Minecraft

Minecraft Legends is full of character, oozes authenticity, looks brilliant… and is a bit like Brutal Legend.

Minecraft Legends is full of character, oozes authenticity, looks brilliant… and is a bit like Brutal Legend.
Written by ga_dahmani
Minecraft Legends is full of character, oozes authenticity, looks brilliant… and is a bit like Brutal Legend.

Credit where credit is due: Mojang has made some incredibly smart bets on ways to expand the Minecraft franchise. come back when Microsoft announced the purchase of the studio and its monolithic IP, I struggled to imagine exactly what could be done with Minecraft beyond the base game. Sure, that would continue to expand and grow, but did people really want to do anything else in that universe?

At the time, I reasoned that it didn’t matter if the universe could expand or not. Minecraft alone was big enough and important enough to be worth every penny of the $2.5 billion Microsoft paid for it. But then something magical happened: Mojang continued to form clever alliances that expanded the universe in brilliant and often unexpected ways.


The nice and easy-to-read user interface makes this Minecraft spin-off accessible to more than just adults.

Lego Minecraft has grown from a one-off set for nerds to a whole series of toys, loved by kids all over the world. Minecraft Story Mode released its first episode shortly after the takeover, and then 2019’s Minecraft Dungeons, which was a truly brilliant combination of established Minecraft traditions with a kid-friendly Diablo clone. Minecraft Earth, similar to Pokemon Go, was a swing-and-a-miss, but that was an AR mobile game that released just before a pandemic locked everyone indoors, so I’ll give them a pass.

If Earth was a problem, Minecraft spin-offs seem to be firmly on track with the upcoming Minecraft Legends. On paper, it does what Dungeons did for catacomb-crawling RPGs, but for real-time strategy games. And after seeing half an hour of the game in action, I’m really excited to play the final game.


Pink sky at night, gamer’s delight.

As a real-time strategy game, Legends may not be what you might first imagine. There’s no Command & Conquer-style bird’s-eye view of the battlefield, and you’re not a disembodied leader rallying troops with the hand of God. Instead, at first glance, it looks like an adventure game. In fact, it looks like a slightly more embellished Minecraft, like the PC version with a bunch of weird mods installed.

Surprisingly enough, Legends runs on the same Bedrock Engine technology that powers the main game, although structurally it’s quite different. You’re both mining and creating, but instead of breaking individual rocks apart, you’re doing it on a more macro level. To get wood, for example, you don’t have to go tree-drilling: you simply point your helpful auto-mining buddies at a specific tree, and they’ll quickly dismantle the entire tree for you. The same goes for all other resources. Like I said, macro instead of micro.

The camera retracts to match that, so while much of the game looks superficially similar to Minecraft, you can instantly tell this is a game on a different scale. However, the world itself is still procedurally generated, so there’s still that element of random Minecraft magic.


Swag!

As this singular hero, you will be galloping across the world and gathering resources in an effort to raise an army that can put down an army from the Nether that is attacking a world that has never been in rar before. Minecraft doesn’t really have canon, of course, but the developers are selling this story as a ‘Legend’ that took place long before the status quo we know from the other games. At this time, zombies are even sometimes friendly.

Scattered throughout the procedurally generated world are bases and other targets that you must take down to further the war effort. And how do you do that…? Well, it works in a way that makes for a most unexpected game comparison.

By which I mean… it’s like Brutal Legend. With a little pinch of Pikmin. Bear with me here.


Do you have what it takes to take on the mob? (Nerd that crew).

So yes, that’s right, Brutal Legend: Jack Black’s vehicle starts out as an action-adventure game that, halfway through, takes an interesting but perhaps ill-advised turn into a real-time strategy game played from a gamer’s perspective. third person. The protagonist of Minecraft Legends can erect various buildings using the resources gathered in the world. Like mining, this build is macro rather than micro, so you build entire prefab structures with a single click, rather than brick by brick, but retain complete freedom to place these structures wherever you like. Among these buildings are spawners, each of which is capable of creating a different type of unit. You then use the spawners to add to your army, with a population cap determining exactly how many troops you can field at any given time.

When it’s time to ride into battle, your minions will follow you and then you can use rudimentary commands to get them to focus on something specific. It’s possible that a certain subset of troops will attack something they’ll be strong against, while others stay behind to protect them and you, for example. This is where the Pikmin sentiment comes into play. But you can also get caught up in yourself, wielding a sword on horseback to take down enemies. This is effective, but it’s not the be all and end all, as you can easily get overwhelmed. In all of that, it sounds pretty much on paper like the RTS segments of Brutal Legend.

Where it differs from Brutal Legend, however, is in how it appears to play. Even watching one of that game’s RTS battles revealed its cumbersome and convoluted nature, and Minecraft Legends seems anything but. It is slippery, fast and attractive. It has controls easy enough for kids to understand, but deep strategy that will likely make for some good multiplayer matchups. Even without intervention, it seems manageable and smooth, which is exciting. Few real-time strategy games have really achieved that on console.

These battles are also supported by the ongoing procedural world of Minecraft. If you want a fast travel point, for example, you’ll build a fort that will act as one. If you’re going on an epic campaign against an enemy base, you may want to stop halfway through your conquest to build a new base of operations, complete with defenses and generators, before heading deeper into enemy territory. Fight, Then Build: A back-and-forth pace can be seen that could help you get through the game’s challenges smoothly.


It is a large, rich, blocky land.

Unattended demonstrations are always difficult. After all, you never really know what a game is like until you play it. But sometimes you see a game and the demo just sells you. You get it. Minecraft Legends is one of those games. It looks like a controller-friendly toddler strategy game, and I’m here for that. I have my fingers crossed it will be competitive enough to support good online battles as well. However, even if that’s not the case, Minecraft is effortlessly making its way into another genre, which in itself is impressive.

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