Buy. This. Game.
Good games have come out recently. Mad Max, MGSV despite its controversy and now this. I understand I’m putting some big weight on its shoulders, but Telltale Games have produced a marvellous and charming adventure full of gimmicks and laughs. The game draws you into a wondrous and compelling adventure through the Minecraft universe with all the charm we expect from a game of blocks.
The story is worth not ruining so I will refrain from such. You play as Jesse (voiced by Patton Oswald,) an average citizen of the land who lives with his friends Olivia, the smart one, Axel, the loyal meathead and his trusty pet pig Reuben. As a team they hope to become the champion builders at Endercon to meet their hero, a member of the Order of the Stone. The story goes for a Lord of the Ring’s stylising; your heroes are thrown into cataclysmic events and must work together to save the world from a great evil.
The story is built to appeal to a large audience. From the avid Minecraft player to those who have never touched the game. Some understanding of the game is recommended, as you will miss several in-jokes such as the likeness of Diamonds and Lapis Lazuli. The game does fill in the blanks where it is required, such as when crafting items, the recipes are available in the corner just in case. Age-wise the game also aims to keep open for younger audiences (despite the common use of the word ‘crap’) and rather than in Telltale’s more mature episodic adventures the game will foreshadow or even outright state upcoming story events. Yet even as a 22 year old man the story is not so dumbed-down you won’t enjoy it yet you may be able to pick out the event turns before they appear.
The game feels incredibly like Minecraft, and rightly so. Textures have been brought over outright and the world looks correct to the eye, even with underused aspects like explosions the blocks move like they should do in Minecraft. While there has to be some changes, mostly to the character animations, these are all the keep the flow of the story and don’t draw away break the immersion into the world. The visuals in the game are wholly stunning which becomes more noticeable when the game steps back and lets you see the grand structures around you. No doubt these will soon be recreated in Minecraft for people to explore.
The audio is also worthy of serious note. The background soundtrack ebbs and flows, maintaining Minecraft’s idea of the music being supplementary. Yet in the dramatic sequences the music booms out making all of the emotions for the necessary moment gestalt. This is helped by the stellar voice cast. Patton Oswald has been previously mentioned as the male protagonist Jesse; he is joined by Ashley Johnson as the rugged adventurer Petra and Brian Posehn as Axel. Paul Reubens also arrives as the primary antagonist Ivor and delivering a performance worthy of any childhood villain.
There are some frustrations with the game. The combat is slightly sluggish and you can spend a lot of your time swinging wildly against multiple enemies. There are also some visual glitches. Though they only happened once and are likely to be patched out quickly.
Even though the first episode is not long, around two hours, I just can’t stop thinking about how good it is. Telltale has done a phenomenal job of drawing you into the people around you. You spend a long period of time just chatting to your friends and getting to know them. Every little joke or comedic moment in the game feels so thought out. From the starting conversation and montage all the way to the end where the game circles back round to your starting character nicely. The adventures reminds you that a game first released in alpha in 2009 can still look so beautiful no matter how big the pixels are.
Unsuprisingly this game gets a 5.0. If it could get higher it would. Story mode draws Telltale conventions, so perfectly into Minecraft. There isn’t much deviation from the formula here; if you’ve played Telltale before the underlying gameplay is the same. Yet something about this one feel so much more alive than the others. I want more of this game. Now.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.