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Minecraft Legends Review: A Triumphant Overworld Romp

In our Minecraft Legends review, we discuss our experience with the story, co-op, and the PvP multiplayer experience.
Minecraft Legends Review: A Triumphant Overworld Romp

We had the pleasure of playing the new action strategy title, Minecraft Legends, from Blackbird Interactive and Mojang Studios. Developed for PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, Minecraft Legends, in its lush, beautiful, and blocky Overworld, aims to bring gamers from all platforms together.

Please note: This is a spoiler-free Minecraft Legends review where we focus on both the campaign and PvP multiplayer, as we believe gamers should definitely experience the story of the Piglin invasion for themselves.

Minecraft Legends Story/Campaign Experience

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
Moments before the Piglin invasion of the Overworld. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

During our Minecraft Legends review period, we enjoyed the story campaign first, with all the blocky charm that the open-world Overworld provides. The player character is provided with mostly music-based tools by the three caretakers of the Overworld, also known as the Hosts; Action, Knowledge, and Foresight.

These hosts provide story details and guide you through the campaign, always there to lend a helping hand in times of struggle, and what a struggle it was. Minecraft Legends' story revolves around a Piglin invasion, and the player needs to unite the Overworld before their Nether corruption destroys the lush lands. This is done through the art of music, summoning Allays to gather resources and build structures or summoning fighter units by playing a melody.

We don't want to spoil the story for you. Instead, we will say that the cinematics are spectacular, and the blocky Overworld looks fantastic with its diverse biomes, lush environments, and a tonne of inhabitants to unite. There's a charm to the world that keeps pulling you in, which the developers have absolutely nailed.

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
Build improvements to safeguard your base. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

The gameplay loop revolves around saving/protecting villages and your base of operations, the Well of Fate. The Piglins, however, get more creative, and as nighttime comes around, the Overworld gets much more dangerous. While there is some filler content and activities that repeat themselves, every portion of the campaign also has unique, story-led obstacles to overcome, creating a fresh experience every hour.

We learned how to protect our base and NPC villages, building new structures and summoning units to fight alongside us. As an action-strategy title, the player character is always right in the middle of battle, commanding units while riding on a mount (you can find more unique ones in the wild) and slashing with their sword.

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
The Piglins get creative during Minecraft Legends' story. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

We are happy to report that despite Minecraft Legends' main focus is the multiplayer experience, the campaign was fun and has a lot of replay value, as you can complete it in co-op mode with friends, and the Overworld is procedurally generated, meaning every new experience is a fresh one.

The building system in Minecraft Legends has been simplified from the blocky survival/builder title we've all come to love over the years. Instead of saving the Overworld block-by-block (which would have been way too tedious), building in Minecraft Legends is as simple as sending out your workers to gather materials, then choosing from preset buildings and other structures such as Walls or Stairs; the latter also functioning as bridges to cross Lava or Water.

There's also the fact that the game features four difficulty levels that not only affect, for example, enemy HP, but also the size of the map, and the aggression of the Piglins. We played the game on the default difficulty setting, and the campaign took us roughly 20 hours to complete.

It did, at times, feel a bit like a large, entertaining tutorial for the PvP multiplayer, which brings us to the next section of our Minecraft Legends review.

Minecraft Legends Multiplayer Review

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
Destroying AI Piglin bases is part of the Minecraft Legends multiplayer PvP gameplay loop. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

Minecraft Legends is built with multiplayer in mind. During our review process (with a limited number of players available), we found a handful of matches, and the queue time was worth the wait.

PvP matches come in the form of 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4. It also features a training option, so you and your friends can test builds and strategies before playing against others.

The game is, of course, built with multiplayer in mind. The PvP maps are procedurally generated and see teams of four players pitted against each other. The objective; destroy the other team's base. It is, however, a bit more complicated than that, as AI Piglin bases form part of the experience and will send attacks to both player bases.

To be clear, being a bit more complicated isn't bad, as it adds necessary depth to the experience, and you can't acquire an important resource (Prismarine) without destroying Piglin structures.

Our experience with Minecraft Legends' multiplayer was absolutely addictive. Players in each team truly do need to work together, communicate well, and plan their activities, such as building, raiding Piglin bases, or gathering info on the enemy team.

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
Attacking someone's base with Creepers always feels good. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

In one match, my team designated roles. I was a scout and prodder, poking at the enemy base and checking their movements while building a few bridges for easier movement of my team. One player was in charge of our defenses, building towers and walls, while the other raided Piglin bases. Lastly, the fourth player floated around, assisting all others where needed while continuing to farm resources.

This type of teamwork is rare to see, and Minecraft Legends makes it easy. You can, for example, just press "up" on the D-pad to ping a resource that needs to be farmed or maybe a structure you need help with. Alongside the ease of use, Minecraft Legends provides a tonne of accessibility options for players, leaving no one behind.

There's a lot of depth to the gameplay as well. For example, you can find more powerful towers out in the Overworld, and some units work better against structures, while others have a tendency to slay Piglins faster. 

When it comes to the multiplayer lategame, it is a question of managing resources wisely, staying very alert on the map, and always winning that game of rock, paper, scissors by summoning the right units to counter your enemies. 

minecraft legends review multiplayer singleplayer story campaign coop play
Minecraft Legends is a triumphant exercise in combining genres. (Picture: Mojang Studios)

Minecraft Legends shows a lot of promise. It is, after all, the most extensive Minecraft PvP multiplayer experience to date, offering an exciting and balanced competitive environment. While the campaign did feel like a 20-hour tutorial for the multiplayer at times, I must say, it did help.

There's a charm to the Overworld and its diverse biomes. While Minecraft fans will be right at home from the start, we think Legends will make a splash for both strategy and action-adventure fans and maybe, just maybe, become an esports title in the process.

Minecraft Legends - The Verdict:
Minecraft Legends might never be StarCraft II's level of a strategy title, but as a strategy/action hybrid with a multitude of unique elements, it doesn't have to be. It is, however, a triumphant exercise in combining genres and offers both a unique and rewarding experience.
Review code was provided by the publisher.
Reviewed on Xbox Series X
8.5/10