Developer: Mojang / 4J Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Review Platform: Xbox One
Review Copy Provided By: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: September 5, 2014
Minecraft on consoles has come a long way. I purchased it on Xbox 360 the day it came out back in 2012, and it at the time it was a great representation of Minecraft on consoles. Updates have done a good job of enhancing the experience even further, but there seemed to be some limitations of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions that updates couldn’t fix. The Xbox One Edition of Minecraft takes the previous generation edition, and makes things bigger than before, but is it enough to warrant a purchase?
Just like all versions of Minecraft, the purpose of the game is to create and survive in this untamed world. From building larger and grander creations, to delving deeper into more dangerous mines, everything is quintessentially Minecraft. Crafting is streamlined like on Xbox 360, and while it eliminates the self-discovery aspects, it is an overall cleaner way of crafting.
Both survival, and creative modes are present here, and for a few extra dollars, you can augment the worlds with skins or complete overhauls. Though you do have to pay extra for them, the Halo, Skyrim, and Mass Effect conversion packs are incredible. The potential that there may be more of these packs in the future do a little to make up for the fact that players cannot import custom mods from the PC version. However, these skins are available on other versions, and it would have been nice to see some free additions to sweeten the pot
The real difference between this new version and the older console ports is that it is a lot bigger in scope. Maps are 36 times larger than those found on the 360 and PS3. Split screen has now been bumped up to four players, and online play can host eight players in one game. That is double than before, and with the new increased map size, games will never feel cramped.
There are two major advantages with the Xbox One Edition if you already own Minecraft for the Xbox 360. If you have a world that you spent countless hours on with your friends, then have no fear, this can be transferred over. Also, the cost to upgrade is only $5, at least for right now. The Xbox One Edition is more or less a standalone expansion for the Xbox 360 version.
I guess the real question is whether the additions warrant a purchase of this game. If you are new to Minecraft and want the definitive console version, then Minecraft: Xbox One Edition is the way to go, but if you already own it for PC or another console, hold off. Wait until your friends are ready to make the generational leap of consoles.