Minecraft Dungeons is an upcoming action RPG that marries the blocky fun of Minecraft with the depth and combat-oriented play of Diablo. We've been playing through the game's closed beta, and we're pretty much addicted.
Still, the closed beta is relatively limited in the content it offers, intended more to help Mojang find bugs and gather feedback. The full game is far broader in scope, as we recently discovered at a recent preview event with Microsoft.
We got to see an all-new area in the Redstone Mines, and check out some of the weapons and abilities that aren't yet available in the beta. Here's a quick taste.
Lasers, crossbows, spears, oh my
The Minecraft Dungeons beta has given us a glimpse at some of its weapons, mainly basics like the sickles, bows, one-handed swords, and so on. The full game, however, will feature far more weapons for customizing your playstyle.
Indeed, Minecraft Dungeons has no set "classes," per se. Instead, it's your gear and artefact loadouts that will determine how your characters feel in combat. Every character can use artefact abilities, which grant unique skills to your characters. Some might be more beneficial for melee-type characters, while others might be more suited for characters that prioritize ranged attacks. In our preview (and indeed, in some of the trailers), we can see additional skills, such as a giant laser beam that's reminiscent of the Disintegration Ray from Diablo.
Now, anyone would be able to equip the artefact that would summon this giant purple laser. The previews and trailers also show off some wizard-style armor, though, which coupled with enchants that reduce cooldowns, would probably create a playstyle that was independent of using regular weaponry. One of the other spells Mojang showcased looked like a large shield you can deploy to protect your allies.
Beyond spells, we got a glimpse at a whole arsenal of weapons, including two-handed swords, maces, and spears, alongside crossbows and other unique armor types that aren't yet available in the beta. It paints a picture of a game brimming with depth, waiting to be explored.
Redstone Mines and other new areas
Mojang treated us to a glimpse of one of the new areas, as-of-yet unannounced. The Redstone Mines represent something more in-line with a Minecraft cave-diving experience, in close-quarters combat in narrow winding hallways, connecting you to larger caves. The claustrophobic layouts of the Redstone Mines will force ranged players to perhaps adjust their playstyles to accomodate the smaller areas. More tanky characters will be in their element, though, able to guard their allies more effectively using the cavern's chokepoints.
The world map and preview screens also showcase various other areas the beta doesn't offer yet, including ancient ruins, desert temples, and dark forests. Given the nature of the world map, and the huge variety of locations and biomes in Minecraft, the sky really is the limit when it comes to future DLC content too. It's easy to see how Minecraft Dungeons could become a game with a very, very long lifespan.
Could we one day see a DLC or expansion that revolves around the Nether and its updated biomes? Could we one day see a set-piece Ender Dragon boss battle? Quite honestly, it feels like the sky is the limit here. And since the sky limit is 256 blocks, we're expecting no less than 256 expansions for Minecraft Dungeons. Mojang better get to work!
May can't get here fast enough
Minecraft Dungeon's original planned launch date slipped a bit to May 26, 2020 due to the global work-from-home culture going on right now. Waiting a little longer is tough, but it should be worth it. The beta has already proven itself in my mind, and considering this game is on Xbox Game Pass or just $20 to buy outright otherwise on virtually every platform in existence, I expect Minecraft Dungeons to be a big hit with gamers everywhere once it finally launches. Keep an eye on this.
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