With a more focused pace and heaps more action, the second episode of Season Two has Minecraft: Story Mode back on the right track. Rather than a retread of last year, like Episode One, Episode Two branches out into a sort of battle royale as the villainous Admin puts our heroes through the ringer, trying to weed out the weak and be left with only the strongest.
The characters still have time to breathe, however, and their development is not ignored. Jesse and Petra must come to grips with Petra’s overwhelming desire to leave home and get back adventuring, while Stella, leader of Champion City who is locked into a one-way rivalry with Jesse, is given more time to flesh out her humorous delusional personality. Though at first I wasn’t really on board with the new additions to the group, after a few more hours with them in Episode Two, now I’m enjoying their presence and what they’re adding to the dynamic as opposed to last year’s crew.
The personal motivations between several of our protagonists are at odds with each other, and that tension should serve as an interesting backdrop to the cataclysmic events taking place in this Minecraft world. Adding to that is the resolution of a moral quandary you’re placed in during the late stages of Episode 2. The payoff is rather immediate, but feels like it’s going in a fun direction for the rest of this season.
The elaborate creations in Giant Consequences are extremely impressive and look like they could have taken weeks or months to plan and build in an actual Minecraft server. The aesthetic works well with Telltale’s engine and it’s one of their best looking games to date. You get another opportunity to build your own structure, this time repairing something that was destroyed. I was also glad that I could just as easily skip this part of the game and keep the story moving along. I wasn’t required to place a certain number of blocks to continue, and since I was not at all interested in spending time on it, I didn’t. That said, it’s a great idea to give players that sort of open ended creative freedom that you would expect from Minecraft, but don’t necessarily expect from Telltale.
The overall plot has finally started to gain some momentum, but up to this point, it’s mostly been a setup for what’s to come. Hopefully with a pair of episodes behind us, the rest of the season can be top-notch entries to this series. I’d personally recommend waiting until Episode Three drops before deciding on a Season Pass, but if you’re a Minecraft fan and liked Season One, I think you’re safe to jump on board now.