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Minecraft Legends, review in progress: A new point of view for the series

We’ve played and finished the campaign in Minecraft Legends, the RTS that transports the Mojang franchise into an entirely new dimension.

ARTE MERISTATION Minecraft Legends

Minecraft has set course for a new horizon far from the survival that has characterized it for more than a decade. What we find ourselves in Minecraft Legends is an amazing miniature Age of Empires. The basics of the RTS are delivered from a perspective close to third-person adventure. Your hero takes center stage when it comes to commanding your small armies of mobs.

Given the relevance of the multiplayer aspect, at MeriStation we have decided to start our review process only with the campaign. On the PvP side of things and other aspects that face players against each other, we’ll go into detail in our final review, when we can test the game with a population greater than that available during these weeks before its launch.

How to play Minecraft Legends?

If you have played the original version of Minecraft, some of the knowledge you gained during the game will help you. We refer especially to the materials and how exploration influences the collection of resources. But that’s it. The playable similarities between the two are few, and that’s because this is a direct game, where action prevails over everything else.

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Your character, the great hero of the adventure, is always on the back of an animal that confers various bonuses in navigation. We won’t be able to get rid of him. So how does getting supplies work? Very easy: with gatherers. These small characters appear after depositing a gathering cube, which will get all the materials around them of the type that you have indicated.

Like Minecraft, with these materials we can make numerous utensils with which to expand our tools.The difference between the original and Legends is that a good part of those resources is directed toward improving offensive capabilities. Stone, for example, is primarily used to create tiny stone golems and their respawn points.

With no pickaxes or axes, you won’t find swords and armor either. Yes, you have a basic sword that is used to deal ranged cutting blows, but what we mean is that the weight of the combat is mostly on your allies: the mobs. During a good part of the campaign mode, you can have 20 simultaneous mobs following you, so you must choose the balance of your army well. Each kind of creature is specialized in a specific role. You will find some focused on healing, others on the demolition of towers, powered-up versions like the archer skeletons, and more monsters from the Minecraft bestiary.

Action is translated into commands as follows: By pressing the X button you will raise a meeting flag, which will make every mob around you start following you. Once in this position, your allies will be ready to go to war. Pressing the Y button will send them forward, where they will engage any enemy or rival structure they encounter. Easy as that. If you want to intervene, pressing the B button will strike with your sword, as we said before. You don’t do much damage this way. It is balanced so that the heavy lifting is done by those who accompany you.

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The same goes for crafting. Holding the left trigger you can see in real-time the final shape of what you are going to manufacture, which you will choose from the menus on your HUD and the options with the upper buttons.You will have several types at your disposal, from some of a defensive nature (the ones you will use the most), others dedicated to improving the base, creating respawn points, and others that help you navigate the levels, such as ramps that allow you to avoid big falls. Since crafting comes into play in different ways depending on the game mode, we’ll be going into more depth on each side.

Campaign: learning your tools

During our preview we were saying that we had the feeling that the campaign position was merely a tutorial. The truth is that after completing it the feelings are confirmed. This is a testing ground where you are introduced to all the mechanics you will have to master in multiplayer games. However, there are moments that raise the experience beyond one lesson after another.

The premise is based on the fact that the piglins are reaching the surface, which jeopardizes the peace and harmony of the already-known creatures that inhabit the world. The Underworld has opened numerous portals through which countless piglins emerge from. Knowledge, as one of the main characters is called, guides us through the necessary elements to be able to undertake the journey to defeat them.

The campaign structure is based on a small open world that distributes the activities through the typical Minecraft biomes. Once you get past the point where all opportunities open up, which occurs in the first hour of play, it’s up to you how you want to encompass the experience. Every dawn the piglin troops will try to assault the towns of the villagers, relevant allies who prepare chests with supplies for you. Creating defenses around them is the first step so you don’t always have to come to their aid.

Little by little you will have to improve your skills in various ways. Typical skill trees have been put aside to make way for your performance in battle. For example, to unlock new types of mobs you just have to help them resist the oppression of their people. It consists of small missions where you must close a portal, free them from their cages, or clear a certain number of waves that shake their stability.

The main challenge is to end the influence of three warlords. Their action zones establish three specially fortified bases that are divided according to the level of challenge. Destroying them and some posts around them gives us access to new improvement towers to place at the main source, the hero’s base. If we want to be able to collect gold, we have to destroy the related fortification and then build the improvement in our base, which will allow our collectors to be able to get it at each point where we locate it.

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It is also not convenient to overlook exploration. Sometimes we will be able to find chests with which to increase the number of simultaneous gatherers and other improvements that increase our power. Completing the campaign took us around 12 hours, depending on how well you know how to fit your pieces together. Co-op is available so that up to four players can participate in the same campaign session. Solo is a good introduction to the mechanics without neglecting how fun the objectives are. Solving the problems when tackling the assault on the bases is like playing Age of Empires in Minecraft, except for the distances. And with the extra level of replayability by helping others, since the campaign map is generated every time a new game is started.

Certain potential

Short of playing the multiplayer side of Minecraft Legends, which has a lot to offer, we are satisfied with what the formula brings. It is a fun game at the controls, easy to play, and with just enough depth to avoid being excessively dense. The campaign mode offers a tour of the game’s mechanics as a tutorial, although it is appreciated that at times it tries to go a little further. Capturing an enemy base is a strategy exercise to match.