Minecraft Xbox One Edition Review

Blocks the material, design by imagination

Minecraft is about the big things, just as much as it favors the small. It's almost impossible to think of Minecraft without envisioning the picturesque structures, from castles to cities, that have been constructed by fans. But Minecraft is also about the minor touches, and sometimes they are what you remember the most--that feeling of awe as you peer across a forest of snow-capped oak, nearly out of sight, the sense of relaxation as you watch the sun set behind a distant mountain, and the sharp intake of breath as you stare deep into an underground mine lit by glowing pools of red-hot lava. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition offers both worlds, large and small, as well as the tools to create your own voxel-constructed paradise.

As if climbing a ladder, you start at the bottom and work your way through technology. Spawning a procedurally generated world in Minecraft's default survival mode for the first time places you at the bottom rung, where your goal is to seek tools, shelter, and food. The humorous term "punching trees" was popularized by Minecraft, as your earliest task involves hammering away at the nearest oak or spruce tree for blocks of wood. From wooden tools and weapons, you soon move to stone, then iron, and then, if you're fortunate enough to find it deep in the earth, diamond--not unlike rising through the tiers of the ages of man. Killing animals such as cows or pigs yields food, which staves off hunger, at least for a short while.

With the crafting menu, you turn wood into planks and then create a crafting table, the backbone of your Minecraft experience. The crafting table in Minecraft's console versions hasn't changed since the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, for which the options are vastly different compared to the game on PC. Here, all items, from tools to decorations, are available for you to investigate. If you have the material to construct a certain item, it will be fully colored in; otherwise, it remains slightly opaque. On the PC, however, crafting requires a method of trial and error, where you place materials such as wooden planks and sticks on a nine-by-nine board to create new items. On console, you need only have the necessary material in your inventory to craft items. The process is more streamlined, and it prevents you from constantly rubbing several things together in hopes of creating something useful, as well as from looking up crafting recipes online, so you can get to building your blocky empire more quickly.

Undead!
Undead!

As your knowledge grows, so does the complexity of your projects and the scope of your adventures. A small hut awkwardly cobbled together from blocks of wood and stone is a strange thing to take pride in, and yet it's hard not to feel some accomplishment in its creation. It's small, it's ugly, and there's a good chance the floor is made of dirt, but it's yours. As you learn the odds and ends of creation in Minecraft, that motley shack will be traded in for a cabin deep in the woods or a castle high on a mountaintop where you can survey the land through its windows. Or it could become something else, anything else, as your hand is guided by your imagination, your only limit on what you can accomplish.

Minecraft doesn't include a story to follow or missions to complete; your quests are set by you, but the journey can be just as rewarding as those found in other games. There are many sights to see, from the aforementioned sprawling oak forests covered in snow to mucky swamplands with vines and water flecked with green lily pads. Your adventures often carry a similar tone to those found in Fallout or Elder Scrolls games, where a trip through the desert on a hunt for crafting materials is stopped short as a village materializes in your peripheral vision, luring you with villager trade, books to steal, and crops to harvest. In that same desert, you could stumble upon a half-buried temple, where beneath its floor lies secret treasure--as well as an untimely end for brazen travelers who ignore the hidden trap.

Some familiar Xbox franchises get the Minecraft treatment.
Some familiar Xbox franchises get the Minecraft treatment.

There are dangers in Minecraft that stalk every dark corner and winding tunnel. At night, vicious creatures roam, threatening you with poisoned fangs and sharp arrows. You can protect yourself with armor and weapons, crafted from materials ranging from leather from slaughtered cows or iron discovered embedded in stone. But even the most seasoned Minecraft veterans can fall prey to the many enemies that haunt the land. Cave spelunking is often quickly ended by an undetected creeper, its blood-curdling hiss the last thing you hear before the inevitable explosion. I have been knocked into a river of lava by a skeleton archer just out of range more often than I care for, once even during the course of this review. The loss is always a bitter pill, but you can always respawn and try to recover any lost items. That is, unless they fall into lava, in which case it's time to start over (I hate those archers so, so much).

