Minecraft Legends Is Worse Than Minecraft Dungeons, Which Isn’t All That Surprising

A piglin, villager, llama, and zombie villager from Minecraft Legends.

The newest Minecraft spinoff title arrived a few days ago in the form of Minecraft Legends, an action strategy title that featured our player leading allies into battle in defense of villages across the Overworld.

The last spin-off, Minecraft Dungeons, was well received. Players were excited to see if the next spin-off would be a solid addition as well. Sadly, this is not the case with Minecraft Legends.

In our opinion, Minecraft Legends is worse than Minecraft Dungeons for several reasons. The gameplay is less entertaining, the overall gameplay loop allows for less replay value, and the game fails to take advantage of the Minecraft aesthetic.

Overall, while we appreciate the continued desire to bring Minecraft to other genres, and to bring other genres to younger audiences, Mojang needs to put more thought into what is gained and lost by changing the Minecraft formula like this.

Minecraft Dungeon’s Mechanics Succeed While Minecraft Legends’ Fails

First, let’s take a look and compare the mechanics of the two games. Both seek to take other popular genres, adjust the difficulty and complexity to target younger age groups, then add the Minecraft aesthetic to the mix. Minecraft Dungeons was Mojang’s take on the ARPG genre, while Minecraft Legends is their take on the real-time strategy genre.

The problem here is that, on a basic level, the ARPG genre can be made less complex and still be very enjoyable. Even if you were to take a game like Path of Exile and lower the complexity of the customization, the combat would still be enjoyable and the gameplay loop of getting better loot would still draw interest. Of course, it would be less enjoyable for the average gamer, but for younger audiences, this would still provide an interesting experience. The game’s success speaks to this.

More N4G Unlocked: What Genre is Minecraft Legends?

Minecraft Legends struggles to achieve the same level of success. Strategy games live and die by their complexity, and Mojang’s attempt to make it more accessible to younger audiences took too much out of the equation. The game tried to market itself as an action strategy, but neither genre succeeds.

The action is limited to attacking with a weapon and dealing minimal damage, and the strategy aspect is limited to gathering mobs around you and giving them basic orders. Overall gameplay is overly simplistic, even as a children’s game, and it’s hard to say who would find enjoyment for more than a few hours at most.

How Does Minecraft Legends Fail To Use the Minecraft Aesthetic?

Minecraft Legends also fails to take advantage of the Minecraft Aesthetic in the way Minecraft Dungeons does. Minecraft Dungeons maintains full control of the visuals, having players run through dungeons reminiscent of areas of interest they will have seen while playing Minecraft.

The mobs are vibrant, the arms are recognizable, and the world feels like Minecraft.

Minecraft Legends does this at the outset, giving players access to an Overworld that has biomes and villages similar to Minecraft, but it fails once the player is allowed to interact with it.

There is a base-building aspect to the game, allowing players to create defenses to help them protect villages, but here aesthetics are sacrificed for the sake of gameplay. Players find themselves placing towers and structures in a way to best defend the village, but it doesn’t allow for the self-expression and creative output that Minecraft is known for.

More N4G Unlocked: All Mounts in Minecraft Legends

The IP of Minecraft hinges on the ability to build what you want how you want, and a game that forces you to build in a way that refuses to allow for aesthetic expression while trying to strategize is a huge misstep. Keeping the heart of Minecraft in mind should be a priority, but here it gets pushed to the wayside in favor of unimpressive gameplay.

In the End, Dungeons Is Both the Better Game and the Better Minecraft Spinoff

Overall, we feel like Minecraft Legends was a step back for Mojang. Minecraft Dungeons wasn’t a perfect game, but it was an interesting step into a genre, using the IP as a jumping-off point.

While we’d like to see more spin-off attempts in the future, Mojang needs to take a hard look at what needs to be translated from Minecraft to the new genre before developing another game like Legends.

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