Minecraft – The Beginning or the End

by . Originally posted

The other night I was over at a friends for dinner and to watch both [REC] films, but while he was whipping up a tasty meal in the kitchen I was left to play on his Minecraft account. I’d never seen it or played it before, but thought I’d give it a bash. “But Minecraft” you say, “whats that?”

Well now that I’ve dabbled in it, I’ll tell you…

Minecraft Logo

If you can cast your mind back to 2009 (3 years ago!), a small indie block based world game was born. Over many and regular updates, a small team of people have enabled us to all play that little adventurer or designer inside us. Whether you want to build your own castle (working drawbridge and lava moat optional), explore vast open planes (deserts, oceans, mountains ), set up a peaceful farm, or venture forth into the dark underground cave system… this game has something for you.

Now if you’re a new person to gaming and have only experienced the modern delights of photo quality vistas such as Assassins Creed… you might need to take a sit down. One of the joys of Minecraft is the retro, simplistic, block based world. Everything is a block, the world is made of blocks, you’re made of blocks, heck even the chickens are made of blocks!

The game can be played in too different modes, one where you can build anything and everything for free (something that I haven’t attempted), or ‘survival mode’. In survival mode you start with nothing and must work for everything. First off you must get some wood, strangely enough from trees, to form a variety of tools. These tools then enable you to dig for mud, chop wood quicker, mine for various ores, or even hoe the ground for planting.

Alas, you must be wary! Come night time and the sun sets upon your beautiful landscape… bad things start to move in the shadows. From skeletons and zombies, to teleporting floating blobs and exploding ‘creepers’… come the night time you really want to be tucked up in bed, safe and sound in your house, behind the locked door you just finished crafting.

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Does this game run on the PS3? No

Does the game sport excellent graphics? No

Does it have a complex fighting dynamic with character levelling? No

How about a plot line that draws you in? Nope… sorry

Okay, does it have beautiful photorealistic vistas? No (I told you that above, please pay more attention)

Is the music of film quality? No

Okay… so its rubbish? ….

 

No. Definitely not.

 

Just as the old Mario games are still wonderful to play these days, amongst the sea of beautifully rendered 3D enabled games, Minecraft still has a visual lure to it. There are no smooth sweeping hills, or razor tipped mountain ranges… but you do still get wonderful gorges and mountains that climb high into the clouds (clouds being also blocks đŸ™‚ )

The fact the game is so vast (I’m not sure even if the world has edges. Any one know?) and that you actually make your own way… its something basic yet very engaging. You have no master/boss/friend/stranger tell you to go to X, to meet Y, so that he can give you Z. You start with no plot line, in a field / swamp / forest. You have nothing.

But you can gather, acquire, harvest and build lots.

In fact Minecraft is like the ultimate virtual lego set – without the hassle of not being able to get those two stupid bricks apart! grrrr [childhood flashback]

I’ll wrap up this article with a list of the few things you can do, and hopefully write a few more articles based on my adventures as and when I get round to playing it again. But I must say that its the very beginning of me for Minecraft, I’m not sure where I’ll go with it, but its definitely the end of any free time I may have had!

Incidentally I also started playing Minecraft on the eve of 1.2 coming out… so I have even more cool stuff to look forward to when exploring the world.

 

Some things to look forward to in Minecraft: exploration, sailing across oceans and lakes, running blindly from enemies through moon-lit forests, searching caves for diamonds and ore, traversing mountainous ridges, crafting tools out of materials, base jumping off cliffs into the sea, caving, farming crops, baking ingredients into bread and cakes, cooking meat you’ve got from slaughtering your animals, raising new animals, going deep underground hoping you can find your way back to fresh air, building your own home and then watching the sun rise on your virtual empire.

 

Below are some pics taken off Google, showing different aspects to Minecraft. Enjoy đŸ™‚

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