Minecraft is a little indie game. Even if you don't keep up with the indie scene or aren't a PC gamer, there is no doubt you've heard of it. Finally, after its creation in 2009 and being "officially" released last year, Minecraft has finally made its way to a home console.
This was my first real dive into the world of Minecraft, so I didn't really know what to expect. After starting up the game I found myself whisked away in a land of snow and mountains. The first thing I noticed was that the game looked beautiful. Every block beautifully molds into the landscape from the distance giving the blocky world an almost natural look. Unfortunately there are some pop-up issues with the landscape, but don't let that detract from gorgeous world.
After a few minutes I had finally made my first bench and was ready to start building a home on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the landscape. Being relatively new to Minecraft, I was impressed with how easy it was to understand how the basics work. The game provides a tutorial for those who really need help which I also thought was a nice addition. After a few minutes of wood cutting I had finally made a nice log cabin. There is really something to be said about how accomplished one feels to finally build your first home.
All was going well until it had become night. Venturing too far away from my house I now had no idea where to find it. Within minutes I was surrounded by zombies and skeletons who quickly disposed of me. When you die in Minecraft you lose everything you had in your inventory, which in my case was everything. I was now all alone, I didn't know where I was or if I would ever find my house. I decided to start anew.
Minecraft for Xbox 360 can only have 8 players on a map together at once which was a little disappointing, but understandable with the hardware. On the plus side there is split-screen co-op, a feature that is severely overlooked in today's games. As I was building my new home two of my friends popped in and started helping me build, this time adding a very long pole so I would not lose it again. Afterwards they went and built places of their own.
With our new way to find our houses we decided to see just how big Minecraft's world was. We walked, and climbed, and swam, and just when we though we may never reach the end I had finally hit an invisible obstruction. We had found the end of the world. Those who have played Minecraft for the PC will be disappointed to hear that in this version the world is not infinite. But the world is so big that I would find hard to believe one would simply run out of room to do things.
Being new to Minecraft I thought the controls and the mechanics were relatively easy to get used to. The graphics looked great and the music was nice and relaxing. I would still recommend Minecraft on PC to anyone who wanted to really get into it, but the Xbox 360 version is by no means a bad version, it's just lacking some of the functionality and stability the PC version has.