Minecraft Dungeons was one of the latest Minecraft-branded projects shown off by Microsoft at E3, not long after Minecraft Earth’s gameplay demo at Apple’s event. Of course, the concept of it has been revealed ever since September 29, 2018, but we never got any information about its gameplay or effort put into its designs until now.
It’s a pretty drastic step from the sandbox gameplay mechanics of the original Minecraft game we all know and love, but a surprising step by Mojang overall as well.
The official web page for Minecraft Dungeons describes it as “an all-new action-adventure game, inspired by classic dungeon crawlers”, giving us a better idea for what the developers have in mind. Using the influence of previous games of different genres, such as Diablo and Left 4 Dead, they wanted to create an interesting and chaotic experience for the players, while still retaining the nostalgic Minecraft atmosphere.
Two developers of the game, Måns Olson (Game Director) and David Nisshagen (Executive Producer), pointed out a few of their mechanics that they were excited about:
First would be the class customization –which doesn’t involve any preset classes. That’s right, you, the player, are given the ability to equip yourself to your own form of playstyle rather than a predetermined class such as a warrior or mage!
Characters are allowed five ability slots — two for weapons and the rest can be used in any way the player desires — and this is where the customization begins. David Nisshagen describes it in simpler terms:
“So if you have a heavier armor you become a tank. If you have a lighter armor you become, you know, fast and good at ranged combat. And you can switch those out anytime as you play, so you can pretty much create your class as you want it. If you run into problems you can just re-customize on the fly…from Minecraft, you are what you wear.” -David Nisshagen.
For the three available custom slots, you can find items — such as artifacts — inside each dungeon you encounter, and that’s how you’ll be able to personalize your own style of combat as you delve deeper into each biome you come across. Sadly, the developers did discuss how the game doesn’t have a strong crafting system — which is a distinction from the main franchise’s genre — but enchantments will still be involved.
Here is some more exclusive footage of #MinecraftDungeons that was showcased at the #NintendoDirectE3 Event! pic.twitter.com/c4Jo91EAaR
— Minecraft News (@beta_mcpe1) June 11, 2019
In a Gamespot interview, Nisshagen dove more into the use of enchantments for customized styles of gameplay. He explained that these enhancements will alter the effective capabilities of each weapon utilized in the game, encouraging players to customize their arsenal for their own preferences. From knockbacks to poison clouds, there is a lot of curiosity towards how diverse these assortments will be.
Procedurally generated worlds are also part of the course with anything involving Minecraft. In Minecraft Dungeons every stage throughout the biomes don’t act the same; each one keeps their graphical theme but each level will have a differing amount of loot, mob types, and even puzzles for you and your fellow dungeoneers to solve before continuing forward.
But the main point of the game doesn’t change. Since this is a dungeon crawler it’ll be more oriented towards the fun value of combat and gameplay than anything like lore or story-driven interaction.
“You have a…chain of objectives that you want to accomplish. It’s not like we have a massive narrative that you go through, but you do have like the next thing you want to reach and accomplish and those tend to be similar so [you can recognize] them and know how to approach them.” -David Nisshagen (in IGN Interview)
Now that begs the question regarding how effective this game was towards its testers. If we want to see the potential success of its format, that’s the best way we can find out before the official release. Well one of them, an internet personality @Seapeekay, had a thread active on Twitter that showed him and a few other testers explaining their positive experiences with the demo. It was very positive, to be frank.
Had the opportunity to play @dungeonsgame @Minecraft
The game is actually incredible! Very fast paced, easy to pick up!
Im going to be making so much content on the game im super excited!
Anyone else excited ? #XboxE3
— Seapeekay (@Seapeekay) June 13, 2019
Bro it’s actually amazing @DavidNisshagen did an amazing job
— Graser (@Graser) June 13, 2019
Omg its so fun!! Got to play it today and I can’t wait to record videos on it
— Bryan M. 🏳️🌈 (@TheFamousFilms) June 13, 2019
So we have the feedback done with, but what about its notoriety in the E3 convention itself?
This should give you the answer to that!
#MinecraftDungeons just won an award! Was it the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress? Maybe next year, but this ‘Best of E3 award’ from @Mashable is a real honour in the meantime. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/czD7EjUZit
— Minecraft Dungeons (@dungeonsgame) June 13, 2019
The game itself will be a multiplayer crawler for the PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Xbox game pass. With its local and online co-op modes, you and your friends should be able to have fun in the chaotic landscape while driving your way to the nefarious Arch-Illager.
We still have questions about dungeon design and the engine used to make the beautiful landscapes and locations, but for now, we’re satisfied with the information we’d got from E3. If you’re wanted to be updated on the status of the game, then feel free to sign up on the official website, follow their twitter account, or discuss information with us on Snapshot!