Wild Rift Alpha First Impressions
Riot Games announced Wild Rift during their tenth-anniversary celebration last October, and since then we’ve been anticipating its release. The game is currently in Alpha Build. In spite of that, the game already looks polished and ready for a worldwide release. We know that not everyone had the opportunity to play the game yet, so we’re here to bring to you the experience. Or at least describe it to you to the best of our ability. So without further ado, these are our first impressions of Riot Games’ League of Legends Wild Rift.
It Looks and Feels Like League of Legends
The jump from PC to mobile is a big leap for any kind of game. Direct porting is always a risk in both performance and its translation to a new control scheme. This is why Riot Games decided to build Wild Rift from the ground up. With what we’ve seen so far from the alpha build, we see that this was a great choice for the developers.
Although the game was made from scratch, Wild Rift feels like a genuine League of Legends game.
One of the biggest risks of moving League of Legends to a smaller device is having a bad translation of what made the game unique. Thankfully, even with a smaller map and slight changes here and there in the map design and layout, Summoner’s Rift feels just right in Wild Rift. The models for the champions are also beautifully rendered, actually even looks better on mobile than in League of Legends.
Thus, Wild Rift is a faithful rendition of League of Legends on mobile devices. It didn’t lose what made the source material feel special. Nuanced changes made Wild Rift feel like a special treat, like getting a holiday gift from your grandparents.
Welcome Changes and Mechanics
League of Legends can’t be put into mobile devices without getting altered. Riot understands the expectations of mobile players, and worked on tailor-fitting Wild Rift to their tastes. League purists may have negative feelings about these changes, but they could always stick to the game that they play and love. Meanwhile, players coming from Marvel Super War, Arena of Valor, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang will feel right at home in this game.
Controls feel natural, and even if you grew up playing League with mouse and keyboard, its translation to twin-stick controls would be easy to get used to. If anything, it even controls better. One small setback in this would be communication, as typing on a phone is much harder than on a keyboard, especially in the middle of a hot battle.
Another setback from having touchscreen controls compared to mouse and keyboard is the relative difficulty to scout around the map. Players might accidentally press other UI buttons while moving their cameras around, and it could get annoying at first. But playing around for longer will allow you to get a grasp on the partitions of the UI later on.
The devs also had to adjust the game’s pacing. While League players are used to half-hour matches, Wild Rift games happen so much faster. With that in mind, the devs also had to change how some Champions’ skills work to match the faster pace of the game. One of the most popular examples is Lux’s Ultimate, Final Spark. Final Spark now sears through across the whole map. Consequently, this allows Lux to snipe fleeing enemies further than usual.
While these changes might surprise League players at first, these changes were for the better. They don’t take anything away from the exciting clashes that we’re used to on PC. If anything, they are even more thrilling. With that in mind, please do read the descriptions of the abilities the first time you play.
Performance and Compatibility
Not surprisingly, such a polished game requires a lot of resources. Although there are no prescribed system requirements yet, Riot Games they are aiming 1.5GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, and Adreno 306 GPU as minimum specs for Android devices. They also said they’re targetting iPhone 6 and above for Apple users.
However, even though you meet those minimum requirements, you might experience a few jitters. We’re pretty sure Riot is hard at work on optimization so that more people could play the game.
The Next Big Thing in Mobile Games Esports?
Wild Rift Alpha is currently only available to select people in the Philippines and in Brazil. And yet, organizers are already making tournaments for the game. Even with its limited playerbase, an esports scene could thrive with its large audience. While AoV and ML still dominate the mobile games landscape, and Marvel Super War still hard at work in creating its own niche, there’s definitely a room for Wild Rift in the esports industry. Wild Rift esports is a question of when, not if. We only have to wait for it to happen.