Reviews - Updated on April 6, 2022

Minecraft has been around for more than a decade, but attempts to create other genres of games based on this universe have been made infrequently. Rather, apart from Minecraft: Story Mode and Minecraft Earth, nothing came out. The situation will be corrected by Minecraft Dungeons, an action-adventure game about clearing dungeons with hordes of enemies, tons of treasures and a cooperative mode.

To tell more about it, the developers from Mojang AB held a closed presentation of the project, where they showed several levels, explained the main mechanics and answered journalists’ questions. Executive Producer David Nisshagen, Game Director Mans Olson, and Senior Game Designer Laura de Llorens commented.

Save the village, destroy the monsters

Minecraft Dungeons is a dungeon crawler action game in which you have to explore locations alone or with friends, fight monsters, collect trophies and ultimately save the villagers from the army of the antagonist named Arch-Illager. The game was created on the Unreal Engine 4, which makes animation, special effects, lighting and more look better than in the usual Mojang sandbox.

One of the differences between the game and other representatives of the genre is that there are no classes in it. You can change the style on the fly, putting hammers instead of swords in the weapon slots and fast crossbows instead of slow bows. Also in the inventory there are three slots for active abilities – this is something like spells that are restored quite quickly after use: for example, an arrow that explodes when it hits a crowd of enemies, or a bomb that deals damage to all enemies standing around the character.

Angular Diablo - everything we know about Minecraft Dungeons

Getting close to the creepers is, of course, not the best idea.

“If we compare Minecraft Dungeons with similar games, we can say that we have a greater bias towards battles. There are practically no long “cooldowns” and timers. But there are fights in which you really feel that you are taking an active part, ”added Nisshagen.

Go everywhere and kill everyone

All locations in the game are procedurally generated – when you once again go to a previously completed task, the map changes. The task will remain the same, important buildings are not modified, but everything else (including the path to the final goal) is always different. In particular, new secrets appear, the number of which can be found out when viewing the map of the area, and it will not be difficult to find them with its help – branches from the main road will hint where to look for hidden chests.

The maps themselves are varied: from lava-filled dungeons with narrow passages, to a gloomy forest with scurrying zombies, and a farm – much of what you expect to see in a game set in the Minecraft universe. The same applies to enemies, the types of which are more here than in the original – some zombies, skeletons, spiders and creepers would not be enough. For example, necromancers summoning allies have appeared, and the most difficult opponents will be big bosses, who will certainly leave behind valuable trophies.

Angular Diablo - everything we know about Minecraft Dungeons

A variety of procedurally generated locations will make exploring the dungeons more fun.

All means are good

Weapons and armor drop from chests and enemies, and the creators assure that all items are unique. Even if they look the same on the outside, their characteristics can vary greatly. Including thanks to enchantments with which you can significantly improve the item. For example, let’s take a crossbow that fires three arrows at the same time. One of the bonuses can be a chance to shoot as many as five arrows – you can be stingy and choose a 10% chance, or you can invest to the maximum for the sake of 30%. And with another upgrade, the arrows will increase during the flight and become more deadly.

This flexibility will allow players to customize gear for all occasions. “You are literally what you wear,” Nisshagen says. – If you find yourself in a situation where the tactics you have chosen do not work (you have little armor, and the opponents in the location mainly use long-range weapons), just open your inventory and change clothes. As an option, turn into a tank with a large supply of health. Olson added that there could be synergy between different pieces of equipment. If you have the ability to shoot an exploding firework arrow, and the character is wearing the above-mentioned crossbow that shoots three arrows, then there will be three explosions.

Difficulty for every taste

Understanding the synergy between weapons, armor, enchantments and abilities will come in handy for those who want to play at higher difficulty levels. The authors are trying to make the game accessible to everyone, so each mission has a so-called danger slider – the user himself can choose how difficult he wants to make the proposed content. He will see his average strength, the strength of his entire squad, as well as a scale with several difficulty levels and indicated recommendations. It also says how many unique items of equipment and artifacts were found at the location – another reason to visit randomly generated biomes several times.Angular Diablo - everything we know about Minecraft Dungeons

Some locations are open, others are full of narrow corridors and bridges, and because of this, sometimes you have to change tactics.

The more difficult the mission, the stronger the enemies and the better (and rarer) trophies you can get for completing it. Enemies not only deal more damage, but can also acquire enchantments. “If the ability to leave a trail of fire behind is good for the player, then fighting against such monsters will not be so pleasant. This is one example of how we try to introduce the user to the many options available – sometimes they will make it easier, sometimes you have to choose tactics against them, ”explains the producer.

Company of explorers

The cooperative mode is designed for four players, and when the group decreases or increases (you can connect to the player at any time), the difficulty will automatically change. Cross-play will not be supported at launch, but they plan to add it later with a free update. It is assumed that the owners of PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch will be able to play together later, but there is always the possibility that some platform holders will oppose.

All the loot that appears on the level (weapons and armor) is unique for each team member, so you won’t have to fight for the sword that fell out of the boss – you won’t even see what your comrades got. The same applies to emeralds, which are the in-game currency – they are spent in the central camp for equipment (there are no microtransactions). Common here will be only auxiliary items at the levels, like food or dynamite, which explodes after being thrown.

Angular Diablo - everything we know about Minecraft Dungeons

Large concentrations of enemies are not uncommon. When a teammate passes out, his teammate has 30 seconds to save his friend before they are surrounded by monsters.

***

Minecraft Dungeons releases May 26 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The regular edition costs $20, while the $30 Hero Edition includes two upcoming expansions. According to the developers, these will not be small DLCs, but fairly large expansions with story content – now Mojang is gradually switching to their creation. Xbox Game Pass members will have access to the regular version of the game at no additional cost.

If everything that the developers have been talking about with enthusiasm is implemented well, Minecraft Dungeons will be a worthy entertainment in the spirit of Diablo. So far, the only question is how diverse the gameplay will be – watching this kind of action from the side is far from being as exciting as playing them, especially in co-op. Judging by the feedback from those who went through the beta, it is difficult to break away from the game – let’s hope that the “endgame” of Minecraft Dungeons will be seriously discussed in the same way as it happens with other representatives of the genre.

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