It's not expected that you will raise a castle or stretch railways across the land overnight, but Minecraft: Xbox One Edition does well in easing you into the basics as you move along. Enabled by default, tooltips inform you of the uses of the many blocks that surround you. You learn that throwing blocks of sand into a furnace will result in glass or that nether quartz, found in Minecraft's hellish nether, can be crafted into blocks of marble. The in-depth tutorial mode is like a game itself, and it is here that you learn everything that Minecraft is about. The tutorial takes you from learning how to construct small structures and tools to spending gained experience points on enchanting tables to add extra bite to your sword or efficiency to your pickaxe. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition does a fantastic job of blending useful information and advice into its design, allowing you to play the major role in its lessons.

Minecraft: Xbox One Edition surpasses the Xbox 360 Edition with cleaner, sharper visuals, and a farther view distance, and it runs at 60 frames per second for complete smoothness.

In Minecraft, you don't need to take on adventures alone. Killing skeleton archers drops bones, which you can offer a wolf for the chance that it will become a friendly dog that stays by your side and protects you from enemies. In the wild and bright-green jungles live spotted ocelots, which have a chance to transform into adorable house cats after being fed a fish. But if it's the comfort of fellow humans you seek, you can bring along up to seven friends on Xbox Live to join you on your journeys. Minecraft is an excellent social game, one where ambitious projects no longer seem so laborious when more hands are added to the fold. You can also play with a four-player split screen, where family or friends can tackle any undertaking together.

Minecraft on the Xbox One is similar to its PlayStation 4 iteration in both performance and accessibility, with only a few notable differences. Both versions allow you to load saved files from their prior console generation, though your old map is still unfortunately limited to its original size, surrounded by invisible borders. The latest versions are much larger, featuring map sizes roughly 37 times larger by volume than what the prior games boast. However, the size is not unlimited; there is still an impassable wall, but the land within is enormous nonetheless, so it's improbable that you will see and do everything too soon. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition surpasses the Xbox 360 Edition with cleaner, sharper visuals, and a farther view distance, and it runs at 60 frames per second for complete smoothness. The game also includes a creative mode, which allows you to create without the limitations of materials. In this mode, you can fly around the land and construct anything you desire.

Look familiar?
Look familiar?

Where the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions differ the most is downloadable content. Both ports feature multiple skin packs, but they star different characters. On Xbox One, you can purchase packs that allow you to play as the Master Chief or Gordon Freeman, while the PlayStation 4 offers characters from God of War and The Last of Us. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, however, includes resource packs with theme block textures to match Skyrim, Mass Effect, or Halo, which are not currently available on PlayStation 4 (though I don't expect to see a Halo motif any time soon for Sony's console).

Like the PlayStation 4 version, Minecraft on Xbox One plays second fiddle to the game on PC. The latest iteration of Minecraft on PC includes horses that populate grassy plains, fluffy rabbits, as well as updated flora, and stained glass. However, it's better to view the PC experience not just as a better or different Minecraft but as a vision of what the game will soon become for consoles. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition offers dozens and dozens of hours' worth of entertainment, and as time goes by, updates will include even more to see and animals to interact with. Much like going from a rustic shelter to a statuesque castle, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will only offer more in time, with future updates adding even more hours to a game already brimming with near-endless potential.

The Good
Construction and adventuring is incredibly satisfying
Sandbox world offers immense potential
Xbox Live makes it a snap to play with friends
World barriers have been expanded far into the distance
The Bad
9
Superb
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Minecraft

About the Author

Cameron Woolsey feels that the best Minecraft has to offer is not only in massive structures, but with the smaller things. Cameron has spent dozens of hours scouring caves and forests for materials, but some of his favorite moments include watching the sun fall on a distant horizon, and peering into awe-inspiring crevasses where water and lava flow free.
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mdfrazier

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My family loves this game. Just be warned if you suffer from motion sickness. Do not get the Xbox one edition, it doesn't have a field of view slider.

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JRC126-1

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its an cool game,but still want the choice of PS3 or PS4 edition,thank you very much.

