The game that I have decided to review is a Mobile MOBA, Wild Rift. Wild Rift is a mobile version of League of Legends, with the same playable characters, map and gameplay. The reason that I have chosen Wild Rift over League is because League can only be played on PC while wild rift can be played on any platform, making it more accessible. Despite being ported over to a mobile device, the game mechanics was not lost and I felt that the developers did a good job making the controls work so that the touch screen is able to recreate the actions of the mouse and keyboard.
Game Website: https://wildrift.leagueoflegends.com/en-sg/
To begin, I will explain how a MOBA works. MOBA stands for Massive Online Battle Arena. It is typically characterised by a game featuring 2 teams of 5 players each. The game features various champions who each has different abilities. For example, one could be a tank with healing abilities while another could be more aggressive with a rocket launcher. Each player selects a champion of their choosing and then battle it out. The goal of the game is to barge into the enemies’ base and destroy the crystal sitting there. This can be done by fighting in the lanes or jungle. The lanes have towers which attacks enemies who get too close and the jungle is populated with neutral enemies that both sides can kill. Players get gold when they kill enemies and can use that gold to purchase items that improve their stats. They will also get experience points that will help them to level up, increasing their stats and giving them more abilities to use.
I have been playing this game for close to 6 months now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. For this post, I used the 2 pass method to analyse my experience when playing the game. First, I played the game without recording anything down. Next, I attempted to focus more on what I was feeling as well as why and tried to note them down as much as I could. Both times I played the games cooperatively with my friends.
Lens 43 – The Lens of Competitiveness
Knowledge, experience and timing makes up for the skill of the player. For example, knowing how the enemy would play or where to be at the right time would give one an edge over others. As such, those who play a lot and know how every champion is played will certainly be better than others. Those who understand the strategy and different tactics employed by different team composition will also enjoy an easier game. The game implemented a ranking system to promote competitiveness among players. Rewards and showcasing of rank was provided to incentivise players to competitively move up the ranks. The popularity of the game makes the bragging rights of having a high rank something of significance. Furthermore, there has been official tournaments for the game, with the champions of 2022 winning $12,000 in prizes money.
Lens 44 – The Lens of Cooperation
Personally, I believe this to be the most important experience. As this is a 5v5 game, it is definitely more fun to be playing with friends. The experience that I felt was friendship as well as the creation of memories that we could joke about. For example, if my friend was to miraculously win a game for us, we would be celebrating as though we had won the World Cup. Such camaraderie from the game made it more enjoyable than playing alone. However, this is not to say that playing alone is not fun. Friendships can be forged with players of similar play style. Chat function is enabled for communication as well as quick emoji pings for fast and simple requests. Players can add each other as friends and there is a guild feature which allows people to team up and earn rewards together.
Lens 5 – The Lens of Fun
The plethora of champions to use as well as different items and play style makes it such that no game is ever similar and boring. The replayability of the game is infinite as a player can always try a new champion or just play with a different team competition and strategy. The combination of strategy, tactics, skill and opportunities employed in the game makes it fun as players outplay each other to get an advantage. The nature of the game also allows for some teams to have a miraculous victory in the last few minutes. This creates a sense that anything is possible and to never give up.
Lens 9 – The Lens of Elemental Tetrad
The game is aesthetically pleasing. Character models are nice and the map is very detailed. Since the game has mechanics which includes map vision, the map is especially detailed of which are actually interacting and can affect a players decision during the game. Each character has an animation as well as sound. Furthermore, the game provides extra skins and poses for players to personalise their champion.
The mechanics of the game is simple and straightforward. The strategy is what makes the game so unique with infinite possibilities. While it is simple to understand, it is hard to master. The game really takes a while to get used to and this may be daunting for newer players. Overall, MOBA is tried and tested (DOTA, Pokemon UNITE) and remains to be largely popular.
The story is where I felt lacked as the developer of the game had a backstory for each champion but never tied it all down. However, they recently released a Netflix series which linked champions together in a story. This made players more inclined to play the champions that they saw in the series as they could relate to the character. It must be noted that whatever happens in the game does not affect the storyline in any way. The storyline merely provides a backstory for the characters to have relatability to players. Perhaps they could have more stories and continue the series while introducing more champions so that players know how each champion is interlinked.
Wild Rift is played on a mobile phone. Personally I felt that this was game changing to me as I am usually on the move and this gave me the chance to game while I was out. The frame rate is stable and rarely any lag. The fact that League of Legends is able to be ported from PC to mobile shows the growth in technology and ability of mobile phones to handle games.
Lens 27 The Lens of Time
The duration of the game is good. For this to be a mobile game, the developers made it such that one game lasts 15-20 minute. It does not feel too long nor too short. Furthermore, they introduced shorter 10 minute versions of the game.
Lens 32 The Lens of Goals
The goals of the game is understandable and progress is clearly defined. The progress can be based on the money earned, the jungle goals cleared as well as towers destroyed and kills made. As such, players can gauge how close they are to winning. The game also sets aside different mini goals for different champions. For example, those in the jungle should aim to keep the dragon while those in the lane should focus on taking down the towers. By having different goals, players actually work together to help each other clear these objectives. Sometimes it may not be as clear who is winning as some champions develop later in the game. Thus, while the goals can be estimated, the tide can turn just as quickly.
Lens 46 The Lens of Reward
Reward of killing in the game is the money, which can be used to buy items to be stronger and thus to kill more enemies. The reward for playing the game is in game currency which can be used to personalise the game to make it feel uniquely yours. Currency can be used to unlock more unique champions as well to increase the replayability of the game. Furthermore, there is a level bar which increases with every game and provides rewards at every level.
Lens 68 The Lens of Moments
As a new feature, Wild Rift now records key moments in the game. Triple kills and team fights are automatically recorded and can be downloaded. Statistics such as damage dealt and turrets destroyed are also saved and kept so that players can track their progress. Furthermore, there are various third party applications that track statistics such as total kills and deaths and allows players to compare themselves. As such, moments in the game can be tracked and saved.
Overall, Wild Rift is a game with many dimensions and lenses to consider. All these add up to a holistic and fun experience!