Since Telltale releases their games in an episodic model, it only seems right to review them in a similar fashion.
I wasn’t too impressed by the first episode of this second season of MineCraft Story mode and only gave it a modest 7. You can read the review here as this one will continue onwards from the frst episode and focus mostly on the story.
In the previous episode Jesse, our protagonist, found a Gauntlet in a secret mine. They explored an underwater temple to find out about its origin and were faced with the most powerful being they have ever encountered: the Admin. They managed to escape with their lives but made it back to Beacontown safe and sound.
They couldn’t celebrate too long however, as the Admin decided to show up and wreck the party.
It seems the Admin has a plan in mind for Jesse and he would like him to proove himself worthy by undergoing certain trials. This second episode is a lot shorter than the previous one though and we only really see two locations: Beacontown and the Ice Castle in which Jesse & friends get put to the test. Just like other Telltale games, your decisions should impact the story a great deal but in reality it sticks to the same main plot and just has a different outcome for the minor events and relationships.
My opinion here remains unchanged from the first game and the previous episode: while the game is very colourful and I love the creative vibe that it oozes, I’m just not all that into the blocky look of the Minecraft games. Especially when viewing characters up close, their block-shaped heads sometimes get in the way of meaningful expressions of emotion. I also find it harder to relate to them or feel any kind of empathy. This design could also never succeed in getting across any kind of scary vibe, even though the game has Zombies, exploding monsters and basically Slender Men…
The voice acting is still fine, nothing that impressed me too much. Just like last time, the Admin steals the show. He has the most interesting lines of dialog and a different voice and tone depending on his appearance (which changes a few times). The background music wasn’t memorable enough to warrant any mention either.
Just like other Telltale games you mostly have to just make dialog choices while the story progresses. You’re not left to wander around too often (and always in restricted areas) so there isn’t much to discover.
Just like last time, there are some action sequences which weirdly uses a Dark Souls – like stamina system in which you move, dodge and attack. But just then, this action falls a bit flat and doesn’t provide any meaningfull variety. They could have just used regular quick time events and the game would feel exactly the same. In fact they used this very method in the most interesting bit of gameplay in the episode: a shooting range section in which you have to hit the baddies and avoid shooting the innocent targets.
The episode felt a bit too short for my tastes and I’m sure it would leave a sour taste in the mouths of people who paid the full price. The story doesn’t seem to progress all that much and still leaves many questions to be answered: Who’s the Admin and what is his end goal? All in all it felt too much like a filler episode and I wonder if Telltale games should really stick to their selfimposed “5 episodes per game” model as this one would have been better off being packed together with episode three.