Minecraft Legends review - Fun but streamlined Minecraft romp

Published: 15:00, 18 April 2023
Blackbird Interactive
Minecraft Legends review
Minecraft Legends review

Minecraft Legend is a spinoff that properly created its own identity without straying too far away from the roots but it may be a bit too straightforward for the fans of the original.

What you need to know

  • What is it? Primarily RTS with some action game elements
  • Reviewed on: PC
  • Developer: Blackbird Interactive, Mojang
  • Release date:  April 18, 2023
  • Available on: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S

Minecraft Legends review copy provided by the publisher.

Minecraft Legends is a spin-off that is loosely connected to the original game and despite being a first-party title over at Microsoft , it also launched on Xbox's main competitor platform, PlayStation.

The game has many positives but also numerous negatives, resulting in a bottom line that is a title which will not define a generation but also won't cause regrets about time or money spent. Speaking of, Minecraft Legends' launch price is ~£35 / $40 / €40 but it is also a day-one Game Pass title. Game Pass makes it even more desirable due to the lower cost over the course of a month.


Minecraft Legends provides a great introduction with beautifully voiced characters whose lines blend perfectly into the atmosphere of the game and the background music, which induces a serene feeling that promises a relaxed gaming experience from the get-go. Throughout the campaign, the game stays true to that promise but the storytelling does fall off to leave the spotlight to gameplay so the narrative part doesn't end up being stellar by the end.

Players are introduced to their adversaries, Piglins, straight away as they arrive through a dark portal and immediately attack the locals. I'm not entirely sure why they weren't called Porks instead but it's possible legal issues could happen if that $69 billion acquisition doesn't go through.

Blackbird Interactive Minecraft Legends also made references to media other than a popular MMORPG that ruled them all for so long Minecraft Legends also made references to media other than that one popular MMORPG that ruled them all for so long

From that point onwards, the meld of narrative and tutorial becomes non-existent, with the simple storytelling only serving to introduce you to more tools at your disposal.


Undoubtedly, many onlookers will simply describe Minecraft Legends as a mix of action games and real-time strategies (RTS), although I believe it leans heavily into the latter. The action part boils down to holding your attack button and running at the enemies but building and commanding the units goes deeper.

Since this is not an isometric game and you essentially control only one character that can order the rest around, Minecraft Legends reminded me of the Overlord series where the minions do most of the work. This aspect is fairly similar in the two games, except that you are not enslaving anyone here - the various creatures that follow you volunteered to defend Overworld from the Pork invasion.

Blackbird Interactive Minecraft Legends - Stone bros versus a building. The building stood no chance Minecraft Legends - Stone bros versus a building. The building stood no chance

One could also claim there are some RPG elements to the game due to the progression that allows unlocking and upgrading the tools at the player's disposal but if I were pressed to put the game in a single genre it would definitely be RTS.

Commanding the units from the perspective of a single hero can sometimes be clunky, especially if they are close to one another. All the different combat units have unique strengths so clumping two groups together can be problematic.

For example, the starting units are stone and wood golems. Stone golems are good at destroying buildings while wood golems are ranged attackers that are better at killing enemy units. Ideally, you want the melee ones attacking buildings and the ranged ones attacking the fighters but pressing Q on the keyboard while in the middle of them will cause you to issue the same commands to everyone.

While precision could use some work, it is not detrimental to the experience, especially because the secret sauce required for winning is simply creating and bringing along units that counter what the Piglins are throwing at you. The enemies will eventually start countering your initial units like the aforementioned ranged golems but by that time, you will have Skeleton Archers who make quick pork of them.

Blackbird Interactive Minecraft Legends - The journal literally tells you everything you need to know Minecraft Legends - The journal literally tells you everything you need to know

Building in this game has been streamlined so you are not building fortifications, bridges and defences block by block. Instead, Minecraft Legends adopts a system similar to that of the Sims series where you can just choose to build a wall, hold the right-click and drag it through a stretch of land to cause the supporting units to build the entire thing on their own.

This will throw many fans of the OG Minecraft off because a whole lot of depth is thrown away but it was absolutely necessary for the pace of Legends. After all, it is a game in a different genre and the developers obviously tried to create something new by mashing action, RPG and RTS elements together. Therefore, it is best if you don't look at it as a strictly Minecraft game as that type of outlook can prevent you from enjoying Legends to the fullest.

Graphics and performance

Minecraft Legends isn't photorealistic which makes it literally unplayable, 0/10 game. No, the blocky charm of Minecraft is still on full display here even if the developers made significant strides in improving the art style.

The game utilises more cartoonish vibes to properly paint the atmosphere of a simple-looking but beautiful world. It also gives its inhabitants a unique type of charm, which makes the immense efforts of creating a seamless and immersive ambience all the more obvious. I enjoyed every moment of looking at the various biomes in the game that often inspire child-like joy, making them one of the strongest points in Minecraft Legends.

Blackbird Interactive Minecraft Legends - Well, well, well Minecraft Legends - Well, well, well

In regards to performance, Minecraft Legends ran buttery smooth on the PC that was available, which features a Ryzen 5 3600X CPU, AMD RX 580 GPU and 16GB of RAM.

Monetisation and store

There are, unfortunately, indications that recurring revenue schemes will pop up and potentially ruin the experience the developers poured their souls into. At the time of reviewing, only a handful of player skins were available in the shop but it is unclear what else will be added there. While not game-breaking, seeing microtransactions always sours the experience to various degrees and if there is money to be made with a scheme, it is highly likely a company's focus will eventually shift there instead of creating more enjoyable content.

Another source of irritation for me was the Microsoft Store, which straight-up doesn't work half the time. The issue repeated itself with Minecraft Legends as well, which ultimately led me to give up and install the game on my wife's PC instead. Thankfully, it worked there, which is why this particular review managed to exist eventually.

Thankfully, that is not the only option on PC as the game is available on Steam as well. Console players shouldn't have any issues with their respective stores.

Blackbird Interactive Minecraft Legends Minecraft Legends - Using the Banner to command all the units is sometimes an issue


Minecraft Legends is a mix of genres where the player leads a band of weird creatures to defend their homeworld from Piglins. Building is highly streamlined, making it lose much of its depth but the whole thing is done in the charming Overworld which is an absolute joy to look at.

Its story starts out strong but quickly fades away so it ends up being in the middle - not great but not bad. With recurring revenue peeking its ugly head around the corner, it is possible some unwelcome surprises will arrive in the future.

Do I recommend the game? At the price of ~£35 / $40 / €40, you will get a decent bang for your buck with the PvP component having the potential to provide even more. If you have Game Pass, this is an automatic recommendation since there is no extra cost for you. Even if you aren't subscribed at this time, it is more than worth a month's subscription to experience Minecraft Legends.

The Good

  • Beautiful art style
  • Smooth gameplay
  • Easy to get into
  • Great laid back experience
  • Day one on Game Pass

The Bad

  • Streamlining took out a big part of "Minecraft magic"
  • Simple, not necessarily engaging, story
  • Microtransactions
  • Microsoft Store on PC

Our Rating

Very Good

Latest Articles
Most Popular