Minecraft Story Mode: episode 3 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

Warning: Minor spoilers for previous episodes ahead!

It’s that difficult third episode. The first one was actually quite good, the second one was very “meh”, and the third one…? Well, it’s somewhere in between.

Just when you thought you had Ivor at the end of the last episode, he got away with something of a deus ex machina. Flippin’ typical, eh? You don’t get to catch up with him in episode three, so put that out of your mind. You do finally meet Soren though, who seems to be slightly out of his mind. First, however, you have to sit through a couple of minutes worth of compulsory recapping; even though it’s only the third episode, this isn’t what Telltale usually does, and these episodes have actually been released fairly close together (very unusual for Telltale). We can’t help but think that this is to increase the episode’s total run time by a few percent. It’s again very short, comfortably doable in well under an hour and a half.

Petra or Gabriel (depending on who you saved from the Wither) starts to suffer more and more from the sickness, while being determined to hide it. You can choose to hide or conceal their condition from a character at one point, but neither decision seems to have much of an impact on anything. That largely goes for every dialogue option and choice in the episode, in fact; it never really feels like anything you say or do matters particularly. There’s one notable exception at the end where your decision will yield an unexpected consequence, but overall we found it very difficult to get emotionally involved.

There’s a bit of combat, which feels half-hearted – or maybe that’s just because it already feels so by-the-numbers to us. Two things save this episode from drowning. One is the liberal and interesting use of Endermen, the dark and mysterious creatures that have sent shivers down the spine of many a Minecraft player. The other is the humour which, while not delivering as many chuckles as the first episode, climbs far above the arid laughless wasteland of the second. If you’ve already committed to a season pass or disc, at least this shows signs of the series getting better again. Oh, and if you were wondering, yes the word “crap” is in the script again (we noted two uses).

Does it feel like at least half of this review is missing? Well, to be fair, that’s exactly how the last few episodes of Minecraft Story Mode have felt, too.

critical score 6

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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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