On the floor, Diablo isn’t precisely what most individuals would name comforting. It’s a sequence about exploring darkish realms and combating all method of undead and demonic monsters. But there’s one thing about its system of exploring dungeons, gathering loot, and steadily turning into immensely highly effective that makes it simple to leap into, regardless of the darkish material. That feeling of consolation is even more pronounced if you take that system and apply it to a acquainted world, like, say, the Marvel universe. Now, the identical could be stated of Minecraft.

Minecraft Dungeons is precisely what it feels like. It takes the bestselling sequence, strips away its two most iconic options (mining and crafting), and replaces them with a mild, charming expertise that’s maybe probably the most approachable Diablo-like sport but made. Just like its inspiration, the story — a pretty commonplace “evil is invading the realm” story — isn’t actually essential right here. Instead, the crux of the expertise is the loop: gearing up; venturing into new areas to discover, battle, and collect loot; after which utilizing your new and improved abilities and equipment to enterprise into more difficult areas.

Dungeons doesn’t innovate an excessive amount of right here. Rather, it streamlines the expertise. You select dungeons from a map menu, as an example, as a substitute of exploring a massive world the place it’s simple to get misplaced. Similarly, the gear system may be very simple to understand. I acquired loads of good weapons and armor repeatedly, and for every thing I didn’t want, I might simply eliminate it in trade for money. Each piece of drugs — you’ll have a melee weapon, a ranged bow, and armor — additionally has a particular potential, known as an enchantment, which you’ll be able to stage up a few instances as you achieve expertise. If you determine to maneuver on to a new weapon, you may get all of these enchantments again to reinvest in one thing else. It takes what can typically be an unwieldy and complicated side of roleplaying video games and boils it all the way down to the necessities. At the identical time, it offers you loads of freedom to experiment.

The identical may very well be stated of the fight. Minecraft Dungeons may be very a lot a hack and slash sport; you’ll spend a number of time wailing on zombies together with your sword and clearing away skeletons with well-placed arrows. But there’s simply sufficient right here to make it fascinating, like particular skills that allow you to do issues like dash and depart a path of fireside in your wake or use an explosive firework instead of an arrow. You can solely have a few of those at a time, so it’s by no means actually overwhelming, however they add sufficient technique to preserve issues fascinating. Despite this simplicity, the sport nonetheless has the core parts most individuals count on from the style, like fascinating areas to discover, big bosses to take down, and creative skills to mess around with. One of the perfect options is a scaling issue, the place you possibly can select how exhausting you need the motion to be earlier than you hop into a dungeon.

What actually makes it work, although, are the Minecraft trappings. Dungeons is a new method to discover an extremely acquainted setting. Yes, the gameplay is vastly totally different from the unique, however there’s one thing satisfying about charging into a crowd of creepers whereas swinging a blocky sword and firing magic spells. It helps that the world is lovingly rendered and extremely charming, from the attractive landscapes — I particularly love the desert areas — to the fantastic soundtrack. Even if you’re surrounded by swimming pools of lava or large gelatinous cubes, there’s one thing in regards to the Minecraft aesthetic that makes all of it very mild and playful. Even the puzzles could be humorous, just like the dungeon keys that may run away if you’re attacked.

The most apt method to describe Minecraft Dungeons is “comfort food.” It takes two issues many gamers most likely already know nicely, mashes them collectively into a surprisingly cohesive entire, after which streamlines the expertise so that nearly anybody can decide it up and have some enjoyable. It’s not particularly deep or modern. For probably the most half, it doesn’t do issues that haven’t been seen earlier than — however within the case of Minecraft Dungeons, that’s its largest power.

Minecraft Dungeons is obtainable now on the Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

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