More of the same but thankfully not a bad thing.
Episode 2 did something I felt was quite new to MineCraft Story Mode: it built upon a strong start and kept me very intrigued as to where the story would go. The introduction of the new charismatic villain and strong plot twist kept me interested all the way to the end. This left me in high hopes for Episode 3, although in the past those hopes have been dashed.
In total, Episode 3 managed to hold on to most of the charm and interest of Episode 2, but fell short in a few places. Not the best episode, but not the worst episode by a long shot. A strong follow-up to Episode 2 missing a few extras to make the Episode top quality.
The majority of the Episode takes places in the deliberately misleading ‘Sunshine Institute.’ With a fun name, the place is essentially torture levelled out into degrees of severity. How hard the torture is becomes somewhat lost in the story, as the jovial overtones and short time spent in each level means you don’t get a real sense of urgency and danger. Combined with the other strange diversions including cows and cookies it seems more of a romp rather than an escape mission.
That does not mean it is not fun by any means. The levels are sensibly designed to be torturous and it’s just the requirement of pace which detracts. Levels include a mushroom growing cell where prisoners fight for mushrooms and a zombie level where zombies are the only source of food. This all takes places in a prison surrounded by a maze of monstrous creatures, many of new designs and fit in well. Despite the new creatures everything still keeps the quality and charm of every other episode.
There is little to pick holes in here. Everything looks good, and there are no real hitches or audio screw-ups as in earlier episodes. The biggest problem is just how short everything feels. The whole adventure feels too fast-paced. Not only thanks to the quick introduction and passing through of each area, but also the amount of time you spend running around and moving at pace. Plenty of combat and quick time events means that even though you’ll take around 2 hours to finish this it feels far shorter.
The story dives in a few places too. Characters sudden appearance and sudden disappearance just seems to be to fill holes in the story, and the introduction of new characters is done with some haste and feels janky. It seems like they had a solid beginning, but missed out time on the ending, focusing more on just connecting it to the next chapter than giving a fulfilling set of reasons to take you there.
But I’m hopeful, the failures take very little off the story other than your satiation until the next chapter. A solid start falls a bit from a weak ending, but the story is still interesting and I’m hopeful that the ambiguous ending leads somewhere interesting. However it’s failing in managing pace and ending well marks Episode 3 down to a 6. Not the best work but a solid continuation.