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Minecraft Legends Review (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & PC)

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Minecraft Legends review

A game like Minecraft needs no introduction. The core concept is simple. Master all creativity and bring to life all of the ludicrous constructions you can think of. When you have time to spare, explore the beautiful, blocky day-night environs and team up with friends for a fun night. Lately, developers have instigated spin-offs curated toward bombarding Minecraft with other foreign genres. Take Minecraft Dungeons, for example. While the game didn’t completely suck, it represents the first attempt at nudging beloved Minecraft toward a new horizon. 

Then comes Minecraft Legends, an action-strategy adventure that mimics RTS games to a tee. Ask the team at Minecraft Legends, though, and they’ll refute calling Minecraft Legends an RTS. Minecraft has racked up so much praise over the years that even a spin-off deserves the benefit of the doubt. And so, I sunk my 10+ hours into Minecraft Legends, hoping to come out with a rough stance on whether you ought to do the same. Do enjoy my deep-dive Minecraft Legends review for your reading pleasure.

What’s All The Fuss For?

Minecraft Legends review

The Minecraft universe is a relatively joyous nation of sorts. How, then, does an action spin-off manage to cause so much fuss here? Well, it turns out that there’s a piglin invasion. It’s quite dire that the hosts call for you to protect the Overlord with your life. Not to worry, though, as they’ve bestowed upon you the power to command a small army of golems. 

These golems will follow you wherever you go, heeding your every command however it pleases you. And when they’re out there executing your wishes, you’re also wielding your sword against the piglins on horseback, hence the “action-strategy” tag name.

Can’t Get Enough of You

A cheesy headline for a goofy universe. Minecraft Legends, fortunately, chooses to keep all of the charms we adore from the Minecraft universe. The same blocky visuals return, faithfully adapted here like copy and paste. Goofy humor, too, makes headway in the compelling cutscenes you’re treated to every once in a while. 

Overall, it’s a visually stunning universe, day-night cycles included, and the lighting is perfectly emulated. Galloping across the biomes, forests, and rivers, with no caves (sorry), generally feels so much fun that I felt like I could do this all day.

On The Front Lines

Minecraft Legends review

Unlike most RTS games, Minecraft Legends chooses to place the player on the front lines of war. It’s a strategy sparingly used in the modern day, though I do recall a game I can’t put a finger on that first mimicked the same decades ago but didn’t quite land. Nevertheless, there’s no love lost in trying something new and keeping you on your toes at the same time.

Ideally, you’ll be riding on horseback, wielding a sword that easily mows down any piglins standing in your way. The problem is, that’s the only thing you can do as far as the “action” part is concerned. I’d have loved to try out a variety of moves. Perhaps some special abilities that unlock farther down the campaign? At the moment, swinging your sword, although fun at first, does get weary a few hours in.

No Man’s Land

Unfortunately, the weariness side of things doesn’t end there. To stop the piglin invasion, you need to adopt some kind of strategy. You can either gather resources, use said resources to build defenses around your vase camp or those of the villagers of Overlord you’re sworn to protect, or go guns blazing into piglin camps and tear them down where they sleep. 

The piglins are equally intelligent, too. They often mimic your options by gathering resources, setting up defenses, or invading your or the villagers' camps. Mostly, though, they’ll do so at night, and quite aggressively, too. Since you can only take down the piglin themselves, the golems are the ones that do the dirty work for you. 

They can tear down piglin camps, with the aim being to weaken their defenses enough to reach the center and thus, take over their territory. Thereafter, you can set up defenses around it to ensure the territory remains yours against future attacks. Gathering resources isn’t direct, either. Neither is crafting, so you can say goodbye to Minecraft’s main selling point.

Instead, players use a mob called Allays to gather resources. Essentially, players direct them to a section where resources like wood, redstone, or iron are. Then, command the alloys to do the mining for you. Mind you, alloys can gather resources for you without having to supervise their work. So, you’re free to engage yourself in other urgent matters. 

The allays are a fine addition that helps automate the process of gathering resources. Plus, the allays will bring the resources over to you, at which point you’re free to command them to build the structures you need, including walls, ramps, towers, and more.

Learning the Hard Way

Upgrading is a pretty fundamental concept that I pretty much had to uncover via a trial-and-error process. Particularly how to build more valuable structures to defend and help take down the more aggressive piglins farther into the game.

Essentially, by taking advantage of the allays, you can keep improving your abilities. Say you use stone, prismarine, and gold to craft an allay storage structure that allows you to increase your inventory space. Keep in mind that you can only build an allay storage structure at the Well of Fate. The others are free to craft elsewhere.

Thereafter, you can craft more useful structures, like masonry, to convert a wood defense into stone. Or, more Spawners to summon more mobs at will. The idea is that any piglin successful takeover corrupts the respective territories it dominates. It means that the territories become theirs and that you can’t build any structures there. 

So, as much as the goal is to defend the villagers against piglin invasions, you also need to attack piglin territories to reclaim lost land. And the only way to do so is to weaken their defenses enough to get to the center and command the allays and the golems to dish out all sorts of defenses.

Helpless Creatures

A stand-out problem that really tests your nerves is how helpless the golems supposedly are. See, the golems that are tasked with helping you tear down piglin territories are essentially nothing without you. Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say you decide to mind your own business, exploring the beautiful landscapes of Minecraft Legends, or better yet, get swamped up with mowing down piglins that are nearly invading a nearby village. The golems will sit around aimlessly, waiting for you to go over to them and tell them what to do. 

Seriously, every action the golems take must come from you. Even if piglins are swarming all around them. They’ll do nothing to protect themselves. Oh, and it’s not like you can give in and say, “Fine, attack the piglins!” from wherever. You have to literally drop whatever you’re doing, go over to where the golems are, usually the spawn area, select the unit you’d like to use, and instruct them what to do. 

Once they’re done, you adopt the same process. Find them, pick a unit, and give the next order. Perhaps the back-and-forth process will sit well with you. However, the golems helplessness just gets worse, when you want to conquer one of the many piglin territories sitting on top of a plateau and need a ramp to get over to the top. 

While you’ll cross over fine, the golems will struggle behind you, with nearly half of them falling off the side. What happens next? You guessed it. Head back down there, fetch the fallen souls, pick the unit you want, and command their next move. I wonder whether all the back-and-forth was intended, because surely no one wants to juggle a million redundant things at once.

It’s Not Over ‘till It’s Over

Apparently, you can’t pause Minecraft Legends. Well, you can, but the game won’t wait around for you to get back. It makes sense for multiplayer, but for single-player campaigns? 

One minute I’m over the moon about how I’ve finally taken over piglin territory, so I reward myself with a glass of water, only to return and find the few survivors I deemed harmless got their strength back and somehow destroyed all of my people. 


It’s obvious there are plenty of things that went wrong somewhere between the development process and launch day. Sure, a diamond in the rough sits somewhere at the bottom of Minecraft Legends. However, it’s hard to root for the few aspects that work when there are so many cogs that just won’t cooperate. 

If a bird's eye view of tactical battles is adopted and more in-depth gameplay is crafted, perhaps Minecraft Legends could sustain itself for more than a few hours of playthrough. Otherwise, I can’t help reverting to the old Minecraft. Now, that’s a game I can continue to play all day.

Minecraft Legends Review (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & PC)

Something New, Something Different

Minecraft has withstood the test of time. But there’s a reason why players keep returning to it. Minecraft Legends wants to try something new and different. An action strategy that faithfully adopts the Minecraft universe we’ve all come to love. For its price, it’s well worth the try, at least to come to your own take on how good the game is.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.