The first four episodes in this Minecraft series (The Order of the Stone, Assembly Required, The Last Place You Look and A Block and a Hard Place) was focused on the threat of the Wither Storm but Episode 5: Order Up! is much more of a separate story, that will lead on to further instalments.
The series has had its ups and downs in terms of quality and story, with the series starting out well and establishing some nice narrative ideas and unique characters. Episode 4: A Block and a Hard Place seemed to have an ending that rounded things off well and I was unsure what this latest episode would offer. The first four episodes delivered some interesting moments and difficult decisions to be made, which ultimately had some big impacts on the characters. Episode 5: Order Up! takes place a while after the events in the previous episode.
We have got to know and love the core characters in the game, with Jesse making a decent lead character along with a group of faithful companions. The episodes that have more action and a faster pace seem to have worked better and episode 5 is certainly one of the better entries. Episode 5: Order Up! is supposed to be the last instalment of the series, but it actually feels like the start of something new. I found that this episode was the most unique and interesting parts so far, with three more episodes to come.
Jesse and the gang are now travelling the country, exploring hidden places, killing monsters and hunting for treasure. Ivor has told the gang about a hidden treasure contained in a temple but things go a bit wrong, but they do walk away with some evidence of the fabled Eversource, an endless source of items that could change the world itself. This is where the new adventure begins. Those who purchased a season pass might be irritated to find the last chapter in the season is just the start for further DLC.
The story here is well done though, feeling self contained as well as managing to round off previous events. This episode does have a clear ending but also manages to leave some options open for further installments. As I played through this episode it very much felt like the first episode of the second series. The game still manages to keep its characters interesting and I often found that in previous episodes there were too many characters involved at one time and it may have worked better to have had a few core characters that could be developed further. This time the lineup has been trimmed down to just a few core characters. Having fewer characters means that the game feels less sluggish when talking to characters in certain scenarios. The game still manages to stay true to the Minecraft franchise with plenty of humour and charm throughout. Once again the writing and voice acting here is fantastic and is one of the strongest features of the game and series. I have enjoyed getting to know the various characters and the choices I have made throughout the series have actually had an impact on events moving forward.
The story here is one of the most interesting parts so far in the series, which is only a good sign for things to come. This episode is around 90 minutes and manages to keep a consistent pacing. This episode doesn’t end on as much of a cliffhanger as previous episodes and rightly so considering it was originally going to be the last in the series. I did enjoy how the game finishes with a sense of mystery and offers room for further development.
Like the previous episodes the game still integrates its use of gathering, crafting and building during gameplay. This was usually integrated occasionally before, but now is much more of a focus in episode 5. This episode is most relatable to the original Minecraft game and the crafting techniques have much more purpose to the narrative. Its hard to talk too much about the story without giving things away, but its safe to say that the series has finished on a high note with room for more to come.
The presentation is once again spot on with well designed environments that faithfully represent the Minecraft franchise. The game has brilliant writing, plenty of fast paced moments, and fantastic voice acting once again. I really enjoy the humour in the series and this episode but I could see why some people might find it a bit cheesy. Having said that, its meant to be a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Overall Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 5: Order Up! has done a nice job of not only having a well thought out contained narrative, but also opens the doors for future installments. Telltale have stayed true to the franchise whilst managing to inject a unique sense of humour and style to the game. I’m excited to see what the DLC brings as I have certainly enjoyed my time playing through the first 5 episodes.
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