Overall - 50%
The second episode of this season of Minecraft: Story Mode is designed for kids, but dumbs things down a little too much in the process. Though some of the gameplay elements are welcome, the meandering plot does not seem to be hitting its stride. Here's hoping the third episode picks up the pace.
The omnipotent Admin is up to his evil tricks again, pitting Jesse and company against a new danger in the second episode of Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two. Should you take on his challenge, or is Beacontown not worth saving?
Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two Episode Two Review
After recovering the Structure Block and saving the day in episode one, episode two picks up with a brand new danger. The city of Beacontown is stuck in a state of perpetual snowy darkness, all because the Admin wants to find out who is the strongest. In order to save the day, Jesse must find a clock that controls time in a snowy palace. This wafer thin plot does not do the game any favors, bordering on fan fiction rather than something deep. Those well versed in the Minecraft lore will likely appreciate the title more, but those new to the series will be lost by the endless amounts of jargon used. This may be a game by and for a younger generation, but it feels like it is dumbed down a bit too much. The good guys are righteous, the bad guys are nefarious, and everybody is just a little too sarcastic.
Rather, the 90 minute runtime of the game focuses squarely on the action. In order to reach this clock, Jesse must overcome a series of obstacles on his (or her) journey. Whether it be enemy enders, crafting puzzles, or daring mine cart rides, the action here keeps things moving at a steady pace. However, much like many of Telltale’s other games, it oftentimes feels like you’re watching the game rather than playing it. Most of the episode plays out with a series of choices that Jesse can make, which affect both what they say and what they do. Aside for some slight deviation in play, most players will have the same journey. Dialog choices are largely similar too, leaning toward a more smug vibe throughout.
This episode does offer some gameplay in the form of its building and combat. At key moments, players can play with more traditional Minecraft rules and make their own masterpieces. It’s much more simple than Minecraft proper, but the gesture is welcome. Combat also takes cues from Dark Souls of all places – much like the first episode, players get access to a stamina meter and a roll mechanic to dish out damage and avoid attacks. It’s tank style controls aren’t optimal for combat, but it does vary things up from the standard button prompts that make up the rest of the game.
The second episode of this season of Minecraft: Story Mode is designed for kids, but dumbs things down a little too much in the process. Though some of the gameplay elements are welcome, the meandering plot does not seem to be hitting its stride. Here’s hoping the third episode picks up the pace.