Minecraft Legends combines traditional RTS elements, a limitless open-world building system, and intense combat into its own unique symphony. All of these systems work harmoniously together, like a well-oiled Rube Goldberg machine. This is fitting, since Minecraft Legends’ major theme centers around harmony, a motif that resonates throughout the entire experience.
Minecraft Legends Campaign Review – The Hero’s Journey
The story begins in Harmony. The Overworld is at peace, and all mobs have decided to set aside their differences to coexist without war. Yes, even the Creepers…
Everything is peaceful until the Piglin Hordes show up, spreading dissonance, hatred, and filth throughout the lands.
You, the Hero, are tasked with defeating all three Piglin factions: Horde of the Hunt, Horde of the Spore, and Horde of the Bastion. This is no easy task, however…
My Minecraft Legends campaign play-through was extremely fulfilling all the way through. The progression and unlock systems absolutely hooked me, and I was thrilled to keep unlocking new units and structures.
To be clear, I started playing Minecraft Legends on Fabled mode, which is basically normal difficulty. Due to its solid tutorial, I quickly learned the mechanics and increased the difficulty to Mythic, the second hardest mode.
You have the freedom to play the campaign however you want, and it seems like experiences will vary significantly between each player. You can choose to spend your time building fortifications to defend your Villager allies, or you can jump right into raiding dangerous Piglin encampments.
However, focusing too much on attacking bases will leave your Villagers defenseless, soon to be overran by the unrelenting hoards of Piglins. As the sun sets each day, there is a chance for Piglins to raid the villages in your world. Luckily, you are notified which villages are being targeted and are given ample time to build fortifications before night falls.
The limitless building potential in the original Minecraft is still very much alive in Minecraft Legends. You can make completely unique bases anywhere in the world. In fact, you can turn the whole world into one massive base if you are dedicated enough!
Some of my favorite moments in the campaign were spent building forward-operating-bases around Piglin mega-castles and bombarding them with the Redstone Launcher. Once I destroyed their archer towers and ballistae with artillery fire, I would recruit an army of mobs to storm the base with force.
The uniqueness of each spawnable mob unit allows for dozens of team compositions. Creepers are amazing at destroying structures, while Plank Golems will shoot arrows at enemy Piglins from a distance. Each mob requires a different resource to recruit, which can cause complications if you love spending resources on structures like me.
Personally, my favorite team comp is a bunch of Cobblestone Golems for structure damage, Grindstone Golems to distract Piglins, and a few Mossy Golems for healing. Since you are able to damage Piglins with your sword, it is imperative that you defend your units when they are attacking structures.
While I might be making the Minecraft Legends campaign seem flawless, I do have a few bones to pick with it…
First off, I was expecting more from the post-game. Once you beat the final boss, you’re done. There is nothing left to do. Sure, you can still build massive bases, but since you’ve defeated the Piglins there will be no more raids to test them out on.
Of course, it is a campaign, and all campaigns must come to an end. This isn’t a massive gripe, but I do think we could be given some incentive to keep booting up post-game saves.
Additionally, because of the constant defending and attacking of bases, there is really no time to chill. Your days are spent raiding bases or preparing fortifications, and your nights are spent fending off the Piglin hordes.
I was in constant state of “go-mode” while playing the campaign. There is just not enough time to sit around and enjoy the view (fantastic graphics and art-style, by the way).
Minecraft Legends Multiplayer Review – Versus Mode
While the campaign was solid, it only contains around 20-30 hours of gameplay. Online multiplayer is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time in Minecraft Legends.
Versus Mode allows for lobbies up to 8 players, which will always be split into two teams. You can still also play 1v1 to 3v3s, however you’ll need to host a private game for that. The Versus Mode also features a 4-player co-op (or solo) training mode against bots, which is super fun to chill out in.
As I write these words, there are only a few select people who are able to play online Versus Mode. This makes it quite challenging to find lobbies. However, I did see a lot of potential in the lobbies I got into.
After a few matches, it’s safe to say that the Redstone Launcher is quite overpowered. Of course, it’s hard to develop counter-strategies in such a short period of time, but that Redstone Launcher tears bases into pieces!
The strategy required for Versus Mode is much different to the campaign. Versus Mode introduces an incentive to be stealthy, sliding around your opponent’s base in the dead of night and bombarding them from a hidden location.
In Versus Mode, you cannot simply send in a group of Cobblestone and Mossy Golems to slowly eat at structures. The enemy player will swiftly slice them down with their sword.
The strategy differences make Versus Mode feel like an entirely different game when compared to the campaign (in a good way).
Now, for my concerns…
My biggest issue is that Versus Mode is quite frustrating without team communication. Since there is no voice or text chat functionality in Minecraft Legends, you will not be able to strategize with your teammates. This leads to a few problems down the line.
When you want to recall units to your base, you will recall all of the team’s units. Since there is no way to communicate, your teammate may recall units while you are in the heat of battle. Happened to me multiple times…
This can be fixed by allowing Recall to only recall units that you last controlled, or something along those lines. It just makes for really frustrating moments which should be avoided, in my opinion.
It seems Versus Mode is massively biased towards team queues, not solo players. Adding at least a text chat would make it much more palatable for solo players, which is important for the longevity of the game. The only social interaction us solo players get is a “Good Game!” cheer at the end of the match.
Minecraft Legends: Final Thoughts
Here’s a TL:DR of this entire review!
- Audio and visual masterpiece
- Limitless and user-friendly building mechanics
- Thrilling combat mechanics with simple RTS foundation
- Versus Mode may have some balancing issues
- Versus Mode is heavily biased towards team queues
- Campaign ends a bit abruptly, with no directions given after
Whether you have experience with RTS games or not, I highly recommend you give Minecraft Legends a shot. One may consider it an RTS-lite, allowing it to be enjoyable for those who are not into the complicated nature of most RTS games.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed my time playing Minecraft Legends, and I’m super excited to see where it goes in the future.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PC.