Review

Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition Review

  • Game release: May 10, 2009
  • Reviewed: May 20, 2014
  • PS3

Block by block.

Minecraft is a sandbox game like no other. Over the years and across many different platforms, it has proven time and time again that with a spark of imagination and a reliable pickaxe, anything is possible. Its community has produced sprawling cities, landmarks from both real life and fiction, and even entire countries, all re-created using Minecraft's colorful voxel blocks. Since its digital release last December, Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition has made strides to catch up to the original PC version, introducing new materials, biomes, and villager trading. While you still can't yet create stained glass or ride horses across a grassy plain, the crux of what makes Minecraft such an absorbing and satisfying experience is right here--though the tightly constrained world may leave you disappointed.

At a glance, Minecraft on the PlayStation 3 is nearly identical to its Xbox 360 brethren. In terms of controls, neither version one-ups the other. When 4J Studios ported the game to the Xbox 360 in 2012, it paired the version with sharp, fluid controls. The company has shown the same love toward the PlayStation 3. It takes minutes to get attuned to Minecraft on the DualShock controller, and soon you find yourself punching trees with the best of them. With time, you craft the necessary tools required to tackle twisting mines and dense jungle terrain as you collect precious resources while fighting off temperamental creepers and spider jockeys. Once you get into the swing of things (typically in the form of a sword or pickaxe), it's doubtful the thought of needing a mouse and keyboard to master Minecraft's untamed wilds will ever cross your mind.

What's yours is mine...craft. Like the name of this video game. (Minecraft.)

Also making the transition is the simplified crafting system, which streamlines the building experience. In the crafting menu, you're free to scroll through and examine every item that you can build under the square sun. Items you can craft right away are fully colored; otherwise, they are slightly opaque. This system replaces the more trial-and-error crafting found in the PC version of Minecraft, where you must manually place resources such as iron ingots or stacks of lumber on the three-by-three grid of a crafting table to create an item. If you're coming from the computer version of the game and feel that experimenting with resource placement is an important part of the Minecraft experience, this toned-down style of crafting may not impress you. However, if you're more concerned with jumping into the game and creating the items and structure pieces you want quickly and without having to scour dozens of how-to guides, you will find the more accessible crafting system a blessing.

Much like a cave, the crafting in Minecraft is deep and initially daunting, but the game's passive tip system designed for new players is the torch that lights the way through. Getting from a humble structure to a vast fortress is a satisfaction that few games can deliver, but the path there isn't a cakewalk. Thankfully, Minecraft eases you into its expansive world slowly via tooltips that offer hints as you play, offering detailed glimpses into materials, tools, and other assets. The game also includes an in-depth tutorial mode that details the more complicated aspects of Minecraft, including redstone mechanics, enchantments, and potions.

Christmas 2013.

The major difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions is not with gameplay, but with optional cosmetics. And in that regard, the PlayStation 3 is far behind. In Minecraft, you begin your adventure as the iconic blue-jeaned Steve. But what if you want to explore a dark-oak forest as Spider-Man, or Gordon Freeman? Those options are open if you choose to buy the respective downloadable skin packs on the Xbox 360. Additionally, there are skins inspired by popular indie games, and even one based on Marvel's The Avengers. And yet, none of these options are available for the PlayStation 3, though you can purchase a pack featuring console-exclusive skins based on the Uncharted and Killzone series of games, among others. Many of the texture packs, which completely change the look of the game, such as by giving it a flair of fantasy or mimicking the look of Skyrim, are also not yet available (it's not clear if they ever will be).

What is most disappointing is that Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition takes several steps back compared to the PC version, both in content and performance. Unlike in the PC game, the space in which to build your blocky empire is miniscule (on the computer, the space is virtually "infinite"). The land on which you begin, which is always randomly generated, is shuttered on four sides by an immense ocean. Teasing the edge of the map rewards you with an invisible wall, and attempting an escape via wooden boat causes your seafaring vessel to despawn, leaving you to humbly swim back to shore. The PC version also sports sharper, cleaner details and a greater view distance. There is also some noticeable lag on the PlayStation 3 during weather effects such as rain or snow.

