The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode was a slight disappointment. Telltale Games, usually known for knocking their series out of the park, felt like they hit a slight misstep with the tone and dialog with “Order of the Stone.” With Episode 2, “Assembly Required” we see the series continue to find their footing but still missing the mark.
Based on how you chose your final decision in Episode 1, you are either going to go after one of two remaining members of the Order of the Stone, Ellegaard the engineer or Magnus the rogue. This leads to you leaving most of the characters behind and going off with the person you sided with at the end of “Assembly Required.”
The odd thing about how Minecraft handles this beginning section is that it rubs in your face about all the cool stuff that happened to the other characters while you were gone. They give a brief retelling cut short by a simple “I guess you had to be there” that really felt off-putting. It’s one thing for a game to make your decisions important but not when it seems to revel in teasing what you didn’t get to see.
This wouldn’t be that big of a deal if it weren’t for the brevity of Episode 2. It feels much shorter than a standard Telltale episode and, more importantly, there really isn’t that much that happens. For a storyline that is supposedly going to wrap itself up in Episode 4, it really feels like nothing is accomplished in this episode to combat the world-threatening Wither Storm. Sure, you gather more members for your team but there still isn’t any type of plan set up as far as how to defeat this terrible foe.
I will say that the tone of this episode felt a little more on point than in Episode 1. This is not new with Telltale’s games – I thought it took until Episode 2 for Tales from the Borderlands to find its footing – but Minecraft still isn’t quite there. I was able to avoid some of the more annoying characters by not going with them at the beginning but one of the new characters, Magnus, is similarly tiresome with the high school level grudge he has against Ellegaard. I took joy in being able to tell them both to just shut up.
Two episodes in and Minecraft: Store Mode is still floundering a bit. It still nails the Minecraft style perfectly but everything else about the game is average to subpar. This episode doesn’t feature as much annoying dialog as the first but it ends up feeling worse just because nothing truly seems to happen in its short run time. It feels like a filler episode, which is not something you should be experience in short series like these.
SCORE: 5.0 out of 10
A code for Minecraft: Story Mode was provided to Pixel Related for review.