Once you’ve gotten a grip on the basic cycle of gather-craft-gather, don’t assume that the game has no more challenges to offer. Now that it’s “complete,” the world of Minecraft has quite a few more curveballs to throw at you, starting with the new end-game goal. In previous versions of the game, there was no real ending, and the game just kept going forever. A goal to work toward is what fans have waited for the longest, so it’s only fitting that it’s in the “final” version.
Beating the game means you’re going to have to go to the Nether (Minecraft’s version of hell, which now sports ruined buildings) at least once. Just getting there requires at least 10 blocks of Obsidian (one of the trickiest blocks to farm, as they’re always next to lava), and once you do, you’ll have to jump through some onerous combat, collection and crafting hoops before you’ll even get an inkling as to where the portal to the end boss is (and it’s always hidden in a dungeon deep underground). So there’s a fair bit to do in the game, even if you spend no time building things in the huge, open world – which you invariably will. Even if you ignore the addictiveness of building your own soaring, continually evolving fortresses, the new potions and enchantments aren’t going to craft themselves.
Above: Our Arcanorium is fully stocked with potion brewing stands and enchantment tables/books
Another new addition, the potions and enchantments are a huge piece of content in their own right. The new Brewing Stand and Enchantment Table both require advanced materials to make, and using it to enchant tools, weapons and armor consumes the skill points you gain by leveling up. Meanwhile, potions require a diverse mixture of materials and have a large range of effects, from restoring health instantly to granting resistance to fire damage.
Also new is the ability to create snow golems, friendly snowmen with pumpkin heads that hurl snowballs at hostile creatures. Add to these to a few tamed wolves (created by giving bones to stray wolves), and suddenly you have a veritable army on your side. Probably the weirdest new addition to the final version of Minecraft, however, is the Mooshroom. This is a creature that can be sheared for mushrooms, milked for mushroom stew, and looks like the sad result of a terrible accident involving a cow, a mushroom, a teleporter and Jeff Goldblum.
Above: Equal parts cool and horrifying
In addition to the standard Survival mode (described above), there are now two additional modes, Hardcore and Creative. Hardcore is like Survival, except your death is permanent – no respawns. Creative, meanwhile, gives you infinite blocks of every type, unlimited health, and the ability to fly. This mode is for those who just want to build and don’t want the hassle of exploring and gathering materials.
All of these modes can be played on a multiplayer server, which can be especially rewarding, as you and other players can build cooperatively at the same time, or marvel at each other’s structures as you happen by them. The multiplayer worlds are persistent, and display players and blocks in real time, but they do require a dedicated host server.
Now that it’s finally “finished,” Minecraft stands as a remarkable achievement - not only a well-rounded gaming experience, but a chance for players to experiment, explore freely and reshape their environment to an almost ludicrous level. If you own a computer and haven't given Minecraft a try, you're missing one of the most unique experiences of this generation.