Reviews

‘Minecraft: Story Mode’ Episode 2 – ‘Assembly Required’ Review

Minecraft Episode 2

Platforms PS4 / Xbox One / Windows / OS X / iOS / Android / Xbox 360 / PS3/ Vita / Wii U

Publisher Telltale Games Developers Telltale Games & Mojang

Genre Point and Click Adventure Platform Played Xbox One

Minecraft: Story Mode kicked off it’s first episode with a bang, it established some great history to the world of Minecraft, introduced a wide array of characters and saw the player make some important decisions; ‘Assembly Required’ however feels like a step-backwards. It feels like a step backwards in the sense that it definitely feels shorter than the initial episode and doesn’t feel as interactive as the first. Although some sequences did have some great visuals and were articulated well.

‘Assembly Required’ saw the group, in a typical Minecraft-esque fashion, spend a lot of time traveling to different locations and exploring new surroundings. It mainly focused on two surviving members of the Order of The Stone, Ellegard and Magnus. This episode begins in two different ways depending on choices made from the player in the last episode, with that in mind, this episode picks up with your character, Jesse, his pet pig, Reuben and friend Olivia in ‘Redstonia’, the capital city of engineering, in search of a member of the Order, Ellegard. After the group greets Ellegard, a montage kicks into gear as they help her build a command block. This is another one of those unique type of sequences I have come to love in this particular series, it always results in some slapstick humour and some visually appealing scenes.

Minecraft Episode 2 Screenshot

Later on in the episode we get to explore the relationship between some members of the original Order as some arguing ensues between Magnus and Ellegard after they are reunited for the first time since the Order was dissolved. You get to observe the dynamic of the two characters interacting and imagine how the rest of the group balanced each others persona. The chapter ends with a great fight sequence that occurs while tracking another member of the Order. This sequence contains some very cool sword fighting quick time events as the enemy flees the group using potions and magic.

Minecraft Episode 2 Screenshot #2

As the episode drew to a close we were left with an impending uncertainty. It made us wonder what is next for the group and how will they get out of the sticky situation they are in? Some sequences were particularly fun to observe, the episode as a whole however, suffered as a result of the large choice made at the end of the initial episode. To enjoy all of the game sequences that were built for the second episode it would require replaying it with the other big choice that was offered in the initial episode, and kind of breaks the feeling of creating a story crafted by the player’s choice.

the-verdict

Unlike the first episode which allowed the player to make some important choices, throughout this episode the player choices don’t feel overly impactful to the story. In this particular episode, it kind of felt that no matter what the player chose, it always ended in the same outcome and story. Another aspect that was lacking, for the most part, in ‘Assembly Required’ was the interactivity between the player and the game itself in terms of exploring and gameplay. Unlike the first episode where the player was made to solve puzzles by exploring the area to find solutions, this episode merely required the player to walk up particular switches and press a button to solve it or continue. It felt as if the we were just viewing the story and not a part of it.

Although ‘Assembly Required’ did suffer from some game design choices, it was somewhat enjoyable as we got to see the group once again reunited and exploring more of the Minecraft world we were introduced to in the initial episode. We got to see some additional backstory into the Order of the Stone, and saw the dynamic relationship played out between the surviving members. We also got to see some more steady progression in particular relationships amongst the group, as it becomes obvious that they are getting closer to becoming the new Order of the Stone. ‘Assembly Required’ was a mediocre follow up to the first episode, however it has not swayed me from seeing where these fantastic characters and well-articulated story will end up.

The Good

  • Visually appealing action sequences.
  • Steady progression in character relationships.
  • Discovered more insight into original members of the Order.
  • Some neat QTE Events.

The Bad

  • Player choices didn’t feel substantial.
  • Not much interactivity between player and game.
  • Not many puzzles / crafting.
  • Puzzles required no effort to solve.
  • Need to replay episode to enjoy/unlock all content that was created for it.

The Score: 5.5


Kosta Canatselis is an editor for Analog Addiction. You can like them on Facebook.

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