Minecraft Dungeons, Mojang's 2020 action-RPG spinoff, has received a wealth of new content today, including new optimizations for new-gen Xbox consoles. The "Flames of the Nether" expansion introduces the Minecraft world's metaphysical realm for players to go it alone or with up to three friends. A related free update also expands on the endgame content through new Ancient Hunts.
Flames of the Nether will add more than the new Nether region, giving players the chance to unlock new weapons, gear, and artifacts through the usual Diablo-style system where repeated playthroughs on increasing difficulty will continually improve your loot drops. Two new player skins as well as a new baby Ghast pet also come to the game with the DLC. This content is part of the Season Pass and marks the second of four major expansions for Minecraft Dungeons, but even without the paid DLC, players can enjoy some new toys today.
With the free Ancient Hunts title update, players can embark on free, procedurally-generated endgame missions "that weave in and out of the Nether." Successes on these missions can result in the new and exclusive Gilded-level gear. There’s also a chance to get Gold, a new currency "that a newly-arrived Piglin merchant in your camp will find very interesting," said Xbox in a post revealing the update.
The game now joins the growing list of games optimized for Xbox Series X|S. It was already taking advantage of the auto HDR afforded to backward compatible games, but now it's been improved further. Xbox Series X players can play Minecraft Dungeons in 4K up to 120 FPS, while Series S players can play in up to 1440p and 60 FPS.
Lastly, Apocalypse Plus difficulty has been revamped. The new format includes a longer-form progression providing a greater challenge for players. This means adding levels beyond Apocalypse 20 for players who had already hit the level cap. The full range of balancing changes and other new endgame changes can be read about at the game's official blog.
Minecraft Dungeons released as a cross-platform first-party game from Microsoft and Mojang last year to "Fair" response, with 114 critics giving it a 74 average score on OpenCritic. Those who enjoyed the game often praised its re-imagining of Minecraft's systems through a Diablo-like action-RPG lens, while those who liked it less tended not to find much depth in the game as compared to others in the genre.