Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 Review
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 got off to a pretty rough start with Episode 1. While the episode offered a long adventure, there wasn’t much to keep the player’s attention. Sure, Telltale has improved the technical aspects of their highly successful series, but the writing, drama, and comedy have suffered. As these are the main reason to play Telltale games it was a bit of a worrisome beginning to this second season. Unfortunately, while Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 “Giant Consequences” is better in some ways, it’s worse in others, and still lacks that impactful storytelling that we’ve come to expect from the developer.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 1 told a somewhat self contained story, introducing some new characters and giving players a bit of a tease for what they could expect out of Episode 2. This latest release picks up right at the cliffhanger of the previous episode, with The Admin terrorizing Beacon Town. This fight serves as the introduction to the new adventure that begins in Season 2, while raising the stakes pretty high for our characters.
The Admin seems to be the main focus for this second season, serving as the main antagonist, while also being an intriguing puzzle of his own. What are his motives, why is he doing what he’s doing, and is there some grand scheme to all of this? These questions are only touched on here, but they could serve for some nice plot developments as the season develops.
The story that does take place here is pretty well worn territory. Jesse and his band of misfit adventurers are caught up in the machinations of The Admin. He’s plunged Beacon Town into total darkness, and it’s up to Jesse to set things right. To do this he’ll have to work through the purposefully built challenges that The Admin has set in front of him. These include some action set pieces, various enemies, and some tricky navigation, all depending on some key choices you make along the way.
The adventure presented in Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 isn’t all that interesting
Unfortunately none of these challenges are really all that challenging. Clearing them was more of a burden than an actual thing players will have to work through. For example, at one stage players might have to craft a bow. Arrows are handed to you, but you have to make the bow by finding the spider web in one corner, and the tiny piece of wood in the other. This isn’t tough, it’s just annoying, as you laboriously walk around, searching for these pieces, then slowly putting them together on the crafting table.
A later challenge was interesting only in that it seemed to finally admit the odd disconnect that Minecraft: Story Mode has had since the very beginning. The entire underlying philosophy of Minecraft is that you can break anything and build anything. There’s some limitations, of course, but those haven’t really come into play in these games. It was great to finally see our hero decide to stop walking through halls that could easily be busted down, and then simply build his way to the higher level; which is something that has been a stumbling block before.
Overall, the adventure presented in Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 isn’t all that interesting. There’s little danger, surprise, or tension at any point. The Admin seems to be the main way Telltale adds intrigue, but the character is just too odd at this point. We don’t know enough about him to care that much, and his attempts at humor are cringey at times, missing far more than they hit.
In fact, the writing as a whole is fairly sub-par here. Aside from a few instances of forced drama between Jesse and Petra the entire episode just doesn’t resonate on a character level. Sure, this series has drifted more and more into aiming at a younger audience, but even they won’t appreciate lines like “arrows! Perfect for shooting targets with.” It’s just lazy writing, and is far below the standards of Telltale.
Now, that isn’t to say that the episode is a disaster. There’s still some fun to be had, such as the challenges themselves, and the continuing fun of these characters and this world. Making decisions is always a key part of any Telltale release, and Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 has some tough ones. You’ll see how your choices are impacting some characters, and you might even make the wrong one here and there.
This doesn’t save the episode as a whole though. The writing is just not enjoyable enough, and the overall plot just isn’t new, exciting, or surprising. Each step of the way feels like the logical next step, and most players will anticipate every twist and turn long before it happens. The Admin is an interesting chaotic evil at the moment, but that also means that you invest very little in what he thinks or feels.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 2 “Giant Consequences” doesn’t help lift this series out of the slump that began in the premier. What began with a massive attack transitioned into a paint-by-numbers adventure through a challenge filled castle. Jesse and his crew just aren’t that lively either, with the group split up at points, and some characters simply not feeling all that important, or interesting. This season looks to have better days ahead, but right now it’s just not hitting the right spots.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 - Episode 2
- Available On: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mobile
- Published By: Telltale Games
- Developed By: Telltale Games
- Genre: Adventure
- US Release Date: August 15th, 2017
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 - Episode 2 "Giant Consequences" doesn't help lift this series out of the slump that began in the premier. This season looks to have better days ahead, but right now it's just not hitting the right spots."