Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 6 feel more like the start of a new series rather than a continuation from the end of the previous episode. I also want to note that I would play the first series of to understand the characters but thus episode does a good job of allowing new players to join.
After stopping the looming threat of the Wither Storm, Jesse and his group of friends are now out on another quest. The previous episodes focused mainly on four main characters and the end of episode 5 saw these four head off on their own adventures, using a portal into another world. Now they can now travel to other worlds, hoping to find their way home. This time the episode feels much more self-contained and offers something a little bit different.
Jesse and companions Ivor, Petra and Lukas continue searching for home by travelling through portals and are faced with danger. They then stumble across an invitation to a mysterious mansion, along with many others. It soon becomes clear though that they have been trapped there, by someone known as the White Pumpkin. This is actually a fairly dark premise for the game and as people start to disappear, Jesse must find out what is going on by investigating the mansion, talk to others trapped there and hope to find out who the White Pumpkin is and escape. This episode almost felt like a classic murder mystery like Agatha Christie, but it still manages to keep its lighthearted and humorous tone.
An interesting addition and something I’m sure huge Minecraft fans will be pleased to see is that the majority of the new characters are actually voiced by prominent YouTube personalities, known for playing the game online. I have to say that I only vaguely knew one of them but its nice to see Telltale have thought carefully about the characters and who the game appeals to. Some of the well-known YouTubers include Stampy Cat, Stacy Plays, DanTDM, LDShadowLady, and CaptainSparklez. This may sound overwhelming or off-putting if you’re not a fan of watching these guys but in general it works well and the voice acting from them is actually pretty decent. There are a couple of jokes and references that may leave some players confused but it doesn’t impact the story.
Like I said the episode takes place in a creepy mansion and whilst it’s an interesting environment, the story feels a bit more limited, which isn’t a bad thing. The characters in this episode, namely the main cast, don’t really get to have much development but the episode does have some interesting moments of dialogue and the ending feels satisfying. I actually really enjoyed playing through a more confined episode that lasted around 1 hour and 35 minutes. The pacing is well done and each scene quickly moves onto the next.
Crafting does return in this episode and at first I wasn’t sure how Telltale were going to add this in. I don’t want to give too much away, but it ties into the murder weapons found in the game. There’s still action in this episode but not as much as previous installments, although there is an end fight which I enjoyed. This episode focuses much more on branching dialogue options and solving puzzles. I also want to note that as this is more of a standalone episode in the series, the choices you make don’t carry over to the next episode. I don’t mind that though and I think the developers have been clever about using the portals in the game as a way of leaving the future of the series very open. I’m genuinely interested to see what worlds and places the team travels to next and what sort of style the next episodes will have.
The presentation of the series has always been great and stayed faithful to the Minecraft franchise and that remains true here. Telltale have been putting out games with an outdated engine but they have said they will be using an updated engine in the future, which we will see with their upcoming Batman series. This time around there has also been a change to the music as a new composer worked on it. The music is fine and suits the overall tone and atmosphere of the episode. Unfortunately, the episode does have moments where the framerate tends to stutter and drop but nothing that impacts the game too much.
I was unsure of what to expect when heading into Minecraft episode 6 as I felt like the story had been pretty much wrapped up last time. This episode however is more self-contained and actually manages to offer something a bit different with its murder mystery style set-up. It does feel a bit tacked on to the series but I tried to see it as a singular experience and I’m now excited to see what happens in the upcoming episodes.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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