Minecraft is a testament to the capability of a sandbox environment. If you haven’t heard of Minecraft yet, you might look at the blocky graphics and dismiss it without a thought, but by doing so, you would be ridding yourself of a chance to explore the unimaginable depth that lies buried beneath the surface.
Every single thing you can imagine has been built by the Minecraft community – complex castles, underwater cities, ancient Egyptian colonies, recreations of famous film scenes and much, much more. When Minecraft made its way to consoles, it was sadly restricted by the limitations of the hardware on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. But now that it has made the leap to the PS4, Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition is the definitive edition of Minecraft on consoles. The powerful hardware of the PS4 allows players to create and explore boundless worlds. You are no longer limited by draw distance or graphical limitations. The result is a fantastic game that is equally fun whether you’re exploring worlds or creating some yourself.
The Game Overview:
When you start the game, you are dropped into a randomly generated world, armed only with a map and your wits. Once you’ve taken stock of your situation, you need to explore your surroundings and find a tree that you can harvest some lumber from. You’ll have to use your bare hands for this first task, but do not despair. You’ll soon get your hands on an axe for chopping down those pesky trees faster, and a pickaxe for mining alloys and ore. Eventually, you’ll upgrade to stone tools, and then to metal. You’ll need to fashion yourself something pointy and large – preferably a sword, because monsters lurk in the woods. It’s better to have a sword and not need one than the other way around. Also, they’re slightly more effective against zombies than your bare hands are.
The Game Play:
The joy in creation lies at the heart of Minecraft. Assembling your first ragged hut, barely held together by wood and mud, is a source of immense satisfaction. If you keep gathering material and manage to keep yourself alive, you could eventually build yourself a swanky looking home, or a castle, if you’re so inclined. An idea could strike you as you’re walking through the woods. Maybe you like the view, and decide you’re going to build yourself a nice treehouse. Or you could be foraging stones from a mountainside and decide you want to build a gigantic mansion right there. Your projects are your own. You set your deadlines, you gather the materials and you put it all together yourself.
But Minecraft is so much more than a construction-based game. Just running around the world, exploring nooks and corners is tremendously fun. You might come across an abandoned barracks, or stumble upon a bustling town filled with people you can interact and trade with. If you’re not one for pleasantries, you could just loot their supplies and run off into the wilderness, cackling fiendishly the entire time. If you want to be self-sufficient in the world of Minecraft, you can just set about tilling the land and harvesting fruits and vegetables. If you find a river, you could fashion yourself some fishing equipment and come back for some delicious seafood. Whatever it is you want to do, Minecraft gives you the tools to do it.
The beauty of the game lies in the simplicity of its graphics. The unique, blocky graphical style applies to everything in the environment. The sun, the stars, the clouds, the trees and even the birds and animals you’ll come across are made up of these blocks. This peculiar design choice works in your favor, because as you continue playing, you will be easily able to identify different materials and objects that you want to use often.
Why I choose the PS4:
The PS4 version of Minecraft is more beginner friendly. You are now introduced to the game’s many features through a detailed tutorial, which holds your hand as you take your first uncertain steps into the wide world. You’ll learn about building, foraging, crafting, creating potions and imbuing magical properties to items. There are frequent tooltips available for anything you might come across in your environment, offering you information about construction, materials and other things that might be useful. For most situations, you can head to the help section to find answers. Playing with your friends is now easier than ever, as the game allows you to easily connect with up to seven players through the PlayStation Network. If you want to invite your friends over to your place for some hours of Minecraft fun, you also have four-player split screen.
We mentioned before that the PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft had a more expansive world than its counterparts on the older consoles, but it bears reiterating that the world is several dozen times larger. There are no more frame rate drops or weird graphical glitches. The loading times are much faster, and you can save your games on the fly without having to pause. In addition, the musical score has been overhauled and now provides a wonderful soundtrack to any activity you might undertake in the game.
With the incredible depth of activities that the game has to offer and the sheer size of the environment, it’s pretty safe to say that no matter what your leanings are, you will have something to do. Especially when you finally get to sit back and admire the fruits of your labor. And let’s face it, everyone wants their own castle. Whether you choose to be a treasure hunter or simply spend your evenings admiring the sunset from your balcony, Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition will provide you many, many hours of fun.