Fighting has never been something Minecraft has been known for. Building, crafting and exploration have normally been the name of the game when it comes to Minecraft, but thanks to Microsoft and Mojang, this is about to change on consoles. Starting this June, all console versions of the Minecraft will be getting a battle mini-game.
Last week I had the pleasure of trying this new mode, and while I don't think it will set the Minecraft scene on fire, it does add an interesting new mode for players of the game to enjoy. Minecraft Battle will launch with three free maps, but if you enjoy the experience, Microsoft will be making map packs available at $2.99 per pack.
The battle modes are eight-player, single elimination modes, which gives you one chance to take down the other players before you are delegated to the role of an observer until the match concludes. Battle mode will also support up to four players per console via split-screen, allowing people in the same house to all get in on the fun.
It should be noted that while in Battle Mode, you will not be able to craft anything. This is a deathmath only mode of the game, so for people that like to build as they play, this may not be for you. You will however get the chance to open chests at the start of your match. These constantly refilling chests will allow you to replenish resources and gain weapons throughout the match, but sadly beyond fighting, there is nothing else you can do with these tools.
I have never been a huge fan of the combat in Minecraft, so going in I was a bit skeptical. After a few matches, I am feeling more secure in knowing it does work, not as well as many other deathmatch style games, but much better than expected. The mode is easy to understand and gives players ample opportunity to learn the mechanics in the lobby or while you play. While playing the demo, not all weapons worked as I would have hoped, and there are some issues with balancing, but with the game releasing in June, I hope these problems can corrected before launch.
I am glad to see Battle will be published as a free update. With Minecraft being such a landmark in gaming, and with such a diverse set of people playing, it is good to expand what can be done with the platform. It will not be for everyone, but for people looking to try new things within Minecraft, it is worth a look. Minecraft Battle will be launching on the PlayStation, Xbox and WiiU versions of the game this June.