Geek Preview: Minecraft Dungeons

The seasoned formula of a hack’n’slash, dungeon crawler has been made familiar to many via games like Diablo, but when you add in the blocky aesthetics of the Minecraft world, we get Mojang and Double Eleven‘s Minecraft Dungeons.

A dungeon crawler for up to four players in co-op, Minecraft Dungeons‘ take on the genre is predictably less bloody, and veer more towards to adorable side. Meant to be accessible to all ages, a layer of familiarity coupled with ease of play is apparent in every square inch of the game.

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Ahead of its release on 26 May, we had the chance to experience the PC beta, and the fun is enough to make us excited for the full release.

While the worlds in Minecraft Dungeons retain much of the charm and cuteness that are recognisable all over the world, the freedom to build is transformed into a freedom in which you can mould your character. Rather than take on the more complicated class systems in other similar titles, Minecraft Dungeons is all about the loot game.

Be it your weapons or armour, both have a variety of upgrades and enchantments that can used to make them even more powerful. Thorns can reflect damage caused by enemies, or your weapons can gain the leech ability to recover some health, there is much to explore and work with in Minecraft Dungeons.

The loot grind is not that hard either, with the game providing plenty of gear along the way. You are never locked into your choices too, as salvaging unwanted and outdated gear will return any enchantments you previously used into the inventory.

The freedom to mix and match, and see what works for you is key to the fun in Minecraft Dungeons. Rather than give you a sandbox world, the game makes you the sandbox instead.

Your character would have no purpose if not for the many invading monsters. These foes would be familiar to any who have dabbled in Minecraft. The plot is not spectacular by any means, but it works. Minecraft Dungeons begins when a lonely, outcast Illager stumbles upon a mysterious object with terrifying powers. Before long, he finds himself on a path of evil, causing mayhem across the Overworld. The task of stopping him falls to you and your friends.

Both melee and ranged weapons are enjoyable to used on the skeletons and zombies, and with the game’s randomly generated levels, no two adventures are truly the same. The sheer chaos that can unfold on screen is often balanced by the speedy, satisfying action that is more flashy than dangerous for veterans.

There are artifacts that can be activated to give you powers like fire arrows, and a bottomless healing potion that has a cooldown. It is likely that the most difficult thing in Minecraft Dungeons are not the mobs, but rather, keeping players interested for the long haul.

While the beta is a limited experience, the problem could easily persist for such a streamlined design. It was definitely fun, but for how long remains the key question. We will definitely find out more when Minecraft Dungeons launch on 26 May on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch.

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