More than a decade after its useful life, Minecraft it keeps surprising me. Just when he thought he’d seen everything the franchise has to offer, Mojang keeps finding ways to deconstruct it brick by brick. The latest example of that comes in the form of minecraft legendsthat seeks to build a strategy game from the pieces of the series.
I saw a live demo of the title at this year’s Gamescom that showed off the game for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that minecraft legends It’s not so much the complex strategy game with many systems that I think of when I hear the genre label. Instead, it seems to take its cue from a more accessible strategy game that’s better suited to the franchise’s younger player base: Pikmin.
thought for thought
minecraft legends is drawn into the world of Minecraft with a clever narrative trick: the campaign is actually a folk tale in the game universe. It tells the story of a brave hero who leads an army of troops against an invading army of the evil Piglin. The game’s procedurally generated environments are more colorful and animated to make it feel more like a fairy tale.
That setup gives your game a unique touch. minecraft legends is a hero-centric strategy game, which means that players control the main character instead of just interacting with a cursor. In the demo I saw, a player climbed into the world, mounted a horse, and started exploring a vast blocky environment. While the hero can perform a basic slash attack, his main ability is the ability to command forces.
There are two ways in which the idea manifests itself. For one thing, players can make allies who scavenge for supplies and build structures. Mojang noted that Minecraft takes a “brick by brick” approach, in which the player places each block on their own. Here, the philosophy has been extended to “thought for thought”. For example, if a player wants to cut down a group of trees to collect materials, he can select an area and send his allies to do his bidding. The same goes for construction projects.
While gathering and building are important aspects of the game, the main objective is to find open-air Piglin forts (which are also slightly procedural) scattered throughout the world and lay siege to them by destroying the nether portal within. After finding one, the demoist climbed to the top of a nearby cliff to explore the layout of the fort and prepare accordingly. Using allies, he cleared out a large flat space and began creating his own fort with key buildings such as a well house (which acts as both a fast travel and respawn point).
minecraft legends it’s simplified in a way that I appreciate.
More importantly, he built some spawn towers, which is how players get combat troops. After summoning different packs of golems that specialize in fighting, healing, and destroying structures, the hero was ready to lead an army of 20 into battle and execute a plan of attack: avoid Piglin’s troops around the perimeter, focus on one tower that magically protects the lower portal, and then go through the heart.
That’s where the Pikmin comparison really hit home for me. As soon as he entered the fortress, the hero began commanding units to focus on taking down key towers. When they were done, he would call them and assign them new jobs. In motion, he resembles Captain Olimar throwing his friends off the plants and hissing at them at any moment.
Mojang notes that the full game will feature some more advanced tactics, allowing players to split the efforts of their armies and take on multiple jobs at once, so the different troop classes should force players to think carefully about what your army looks like for any given fortress. The demo I saw focused on a defense-focused fort with lots of structures, so the demo stocked up on cobblestone golems that specialize in structural damage, splashing some healers to keep them healthy.
I’m especially excited to see how all of that plays out in multiplayer, as the campaign can be tackled cooperatively (four players on newer platforms, two on older). I imagine storming a Piglin fort with some friends, mounting a carefully scouted assault with our own specialized armies, being a lot of fun. The game will also feature a versus mode, though Mojang wasn’t ready to show it yet.
As for strategy games, minecraft legends it’s simplified in a way that I appreciate. There aren’t a ton of resources to keep track of and the armies seem easy to command. Considering this game will likely appeal to younger gamers drawn to their love of Minecraft, Nintendo’s similar approach to the strategy genre seems like the right move. Such as minecraft dungeons serves as a light and fun introduction to dungeon crawlers, minecraft legends seems like a great way to draw gamers into a sometimes alienating genre reserved for hardcore PC gamers.
minecraft legends It will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch in 2023.