I slated the second episode of Minecraft Story Mode. The sacrifice of quality for true gameplay diversity was one I did not agree with and the pulling of the story away from you as the input of the game made me feel drawn out of a story they worked so hard to draw me into in Episode one. This introduction paragraph has been written in the prelude before Steam updates and I can access episode three so I write this paragraph in hope the episode three will draw me back into a story that I have been drawn out of.
And it has done that well. What was lagging behind in episode two has pulled itself slowly back into the full force ending of this episode which has left me desperate for Episode four and five more than Episode two ever left me. While there are still some underlying issues pulling in from Episode two the story pans out into a strong enough ending to hold you into the story despite these flaws.
Firstly, it’s important to examine the criticisms of Episode two and whether they transfer across. Lengthwise, this episode returns to a much more linear path and despite the risk of shorter length it has played out almost as long as Episode one. While some of you may be upset that the true diversity has been lost the game has made up for this with a little more technical storyline. The path is not always laid out clear and exploring and thinking laterally will definitely be required this time.
The storyline is not back on the track completely. The heroes which drew the story away from the character disappear for nearly all of this episode so it is hard to tell whether the realignment of the story is due to only their disappearance or not. Regardless the story focuses back in on your plucky heroes, mainly bouncing between your relationship with Petra and Lucas, as Axel and Olivia seem to look after themselves quite well. While only some depth is added to the story as a whole, the change of scenery is what really creates the story arc of this episode.
A portion of this episode takes place within the ‘End’ for those familiar with Minecraft. This change of scenery means a lot of creative freedom has been taken by the writers and designers to go wild and create a strange story arc around whatever scenery they deem worthy, as the End is sparse in the original game and serves more as the end dungeon (pardon the pun) for the Minecraft game. Expect to find strange new areas and strange reasoning for your presence in the End. This area also means that the music will be somewhat lacking, due to the abyss and empty nature of the End. This didn’t seem to detract from the atmosphere and you will be drawn into this strange new realm to explore.
Do I have any issues with this chapter? Well, yes. The number of quick-time events in this one appears to have been ramped up exponentially. Right from the very start through the introduction cutscene you are bombarded with quick time events and that doesn’t slow down for any more of this episode. While there are still a few good periods of calm, and you can see that the increase of quick-time events is due to the dangerous nature of your new environment it makes the game feel rather hectic and deprives you of some of the time you could be spending admiring the effort put into designing the scenery.
So thankfully Episode three has drawn me back into the story I was so wanting to love. The pace has been ramped up quickly so keep your fingers firmly on the directional keys so as not to be caught off guard. Whether the story has been drawn back I’m unsure whether that is due to the certain characters disappearance for a large portion of the chapter or better writing. The ending of the episode however is quite a climactic twist and really compels my urge for the next two episodes. With that in mind, Episode three has driven the score back up to 4.5. This was well worth the wait. But now I don’t want to wait any more.
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.