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Foxhound1982

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Edited By Foxhound1982

I didn't realise graphics were such a big deal to me until Minecraft came along. Im not hating on anyone who plays and enjoys the game, that's all well and good. I just can't bring myself to play it, my misses has a copy but i won't touch it. Why spend so much time crafting a world that looks like something from the Megadrive era? Why does it have to be so ugly? Surely they could have made it look a little better on modern hardware?

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bigrod69

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BUT IS IT 1080P!?!?!?


TELL ME


I NEED ATTENTION


PLEASE, PAY ATTENTION TO ME.... 1080P.... ME ME ME...

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RumbleRuses

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If there's no negatives why is it a 9/10?

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Ahiru-San

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@rumbleruses because it's not the perfect game of all times, like Bayonetta 2?!

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Ahiru-San

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the only reason I could consider getting this game is because of the 4-player split screen and the lack of games featuring that. but then again, my real friends might not be very fond of it either….

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wm3sv

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Edited By wm3sv

Ok, now it´s clear that when games lacks of hi-res textures and/or special effects xone is the best. Sorry, but you compare a game that any computer can handle, even x360 or even psx. The game is good as it is and i like as it is but to say it's great in visuals and over anyother game....don't make laught

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xboxonly1

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Edited By xboxonly1

@camachine @greaterdivinity There was a glitch where you could get it free on playstation but i think they patched it :( tried to do it with the PSVita but it didnt work instead it gave me the demo.

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sabretooth2066

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this game is great , yes

this game is the best game of all times , no

this game deserves a 9 , no

this game is the most overrated game of all times , yes

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motopramaus

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Edited By motopramaus

@sabretooth2066 very insightful.


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sladakrobot

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This review took its time :-)
Its not a bad thing as i heard that at beginn there where some annoying bugs :-)

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xantufrog

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xantufrog  Moderator

@sladakrobot yeah, that might be why they waited.

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tastemycobra

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Man, I don't understand this Minecraft Fetish that people have... I can never play some s**t like this!

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eljohnnycage1

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Edited By eljohnnycage1

@tastemycobra Maybe you should try the game first before judging it. BTW, http://minecraftforfreex.com/ lets you play from your browser.

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Hurvl

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@tastemycobra I guess that means you have the "don't like what many other people like"-disease and I'm afraid it's a chronic illness. You'll never be free of the feeling that other people like something that you don't like and you'll never understand why some people like stuff that you don't like. But don't worry, lots of people have that disease and can still live normal lives.

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deathstream

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Edited By deathstream

@Hurvl @tastemycobra


They don't live normal lives. They skulk around the internet eager to pounce on the slightest provocation to spew their bile.

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Curzad

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@tastemycobra

Play Survival Mode with friends and you'll find out why people are still playing.

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Tiwill44

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The bad: it's still Minecraft and nothing is going to change that.

Seriously. It's a great sandbox game and I had a lot of fun playing it with friends, but I don't get why people are STILL coming back to it.

On the surface, it feels like there's tons of stuff to explore in this game. But then you realize that the only way you can feel like you're "progressing" in Minecraft is by discovering new things to craft. But most of these things serve no purpose. You punch trees and mine rocks until you obtain Diamond. That's it. That's all there is to it. Then you can build portals to Hell or fight some poorly made dragon or whatever.

I know this is a sandbox, but even in a sandbox game, you still need fun things to do. Terraria has fun things to do. GTA has fun things to do. The only thing to do in Minecraft is build stuff, but building stuff takes forever because you need absurd amounts of resources to make anything good. And if you're going to do that in Creative mode, then what's the point? Minecraft isn't a level editor.

Minecraft, at its core, is supposed to be a game about survival and exploration. But these elements are NOT complete here because there isn't any reason to do anything. The survival part is fun, but it only lasts 1 in-game day! Once you've obtained wheat seeds, you can just stay in your house and produce infinite amounts of food. After that, there's nothing else you need to worry about, so why even play?

5 • 
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xantufrog

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xantufrog  Moderator

@Tiwill44 "Once you've obtained wheat seeds, you can just stay in your house and produce infinite amounts of food. After that, there's nothing else you need to worry about, so why even play?"

