League of Legends: Wild Rift has been out in Europe for a few months now, and while the mobile game is a great simplified version of the Riot MOBA, its release got me thinking about the future, particularly the title's future on consoles. Back when it was first announced, Wild Rift was stated to be coming to consoles at some point, although we still have no time frame to go by regarding that release even today. But, in the spirit of anticipation, I decided to spend some time in both Wild Rift and League of Legends to put together a rudimentary checklist of suggestions of what we hope to see in the console version, whenever it finally arrives.
To start with is the mechanics. On a console version you will have more control and options available compared to mobile devices, but not to the degree of PC's mouse and keyboard. With that being said, Wild Rift's console versions would benefit from reflecting the mobile game, except this time with a little more control. You should be able to; easily aim your abilities and basic attacks; abilities should have more casting options that make for a slightly faster-paced game; and without the need of touchscreen controls, the HUD could be less crammed, leaving more space for gameplay to be shown.
In terms of the gameplay, that could then also reflect the mobile game. The shorter matches suit the largely more casual player base of console users, and the smaller map design, simplified item store, and easy to grasp characters all would make the Wild Rift console experience unique.
As for the playable characters, there is no reason to not include everything available in the mobile version whenever the console editions release. The characters should be similar to their mobile versions, except with slightly more control in their abilities and attacks, as I mentioned previously. The main difference comes in how they are monetised, as on consoles, a new system for unlocking characters that revolves less around short events needs to be implemented. Console players are generally more casual to PC players, however, console users will still likely spend much more time in-game in one sitting than mobile players, meaning another style of progression that is more rewarding and deeper is required.
With the added hardware consoles bring, the characters should look better than on mobile - just as good as they do on PC - on all versions but the Switch. This should even be extended to the appearance of the abilities, the map, and the various jungle life forms that call Summoner's Rift home. The entire game should - from a visual standpoint - look as good, or even better at times than League of Legends itself, but in return the frame rate would switch between 60fps and 120fps, depending on whether you choose performance or resolution modes as is the norm for a lot of games on new-gen consoles. Last-gen consoles would play comfortably at 60fps, which considering the mobile version can play at this frame rate, older consoles should easily be able to manage.
Regarding the compatibility, Wild Rift should bring cross-save between mobile and console versions, but leave crossplay between just the various families of consoles, in order to keep gameplay fair. Crossplay would ideally even extend cross-generations, allowing the game to be released not only on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, but also on PS5 and Xbox Series.
Due to the similarities between these versions, all iterations of Wild Rift could then exist on the same balancing schedule, which over time could begin to reflect that of League of Legends. With the two games being unique however, there would still be differences, but over time they should become closer and closer to one another. This would then allow a lot of what is created for both games to be shared, meaning Riot as a collective developer could work towards producing the League of Legends universe more simultaneously, and not so much as two separate entities - as LoL and Wild Rift currently seem to be today.
While Riot has routinely stated that League of Legends: Wild Rift - as a mobile/console title - will be separate from LoL, both would benefit from becoming more and more similar as they age. There are very few MOBAs that find success on consoles, and of the ones that do, even fewer share compatibility with the various platforms. As of today, the go-to platform-wide MOBA belongs to Smite, but with the enormity of the League of Legends brand, and the already conquered mobile market at its back, Riot has the opportunity to unify the MOBA genre across all systems, becoming the gold standard of MOBAs along the way. A future where League of Legends is available to all players, no matter the platform is a very bright one, and I sincerely hope Riot are looking to head in that direction down the line.
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