Microsoft-owned development studio Mojang has released a major update for its sandbox construction title Minecraft, overhauling the game’s combat mechanics in a bid to “make fighting more interesting and offer more map-making options.”
The update greatly impacts Minecraft‘s long-untouched combat aspect, giving players more options when braving the randomly-generated wilderness in Survival mode.
Starting in version 1.9 of Minecraft, players can construct handheld shields that block enemy attacks. This addition gives combat enthusiasts a new way to take on enemies who attack from afar with ranged weaponry, as shields can now provide safety from incoming projectiles.
Close-quarters melee combat also sees a number of sweeping changes. Attacks now have a “cool-down” timer that eliminates the frantic button-mashing combat that defined earlier versions of Minecraft, and players will now need to carefully consider their strikes in battle.
In-game swords and axes now boast unique sweeping and crushing attacks, respectively, allowing players to follow up a combination of strikes with a finishing blow. Minecraft‘s latest update also lets characters hold items in both hands, and adds the ability to switch to an off-hand item instantly by pressing the F key.
Version 1.9 of Minecraft additionally introduces new enemy mobs, block types, and food items.
Other additions featured in Minecraft‘s Combat Update include skeleton riders, new arrow types, player-constructed igloos, and “a whole bunch of new sound effects,” according to Mojang.
Minecraft‘s latest patch arrives more than a year after the game’s last major update.
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