It was only a few weeks ago that Minecraft: Story Mode launched. Our review of “Episode 1: The Order of the Stone” found that it was pretty true to the Minecraft universe and had potential as a Telltale Games series. Two weeks later, the second episode was released. Our Minecraft: Story Mode “Episode 2: Assembly Required” review takes a look at the latest episode to see how it builds on the first episode. I won’t be covering graphics or gameplay as it should remain similar throughout the series, so be sure to read our “Episode 1” review for those elements.
Before we get too far, check out the trailer for the second episode:
Without spoiling the story too much, “Episode 2: Assembly Required” obviously continues where “Episode 1: The Order of the Stone” leaves off. At the end of that episode, you were given a choice to go after one of two members of the Order. Based on our choice in the first episode, we started off to find Ellegaard (instead of Magnus) in our attempt to restore the Order to fight against the Witherstorm and off to Redstonia we went.
Unfortunately, unlike “Episode 1,” there seemed to be far fewer choices to make and even though Telltale Games are pretty linear, the lack of choices made if feel even more linear. Of course, you find Ellegaard and return to the rest of your party — who went off on their own to find Magnus.
I almost suspect that if you chose to go after Magnus, the rest of your party would have found Ellegaard. At any rate, after you reunite, off you go to find yet another member of the Order and end up bumping into the main villain once again, who of course escapes, once again, and now you’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out what happens next.
That wouldn’t be so bad if it actually progressed through a decent amount of time, as it was it didn’t take much more than an hour to play through everything and the fact there was only four achievements in “Episode 2” compared to the seven in “Episode 1” attests to the lackluster effort this go around.
I mentioned in my previous review the occasional use of some not so kid-friendly words (crap, loser, stupid) as a heads up to parents who might be considering letting their kids play. That hasn’t changed with “Episode 2” and even went one step further. At one point, the characters are discussing a weapon called the Formidabomb and of course it digresses into a quick round of “What’s an F-bomb?” and “not the F-bomb!” and so forth. Not exactly something I would have expected in a game based on a franchise primarily played by kids. It is rated ESRB 10+ (PEGI 12+) so it does fall in line with that rating, and just something that I didn’t really see the point of adding in aside from trying to fill the play time.
Unfortunately, the episode title pretty much describes the direction “Episode 2” took — “Assembly Required.” While the game still feels like Minecraft, the story is starting to lack and it felt like some shortcuts were taken in the various choices. Not to mention, at just over an hour of play time, it’s not going to take you very long to push your way through this one. Hopefully “Episode 3” will get the story back on track, and add more choice and play time.
*We were sent a review copy of Minecraft: Story Mode “Episode 2: Assembly Required” for the purposes of this review.
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