Minecraft Dungeons Will Have Players Setting Out to Defeat the Evil Arch-Illager

By Heidi Nicholas,
Mojang announce the upcoming release of their action-adventure dungeon crawler, Minecraft Dungeons, set to release in Spring 2020. Their stream at MINECON also included the opening cinematic for the game:

An Illager, cast out and lonely, is unable to find a new home. He's driven out everywhere he goes, and comes to be driven by hate and anger against everyone who shunned him, he wanders until he finds the Orb of Dominance. As soon as he lays his cube-y little hands on it, he's corrupted. He takes power as the Arch-Illager, determined that all those who hated him should now bow before him. Somebody needs to stand up to him and his Illager army in order to return peace to the land.

This is the story behind Minecraft Dungeons, and gives a clue as to how this game will differ from Minecraft. Executive Producer David Nisshagen described in the stream that Dungeons will have a different gameplay, as players will be "on a mission". He says it's a passion project, and is being created by a team of about 20 in Stockholm. It's apparently designed to play with friends in teams of up to four (although players can take up the mission alone), with the difficulty of the game scaling with the number of players. So if someone were to drop out, the difficulty of the game would adjust to match the reduced number of players.

Their stream included a short demo of the gameplay. The stream showed the Creeper Woods level, where the players had the objective of rescuing some villagers. Nisshagen states that the game should feel familiar; that players should understand how everything works already, despite the overall gameplay being different. The levels are randomly generated, meaning it should feel different each time. There'll be old and new mobs, and just as much weirdness as you might expect. One player had the "wonderful wheat" artifact, meaning they could summon a llama who helped in combat by spitting at their enemies. The game's focused on loot, and players can get their hands on a piggybank which is just that: a pig with a chest strapped to its back.

Minecraft Dungeons is slated to come out in Spring next year, and will be coming to Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass. There's also going to be a closed beta at some point, which can be signed up for here.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!