Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Control Good: Minecraft

Sometimes fantasy games need epic plotlines with heroes, lords, stereotypically self-insufficient damsels in distress, elves, orcs, half-orcs, human-orc-undead-cubolds (and the sick people that love them) and all the other minimum trappings of high fantasy.

And sometimes all you need is a blocky fist, the will to punch trees and lots of space in which to do so. And you get a LOT of space. I am really not joking. You may also need a tangential game reference. Wait... what?

This may not sound like a great deal of promise in an age where games offer hours of brilliant story-driven gameplay, but Minecraft is, in many ways, their opposite. It is underrated by its own appearance, lacking any sort of bulky feature list or any real gameplay direction, but this is what makes it compelling.

Minecraft is a sandbox world that is what you make of it. Want to build a city inside a mountain? Go for it. Want to spend hours exploring caves, each unlike the last due to the game's extensive random generation? Your prerogative to do so. Want to shoot defenseless animals across the map using a bunch of TNT? ...moving on.

Minecraft's draw is in its quiet sophistication and emphasis on inventiveness. Because everything is randomly generated, you're not really guarenteed a specific solution for any area you encounter, but you will at least get your mind blown once or twice, as each landmark or cave you uncover is bound to be unique and thus renders each person's experience of Minecraft very unique.

And that's why, in spite of its very goofy yet charming graphics, Minecraft is completely Control Good!

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