Mojang’s Minecraft Dungeons is out later this month and unlike its inspiration, focuses more on dungeon crawling, hack and slash and looting over crafting. However, it wasn’t always like this. Originally, the dungeon crawler was meant to mimic The Legend of Zelda series according to game director Måns Olson.
In conversation with US Gamer, Olson said that the focus was on a Zelda-like title, one that was initially smaller than the current product. “We wanted to bring a new Minecraft experience to players. To make something new, you have to step quite far away from the base game.” Of course, Olson notes that there is “not as much of that” now.
He also revealed that the game was originally meant to be single-player only and for the Nintendo 3DS. “It started as a small single-player game, smaller in scope, and as we started prototyping we realized it would be fun to play multiplayer. Originally this was considered as a 3DS game, but then we realized we wanted to have it on the Switch, PlayStation, Xbox Game Pass, and Windows.”
Olson would now liken the game to “Diablo, Torchlight and Gauntlet” in terms of its gameplay. “And also the cooperative experience is pulling a lot from modern first-person shooter cooperative games like Left 4 Dead and [Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide]. So absolutely there’s been things that have been either implemented and then changed, or designed on paper, but that never made it into the game.”
Minecraft Dungeons is releases on May 26th for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch. Though originally slated to launch in April, it was delayed due to the transition to work-from-home. As such, Mojang wants to ensure that the game is fun to play, even if cross-platform play won’t be available at launch. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks and we’ll see just how worthwhile the dungeon-crawling experience.