What’s Special About Minecraft Dungeons?
The new couch co-op dungeon crawler game called Minecraft Dungeons, by developer Mojang Studios and publisher Xbox Game Studios under the corporate umbrella of Microsoft, seems to have taken a quite different spin on its predecessors by essentially taking away the core theme of the blocky Minecraft world. That said, the fans are surely not disappointed with the outcome. The action-RPG game was released on 26 May 2020 and is now available for Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
Minecraft Dungeons, while still set in the original Minecraft world with the classic sinister village setting that comes along, has done away with the primary activities of mining and crafting, and bring in the fun looting activity, as well as combat actions. The game mechanics may seem a little odd at the beginning, but the game could be well worth your time once you begin to get the hang of it. With this game delving into the dungeon crawler genre, it has, in a way, made the genre more accessible to fans from far and wide.
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The backstory of Minecraft Dungeons
The game narrative is pretty simple in a way that it equally appeals to the younger audience, as well as the older fans, striking a balance between a straightforward story and the well-thought-out gameplay mechanics. The premise of the game revolves around the evil Arch-Illager who sets out on a plundering crusade across the neighboring villages by forcibly recruiting the villagers (more like kidnapping), who had otherwise cold-shouldered him prior to him gaining profound power, under his authoritative commands. The players are set with the common mission of defeating the evil antagonist and the throng of his underlings along the way, either as a lone member or as a team of up to four members.
Minecraft Dungeons gameplay
Minecraft Dungeons is disparate from the original Minecraft in one factor, and that is its gameplay. Unlike the latter, Minecraft Dungeon does not support mining or building things, but, instead, your journey will progress through an isometric perspective where you will explore procedurally-generated dungeons. You are requisitioned to savagely kill all that may obstruct the way and even others that don’t because you could gain so much from any random kill.
Your ultimate enemy, however, is the one named “Arch-Illager,” who has in his possession the Orb of Dominance. With its omnipotent power, Arch-Illager has raised a mighty army of both familiar and new Minecraft villains for the sole intent of world domination. Arch-Illager is fuelled by hatred over those who had previously shunned him, and he will take all possible means to get his revenge. It is up to you and your party to stop this evil.
Hack-and-slash your way to victory!
As you traverse through this noble journey, you will be required to hack-and-slash your way through ferocious mobs, mini-bosses, and a huge boss at the end of each level. Battle close-up in classic melee style or kill from a distance using long-range attacks. If you want, you could even use a tank to stomp through your enemies. You can even use special objects, such as scepters and wands, to cast all kinds of spells. The gameplay features new battle mechanics, like using personalized enchantments, using a rod to reel your enemies or total customization of your weapon for maximum result.
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Loot and create!
Another gameplay mechanic that sets Minecraft Dungeons apart from other action RPGs is that there is absolutely no class system, which means you don’t need any specific skills to wield any type of weapon or armor. Your character is built according to the kind of armor or weapons you suit up your character with.
So, you can just pick up any weapon/armor and use it to its maximum potential. All your character’s abilities thus come solely from whatever gear you own. This is an awesome feature on its own, but combined with the loot feature, it allows for endless possibilities in skillsets for your character. Raid secret passages, kill enemies and even livestock to earn a handsome loot, all of which will be stored in a neat category in your inventory. Each loot can earn you emeralds, weapons gears, or all of them at once.
As you kill thousands of monsters and loot their consumables, you can also loot their souls, which makes the tasks all the more rewarding. Yes, you heard it right. If you possess a soul-stealing relic, you can capture the souls of all the fallen monsters, which will, in turn, power-up your relic.
Enchantments and artifacts
Using enchantments to find precious artifacts is a huge part of the gameplay. Although you may find similar items several times, each one has its unique set of enchantment options, so you have virtually endless enchantment sets to play around with. Besides the awesome soul-stealing relic that was mentioned above, there are so many countless relics and artifacts just as awesome. But you will have to do a thorough exploration to find them. The artifacts give you bonuses for your weapons, like healing abilities, fire arrows, and such.
As you level up and explore more areas, your loot will also increase, and your inventory may become full. In this case, you can switch and salvage items directly so that you can change your skills mid-battle, allowing you to effectively deal with the enemy that stands before you.
If you have an enchanted weapon you no longer wish to use, you can simply salvage it. This way, you not only free up storage space, but you also earn gems and receive enchantment points, which can be reused on another item. This recycling type of system provides flexibility and freedom for you to try different weapons and skills without losing any progress.
Take a detour
One of the best ways to maximize your gameplay, as recommended by many, is that you should undoubtedly stray away from the main course now and again. Although Minecraft Dungeons does an incredible job at guiding you to your quest by placing markers on a map that’s visible on the side of your screen, these maps can be deceptive. If you rely only on the map, you could miss out on some awesome side campaigns and possible treasure troves. There are often many secret chests tucked away on the corners off the quest paths waiting to be explored.
What more can you expect from the game?
Although the prospects of any fan-created mods in the near future may seem highly unlikely, there is the possibility of player-created dungeons coming to the table, and it sure sounds promising. The creators are also exploring the possibilities of introducing cross-play features at later stages. While all that may take quite a while, you can also take a chance at the Xbox Game Pass that is available for both Xbox and PC.
With the game still in its initial stages post-release, it has already garnered enough attention and has also gained the well-deserved support from the fans. There is great potential for further extensions if it continues to move in this direction, as the current version is just the tip of the iceberg. There are endless possibilities when you really think about it.
Minecraft Dungeons is a brilliant escapade into a rather ironic isometric world with randomly conjured dungeons that are infested with traps, monsters, and the likes. The thrill of combating these enemies, combined with the action of looting, comes alongside another rewarding feature that allows your character’s progression.
You are in for a treat both if you are already a religious Minecraft fan and also, if you are delving into this genre, and the Minecraft world in particular, for the first time. Or even for someone who might want a change of scenario away from the conventional building activities, the new themed world, colorful, chaotic, and jam-packed with the original but progressive block characters, can offer an enthralling experience. Building and crafting might be your forte, and you wouldn’t feel the need to indulge in a game that strays away from the central theme and mechanism; truth be told, it is a far-fetching idea to expect the entire audience to love it, but it is always worth taking the chance.
Watch the trailer to catch a glimpse of the compelling universe inside the colorful block game. Get a taste of this amazing game by getting a copy for yourself and find out your caliber in tackling multiple enemies. Loot and salvage your way to great wealth and power while rescuing the captives who are under the clutches of the evil Arch-Illager and see if you can be the hero that they solely deserve. So, go on, buy the game, grab a chair, and immerse yourself on a captivating and adventurous journey towards becoming a savior, all by yourself or with your team.
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