Regardless of the shortcomings, Minecraft on the PlayStation 3 delivers the essential gameplay experience that has made it a household name. You experience a bit of pride when you complete your first shelter, a feeling that increases exponentially as accumulated knowledge and skill result in castles or skyscrapers, or farms or lengthy railways, or all of the above. It all depends on what you want to accomplish in the world set at your feet. You delve into caverns lit by your hand-made torches, while fighting cave-dwelling spiders and bow-wielding skeletons.

Here is a screenshot of four people who have stacked their televisions in a giant grid of oh no wait it's splitscreen.

And despite the danger, you keep going, because you never know what treasures the next mined block will reveal. Just before you decide to return to the surface with your haul, you may stumble upon a vein of gold or rare diamond ore. Clearing a block could unearth an abandoned mine, filled with loot and danger, or a stunning cavern, glowing hot with flowing pools of lava, its ceiling reaching beyond your vision. Minecraft is a constant lesson in persistence, while effortlessly blending the joy of creation and the thrill of danger and exploration to form a game that is instantly accessible and near limitless in potential.

Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition is a joyous adventure, despite being lighter on content than its other iterations. It offers the freedom to unlock your imagination and design your own unique world, while the included Creative mode lets you build to your heart's content without having to worry about the limitations of resources. Though the smaller world may irk you, Minecraft on the PlayStation 3 supplements the design with a more user-friendly approach, straightforward crafting, and a much easier way to connect to friends via the PlayStation Network. Split-screen multiplayer lets you get together with friends or family to plan group projects from the couch. But whether you choose to tackle the game solo or with others, Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition is a rewarding experience that has you coming back again and again, building a personalized world borne of your imagination--one simple block at a time.

The Good
Smooth, fluid controls are quick to master
Toned-down crafting makes getting to work effortless
Absorbing gameplay keeps you busy for hours
The Bad
World size is limited
Behind in extra content
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Minecraft

About the Author

Cameron Woolsey has played Minecraft on nearly every system, including smartphones. In his combined time, he has built mansions, underground lairs, snaking railway systems, and a tree house in the jungle. But his favorite would have to be a farmhouse on the edge of a grassy plain and a lake, where he takes a break from mining to do a little fishing.

Discussion

37 comments
Young_Charter
Young_Charter

I am building a city right now on the PS3 version as we speak.
This game has a lot of potential. If they gave it some Little Big Planet Tool options it would be great.

gruber23
gruber23

I played the demo and noticed that the game frequently drops below 60fps, with quite a lot of judder unlike what i've heard from the 360's locked 60 in singleplayer (and locked 30 in splitscreen). I was intending to purchase it for the right-out-of-the-box 2-4 player splitscreen, so I wanted to know whether the framerate is better in the full version, or atleast has more adjustable settings to improve performance like the PC. Battlefield 4 - Call of Duty Ghost

dannydopamine8
dannydopamine8

If they released this mofo on steam not only would it be glued to the number one seller list.. But all current owners would buy it AGAIN just for the sheer excitement

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

Is there anyone who actually prefers the PC crafting system? It's so inefficient and annoying. I don't know why they don't port the console crafting system to PC.

jimmy_russell
jimmy_russell

This game has been out on the PS3 for a very long time, and it is easily a 9/10 or better. Minecraft is the icon of modern gaming

smokeless_0225
smokeless_0225

Ya see, Carolyn Petit? This is how you give a game an 8. As long as you explain the "Cons" we can understand. Sure, you'll make some fanboys mad but anyone with an opinion will do that either way. At least Cameron Woolsey here can back up his score with reasons for his opinion.

skateryanboarde
skateryanboarde

What console version of this game WON'T be a step back from the PC version? 

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

Still can't get over that Gamespot gave the PC version an 8.5

advocacy
advocacy

How can you not be playing this game on a PC?

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

Why is this review of this old game the headliner on the reviews page?  And on a day when actual new games have come out?

Adam_Orth
Adam_Orth

Four 8's in a row GS? One even being bel8ed... 

