Since Telltale releases their games in an episodic model, it only seems right to review them in a similar fashion. You can read the reviews for the previous episodes here:
In the previous episodes 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. It seems the Admin has a plan in mind for Jesse and he would like him to prove himself worthy by undergoing certain trials. Jesse doesn’t play ball, however and that’s why he ends up in a prison together with all other heroes who’ve crossed the Admin’s path. And that’s where this third episode, Jailhouse Block, takes off.
Shortly after arriving Jesse & Jack manage to escape the prison already, but they can’t get very far as it leads to a maze filled with enemies. They’re soon captured again and Jesse is offered a job as a guard as the Warden thinks he’s fit for the job.
This does create an interesting new dynamic, as you’re in a position of power in this prison while all of your friends are “Guests” instead. (words such as Prison, Prisoners and Cells can’t be used and Resort, Guests and Lounge have to be used instead). Depending on how you make your decisions this episode can turn into a real Stanford Prison Experiment.
The entire episode is devoted to how you and you’re friends try to escape, and as usual with a Telltale game: your choice will have consequences
My opinion here remains unchanged: 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.
The voice acting is still fine, but nothing too impressive. The Admin, who stole the show in the previous episodes with his sarcasm and witty replies, plays a very minor role in this one. There is a new character (with a decently voiced script) introduced that adds a new level of interest to the story though, but talking about it would give away the plot twist of the episode.
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.
There are some action sequences which weirdly uses a Dark Souls – like stamina system in which you move, dodge and attack. There are more quick-time events added in the combat sections this time around though, and the choreography for them is kind of impressive. I’ve had a lot of more fun with this episode than the ones before it and they even rewarded us with a giant boss fight near the end.
The Episodes start to feel shorter and shorter each time, but at least this one took us to an interesting location and gave us interesting choices to make. It’ll be interesting to see how the story unfolds in the end as the writers had seemingly written themselves into a corner in the previous two, with an antagonist as powerful as the Admin. It’s by far the most interesting episode out of the entire series so far and I hope they keep it up for the final two.