Review: Minecraft

Content Warning:

This game is rated E10+ for Consoles for Fantasy Violence. The game includes some violence against monsters, animals, and players. There are some humanistic or spiritual ideals in the ending once you defeat a particular monster that some people may or may not agree with.

Opening:
The golden gem of indie game development, Minecraft, is perceived in one of two ways. You either hate it, or you love it. The game is all about freedom, freedom to survive, build, and express yourself with the building blocks of the world that the developers have created. There are times though when playing alone that you can feel lost, and have no sense of direction, or end goal of your hard mining and crafting. Thankfully, you don’t have to play alone! Thanks to the magic of the internet, players can join each other worlds to have fun, cause mischief, and quest together for ideas on what to do to progress. PC users of the game are able to create massive worlds, with as many people that you can find to play with (and that the server will support).

Story:
The wonderful story of Minecraft is yours to create. Many people for years now have used Minecraft as a platform to create their own stories, chart and log their adventures, and to just plain have some fun with the game.

There is an “End” to the game, if you could call it that. Throughout the game there are mysterious black figures that show up in the night. They contain a secret, and if you haven’t played through the game or had it spoiled to you, I would suggest you mix flame powder with several eyes that these black creatures drop, and see where it takes you.

Rating:
8/10

Gameplay:

Minecraft is based on its iconic blocks, collecting materials, and not dying. Materials are placed in an inventory and can be used on a whim with nine equip slots that you can quickly cycle through to change from building materials to tools and weapons.

When I began this article, I told you that there are two ways that most people look at Minecraft: they either hate it or they love it. Some of that is due to the non-linear, no-story part of the game, that some players feel too free in their actions. If you’re artistic and love designing new ways to do anything, Minecraft is serious fun. If you enjoy challenging other players in reaction combat, or being generally mischevious, the online aspect is very keen on allowing people to interact and disrupt other players. Some servers on the PC are exclusively designed for player versus player combat, and others are dedicated to building only.

The problem a lot of people run into with Minecraft, is the question of “What do I do next?” New updates with changes to the content and new additions help to keep the game fresh and appealing to come back to and explore, but for some players that isn’t enough to justify coming back all the time, especially if they do not engage in the multiplayer aspects of the game.

Rating:
9/10

Presentation (Includes Graphics and Audio/Music)

I cannot say how much praise I have for the developers in the presentation of this game. Since day 1, Mojang has worked hard to be clear as to what content the player is receiving, posting changelogs on the gamelauncher showing players what has changed. The iconic and unique visual style of the game sports some retro-like, 16 bit textures by default, using low polygons and advanced lighting to create a feeling of awe, and some visual integration of yourself with the environment.

The game has a great selection of sounds, from the sound of rushing water, to bubbling lava, from falling from a high cliff, to the sound of the games original monster, the Creeper, you are instantly immersed. The music is moody at times, caves will echo, and all around add to the game’s experience.

Rating:
10/10

Final Rating: 9/10

Want to learn more and purchase the game? Check out Minecraft.net to learn more on how to get Minecraft for the appropriate system you play on.

Special thanks to Neko2k for providing the Featured image, you can find him on Twitter! @Neko_2k

The Bottom Line

Minecraft is a gem that stands out from other indie games by how well-polished it's become, and how well it holds replay value for some gamers. For me personally, it's still a great game to play with my brothers and new friends to have adventures. I've always enjoyed working with friends to create super structures designed for player versus player environments.

 

9

Darman Smith

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