The new Minecraft game absolutely nails what's special about the original

Piglins in the nether
(Image credit: Mojang)

As I sat back and watched the walkthrough of Minecraft Legends, the strategy game twist on the blocky sandbox game, I couldn’t help but think that this was one of the best things to come out of Mojang for years. 

Similar to Halo Wars 2, Minecraft Legends is a real-time strategy that takes on one of Microsoft’s biggest series. As well as a single-player campaign that sees you raise an army to battle against an invasion from the dark Nether, Minecraft Legends features 2v2 multiplayer. Every battle will be different because each map is procedurally generated, much like the Minecraft campaign. In multiplayer, you need to team up with friends or powerful strangers and work together to defeat the onslaught of attacks coming your way, from both humans and AI, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base. 

While you try to rip apart the enemy base, you’ll face regular harassment from the volatile and short-snouted Piglins who scurry about the map. These menaces come from the depths of the fiery hellscape of the Nether world. In the Minecraft Legends walkthrough, Nathan Rose, the principal production manager for Mojang studios, said the Piglins are “on their own side”.

The raging little pigs aren’t the only mobs you can encounter in Minecraft Legends. In fact, there are a ton of monsters for you to find. Once enemies, many overworld creatures, like the explosive Creepers and boney Skeletons, are now on your side. You’ll need to build out your base to recruit them to your side, but similar to games like Pikmin and Halo Wars, you can command this army to face your enemies. 

There are also several creative new additions to Minecraft Legends. The Plank Golem, which acts like a little wooden box that can follow you around and can shoot out the arrows it stores, or the magnificent purple Regal Tiger that you can saddle and ride around the map on, are just a couple of new mobs added to this chaotic strategy game. 

Strategic chaos  

On the surface, Minecraft Legends looks like many other strategy games; the goals and activities within this blocky world are pretty standard. I have never been a fan of employing this sort of brainpower during games, but the whimsical polygonal tigers on offer could well break my habit. 

The thing that first caught my attention was the procedurally generated worlds in Minecraft Legends; much like the original campaign, it means you can have your fill of adventure. During the video walkthrough, Craig Leigh, the principal design director for Mojang, said sessions will be “different every time you play. Depending on how the map is generated, where the valleys are, the mountains are, where the secrets are”. 

The procedurally generated maps, coupled with the unknown strategies and endless possibilities that stem from the creative minds of each team, will keep Minecraft Legends fresh and fun to play. 

Minecraft Legends Nether

(Image credit: Mojang)

The best part about this new PvP game for me is that it grants all the thrills of playing a multiplayer strategy game alongside the exploration and creativity that Minecraft has always encouraged. You don’t have to be the one attacking the enemy; here. It is just as valid to build your base or explore so you can finally find that Regal Tiger you’ve always wanted. 

Minecraft Legends will be a great addition to Mojang's many titles. It adds more intensity and chaos to the usually calming environment of the vanilla campaign while staying true to its love of creativity, adventure, and adorable mobs. I can’t wait to see how the unpredictable blocky strategy game will pan out.  

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.