Minecraft Legends may at first look like a throwback to RTS games of old, with a hint of modern third person action. However, it is anything but! Locking you to control a single hero, Minecraft Legends attempts to combine the satisfaction of striking down enemies in real time with a sense of strategic planning. But, it just doesn’t really work here! Instead, you get a bland mess of a game that can’t decide what direction it wants to go.
So How Does Minecraft Legends Struggle in the Strategy Department?
For a strategy game to be a success, you need to have a level of depth to the tactics. Focusing in on a few elements and expanding on them is absolutely necessary to prevent these types of titles from feeling tedious and repetitive. For example, the wide variety of infantry and defensive structures that can be created in Age of Empires gives players plenty of ways to approach any campaign. Whereas in Mount and Blade, specific combat tactics become the focus and learning them is imperative for victory. However, Minecraft Legends seems to dip its toes into various different ideas, without fully diving into any of them.
The third person adventuring seems to be at odds with the tactics mechanics. It makes the game’s pacing feel a bit all over the place. Whilst you can quickly traverse the map on your mount, the moment you encounter any form of combat, whether it be defending a village or attacking an outpost, the game slams the brakes on you, hard! This is mainly due to the fact that you, as the hero, have minimal physical impact on any encounter, as your melee attack is almost completely useless! Add to this the fact that your army is way too slow in taking down enemy defenses, and Minecraft Legends feels like it crawls slower than a zombie with no legs.
Minecraft Legends’ Significant Limitations
One of the biggest reasons for Minecraft Legends feeling like an absolute crawl early on, is due to the harsh troop limits. You start the game only being able to create 20 allies, with each type having only one specific function. Early on, only the cobblestone golem, can actually properly destroy enemy buildings. And it takes a lot of them to do it! You would think that the best way to proceed would be to create a full squad of golems to take down enemy bases at an adequate pace. But unfortunately, that won’t work out very well, as they are pretty rubbish at combat.
Because your own melee attacks doesn’t do much damage, you end up just sitting on the outskirts of the battlefield, creating mobs of golems and sending them to their doom, whilst slowly chipping away at your opponent’s defenses. You could choose to use other allies as well, but that will just slow the process down even further.
Does Minecraft Legends Boast Any Positives?
There are a small handful of interesting ideas sprinkled throughout Minecraft Legends. For one, the narrative is fun and lighthearted. The humour lands well, especially with its slapstick comedy. The witty writing was definitely the main highlight of this title, as well as some great voice acting.
The game’s soundtrack is also fantastic, which is not really that surprising from a Minecraft title. I mean, who hasn’t sat there listening to Sweden on repeat for hours on end? The score, along with the narrative, is what drives this title along. However, it just isn’t enough to save Minecraft Legends from being as dull as it is.
Minecraft Legends is one of those titles that would probably have been better left on the drawing board. After all, what was the purpose of it trying to be both an action adventure game, and a strategy game? When all it does is fail at both. Honestly, I believe that this title would have worked so much better if it had focused on either, rather than trying to do both. I do appreciate that the devs are trying to take the Minecraft universe in different directions, but unfortunately, it really just didn’t work out with this one! I will honestly be very surprised if Minecraft Legends is still widely active in years to come like its predecessor.
By Samuel Incze – Reviewed on PC
Minecraft Legends is a bland strategy title that fails to impress. The core tactical systems are shallow and have been implemented quite poorly and the third person combat and traversal is underwhelming at best. As you are locked to controlling your hero, constructing defenses and ordering troops can also feel quite awkward meaning this experience quickly becomes very tedious. This is really unfortunate, because the story is decent, and has some clever humour. However, this is not enough of a reason to be worth investing time into Minecraft Legends.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Mojang Studios, Blackbird Interactive and Xbox Game Studios. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.