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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Minecon brings news on Minecraft: Story Mode and more!



Minecon 2015 was held in London over the past weekend, breaking a Guinness World Record for being the largest convention for a single video game with an estimated 10,000 tickets sold. More importantly, with Minecon came news on Minecraft: Story Mode, new features for both the original game and mobile versions, and Minecraft for Windows 10.

Minecraft: Story Mode

We’ve known about Telltale Games’ Minecraft: Story Mode for a while now. It follows their usual episodic structure, with episodes being released separately (a season pass is imminent, I’m certain). The playable character is named Jesse, who sets out for adventure with his friends only to find something awful at EnderCon. The voice cast includes Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille), Brian Posehn (Surf’s Up), Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us), Scott Porter (Batman: Arkham Knight), and many more names recognizable from their voice work in television, movies, and video games.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a standalone Minecraft game. It will be available on PC, Mac, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android. Check out the trailer below:


New features coming to the original Minecraft

For some time, it has seemed as though most updates to Minecraft have been about how the game looks instead of functions. Upcoming updates, however, seem as though they will actually help make the game play better. What I’m personally most excited for is duel wielding – that’s right, you’ll soon be able to hold items in both your right hand and your left! And Mojang is being so nice, they’ve made it so you can choose if your character is a lefty or a righty.

Related reading: Minecraft as narrative; one of the great misunderstandings in gaming.

The update that will increase the length of the game (although that is technically always open-ended) is The End’s overhaul. A portal called the End Gateway will be required to get to The End. The End will grow to many islands (not just one) and contain many more things to discover. It sounds like it won’t be for the faint of heart, with Mojang saying that some areas will require you to find an enemy to help you get from point A to point B instead of the traditional paths, staircases, and ladders. Ender crystals will become a craftable item, and when placed on the Ender Dragon’s pillars it will respawn the beast for grinding purposes.

Other updates include shields (useful with duel wielding!), enchanted arrows, and a buff bar in the upper right corner.

New features coming to Minecraft Pocket Edition

This news is short but sweet: Mojang announced that Minecraft’s mobile counterpart will be receiving some long-awaited updates to mimic what console and PC players have had for some time. Soon Minecraft Pocket Edition will contain hunger and XP bars, anvils, The Nether, ocelots, dynamic weather, and redstone.


A new version of Minecraft is coming to Windows 10

Although unexpected, this news isn’t too surprising since Microsoft bought out Mojang last year (for a cool $2.5 billion USD, nonetheless). Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta will be available on July 29 – the same day Windows 10 begins its rollout. It’s “Beta” for a reason: the original game had huge success by releasing as a beta.

Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta sounds as though it will be the same Minecraft with some useful updates. The game will be controller compatible, which is a godsend for the keyboard inept. You’ll now be able to play online with Pocket Edition players. There’s a built-in recording system to make it easy to share videos in-game videos.

Those you already own the PC version of Minecraft will be able to download Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta for free. Everyone else can pick it up for $10 USD while it remains in Beta, however expect the price to rise for the final release.

- Lindsay M.
News Editor
Minecon brings news on Minecraft: Story Mode and more!
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