Microsoft, Mojang, and 4J Studios have just revealed a true multiplayer combat mode for Minecraft, titled Minecraft: Battle. The mode will arrive as a free update for all console versions of Minecraft this June.
We got to check it out via an early access Beta, so click here to read about my impressions, and watch some gameplay footage. Or, if you just want to see a ton of gameplay, click here. This is the first of multiple planned mini-game expansions to the console versions of the immensely popular game, though we have not received any info on what those might be, or when they could arrive.
Minecraft is one of the most successful games of all time, yet its multiplayer has always felt a bit like a missed opportunity. Sure, you can join up with your friends and explore randomly generated worlds. Or you can create your own arenas, and duke it out. Of course, the nature of Minecraft makes this tough, with players usually having to agree on some rules. All of that is taken care of for you in Minecraft: Battle.
This is Minecraft: Battle Multiplayer Mini Game
4J has created three maps specifically made for this multiplayer battle style gameplay, with more promised via DLC later on. Eight players online and/or four locally fight it out in a last man standing style match, or the host can switch to a timed battle, with the most kills taking top honors. If you’re playing the former and you’re unlucky enough to die then you respawn as a bat, letting you spectate, but also keeping you involved in the game to a small extent.
You won’t just be punching each other with fists though, there are items throughout the map, stored in chests. These items are a bit random, and the huge cache in the center always makes for a fun and frenetic first few seconds of the match. Of course, you start off invulnerable, so you don’t have to worry about fighting right from the beginning, instead you can explore the map a bit, get your footing, and gather some weapons and armor for the coming fights.
Minecraft: Battle looks to revolutionize multiplayer on the console versions of the game, and from our first impressions it is hitting its goal quite easily. We’ll find out more when it arrives this June for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U.