As gentle as strategy gets

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Minecraft doesn’t stop dominating – it’s still raking in huge quantities of players thanks to its never-ending replayability. Canny spin-offs are very much in its wheelhouse too, though, and the latest is Minecraft Legends.

This cute little strategy game zooms things out and focuses less on randomised worlds and totally player-driven gameplay in order to let gamers take control of small armies and play out pitched battles. You’ll still build and discover, but this time in a role as a field general. How does it stack up to the competition, though?

Minecraft Legends

This quaint little strategy title brings the best of Minecraft’s family-friendly tone to bear, with some lovely visuals to boot. It’s not wildly complex, but is perfect for those looking to enjoy Minecraft’s vibe in a new genre.


  • Lovely visuals
  • Fun cut-scenes
  • Simple but rewarding strategy

  • Takes a while to get going
  • Can get a little repetitive

Peace reigns

With a brand as massive as Minecraft behind it, Legends doesn’t have to do much to familiarise players with its world and setting, so things kick off with a nice quick cut-scene establishing a world where Minecraft’s NPCs all get along happily.

This means bustling, peaceful villages of Zombies leaving humans and animals alone, Creepers that don’t do much creeping, and other idyllic scenes, but it’s all up-ended by an inter-dimensional Piglin invasion.

You’re spirited in to take charge of a sort of coalition army of do-gooders to take the fight to the Piglins and chuck them back out of the land, gaining new unit types and tactical options as you go.

Legends keeps things simple and sprightly, perfect for a younger audience that doesn’t want lengthy story beats or exposition. Instead, it quickly kicks you straight into a quite necessary tutorial to explain just what its actual gameplay loop looks like. Legends is a real-time strategy game, but not in the traditional sense.

Taking charge

Minecraft Legends 3

Xbox Game Studios

You take control of a customised main character on horseback and, from an active position on the field, you’ll marshall and direct troops while you move with them. It’s a more active way to take charge, placing you as the on-field general in an army rather than some omnipotent observer. And, it means that you can seamlessly move between two types of gameplay.

The first will have you exploring an overworld of familiar Minecraft blocks, in different biomes and with a range of resources to sniff out and harvest as you go (this is done by simple directions, not by standing still harvesting or anything).

Gamescom 2022: Minecraft Legends preview photo 2

When the occasion arises, you’ll transition into the battle side of things, often to either protect a village or settlement or to destroy an enemy base.

You’ll have to find these Piglin bases, scout them to work out a plan of attack, and then build your own force to take them on, creating a sort of base camp of your own unit spawners or defences depending on the situation.

The variety of base types and scenarios you’ll encounter is pretty solid, with each making you think a little about how to approach things, but it’s also fair to say that anyone who doesn’t particularly care for battling in Legends won’t find much else to divert them.

Gamescom 2022: Minecraft Legends preview photo 3

Directing your army (or mob, since it’s not a question of hundreds of units, but rather of dozens) is impressively simple to manage on a controller.

The easiest tactic has your troops simply following you around and attacking enemies nearby, but you can also direct them easily and a wider range of controls makes it easy to station guards in an area and more.

This does have a certain ceiling, though, and you can’t expect Legends to offer the sort of granular unit-by-unit instructions that you might find in the likes of Company of Heroes 3 – and that’s fine, given their obviously different target audiences.

Minecraft Legends preview screens photo 2

As bases got more complicated we did start to feel that our ability to get our units to do what we wanted was sometimes a little imprecise, but the difficulty here is tuned so that this doesn’t undermine you in any massive way.

When you come across certain obstacles you will still need to do some old-fashioned building, and Legends allows you to build walls, towers and more. It never really gets more satisfying than putting down a carefully aimed set of stairs or a bridge to get your units at a key weak point, though, which continues to feel rewarding throughout.

Co-op means you can play the game with up to three friends, which is ideal for those looking to get some backup and means the game has potential as a social option for younger gamers, too.

Finally, competitive multiplayer comprised of 4v4 battles offers another avenue for diversion, although this wasn’t something we were able to test extensively ahead of launch.

Visual flavour

All of this action and exploration is presented in a visual style that will be familiar to Minecraft players, especially those who’ve tried Minecraft Dungeons given its perspective.

Minecraft Legends 6

Xbox Game Studios

The game’s blocks and characters have a very gentle cell-shaded finish that gives them a good bit of character, but it’s the animations that really shine.

The blocky character models mean that you get a Lego-like charm as your units attack or move, with quaint and cut little touches bursting out all the time.

A day-night cycle means the world feels vibrant and alive, and resources are easy to spot and give areas character, especially in the case of those that give effects, like wheat which speeds you up when you ride through it.

Minecraft Legends 5

Xbox Game Studios

It’s not necessarily a game that will take your breath away, but Legends is nice and polished and has charm to spare.


Minecraft Legends is a pretty graceful expansion of this mega-popular franchise, one that doesn’t try too hard to be all things to all people – after all, Minecraft already ticks that box.

It doesn’t necessarily have the intricacy to keep big-time strategists diverted endlessly, but with charming visuals and a nice sense of fun, it’s a great on-ramp for younger minds looking to explore a new genre.

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Credit : Source Post

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