I have followed the Telltale Minecraft series since the very beginning and this episode is supposedly the final installment. This episode doesn’t quite have the same intrigue as the original episodes but it still manages to deliver an interesting story and fun experience.
Again, like the last episode, this is another stand-alone story which follows the characters we have seen throughout the series. In this last episode we see Jesse and the gang trying to get home by jumping into portals, which lead to different locations. The gang find themselves in another tricky situation, where they end up in the middle of combat.
Jesse must take part in series of gladiatorial contests where the gang will either secure freedom to return home or be destined to a lifetime of slavery. A group known as the Old Builders created the world and the contests. I couldn’t help but feel that this episode took inspiration from The Hunger Games series and it actually works really well. Like past episodes we get to meet some interesting new characters and this time my particular favourite was a guard called Facemeat. I almost wish that the episode was longer so that I could have seen more of these new faces. Being a standalone episode is what makes the game so accessible but in some ways it also acts as its downfall, as we never really get to see much character development or much depth to the narrative.
The new characters are a highlight here but the action is at its best in this episode, with fast paced moments and fun gameplay. The main game you play is called spleef, which is a nice nod to fans of Minecraft in its early stages. This is just one part of the challenges you face in this episode and many exciting sequences follow. This episode doesn’t quite have the same emotional impact or strong story as past episodes but the action and characters are what shine through.
This episode is fairly straightforward but still has some moments that keep up a good pace throughout. This is the best episode of the last few and the series has gone from strength to strength from the first episode. I believe the series will continue and I think that it deserves to do so, as Telltale have managed to create an experience that appeals to both younger and older audiences. The format of the standalone episodes means that the series can go in any direction it likes and have self contained stories with familiar characters. I would personally rather see another series that has an overarching story, as it felt more engaging and worth following but I can see the benefits of the standalone episodes.
The dialogue is still as good as ever but I would have liked to have seen a bit more from the characters we have spent so much time with over the series. The presentation is still good and stays true to the style and tone of the Minecraft franchise. The soundtrack is also well done and has some fantastic instrumentals.
The game does have a nice ending that is wrapped up to a degree but there are still some loose ends that feel unresolved, which is good because it gives a reason for the series to continue. Overall this final episode is good but doesn’t quite feel as meaningful as the initial five episodes. The mix of dialogue sections, quick time events and exploration all work well and come together to create a cohesive experience that feels worthwhile. The pacing is decent and this feels like one of the most action packed episodes throughout the entire series.
For me the humour and lighthearted tone is what makes this series so appealing and enjoyable. I have to say I wasn’t sure about how good the series was going to be in the early episodes but I can now safely say that this is a series that’s worth checking out as its enjoyable for people of all ages and still manages to keep the tone and charm of the original game and franchise. I don’t know if the series will have a follow up, but to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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