games. I personally find that to be one of the important aspects of the game as it helps to keep the game "fresh."
The biggest downside to LoL is the over-the-top amount of teamwork necessary. Having one bad player on your team who helps the enemy team snag easy kills or even just leaves can wreck the game for your team. This however can easily be countered by playing with friends over Skype and Ventrilo (or any other voice-chat medium).
The mission of the game? Beat this baddie up.
Graphics and Music
The graphics are much more cutesy animé inspired in comparison to other DotA remakes such as Heroes of Newerth which takes a more dark approach to graphics. Even though my graphics card can't handle the higher graphics in LoL, the lower graphics still look pretty amazing with incredible amounts of detail in both the environment, the champions and their skills. Not to mention the graphics are quite flexible, which allows LoL to be played on most computers.
Not much to say about the soundtrack however, while in a game you don't actually don't have any music in the background given by the game aside from some ambient sounds that play. Though there isn't a soundtrack, I still say what is given is appropriate for the type of game being played.
The wide range of graphics and styles of champions shows how much variety exists in the game.
LoL is a solid example of a one hundred percent free to play MMO. There are two main currencies in the game: Influence Points (IP) and Riot Points (RP). RP serves as the cash equivalent for LoL and IP serves as the in-game money earned from games played. There is nothing in the cash shop, known as "The Shop" or "The Store," that gives an extraordinary bonus to players who cash-in frequently. Yes, there are some typical EXP boosts (that boost your summoner level, not champion level) and IP-reward boosts, but they're not game breaking at all. Reaching summoner level 30 is quite easy and can be reached through casual play. All champions in LoL can be bought with both IP and RP. Granted, the IP costs are much higher than the RP costs, however they still can be purchased for free. The last major set of items sold by the shop are runes. Runes act as power-ups for your champion increasing a variety of stats depending on which runes you buy. The runes used in the game cannot be purchased with RP at all. That's right, all runes have to be earned by actually playing the game, a major plus.
Overall, League of Legends is a great game if you're into the real-time strategy genre of MMOs. There are plenty of aspects of the game for you to master preventing the gameplay from becoming stale overtime. Additionally, for those who love graphics over gameplay, LoL's graphics are quite impressive on any level and boast a fairly wide variety of flashy skills and unique champions.