From the studios of Mojang Studios and Double Eleven and published by the hands of Xbox Game Studios, we are presented with the new project from the world of Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons. A Dungeon Crawler that mixes the universe full of building blocks with action-packed “hack n ‘slash” gameplay, very much in the style of Diablo.
Comparison with titles of the genre is inevitable, although this is a much more accessible title for all ages.
Although it has the same graphic style, Minecraft Dungeons, it has relatively little to do with the original in terms of gameplay. To begin with, there are no crafting or survival elements. Instead, and as indicated even in its name, the aim is to be a “Dungeon Crawler”, with a very simple concept. The dungeons are generated randomly, where the main idea is to find new and better equipment that helps the player to cross each level in greater difficulty.
There is a story that serves as a backdrop for this adventure, where an Arch-Illager with not very good ideas for the people of the surrounding lands and a magical MacGuffin try to control everything and everyone. Anyway, it is not at all the most important in the midst of all this action. The story centers entirely on the protagonist, incarnated by the player, who may have the appearance desired by the user himself. Between male or female, type of appearance, hair color, and skin. In fact, the choices are many. It should be noted that the appearance will be changed according to the type of armor equipped.
In terms of gameplay, the intention was to create something simplified. The aim, as previously mentioned, is to fight monsters, collect items, and evolve the character. However, there are no character classes or any kind of skill tree. Any player will be able to use the type of weapon and item they want, which shows an idea of ”arcade” instead of something more “hardcore” and focused on the line of different types of “builds”.
With regard to the armaments available, the variety is in fact very large. It is still possible to create some type of specific build for certain encounters, such as inflicting more damage on undead enemies, but in fact, it is not much of that, based on a broader theme such as damage in the area of a certain type of element. In terms of artifacts and enchantments, they offer a wide variety of buffs and special abilities, such as recovering life, involving the arrows in fire, etc.
The level design and the monsters and puzzles themselves are all generated differently in each run, which indicates that the maps do not have equal landmarks. The city map, or in other words, the place where the player chooses the mission he wants to play next, is quite empty and has only two separate stalls where it is possible to apply money to obtain new items. With a DLC on the way and some more content in the pipeline, let us foresee something that tries to captivate the players even more. And why not create new levels in “The Nether”? The suggestion remains.
The music and all the ambient sounds perfectly match what is happening on the screen. With a lo-fi style soundtrack, which manages to enhance all the sense of adventure inherent in dungeon exploration and its dangers.
Minecraft Dungeons is an interesting title, graphically appealing, and fun, with a very simple set of systems. It does not bring anything new to a game genre that has been widely seen, but it is still difficult to point fingers by following a “safe” path. With lots of different weapons and equipment, secret areas, and increasingly difficult levels of difficulty to unlock, it makes this a highly replayable title. More than to play with friends, with a party that can go up to four members, it makes the whole adventure more interesting and fun.
You can read this review in Portuguese.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by Microsoft.]