It’s hard to tell what is going on in Telltale’s head with Minecraft Story Mode. The first four episodes were released in just a few months, and several new episodes have been commissioned to make Episode 5 essentially the start of season 2.
Unlike the start of the previous season, this episode is a mixed bag. While the story and gameplay are still up to the standard we have learned to expect, there are a few moments which puzzled me about what direction Telltale seems to be going. Nonetheless, it looks to be a respectable continuation of the game we know and love and for those of you who wanted more adventure like me you’re in luck.
So we follow the same crew of plucky adventurers as of previous episodes. You still play the all-round hero Jesse and the newly formed Order of the Stone as they head out on an adventure to search for the Eversource: A mystical item fabled to create whatever is desired out of nothing. It’s here we see out first big change. This is not the team of comedic friends we had in earlier episodes. These are seasoned adventurers ready for this new challenge.
There is a lot of promise in Episode 5. The game takes a huge swing from humorous tale to more serious adventure. Every character wants you dead. The whole situation gives you a feeling that the problems of the first four episodes were a cakewalk compared to these new adventures. Old story mechanics still transfer from before. There are several decisions shaping your story, though in a less diverse manner and are more different paths to the same destination.
There are some strange plot holes that should have been addressed though. The motivation for the new enemy is lacking and is not really explained. While it’s fair this is the same for Episode 1 the express hatred towards Jesse seems more out of place without explanation than Ivor’s hate for a secondary character. The comic relief lack is also a little disappointing, making this seem more adult than the previous episodes and important characters such as Olivia and Axel don’t appear past the prologue and it makes this chapter feel somewhat empty without the whole team.
The running time is a typical two hours, much the same as the other episodes however the plot feels poorly cut and steals a lot of promise for the new season. The whole episode feels a little thin. The new area has limited exploration and holds so much promise for interesting adventures in the extra promised episodes but the stark stopping point here doesn’t leave me as desperate for them as I have felt in the past.
This is a nice new story in the Telltale universe. However poor story design and lacking humour keeps this from being as good as the others. This shouldn’t discourage people from continuing their play through or picking up the game now. It’s a good continuation of the adventure, and worthy of a 7/10.