Can't wait for Watch Dogs 8Spot

bluebird08
bluebird08

Can't wait to play this game on PS4, split screen with all my brothers. We are gonna spend hours and hours playing this.

headbanger1186
headbanger1186

@liquidbutter Mods, mods, mods. I don't prefer it, but good God after using it so long it becomes second nature. I think you have a better appreciation for the crafting when you have to remember placement and recipes in order to get the things you need. Overall the PS3 and console versions in general do offer a better streamlined and easy to pick up and go experience with friends, but I just can't sacrifice a ton of content for the sake of convenience just yet. I do have to tip my hat to Mojang and respect the hell out of them since I will be getting it as crossbuy on my Vita later this year, and since I absolutely hated the pocket edition, I can't wait to have another amazing indie gem on my handheld.

camachine
camachine staff

@smokeless_0225  Games do not start at 10 and get marked down as issues are discovered. The score represents a mix of the game's strengths, weaknesses, and, basically, how the reviewer feels about the overall experience.


Check out my review for the final Headhunters DLC for Borderlands 2. I gave it an 8 (which, according to the score system, means "Great"), but I included no negative marks. I didn't because, honestly, there was nothing negative about it. It was short, but that was expected. It received no marks because it was built upon a solid foundation set by the parent game. There were no glaring issues worth fussing over; it deserved an 8. 


Carolyn gave the score she did because, from her review, there were no glaring issues. At least nothing bad enough to warrant a highlight. So she gave it an 8 with no negative marks. And an 8 without said marks is still an 8, which once again means "Great," and not "a perfect 10 with some problems." 

Stevo_the_gamer
Stevo_the_gamer moderator moderator

Streamlined crafting, ease of multiplayer/friend integration, and split screen.

bldgirsh
bldgirsh

@advocacy  


There's going to be some kind of excuse that'll try to justify their reason to play it on console. 

camachine
camachine staff

@spacecadet25  The game came out on retail recently, so why not have a review ready (and visible) for those who are interested? 

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

@Adam_Orth The scores reflect the current gaming market pretty well. Lots of very good games but nothing amazing.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Adam_Orth There is a good solution for that: do not give a f*ck about scores and check things for yourself. Works like a charm! :D

Young_Charter
Young_Charter

@camachine We have to play Minecraft sometime ! Please at least let me give you a tour of my world ! lol

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

@camachine @smokeless_0225After your explanation, GS needs to rethink their review policy.  It's fine for opinion-based reviews but fatally flawed as a source of game ratings. 

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@fede018 @skateryanboarde GTA 5 and Red dead still didnt make me buy a console however, its only 2 games and GTA 5 im pretty sure will eventually come to PC bigger and badder than ever. I can wait. I have tons of games to play on PC in the meantime. If Rockstar doesnt want to cater to all audiences on all of the major top platforms (PC being the biggest LARGEST consistent user base by a long LONG way), screw them to be honest. Same goes for Last Of Us. I have way more respect for Mass Effect Trilogy and Elder Scrolls than exclusive sht, because at least you can enjoy Mass Effect on all platforms.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@bldgirsh @advocacyPreference and comfort. That is the only reason people plays on consoles. Little you can say when it comes to tastes... but I guess you'll find an excuse to talk about them, right?

Adam_Orth
Adam_Orth

@Warlord_Irochi @Adam_Orth  

Don't give a toss, if you thought for 1 second you'd realize if so many people notice how many 8's get handed out, it underminds the scoring system. Everyone still checks for a good score, if they blend together, you respect them less.

timeformime
timeformime

@battlefront1943 @camachine @smokeless_0225 Every single review ever written is an opinion, even those dressed up in numbers and percentages to seem like a calculation. Those numbers had to come from somewhere!

JustClient
JustClient

@terrariafan247 @nyran125tk RDR had a better story. Both games 10/10.


Minecraft More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • Online/Browser
    • + 7 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Unix/Linux
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Minecraft is a game that involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment.
    8.7
    Average User RatingOut of 4479 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Minecraft
    Developed by:
    Notch, Mojang AB, 4J Studios
    Published by:
    Mojang AB, SCEE, SCE Australia, SCEA, Microsoft Game Studios
    Genres:
    First-Person, 3D, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Fantasy Violence