You know the score by now.
Much like Season 1, Season 2 started off strong with a good episode. While there was little new broken ground, the formula which worked well for Episode 1 in Season 1 came back. Characters were explained well, a good plot was set up and humour was dabbled in the middle.
But last time Episode 2 came as a huge disappointment to me. Rather than holding on to that strong lead it dwindled in quality, giving you two choices of branching story with neither feeling well done. I’m hoping that trend won’t continue here.
And boy does that trend not. Episode 2: Giant Consequences comes out swinging, keeping me on hooks from one end to the other. A blend of good story pacing, interesting events and a damn good villain has made this probably the best chapter of MineCraft Story Mode I have played in general.
Part of that comes from the introduction of the season’s villain: The Admin. Rather than sticking with a child-level villain, content with being evil just because he is, Telltale has taken the time to craft out one of the more charming villains I have seen in recent gaming. With the style of villain the Admin is, knowing this world is essentially fake, he is overly confident, focused hard on his single train of logic and very aware of the situation around him.
He also is a living snowman.
His ever presence makes you feel much like this whole chapter is part of his plan, and that he has every single step you could possibly make locked down. So while the majority of the chapter is following the simple formula, this twisted cockney snowman manages to hold you on and make every step far more interesting.
There are a few step away from the formula for the good. A slightly larger focus on combat is welcome, included with a rather fun shooting-gallery section you will need to complete. The choices feel far more meaningful this time also, with plenty of stress and strain between the characters to put you under real stress.
I wasn’t kidding when I said this may be the best chapter I have played so far, out of all 10 currently released. The villain is spectacular, the unique puzzles make you feel like you have a good challenge curve and the characters all strain realistically enough to make choices feel difficult. It feels almost unreal, and maybe I’m just in euphoria over the evil snowman, but when this moves aside I still hope I feel as good about this chapter, from the giant start to the stunning twist ending.
A few niggles still manage to pierce through my tinted spectacles. Mostly the audio, which seems to spike in peak volume between sections. This lead to me constantly adjusting my speakers to prevent waking my missus and switching to headphones halfway through. This was really my only issue though, and the usual visual issues which always sneak in seem to have been squashed before release.
I said before that MineCraft Story Mode Season 2’s first episode would not be enough to turn people who did not enjoy Season 1. But Episode 2 might just be the one that does it. Rather than the first season where Episode 2 dropped the quality down, this just keeps holding the quality and adds some. In a surprise twist, I’m giving this chapter an 8, and a pat on the back for keeping me engrossed.