Though it came out several years ago on PC and has come out on many different platforms in the years since, the PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft is my first experience with the cultural phenomenon. I know it’s kind of like video game LEGOs and a bit like Garry’s Mod, but after finally giving the game the time it deserves, I ended up playing 40 hours of it before I even realized how hooked on the game I was.
Unlike Garry’s Mod, which is a game that allows you to come up with limitless games, scenarios, and tools using a somewhat complicated engine and very little in the way of tutorial, Minecraft has a bit more structure and simplicity to its world building, as you are dropped into a massive land of cubes and told to gather blocks (which the world is made up of) in various materials to craft and build anything your heart desires. You can make anything from an ancient temple to a Wal-Mart, and if you so choose, you can even get crazy and make something like a weird blocky version of Liberty City from GTA IV with squid monsters as civilians. It’s not difficult to see why this is such a cultural phenomenon, because it’s extremely easy for someone younger to pick up, but it also provides a blank slate to test the prowess of even the mightiest of architects.
You will want to build shelter ASAP, because Creepers come out at night to ruin your hard-earned progress and kill you, causing you to drop all of your supplies. This is only a problem for the first hour or so, as eventually you learn how to avoid, shelter yourself from, and kill these guys with ease, but this is less of an issue because it doesn’t hinder the draw of the game – exploring new procedurally generated areas in a charmingly blocky world to ultimately build the landscapes of your dreams.
As a fan of The Walking Dead, I ended up using the included online and split-screen multiplayer to recreate Negan’s fortress from the comic book. Both features worked well, and the worlds are large enough (36 times bigger in this version than on PS3) that I could even build the entirety of the All Out War arc if I wanted to. Thankfully, the DualShock 4 is suited perfectly to the first-person gameplay, so I can happily say that a lack of mouse and keyboard support does not hinder its playability (something I was extremely worried about).
You probably know what Minecraft is, so you probably already know if you want it or not. However, if you are on the fence and consider yourself even remotely creatively inclined, you owe it to yourself to discover why one game was considered big enough to warrant a multi-billion dollar purchase of its developer. Minecraft rules.
Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition review code provided by Sony. Minecraft is now available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, mobile devices, and more. For PlayStation Vita owners, the game should be available soon, though no release date has been set.