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Minecraft Battle Kicks Off Console Mini-Game Support Next Month

by Mike Futter on May 26, 2016 at 03:00 AM

Hunger has long been a part of the Minecraft experience. Hunger Games on the other hand, is something PC modders have added on their own. Console players can get a similar experience with the first Minecraft mini-game, Battle.

I recently had the chance to give Battle a try, and while I wasn’t blown away by the demo, the framework has potential. Minecraft Battle will launch with three free maps on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U in June. Included in the preview were a gorgeous pirate cove, a large cave with an open (and deadly) expanse in the center, and a deadly, lava-filled arena.

More packs will be added for $2.99 as time goes on. These eight-player matches are single-elimination, supporting up to four-player splitscreen. You’ll have opportunity at the beginning to look for weapons, armor, and potions in chests, during which time you can’t be harmed.

Chests will refresh after a while, so if you miss out in the early phase of the match, you can hang back while your opponents take each other out. Combat is my least favorite part of Minecraft, and the rules weren’t conveyed well. I also noticed some significant problems with the bow that caused nearly a full second of lag between releasing the string and the arrow firing. The version I played was unfinished, so this may very well be fixed by June.

There’s no crafting during this mode, so you can’t hide yourself in a corner of the map and build up your supplies. That might be added in the future. There’s also no support for custom-crafted arenas off the bat. Again, Mojang is keeping an ear open for community suggestions.

I’m glad Battle is launching for free, as it’s definitely not something that will click with all players. However for those that do dig in, a growing roster of paid maps and cutthroat competition might serve as a pleasant diversion from building homes and dodging Creepers.