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’s fifth episode dubbed Order Up! brought forth a new chapter in the ever expanding lore and world of Minecraft: Story Mode. The episode presented a self-contained story while also developing an overarching new purpose and goal for the game’s heroes. Order Up! takes a fresh new approach and runs with it, introducing new characters and storylines that are well-articulated with impressive sequences.
The episode begins seemingly weeks or months after the events of the, now wrapped up, storyline present throughout episodes 1-4. We see main protagonist Jesse and his group of friends, now dubbed ‘The New Order of the Stone’, exploring an architecturally profound temple, in a typical Minecraft/Indiana Jones style that I’ve come to love in this series. Wielding diamond swords and royal looking armour, Jesse and his merry band of heroes strike through a puzzle or two to find the hidden treasure that lies beneath. While the heroes are exploring and fighting through the temple, we get to witness, through some witty and well structured dialogue, the character progression and team dynamic that is now apparent in the group.
Before the group is able to make their way back home, they are ambushed by Lukas’ old group the ‘Blaze Rods’, formerly known as the ‘Ocelots’. In a monumental sequence we are introduced to the antagonists of this new chapter’s developing storyline. Through the dialogue expressed between both groups we are able to feel the rage and motive behind the ‘Blaze Rods’ hatred for Jesse and his friends.
A lot of sequences contained references to previous adventures in this episode as a way explaining and presenting the state of civilisation and the group’s impact in society following their heroic efforts in the previous episodes. A great example is when Jesse and his friends return back home after the temple escapade only to be bombarded by fans and are borderline worshipped for being the heroes who saved their lives, which also sets the stage for the reasoning behind the jealousy present within the ‘Blaze Rods’.
Throughout Order Up! the theme of rebellion and deception resonates. This is portrayed in a great sequence as Jesse’s group along with the ‘Blaze Rods’ find themselves stranded in ‘Sky City’, a city in the sky as the name implies. The city is run by an individual named Isa, in a dictator-like fashion where building is ruled illegal. Sky City also introduces an equally stereotypical rebel leader, named Milo who donnes a Che Guevara-like beret. Jesse helps Milo overthrow the restricting governing body of Sky City, who is manipulated by the ‘Blaze Rods’, in return to both help save his friends and find a way home. I find it interesting that developers Telltale found a way to introduce such a mature theme in a fun and interesting fashion that makes for some great storytelling.
The puzzles featured in this particular episode weren’t as challenging as ones found in previous episodes however it still gave the episode a sense of purpose and exploration. Quick Time events were also quite prevalent in Order Up! Action sequences combined stunning visuals with great choreography to bring some impressive scenes to life. A great instance of the visual prowess apparent in sequences can be witnessed in a sword-wielding bout between two characters. The sequence in particular takes place outdoors on a bridge while a thunderstorm is occurring and we see the character’s silhouettes on a blank background while they duke it out in a Highlander like sword fight until one is left standing, it was a visually stunning sequence.
The episode concludes by touching on themes of redemption and pride while finding a great way to wrap up the self-contained story. The conclusion also introduces an overarching story that is set to be explored over the next few episodes.
Given that this series takes place in a universe so malleable as the Minecraft universe, Telltale is left to fill the in the gaps in terms of what themes and stories it wishes to portray within each episode. In Order Up! Telltale went a clear different route to the previous episodes, which typically took the theme of heroes and team building to tell its mystery-filled adventure, and this time around tells a story of rebellion and redemption. In this self-contained episode we’re able to witness the aftermath of the previous episodes while also enjoying a great balance of witty storytelling and magnificent sequences. It stands as a great addition to the Minecraft: Story Mode series and fulfils that Telltale level of quality.
- Fantastic action sequences.
- Great amount of QTE (Quick Time Events).
- Witty dialogue.
- Exploration was prevelant.
- Stunning visuals.
- Interesting storyline, combining mature themes.
- Puzzles weren’t so challenging.