Minecraft Legends Review – Unrealized Potential
With Minecraft Legends, developers Mojang Studios and Blackbird Interactive have attempted to mold the creativity of the original sandbox title into a real-time strategy game to mixed success.
The game’s story is set in the Minecraft Overworld, where the evil Piglins have decided to invade the peaceful villages. As such, it’s up to you to drive them away and permanently send them back to the Nether. As the game begins, the three caretakers of the Overworld, Foresight, Knowledge, and Action, will open a portal to your world to seek your assistance.
Your job will be to build and manage an army of soldiers that will wage war against the Piglins. Initially, there are two basic units at your disposal, but you’ll eventually gain access to more powerful ones, including some returning creatures, such as Zombies, Creepers, and Skeletons, each of which has its characteristics and strengths.
Minecraft Legends is a real-time strategy game at its core. You’ll create and send units to take on specific targets, such as gates, watchtowers, or groups of enemies. You’ll also be called upon not only to defend the villages but also to plan assaults on Piglin fortresses. Your ultimate goal is to destroy each of the Piglin settlements on the world map and plan an assault on their Nether portals. Additionally, you’ll be facing opposition in the form of towers and even powerful bosses.
While there is some variety available here in terms of strategic approach, the tactics involved aren’t particularly distinct. The inclusion of a day-and-night cycle does offer some strategic depth, as the Piglin forces tend to attack during the darker hours. As such, you’ll need to keep an eye on the world map to figure out when and where they’ll make their next move and build impenetrable walls and defenses in those areas.
It wouldn’t be a Minecraft game if it didn’t have resource hunting. You’ll often find yourself searching for rare resources to unlock new upgrades. They’re difficult to find, which makes the activity all the more tedious. To make matters worse, the game offers very few incentives in the way of exploring areas outside of allied villages and Piglin settlements. Luckily, the villages lend a hand by collecting some of these resources in exchange for protecting the villages. This serves as a worthwhile incentive to alleviate some of the grind associated with finding resources.
Another feature is the ability to have your avatar, equipped with a mount and the diamond sword, lend a hand in battle. While the idea is great, the execution comes as inconsequential. Your avatar will only be able to take on smaller enemies, and won’t have much of a role to play. To battle the larger, more powerful foes, you’ll need to turn to your soldiers to lend a hand. Had your avatar been able to play a more prominent role in battle, it would’ve opened up avenues for more action-oriented and risky approaches.
AI pathfinding tends to be problematic in Minecraft Legends, and your soldiers often end up getting stuck on an obstacle on the way to their given destination or positioning themselves in a danger zone to carry out their given task. The game tackles this by giving you more granular control over your army via menu-driven commands to target more specific objectives. However, this didn’t improve things much, and the AI resorted to the same odd behavior.
The game’s campaign is roughly an 8-hour affair. Its lifespan is further extended with a 4 vs 4 PvP multiplayer mode and special missions that will periodically be added to the game over time.
Minecraft Legends doesn’t quite live up to the lofty ambitions of the game it is spun from. There is a lot of potential here that has gone unrealized in favor of a more multiplayer-centric experience. It’s an enjoyable game to play with friends, but otherwise not as appealing.
Minecraft Legends Game Information
- Price: $39.99
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Developer: Mojang Studios
- Platform: Xbox Series (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher