Credit when credit is due MojangThe company has taken smart decisions about growing the business. Minecraft franchise. When? MicrosoftIt also announced that it had purchased the studio and monolithic IP. My imagination was boggled by the possibilities of Minecraft beyond what it already does. 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 was a valuable and significant product, so it was well worth the $2.5 million Microsoft spent. Amazingly, Mojang formed smart partnerships with other companies that allowed for expansion of the universe.
Lego MinecraftThe toy was no longer just for geeks. The beloved toys became an instant hit with children around the globe. Minecraft Story Mode released its first episode not long after the acquisition, and then 2019’s Minecraft Dungeons, which was a truly brilliant pairing of the established traditions of Minecraft with a kid-friendly Diablo clone. The Pokemon Go-like Minecraft Earth was a swing-and-a-miss – but that was an AR mobile game that launched right before a pandemic locked everybody indoors – so I’ll give them a pass.
Minecraft Legends, which will debut in the near future, is an exciting departure from Earth. On paper, it’s does what Dungeons did for catacomb-crawling RPGs but for real time strategy games. And after seeing a half hour of the game in action, I’m super pumped to play the final thing.
As a real-time strategy game, Legends isn’t perhaps what you might first imagine. There’s no Command & Conquer style birds-eye view of the battlefield, and you’re not a disembodied leader marshaling troops with the hand of god. At first glance, it looks more like an adventure video game. With a few odd mods, it actually appears a lot more polished Minecraft than its PC counterpart.
Impressively, Legends is running in the same Bedrock Engine technology that powers the main game, though structurally it’s quite different. You’re both mining and crafting, but instead of picking apart individual rocks, you’re doing it on a more macro level. To get wood, for instance, you don’t have to go punch trees – you just point handy automatic mining buddies at a specific tree, and they’ll quickly dismantle the whole tree for you. All other resources are the same. Micro is superior to macro, as I mentioned.
The camera is drawn back 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. The world itself is still procedurally generated, however, so there’s still that element of random Minecraft magic.
As this singular hero, you’ll be galloping across the world and gathering resources in an effort to raise an army that can quell an army from the Nether that’s attacking a world that has never been at rar before. Minecraft doesn’t really have a canon, of course, but the developers are selling this story as a ‘Legend’This happened long before other games had established a standard. At times, zombies are friendly.
Scattered across the procedurally-generated world are bases and other objectives for you to take down in order to advance the war effort. And how do you do that…? You can make gaming comparisons with it.
By which I mean… it’s like Brutal Legend. Add a pinch of Pikmin. Simple is best.
So, yes, that’s right, Brutal Legend – the Jack Black vehicle that begins as an action-adventure game that part-way through takes an interesting but perhaps ill-advised turn into a real-time strategy game played from a third person perspective. Minecraft Legends gives the ability to construct various buildings from the available resources. Like mining, this crafting is macro rather than micro – so you build whole prefab structures with a single click, rather than brick-by-brick, but you retain complete freedom to place these structures where you like. You can make different types of units with each spawner. The spawners can be used to build your army. You can then use the spawners to build your army.
You can expect your minion to follow you when you go into battle. For them to concentrate on one thing, you can give them rudimentary commands. You might have a certain subset of troops attack something they’ll be strong against, while others hang back to protect them and you, for instance. The Pikmin Feeling is here to help. However, you also have the option to get involved on horseback with a sword and eliminate your enemies. This is powerful but can be overwhelming. In all of that, it sounds quite a bit on paper like Brutal Legend’s RTS segments.
This is the main difference between Brutal Legend and Minecraft. Even watching one of that game’s RTS battles revealed its cumbersome, fiddly nature – and Minecraft Legends looks the opposite. It’s slick, fast-moving, and good-looking. Although it is simple enough for kids, the strategy makes it ideal for multi-player battles. Even hands-off, it looks manageable and smooth – which is exciting. This is something very few RTS titles can achieve on console.
This is then supported by the procedural Minecraft universe. If you want a fast travel point, for instance, you’ll build a fort that will act as one. Perhaps you want to make a stop at the halfway point of your campaign and build another staging area, with defenses in place. Battle, then build – one can see a to-and-fro pacing being outlined that could pull you through the game’s challenges seamlessly.
Demos that are not available in person can prove difficult. It’s impossible to understand the real nature of a video game until you have actually played it. Sometimes you only need to look at the demo before you buy. You get it. Minecraft Legends, a fantastic example of such a game. It seems like a neat little kid and controller-friendly strategy romp – and I’m here for that. I’ve got my fingers crossed it’ll be competitively rich enough to support good online battles, too. Even if that’s not the case, however, Minecraft is effortlessly building its way into yet another genre – which in itself is impressive.