'Minecraft' builds toward a new future

The depth and scale of “Minecraft” is only limited by the player’s imagination. In the game’s survival mode, it is incredibly satisfying when you build your first home out of mere cobblestone, and watch it grow into a massive castle or city. It’s great to see that all the game’s core mechanics are preserved flawlessly and enhanced enormously due to next-generation hardware.

“Minecraft” is one of gaming’s most creative outlets that has spawned its own sub-genre of video games. The game’s randomly generated worlds are now 36 times larger than on previous versions, and includes a handful of new enemies.

The world is comprised of colorful blocks that can be salvaged for materials and can be crafted into tools to explore the environment. The new version of “Minecraft” now includes two to four player split-screen co-op, and an upgrade to the online mode that accommodates up to eight players.

The world itself still maintains its whimsical charm, and all of its most beautiful features are really highlighted with the technology on the new hardware.

Brick by brick, you can easily recreate the world in your image with how easy it is to identity key materials, and easy-to-use crafting interfaces make it easy to craft the tools needed for your next adventure.

While it can be tedious to gather materials by hand, this is where the foundation of the game’s rewarding gameplay resides. There is an intense sense of pride, when you delve deep into an uncharted underground cavern to mine rare ore, dodge exploding creepers and defeat a horde of flesh-eating zombies on your way back to dump your stash back at your base.

The excitement of finding that last group of diamonds to finish crafting the final piece of armor in your set provides the player with strong sense of ownership and accomplishment that can’t be found anywhere else.

“Minecraft” has an easy-to-understand tutorial system that gives the player a trail of breadcrumbs and has them build a foundation to expand out into the world. The crafting interface is easy to understand and has a list of all the recipes in the game that highlights any missing materials in your inventory, so there is no need to scour the internet trying to dig up every last detail.

Outside of the survival mode, there is also an option for more artistic minds in creative mode. It gives the player the option to fly and an inventory with unlimited materials to take you to the borders of the player’s imagination.

Without the sneaky creepers and enemies that populate the world in survival mode, all the creations invented feel a bit hollow compared to what I forged by hand. However, it is extremely convenient to not worry about losing three hours of work because of a random creature that happens to stumble on your masterpiece. Creative mode rekindles the childlike splendor of playing with blocks, and the possibilities feel limitless.

Most modern games have you traveling from point A to point B, saving the princess from another castle or trying to stop the villain from incinerating the world. It’s refreshing to play a game where there is no arrow pointing the player to their next objective. The player decides how much or how little they want to invest into the world. “Minecraft” captures the human desire to survive, build and create in a stylish way that every gamer should pleasure of experiencing on next-generation consoles.

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