Mojang Studios is back at the crafting table in an effort to take Minecraft in a bold new direction. Minecraft Legends is an open-world real-time strategy game where you gather resources, build defenses, and summon adorable mercenaries to defend the sanctity of the realm. Instead of the bird’s-eye perspective often featured in strategy games, Legends opts for a character-focused view, in which your hero roams the landscape on a dynamic mount, sword in hand, using resources and armies Rogue spawns factions of piglins, each with war quirks to overcome. A compelling concept in theory, but this unique take on an iconic franchise can often feel at odds with itself. Minecraft Legends seems to be stuck between the expected complexity of a strategy game and the franchise’s approachable brand.
The first few hours of gameplay felt like an awkward first date with someone who is really interesting. As I galloped around the gorgeous environments, I was constantly interrupted by in-game advisors trying to coax me into doing specific tasks, which took some of the shine out of the instantly intriguing world of Legends. It felt like a series of false starts, but after repeating the same gameplay loop and exhausting an epic tutorial stage, Legends finally lets go of your hands, and that’s where the fun begins.
The appropriately sized map of Legends is filled with iconic Minecraft imagery. From wolves howling across the plains to turtles splashing in ponds, the overworld feels organic and welcoming. Ambient patches of landscape like the aptly named Bouncescapes invited me to think vertically about exploration as they sent my hero soaring through the skies. I was encouraged to test the extent of fall damage by looking for untouched areas, which led to some unexpected discoveries and obvious slap failures.
Across the world, you’ll destroy Piglin’s strongholds with deadly mob combinations and defend helpless villages by building walls and towers, all the while maintaining your captured bases from random raids. Various defensive and offensive scenarios led me to develop my strategy and choose my upgrades wisely in the Well of Fate, the hero’s home base. The game forces you to choose between additional mobs on the battlefield, more options for formations, or additional resources, so you fine-tune your playstyle as you progress.
The traditional Minecraft mobs in Legends have received an attractive variation. Where in the wild a creeper might have previously sent a chill down your spine, here, they’re puppy-like underdogs with explosive temperaments that you can use as you please. This twist also applies to zombies and skeletons: earn their trust by defending your homes from piglin’s attacks; They will aid you against tyrannical enemies who have usurped their status as traditional threats to the domain.
Minecraft Legends succeeds in letting players investigate its world by hiding special mobs and equipment throughout its procedural landscape. Still, it can struggle to make you feel present and needed in the adventure, mainly because of the shift in perspective. My hero was on the ground, manually summoning troops and fighting off rogues, but it was my fellow sprites, Alay, who were getting all the upgrades, gathering resources, and building structures . You may yearn to get your hands more dirty in a world that seems so immersive and interactive.
This disconnect followed me even into battle, where instead of feeling like a captain storming castles to liberate land, I mostly watched my army wander the outskirts alone, away from formations. . Minecraft Legends’ most interesting moments come when you fight side-by-side with your horde to destroy a piglin’ portal, so it feels especially deflating when the game lets you refill yourself outside of the action. forces you to as your army continues on without you. However, I can see some benefit in these whimsical systems, as Legends manages to bend strategy game traditions in a way that welcomes players new to the genre.
Minecraft Legends fights to mix the thrill of its open world with the intricacies of real-time strategy, a combat that sometimes detracts from the overall fun you can have. Still, its lavish environments and clever world-building inspire familiar creativity that makes up for its growing pains. Where other strategy games have more in-depth complexity, Minecraft Legends has heart, and its charm is hard to resist. Mojang’s first campaign in this genre can sometimes make your hand feel too tight. But when its grip loosens, there’s a vibrant world of combat challenges to discover, which ultimately makes it a fascinating endeavor.