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Lessons That Minecraft: Legends Should Take From Mojang's Prior Spin-Offs Last week's showcases were full of surprises, from huge reveals like the Resident Evil 4 Remake, to smaller, more hidden gems like Time Flies. Xbox and Bethesda's Showcase had its fair share of both, with Minecraft: Legends coming smack-dab in the middle. While it may not have carried the same relentless hype as Starfield, Minecraft: Legends was still a neat reveal, and the game's lengthy trailer gave fans a good look at what they can expect upon its 2023 release. Minecraft: Legends is taking the beloved block-building franchise and giving it an adventure-strategy makeover. Based on the reveal trailer, it seems as though players will be creating their own villages as a base of operations before setting off to defeat some Nether forces, using both their own abilities and the abilities of their companions, who they'll be able to command on the battlefield. While Minecraft: Legends is the first time the series has ventured into the realms of strategy, it isn't the first Minecraft spin-off, but it does have the potential to be the best. RELATED: Other Genres that Minecraft Spin-Offs Could Take What Minecraft: Legends Should Learn From Past Spin-Offs Being one of the most popular entertainment franchises on the entire planet, it's no wonder that Minecraft has received a few spin-offs over the years. While Minecraft was an instant success upon its full release in 2011, with a lengthy beta phase building immense hype before it, it took quite a few years before the franchise would receive any type of spin-off. The first Minecraft spin-off was Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode. Much like the rest of Telltale's library, Minecraft: Story Mode is a point-and-click adventure game, released episodically between October 2015 and March 2016. For those that have never played a Telltale game before, gameplay in Minecraft: Story Mode boils down to picking up objects, solving some light puzzles, and having conversations with characters, most of which lead to key decisions that impact the narrative. With Minecraft not exactly being known for its narrative-rich story, Telltale's Minecraft: Story Mode raised quite a few eyebrows at the time. While Minecraft certainly has some lore, most of it revolving around its enemy characters, its inherent creative gameplay has never really allowed for an official story. Telltale had a pretty difficult task ahead of it, and according to most critics, it just about succeeded. Mega Blog The critical reception to Minecraft: Story Mode was fairly unanimous, but it wasn't all great. Most outlets gave the game a score between 6 and 7, with the majority of critics praising the game's great voice work, fun script, and engaging storyline, but stating that the game's simplistic gameplay and lack of significant interactivity let it down significantly. Flash forward about four years, and Minecraft Dungeons is released, with critics saying essentially the same things. Swapping out Minecraft's creative sandbox gameplay for an isometric, Diablo-like dungeon crawler, Minecraft Dungeons first released in 2020 for the PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Much like Story Mode, Minecraft Dungeons received a pretty mixed reception, with scores again ranging from 6s to 7s. The criticism for Minecraft Dungeons was pretty similar to Minecraft: Story Mode's, with outlets praising the game's presentation and charming characters, but lamenting its simplicity. Though critics had fun with the gameplay, the general consensus was that there just wasn't enough depth to combat or the gear system, leading to some boredom after a few hours. Minecraft: Legends needs to take its predecessors into account and learn from their shortcomings. The biggest area of weakness in the franchise so far seems to be its lack of complex gameplay mechanics, so to rise above its predecessors, Minecraft: Legends will need to provide a more unique and compelling experience. It should be able to achieve this fairly easily through its use of both the adventure and strategy genres, as mixing these two types of gameplay should give the game a unique identity and provide players with plenty of mechanics to get their head around.
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