- you're playing it wrong? The game really is about exploration, and creativity. If you hole up in the same spot, yeah: it'll su(k. But if you keep digging, and sailing, and building - you'll find new reasons to build, and places to explore. Build a USS Enterprise, or a functioning tetris game. These can be done - you just need the creativity to go for it. I disagree that it is a survival game at it's core - it's an interactive, explorable, procedurally-generated "lego" universe that you happen to need to eat food in.

3 • 
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dannydopamine18

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Edited By dannydopamine18

idk why they still use java for minecraft when they can use a real video game engine.. heck they can even use the same atari graphics if they want. Theres just no reason not to

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ASatiricalDalek

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Edited By ASatiricalDalek

The PC version gets a 7, this gets a 9, but this isn't better than the PC version? It is the exact same game, the only difference is xbox live, which is indeed a plus, but on PC you have texture packs, mods, servers which are basically games of their own with hundreds of players, different game modes, ranks and plug ins, competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, editing tool for making your perfect world, tekkit and feed the beast mods. I'm not saying the review is bad or inaccurate, but it seems a little misleading to say, with a score, that this is better than the PC version of the same game because it isn't. I understand that different reviewers give different scores based on opinion but come on they are literally the exact same game with the PC version having more user created content that greatly alters the game. (didn't mean to post this twice, made an account for this and had issues, but my points are slightly different in each so I'll leave them up)

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dannydopamine18

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@asatiricaldalek That was almost as moving as the first time you said it

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ASatiricalDalek

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Edited By ASatiricalDalek

I'm not hating on the review, but why does this version have a 9 when the PC version of this game has a 7? They are literally the same game, except the PC version has a thriving mod community with various different game modes, servers and graphical enhancements (just to name a few) where as this is just the vanilla game. Sure, xbox live friends joining is a huge plus, but enough to get another two whole points on the review board?


This is why I think scores are BS, to the outside, this looks like the superior version of the game, when in reality it is the inferior version of a game which was viewed more positively because of a reviewer bias. If the review existed on its own, that's one thing, but to directly compare this game to the PC version and say its a whole 2 points (the difference between good and superb) is ridiculous. With the expanded game modes, mods, and large player count servers that exist as games of their own using Minecraft as a platform that is clearly the better version, I guess I just think the score system misrepresents the game.

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camachine

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Edited By camachine

@asatiricaldalek The PC version of the game earned an 8.5: http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/minecraft-review/1900-6346734/


Also, the PC review came out not long after Minecraft left alpha in 2011. All the changes that have occurred in nearly three years, making Minecraft better, are reflected in the score you see above.

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Walkerdowntown

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It sucks that every port is still inferior to the PC because I wish I could play PC games from the comfort of my couch. This is the struggle of a console player haha

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motopramaus

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@Walkerdowntown I have my PC hooked up to my TV using the X1 controller and Steam Big Picture, it's the same as a console but more powerful.

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dannydopamine18

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@Walkerdowntown You can, for a dollar on ebay i bought a usb bluetooth dongle so now my PC has bluetooth support and i just play pc games with my ps3 controller from 20ft away and its super responsive i dont notice any latency or wireless slowdown even when i go really far away


And if its a video game that doesn't have controller support you can just download pinnacle game profiler which makes you able to map keyboard buttons to a controller

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greaterdivinity

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Edited By greaterdivinity

So...like every other version, it's pretty much still Minecraft. Good to know.

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camachine

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@greaterdivinity Well, yeah. And it's still great no matter what you play it on.

5 • 

Minecraft More Info

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  • First Released May 10, 2009
    released
    • 3DS
    • Linux
    • + 10 more
    • Macintosh
    • Nintendo Switch
    • Online/Browser
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
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    • Xbox One
    Minecraft is a game that involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment.
    8.6
    Average Rating4654 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Minecraft
    Developed by:
    Notch, 4J Studios, Mojang AB
    Published by:
    Mojang AB, Microsoft Game Studios, Nintendo, SCEA, SCEE, SCE Australia, SCEJ, Sony Interactive Entertainment, SCEI
    Genre(s):
    3D, First-Person, Adventure, Open-World
    Theme(s):
    VR, Fantasy
    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+