Review: Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox One and Win 10)

Explore the action-packed, treasure-stuffed levels – all in an epic quest to save the villagers and take down the evil Arch-Illager.

Pros:

  • Classic Minecraft graphics.
  • Play anywhere title so you get both Windows 10 and Xbox One versions.
  • Text to speech option.
  • Full controller support.
  • Graphics-display mode/resolution/graphic presets/FPS limit/FPS counter/v-sync/AA/shadow quality/particles/bloom and AO.
  • The character creator is picked from the 28 skins.
  • Local mp support 2-4.
  • Online and offline modes.
  • Beginning tutorial area.
  • ARPG gameplay.
  • World map level select.
  • 3rd person perspective with an isometric view.
  • Difficulty modifiers-sets the levels of the enemy and there is 6 in total but the individual levels decide how many options you have.
  • Fast loading times.
  • Earn EXP and level up to get an enchantment point. You use these points to upgrade your equipment with buffs.
  • Loot drops with rarity and power ratings.
  • End of the level breakdown of performance with a chest reward.
  • Camp-main hun where you can find bonus chests, find secrets, level select, and unlock two merchants.
  • Merchants-pay diamonds for a random roll of gear or artifacts that are close to your current level.
  • Load out-melee weapon, armor, bow for ranged attacks, 3 artifact slots that are your special powers if you like.
  • Artifacts may use souls to charge and these come out of dead enemies.
  • Diamonds-currency that drops from chests, enemies, and given when you salvage gear.
  • Huge open levels with multiple routes and secrets to find like bonus dungeons.
  • Map overlay can be toggled and is transparent enough to be alright to leave on.
  • Can rebind controls.
  • Big boss fight and mini-boss encounters.
  • Can replay levels.
  • 3 lives per level then you get kicked back to the camp.
  • When you salvage gear you get diamonds as I said but you also get any enchantment points given back.
  • Clone character option-I initially didn’t see the point but doing co-op meant everyone could clone my character so we were all the same level.
  • The co-op has revived and doesn’t detract from your 3 lives limit. When a player is down the screen gets darker and more enemies to appear.
  • Catch up travel in Co-op so if you get too far apart it teleports you.
  • More gems drop-in co-op.
  • Overall 3 difficulties that unlock after each full story playthrough.

Cons:

  • Fixed camera angle.
  • Can’t pause even in offline modes.
  • Only 3 lives on a level.
  • Slow starter.
  • A lot of dead space with nothing going on.
  • Constant difficulty spikes.
  • Little loot pool which in turn means you get bad drops constantly.
  • Grinding is needed for the later levels.
  • The shops in the camp are just glorified gambling spots.
  • Slow health potion cooldown timer.
  • Aside from the visuals, there is nothing Minecraft in the game, you cannot mess about with environment or craft items.
  • Lots of potions and food drops which give temporary boosts or slight health.
  • Little variation in terms of level layout.
  • Random crashes.
  • Loot is not what you want but more about equipping all items with the highest power.
  • Diamonds are actually the real loot.
  • I had it a few times where I couldn’t interact with doors or items.
  • Can’t drop items for people in co-op.
  • It doesn’t support taking local players online.
  • No drop in and out local co-op. You have to quit to the menu.
  • Co-op loot is first come first serve in local play.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
7.6/10

Summary

Minecraft Dungeons is finally here! From all the trailers you can be forgiven for thinking this was Minecraft Diablo, even I believed this to be the case. Well I can say after finishing the story twice that this is not worthy of the Diablo comparison. It tries to be a looter game but with only a dozen or so items it really falls short and that isn’t enough, the drop chances are so small you are lucky to get more than 5 drops in a level. I initially loved how the game plays, the combat is simple the Hud is clear and to be honest the game looks really good. But as you storm through the story you realize there is not a lot of game here, you can clock your first playthrough in a few hours but that is with a lot of grinding ready for the last cheap-ass boss. Once you finish the story you unlock the next difficulty where enemies are stronger but loot is better, the map is wiped clean and you go through again to get the last difficulty to unlock. That’s the loop, in between, you collect diamonds and gamble them in your camp to get better gear, you always have to prioritize power over what you want and for that, the game can be punishing, I frequently had bad item matches but had to keep it to keep my damage up. Being Minecraft you expect some sort of world-building or crafting but the game has none of that at all, TNT doesn’t make a huge hole, Creepers don’t blow up buildings or anything. Minecraft Dungeons is a game for casual ARPG players and kids looking to try the genre to be honest. Veteran players of the genre will hat how watered down it all is and how many basic ARPG elements are not here. It’s all just one big missed opportunity as it could be so much more fun, why not have world destruction, more enemy types, more loot? And yes the initial playthrough is definitely the worst of the lot as the higher difficulties do add a little bit more and ramp up the player numbers so it can at least be a challenge but the rewards are just not there. I played it I had some fun but overall I feel let down by what could have been. Still unclear if this is meant for kids/New players or is just a foot in the genre and trying to work out what needs to be done in the sequel.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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