This Telltale Games series has been a more turbulent one than most of their releases. The series got off on the wrong foot with me, but has slowly gotten things righted and moving in the right direction - though it has been done with small steps. Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 5: Order Up! is arguably the best offering in this Minecraft series, showing that this particular story does have room to grow and improve still.
It has been interesting to see this series not just through my eyes, but those of my daughters who both played it. One is nearly twenty years old and the other is fourteen. Both enjoy the Minecraft games a good deal, especially my youngest. I always found it interesting that Telltale Games decided to take their narrative heavy approach to gaming and apply it to a wide open and malleable game like Minecraft. It seemed an odd fit to me initially, and this reality range true during the first couple of episodes. The story writers seemed to have their heart in the right place, but the actual story itself was quite lacking out of the gates.
Thankfully like building something in Minecraft itself, episode by episode the narrative has come together to create something new and a whole that is better than the collective sum of its parts. The idea has taken shape and as the adventures of Jesse and her friends reaches its end, I am happy to say that the story concludes in satisfactory fashion while clearly leaving room for more should Telltale Games decided to continue with this franchise.
The events after episode four was surprising. Throughout that episode, it felt as though Minecraft: Story Mode was about to reach its conclusion. The fake-out ending actually pleased me, because I was disappointed to see things (at least look like) they were coming to an end when the series was just starting to hit some sort of a stride. That forward momentum carried through to this fifth and final episode as some of the characters had a chance to really shine, and some of my earlier choices finally felt as though they carried more weight.
That is not to say everything here worked perfectly. In setting the stage for their next three follow-up episodes, I did come away with some concerns towards a few of the loose ends. They did not need to be wrapped up - the primary story ended fine, but there are a few nagging details that I am curious about. It was great seeing some of the characters evolve in new directions I would not have originally foreseen (such as Ivor), and the best thing about Jesse as a character is she avoids the fate of Michonne in my Walking Dead reviews. Jesse feels like a character that the player can actually imprint themselves on, making him or her (depending on how you created Jesse) their own.
When it has worked, which admittedly has been less often than I would have liked, Minecraft: Story Mode shows some creative spark that should definitely appeal to younger gamers in particular. The series has a good chance to differentiate itself from more somber titles like The Walking Dead and pull in a different kind of audience. Early missteps however, kept Minecraft: Story Mode from every really taking off and soaring for me the way other titles like Tales from the Borderlands or The Wolf Among Us did.
Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 5: Order Up! brings a roller coaster Telltale Game to a fitting end (at least for now). The developers appear to have learned from their earlier mistakes and found a solid direction to take this game if they choose to expand upon it in the future. This was the best episode in the series, though it never quite reaches the same level as some of the other Telltale Game titles. Usually the final episodes are the best in a Telltale Game series, and that pattern holds true here.
Article by Nick