Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 4 takes players where they’ve always wanted to go, “Below the Bedrock”. This series hasn’t really delved into the finer details and lore that underpins the Minecraft universe, mostly because none of it is known. The universe exists, the characters act like it’s all normal, and we go from there. But this trip down into the inner belly of the world that’s featured in this series delivers a fun adventure throughout, though it doesn’t stand above its predecessors in any significant way. It serves its purpose well though, setting up for what looks to be a solid finale for one of Telltale’s biggest series.
Jesse and his friends have escaped from The Admin’s prison, The Sunshine Institute. Not all of them made it though, and players will certainly have to deal with their decision in this regard. But first up is figuring out just where they are. Below the bedrock that is supposed to mark the bottom of the world, Jesse’s group discovers and ancient and dilapidated world. There they’ll have to work together to find a way back, while also figuring out if there’s any possible way to battle a near omniscient foe.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 4 is another solid entry in this series that has exceeded expectations throughout. While this is definitely not Telltale’s best franchise, considering what this could have ended up being, the series has turned out rather well. Season 2 has upped the stakes, while also diving deeper into the characters that players liked most from the first season. This penultimate episode serves to emphasize the stakes at play, while also giving players a lot to think about in terms of the characters and the world they inhabit.
Overall the story in Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 4 is enjoyable throughout
That said, there’s not a ton here that stands out. The story beats are mostly expected. The surprises are few and not all that impactful. There’s some intriguing choices to be made, but nothing that feels like it will have any long term effects, even at the lower expectations players have of these sorts of games. One mission in particular felt rather lackluster, as Jesse entered a new town and was presented with the most contrived and cliche series of tasks. It felt like something that could have just been avoided entirely, as it added little to the game aside from extra runtime.
Still, overall the story in Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 4 is enjoyable throughout, it just doesn’t rise above what’s to be expected of this series. When it does hit its mark, it does it well though, and this penultimate episode does more to solidify the overarching theme of this season. Some of the moments between Jesse and Petra, especially as they dig into the past of The Admin, is really touching stuff.
The series does continue its rough relationship with humor though, offering up some juvenile jokes that don’t really land well. Of course, this is primarily a series aimed at younger players, so it’s understandable. It’s likely that children will find a lot to laugh about here. But if you are older, or a more experienced gamer, you’ll probably roll your eyes more often than you laugh out loud.
What Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 4 does excel at is its environmental design. Telltale has mostly placed this series in typical Minecraft settings, but these last couple of episodes have really gotten deep into this world. The dystopian environments that Jesse and his friends find below the bedrock of the world are always interesting to look at. The small dots of civilization are even cooler, featuring some Minecraft structures and elements that players would surely love to see added to the games.
The music is also stellar, which has not been mentioned enough about this series. It’s not really the type of music you listen to once the game is over, but it’s so soothing and melodic that it’s great fun during. Of course, it all feels like typical Minecraft music, but that’s an enormous compliment, considering how popular the game and its soundtrack has been over the years.
And once again Telltale has shown that they’ve really hammered out the technical problems that have plagued their games in the past. Throughout my time with Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 4 I encountered no crashes, bugs, or hiccups. The audio was in sync with the lip movements, and animations worked well, if still a little stiff compared to non-Telltale games.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 4 “Below the Bedrock” is another fine episode in this long running series. There’s not much that stands out here, and some of the missions you’re tasked with are rather boring, but for those that have stuck it out this long, it’s more fine content to explore. It also serves as a great penultimate episode, setting things up for an epic showdown in the finale.
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