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Minecraft Legends Has Strategy Game Potential, But That’s All It Has

Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series, Xbox One
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

PIGLINS! That is all.

In all seriousness, Mojang Studios has recently released Minecraft Legends, an open-world real-time strategy game, or “action strategy” in their words. The game is all about farming resources, building defenses and summons mercenaries to help protect the realm. There are numerous elements in the world that will look familiar to you if you’ve played Minecraft as the game takes a lot of its visual cues from it but it’s not the Minecraft you know. This however makes it easier for players to familiarize themselves with the world.

Back To Basics

The game starts off with a world where Minecraft’s NPCs all get along happily. Yay! We’re friends with the horrible creepers. You become acquainted with the 3 Hosts -Foresight, Knowledge and Action- who will guide you into defending the world from the oink hordes. The first few hours of exploring and listening to the Hosts which was like a ‘voice in my head’ felt like an awkward first date.

But like an awkward first date in an amazing place. The environments and biomes were done amazingly. As I was trying to explore the lands, I’d have an annoying voice in my head guiding me to do other things when all I wanted to do was explore.

The campaign drops the player into the world with multiple villages scattered around with the piglin horde shifting all over building forts and taking over areas. You farm resources, build defenses to protect the poor villagers, and assemble your army to send the piglins back to the Nether. What sets the game apart from Minecraft is in Legends you are given small creatures called allays to gather resources and build structures, a lute to command mobs you spawn in, as well as a banner to give commands to your small army.

The amount of resources you can get is slimmed down to the many materials that Minecraft has to offer. You start out with wood and stone, and then you expand slowly into getting iron, redstone, diamonds, and so forth. There are 3 types of buildings in which you can build; defensive structures like walls, gates and even arrow towers, small spawners for your tiny combat army, and improvements (upgrades) that you can construct at the huge Well of Fate. You don’t actually have to do any of these yourself.

However, you use allays to gather resources in flagged areas rather than mining them yourself. This strips all the fun and accomplishment out of the process. I have always been a huge fan of games in which farming resources are vital to the gameplay. I also feel like this takes away so much replayability.

Rally To Me

But don’t worry, you do get to lead your own army into battle, which you’d think would add more layers to the mix. You get to choose your own character, bless their souls, there were a variety of cute ones. You start off on horseback as you direct your troops. I like the fact that you are the general on the field taking charge of the army, rather than just being someone who observes.

However, it becomes bothersome and more like a babysitting job the more you play. You can command your army to follow you, stop following you, focus on a particular target, or charge ahead, as well as specify which units you want to issue the order to. It became frustrating to lead armies into battle to the point I just ended up building defenses to take down the piglin camps.

Combat was pretty much spawning a blob of troops of a varying kind, holding up my banner, running up and down to keep them in tow, and then aiming at buildings or targets I wanted them to attack. There really wasn’t a lot to it.

Another thing that irked me is that there is no real way to separate your units from one another. The only way you could do so if by making your spawners at a distance from each other so the units don’t end up mixing them. Then you group the individual units and use the advanced controls to order and split them up again. Oh yes, I forgot to mention: you get a tiny sword to wave around in the face of the piglins. The units also felt like they were walking blindfolded as they would constantly fall off of bridges and ramps, so pathfinding is more miss than hit, which isn’t something you want in an “action strategy” title.

Most would find the passive building a good choice, however, I hated it. The camera angles and the controls on keyboard and mouse felt awkward. Placing structures felt like a chore but the third-person view made the controls a whole lot harder than what they should have been. ALSO, building restrictions with making a ramp. Why was it so hard to just place a damn ramp across an area? or to build a ramp going upwards…

Minecraft to me has always been about creativity, and being able to experiment with things, but there is no room for any of that here. I tried making different structures with arrow towers and ramps to see if I could make overhead bridges and so on, but it would not allow me.

Also, why can’t I interact with the adorable animals? I felt like that would have been a great way for players to feel a bit more engaged with the game.

Battle With Or Against Friends

The game does come with cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes because of course everything is better with friends! Minecraft Legends especially. I cannot imagine playing this entire campaign solo. Unless you decide to take a full-on mental health break day, to relax to the calming music in the game, then I suppose you can.

Still, I find it extremely fun to delegate villages and duties to friends. I even had my best friend going around protecting the creepers and zombies’ bases, screaming “BE LIBERATED” as she’d charge into battle with the piglins. While my partner would farm for more resources by clearing piglin camps. Luckily, the game allows cross-platform with every platform so you need not worry if your friends are on a different platform.

The classic PVP can be basically open up a lobby to play 4 vs 4 against randoms all over the world, or 4 vs 4 in your own private lobby if you have enough friends. If you start a PvP playthrough, the game is more balanced toward competitive play. The one thing I like about this mode is the fact that every player has access to a total of 40 units and need to protect their own bases.

The gameplay is really basic in which players need to upgrade their bases to get better materials to farm for more units and to reinforce their base with better items. The goal is to protect your base from the pesky piglins as well as your opponents. A standard multiplayer PvP game lasts around 20 minutes, so it’s not too long and draggy. Connectivity-wise, I did not have issues.

It’s quite clear that the game excels in the multiplayer section, and the game is significantly more fun with friends. However, I think there are better games that you can play with friends, especially at the cost Minecraft Legends is at, if you do not own the X box Game Pass. Just go and play Minecraft instead.

You will not notice the negative parts of Minecraft Legends when you first start playing it. As you keep at it after an hour or two, you will soon realize that the world is just a hollow mimic of the original. I was told the game was made to be catered to kids, but the gameplay feels too overwhelming. I also felt that the suicide bombers may be a bit… too much for kids.

As for a more mature audience, I think it’s too simplistic and gets boring very fast especially if played alone. The story is very juvenile; while the cutscenes are done well, the older crowd will skip the nonsense.

There is so much potential in the game, but I fear they might have missed the mark with this one. But don’t worry, the piglins are still there. And cute.


  • Fun concept and initial execution.
  • Multiplayer PvE seems enticing.



  • Not much depth, especially for strategy game enthusiasts.
  • Too simplistic, even for a kid-tailored title.
  • Keyboard controls are borked.

Final Score: 50/100

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