Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 2: Assembly Required Review

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two: Assembly Required

Developer : Telltale Games

Publisher: Telltale Games

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Platforms:  PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, OSX, iOS, Android

Hmm. Let’s see. Nope.

When the recap of Episode One: The Order of the Stone kicks off, something seems…not quite right. A quick narration plays over a few clips but it’s a bit of a mess. The pivotal moments that made the kick-off episode so surprisingly fresh are nowhere to be found and what you do see is distractingly edited. Clips fade in and out much too quickly and there is absolutely no sense of a narrative that naturally leads in to where Episode Two: Assembly Required begins. It is quite uncharacteristic for Telltale Games to be this far off its storytelling game. I am sad to report that Minecraft: Story Mode takes a massive dive in its second act.

Depending on your decision at the end of Episode One, you’ll experience a completely different opening in Assembly Required. And this had me quite hopeful for an intriguing and branching story. I started to think: Wow! I can’t wait to play this again to see what happens on the other side.

of ideas

of ideas

That impatience, sadly, is quickly redirected to simply finishing the two-hour episode and moving on to something else.

All the characters who made the first episode so charming have been left behind as Jesse and <enter the character you chose> venture to snag a hero and reassemble The Order. A slimmer crew wouldn’t be all that bad if you were on the way to meet some great new characters. Nope. The destination is filled with boring, weightless, and utterly forgettable citizens. Even worse, a nonsensical errand awaits.

And I should mention that the “combat” takes centre stage this time around. So we’re clear, that’s going to end up in the “cons” column down below.

Things aren’t all bad though. Jesse is still a wonderful character and Reuben is still a ridiculously cute piggy companion. So…there’s that.

Final Verdict

I was worried something like this might happen. Episode Two fails to move the plot forward. It abandons the charm established in The Order of the Stone and, even though the final scene is compelling, it doesn’t add enough flavor to save this bland episode.  Sadly, Assembly Required feels mailed in and if you haven’t already purchased the Season Pass, I recommend you hold off for now.