Image Quality And Settings
Developed from the ground-up by Riot Games, LoL uses a proprietary game engine intended to facilitate maximum compatibility with a wide range of PC hardware. Instead of getting majorly overhauled, the engine receives small patches to continually improve it. While we've watched visual quality get better since the original release back in 2010, though, it'd be hard to pinpoint the exact changes without side-by-side screenshots. The art style is very similar to the game's spiritual roots in World Of Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos. The Blizzard influence is obvious, although LoL has more of a cartoonish edge to its models and characters.
Detail settings are controlled by four switches: Character Quality, Effects Quality, Environment Quality, and Shadows. Each of these have five levels of detail: Very Low, Low, Medium, High, and Very High. Since the game tends to be so easy on hardware, we're keeping everything maxed out for our benchmarks except for the Shadows setting, which has the most dramatic effect on frame rates.
For comparison, we captured the difference between each setting below:
Frankly, the difference between the High and Very High Shadows settings are very subtle. Low sticks you with blocky shadows, though they only seem to affect characters, and not the environment. Those bottom-end settings are here for your information only; we didn't find them necessary to use since our most entry-level components were able to handle quite a bit more.