Minecraft Story Mode: episode 2 review

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  • Format: Xbox One (version reviewed), PS4, PS3, 360, PC, Wii U
  • Unleashed: Out Now (Except Wii U, which is coming later, no really)
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Players: 1
  • Site: https://www.telltalegames.com/minecraftstorymode/
  • Game code provided by PR

Episode one of Minecraft Story Mode showed a lot of potential, with an ending that hinted at a dramatically different experience for episode two depending on your final choice. Now that the novelty of a Minecraft-flavoured Telltale project has worn off, are we left with a game that continues to stand proud on its own two feet? The answer is, er…. no, not really.

Firstly, that choice at the end of episode one. The beginning of this episode does depend entirely upon which of the two Order members you chose to fetch, and the first chapter is completely different according to which of the two you’re looking to recruit. Once you make it back to the temple with your hero of choice, however, you find that whichever friend was apparently staying with Lucas to defend the base decided to toddle off and fetch the other hero without you anyway. So no matter which hero you decided was most urgently needed to help, they both end up with your team at the same time anyway, rendering your decision utterly meaningless. On top of this, we ran into a bug in the Xbox One version we’re reviewing which somehow prevented the achievement for completing chapter one from unlocking.

Once you’ve retrieved whichever hero you went after, the episode plays out broadly the same for everybody. The way in which it plays out is… how do we put this… boring. It’s even shorter than the first episode – struggling to make it very far past an hour – but despite this, we pretty much started forcing ourselves to continue from roughly the halfway point. There’s too much repetition from the previous episode (the restrictive combat has now already lost its lustre), which doesn’t even include any faux-crafting at the table.

Whereas the series initially seemed like it was aiming for as broad an audience as possible (despite multiple uses of the word ‘crap’, which returns), here it seems to be more strongly aimed at kids. It’s currently being presented as much more of a ‘straight’ story, and the script simply isn’t good enough to support that. Episode one had some smart and funny lines now and again, which helped things roll along smoothly. Laughs in episode two are few and far between to the point of being virtually non existent, and the experience suffers greatly for it.

It’s difficult to say much more about this brief episode without revealing everything that happens. There’s an encounter with Ivor and a revelation about Petra that try to inject a sense of uncertainty and danger, but it’s already blazingly clear that everything will work out okay in the end. Again we found that we made the choices a majority of players made, but that’s the most interesting thing about this episode. The series has plummeted in quality already, and Telltale will have to pull something pretty drastic out of the hat to drag it out of its current “Meh”ncraft state.

critical score 5

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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