Minecraft Legends Review

Minecraft Legends brings the voxel world of Minecraft into the realm of real-time strategy games. Well, it’s not a full-blown, hardcore RTS as much as it’s a hero-based action game with real-time strategy elements. Resource gathering and building have all been simplified, both in comparison to most real-time strategy games as well as the original Minecraft itself, leaving you with more time to ride into battle at the head of your army. Most of it works pretty well, but I’m not sure if the result will appeal to RTS fans or be compelling enough to pull Minecraft fans away from the original, at least those who don’t play it as a hardcore survival game.

The game puts you in the role of a hero recruited by The Hosts, Foresight, Knowledge, and Action, to save the Overworld from the Piglins who are using portals to invade the Overworld from the Nether. In this game, the Overworld consists of a large island that is home to several Villager settlements, a surprisingly large number of diverse biomes, and the homelands of the Zombies, Skeletons, and Creepers. The Piglins have established bases and fortresses of various sizes, the largest of which protect their portals, and are using them to launch excursions into the surrounding lands and mount raids on the settlements. Your job is to help protect and fortify the settlements, recruit the various peoples of the Overworld to your cause, and ultimately wipe the Piglins off of the map.


The Hosts provide you with two types of minions to aid you in your quest. The first are the Allays, which are at your command to gather resources and build structures. In this foray into the Minecraft universe, you are freed from the task of taking tool in hand and chipping away at trees and rocks. Instead you select the type of resource you wish to gather and then place a highlighted square over the area to gather from. As you move the highlight over the terrain, you’ll see how much of the desired resource you’ll get depending on its placement. Once you’re satisfied, confirm the location and the gatherer Allays will get to work. The number of gathering operations that you can have working simultaneously are limited by the number of gatherer Allays that you have, so you can’t simply walk the landscape dropping gathering points as you go along. You’re also limited to the maximum number of each resource type that you can store at a time, so you couldn’t hoard if you wanted to. If you’re in a hurry, each settlement has a chest of resources that the Villagers contribute to, but the available resources in each is dependent on the biome in which the settlement is located.

There are also builder Allays. With these, you determine what structure that you want to build, pick a spot for it, and then the Allays will get to work, as long as you have the requisite resources. Building walls is as easy as picking a starting point and then dragging its path to the desired end point. Structures include defenses such as walls and towers, support buildings that can perform repairs or boost nearby structures, and even siege weapons to aid in your assaults on Piglin fortresses. Like gathering, building is limited by the number of builder Allays that you have available.


There’s what is essentially a tech tree in the game. At the center of the map sits the Well of Fates where The Hosts hang out while you do all of the dirty work. You can build new structures here that unlock new resources, and new resources come with new structures that you can build either to protect your settlements or attack the Piglins.

The other class of minions are the Golems, which serve as your troops. At first you will just have Planks and Cobblestones, with Planks being effective against enemy troops and the Cobblestones more proficient at destroying structures. As you progress through the game and get access to new resources you’ll gain new Golems, such as the Mossy healers. In addition, once you form alliances with the Zombies, Skeletons, and Creepers you’ll be able to recruit them into your army as well. To add units to your army, you build generators for each unit type – including allies such as Creepers. These can be built anywhere, so putting a few in the field before launching an assault can help you bring in reinforcements in a pinch. You can also use any generator to recall your units in the field, which is a useful way to rein in errant Golems after a battle. There is a limit to how many troops you can have in play at once, so ensuring that you have the right mix of troops for the task at hand is a part of the strategy in the game. There are also unique “First Of” units in the game. Once you discover one on the map and provide the necessary resources to wake it, it will become a permanent part of your army. Each has it’s own unique special ability, such as generating a shield around your troops or the ability to throw boulders at structures from a distance.

The game is completely focused on your hero, so the screen is always centered on you. There’s no way to scan the battlefield or check-in on settlements without physically doing it yourself. The game does feature a fast travel system between the locations that you’ve unlocked, though, so you can always readily warp to a settlement under Piglin attack.


The game gives you a set of basic commands for your troops such as “follow”, “stay”, and “charge in this direction”. There are also more advanced commands that allow you to give different orders to different troop types. There’s no way to create groups of mixed units and give them separate orders, though. In my experience with the game, I didn’t really feel the advance controls were that necessary anyway. Just keeping my troops focused and directing them en masse at the highest priority target at the moment was sufficient in the game’s battles. The game does have a diverse set of enemies and so there are different unit counters that can be employed, but I was able to be successful enough without the need to manage my units at that level. While this may be disappointing to RTS gamers, it does keep things easier for those without any experience in the genre. The most powerful unit, though, is you. You can charge into the fray, head off incoming enemies, or mop-up those last few invaders swinging your powerful sword from the back of your horse.

The campaign can be played alone or in co-op with up to four total players. Co-op lets you divvy up some of the tasks, but it really shines when you all ride into battle together to assault a Piglin base. In addition to the game’s campaign there are also monthly challenges to play. The first one up was a horde mode of sorts in which you have to protect a village against waves of Piglin assaults.

I had fun playing Minecraft Legends, but there are some aspects of the game that could be improved. The overworld is really large and really gorgeous in a Minecraft voxel kind of way, but it’s largely empty of anything more interesting than resources. I wish there was more to discover on long rides into the wilderness, but once I had reached all of the main locations I pretty much relied exclusively on fast travel. The assaults on the Piglin bases are fun, but as you make your way further into the campaign some of the sieges turn into grind fests. It would help if the siege weapons worked automatically, but you have to man them and manually aim their attacks – and then they have a cooldown period. Trying to monitor Piglins attacks while you’re aligning distant shots on structures, and then the need to check to see when the weapons are ready again is a constant distraction. Your enjoyment of Legends will depend a bit on how you enjoy playing Minecraft, as well as where on the RTS spectrum from noob to leet you fall. As for me, I’ve played a lot of Minecraft in many different ways and RTS games since the original StarCraft, and I found myself enjoying Legends.

Final Rating: 80% - Minecraft meets StarCraft, sort of.


Note: A review code for this game was provided by the publisher.

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