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I just annihilated the other team’s base. They’d been busy chasing my allies and fending off attacks from the front, so they didn’t notice that I’d built a little forward-operating base at the back of their encampment and surrounded it with arrow towers.

The thing that got them, however, was my Redstone Launcher – a slow-firing artillery cannon that I’d aimed right at the core of their base after building a Spyglass next to it to extend the range. All that time gathering Redstone had paid off. In three volleys, the base goes down, surprising my teammates as much as the enemy. It feels good.

Apparently, it could have felt even better.

“You could have put a Kaboomery next to it and that will change the rocks to TNT,” principal design director Craig Leigh says. “And that's even more powerful. And then if you've got a Battle Drum next to it, it changes the rate of fire.”

Noted for next time.

minecraft legends golem

Minecraft Legends isn’t what you’d expect from Mojang Studios. Sure, everything is made from blocks and it’s built with the same tools as Minecraft itself, but it’s a real-time strategy game with surprising depth. What a way to get kids to broaden their interests!

“We always want our games to be accessible,” Leigh says. “Minecraft Dungeons was a huge success because dads played with the kids and it was like Diablo. It's more about being fun and accessible to a wide audience. Because that's our brand.

“It wasn't trying on purpose to be an introduction to strategy games. One of my favorite things is now the vanilla mobs are on your side. How many times we've been killed by creepers? Now you can do it to the enemy, which is fun.”

It’s hard not to be a troll in Minecraft multiplayer, whether you’re setting a trap for your friends or booping them into some hot lava. (Maybe it’s just me?) Minecraft Legends leans into that in multiplayer, giving you plenty of creative ways to ruin someone’s day.

Most importantly, it still feels like a Minecraft game. Sure, you’re commanding an army of mobs, but they all behave as you’d expect. Creepers are sappers who are good at blowing up walls and other fortifications, skeletons are great for taking out piglins from a distance, and stone golems can punch buildings down in a jiffy.

minecraft legends base

You won’t be building massive houses and farms, but you can construct base walls and other defensive structures to keep enemy teams out. And you can do it all with friends, whether you’re in the four versus four multiplayer (two-vs-two on last-gen consoles) or playing through the co-op campaign with up to three friends.

It’s gorgeous, too. Still made of blocks, but baked in beautiful modern lighting, you can’t help but stop and take it all in when the sun hits the water just right.

Each time you play the campaign will feel like a different experience, too, since the world is generated by a random seed. In one, you might have a frosted peak acting as a natural barrier to your main base. In another, you might be next to an open plain.

At this stage in development, the team hasn’t implemented a Minecraft seeds picker, but Leigh tells me it’s not out of the question. “You're the first person to ask for seeds,” he says. But it's a great idea. Oh, I'm storing that in the memory bank. And yeah, if we can show you seed. Yeah, I think we have it in our debug tools.”

The team will also talk about the Marketplace, which is such an important part of Minecraft, later on. “Again, you're the first person to ask this question,” Leigh says. “The creators and the marketplace are incredibly important. We love our community, and we respect our community, and what they come up with. So when we're thinking about Minecraft Legends, we want that to be an important part of it. You may have seen that was a Marketplace button on the menu, but we're going to talk about that soon.”

minecraft legends co-op

You can also expect your usual range of themed mod packs and other visual changes created by the developers themselves. Again, the team will speak about this stuff at a later date.

“We were thinking about what that means because Legends is like the base game and we'll think about how that goes on,” Leigh explains. “You might have seen in the menu, one of the tabs was Lost Legends and we're releasing new challenges frequently. They're almost like other bedtime stories that happened in this world. And then through completing these challenges, you'll get exclusive customizations for PvP and stuff.”

These could be things such as mounts and skins. During the PvP session, I found myself a beetle mount that could easily scuttle up walls and lose players who were chasing me. It feels great to outmaneuver them and sit in a tree as they unsuccessfully jump about, trying to reach you. You feel like a legend.

It isn’t called that by accident, by the way. Leigh tells me the name Minecraft Legends is a hint at something that happens in the story – an event no one has ever seen before in the world of Minecraft.

“It's called Minecraft Legends for a reason,” Leigh teases. “And that's because there is a fundamental event that happens in the world. This is the first time it happens ever in Minecraft and it starts a part of the mythology. So there is a legend in there, something that happens. We're waiting. No one's found it yet. It changes the mythology and the overworld forever.”

You can write your own story when Minecraft Legends launches on April 18 on all platforms.