Minecraft Dungeons is a good quality game. This is a simple and straightforward action RPG for those who are not familiar with this genre at all.
This is a good representative of dungeon crawlers, behind which you can relax a bit and take a break from the dark fantasy aesthetics. Minecraft Dungeons really could be advised both for novice gamers and hard-core Diablo Fans, if not for one nuance … But first things first.
Introduction to the game
Microsoft continues to experiment with its popular franchises and open new horizons for them. Minecraft Dungeons is the second attempt to push the genre boundaries of the Minecraft universe.
The first, not entirely successful, was Minecraft Story Mode, in which only the general style remained from the original game.
Dungeons, in general, went the same way, although in spirit it is much closer to its original source, not only because of the overall aesthetics, but also the battles, gathering resources and exploring the world.
As in any fantasy RPG, even with the “action” prefix, Minecraft Dungeons must have a storyline. Well, or at least some kind of it.
In our case, we will talk about saving the magic kingdom from the Arch-villain – a once ordinary person who at first took offense at the whole world, and then found an ancient artifact and became an evil sorcerer. Our task is to stop the Arch-villain and his hordes of monsters.
Actually, on this, about 5 minutes after the start of the game, the full story ends. Then the players are waiting for only a couple of introductory sentences before the start of the next mission and a brief description of the locations in which they have to visit.
World, Items and Quests
The missions themselves and, as a consequence, the locations in Minecraft Dungeons are few – only 9, except for a few secret tasks that can be opened during repeated playthroughs. On average, the plot runs in 3-5 hours – it depends on the chosen level of difficulty of the task and your luck.
With the first, everything is more or less clear: the higher the complexity of the mission, the “thicker” the mobs will be, the more damage you will receive and the longer you will go through it. But with the second, everything is a little more complicated …
The fact is that in this game the difficulty is represented by six levels: from the first, the easiest, to the sixth, most difficult.
So, each mission has its own minimum permissible level of difficulty, and the further you move in the story, the higher this minimum level rises. If the initial locations can be run on the first level of difficulty, then in any case you will have to fight the final boss on the fifth or sixth.
But in the beginning, this does not cause much concern, since at first Minecraft Dungeons seems like an extremely simple game.
You easily deal with enemies and get a lot of loot, thanks to which you level up very quickly: the character’s health is affected by his level, and the rest of the indicators are affected by equipment. Accordingly, the higher the level of your equipment, the easier it is to kill enemies and survive in battles with the armies of the Arch-villain.
However, after completing about half of the game, you will face the fact that the level of your equipment is no longer enough to complete missions even on the minimum permissible difficulty.
This is where your luck comes into play, since new equipment can drop either from killed enemies, or from containers that can be purchased at the hub location for crystals – in-game currency obtained for killing enemies or collected at the level.
There are two types of containers in Dungeons: one drops weapons and armor, and the other drops magical artifacts. At the same time, the chance of getting high-level equipment itself is extremely small, albeit tied to the character’s level.
So, if you need an axe of a certain level, then it’s not a fact that you will get it by opening even 50 chests. As a result, the in-game progression turns into playing pokies at Casinonic casino: the outcome is complete random.
Although, again, at first you don’t pay attention to this at all and calmly experiment with various builds, since there are no classes in Minecraft Dungeons, and all the hero’s abilities are tied only to his equipment.
But when you choose the most suitable build for your style of play, or it comes to tasks with high difficulty, all experiments fade into the background. Here, both the level of equipment and the ease of use are important.
Of course, you can return to the old locations and start farming crystals to open more chests and finally get the coveted weapons and armor. If you don’t want to grind, then get ready for a fairly hardcore isometric action game where the hero is killed with just a couple of hits, and the battles turn into “hit-hit-roll-hit-hit-roll”.
Difficulty, Gameplay and Character Progression
So, it turns out that beginners who are not familiar with the genre seem to want to advise Minecraft Dungeons for its low entry threshold, but over time the game comes down to either grind or high difficulty, and it is unlikely that an unprepared player will be ready for this.
In turn, fans of the genre may be slightly taken aback by the local “casino roulette”, which, in principle, influences how you play this game. If you are not discouraged by leveling, and you seem to be not against grinding resources, then the game may well open up for you from the other side.
Leaving aside a strange progression – and as a result, a slightly broken difficulty curve – Minecraft Dungeons can be called an extremely entertaining dungeon crawler with a dynamic and highly addictive combat system and procedural location generation, thanks to which you can get bogged down in this game for a dozen hours.
And then another couple of dozen, passing it on even higher levels of difficulty, which open after the first completion of the game.
The action itself is very simple and tied to only three buttons, which are responsible for a blow, a shot from a bow or crossbow and a roll. But behind deliberate simplicity hides depth. So, each weapon has up to three slots with perks that can be unlocked and enhanced for special points.
Each weapon has its own set of perks and is quite diverse: from accelerated attacks and increased damage to setting enemies on fire and lightning strikes.
In addition to the standard weapons in the hero’s arsenal, there are three slots for magical artifacts that allow you to quickly and effectively deal with large groups of enemies, heal or summon a wolf, llama or an iron golem for help in battle.
Battles in the game take place quite rapidly and often with fairly large groups of opponents. Besides the usual mobs, Minecraft Dungeons has mini-bosses and bosses which require development of tactics by the players to make battle smoother.
By the way, I also want to praise the developers for the locations, or rather for their art design. All 9 biomes have a unique visual style and great artwork, unless you are confused by the cubic style of Minecraft.
The apogee of the visual feast is the Red Stone Mines and the Fire Forge, which seem to have left the pages of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series. The first location was clearly inspired by the Moria mines, while the second was inspired by the Lonely Mountain.
Minecraft Dungeons is a good game that, unfortunately, is very difficult to recommend to anyone. The local progression, tied to obtaining equipment from chests, turned out to be too controversial. But if that doesn’t scare you, then you can give the project a chance.
Anyways, we don’t see so often a high-quality action-RPG in the Diablo style. So, if you are a fan of the genre – Minecraft Dungeons is for you!