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‘Minecraft Story Mode’ Episode 1 ‘The Order of the Stone’ Review

Minecraft Story Mode Screen 1

Platforms PS4 / Xbox One / Windows / OS X / iOS / Android / Xbox 360 / PS3/ Vita / Wii U

Publisher Telltale Games Developers Telltale Games & Mojang

Genre Point and Click Adventure Platform Played Xbox One

The latest episodic series from Telltale, Minecraft: Story Mode brings an adventure story to the world of Minecraft. Upon beginning the first episode you have a choice of selecting a female or male character, both aptly named ‘Jesse’. We are then introduced into a bit of history of the world we are about to embark in. The narrator goes on to explain about ‘The Order of the Stone’ which consists of four brave Heroes that worked together, traveled to the Nether and slayed the dragon. The game then shifts to the present and we are familiarized with Jesse and friends, Olivia, Axel and Jesse’s best friend, Reuben a pig. They are on their way Endercon, a building competition that pits teams together to create the best invention.

At Endercon we are introduced to the defending champions of the competition and rivals of Jesse’s group, The Ocelots. Things take a turn for the worst when Jesse’s pet pig Reuben gets scared by the rival team and sprints off into the woods. As the story progresses we are then introduced to additional characters such as Petra, a badass builder who claims to have been to the nether, Gabriel the Warrior, a member of ‘The Order of the Stone’ and a legendary warrior who helped slay the dragon and then helps the group travel to the nether to escape the troubles at Endercon, we are also introduced to the antagonist, Ivor a mysterious man with a mysterious history.

Minecraft Story Mode Screen 5

The main antagonist and threat to this episode and possibly the entire story is revealed to be a Wither Storm monster that absorbs people and objects to become physically larger. It is a non-speaking monster from the Nether that we have yet to see it’s full potential. Personally, I feel that the Wither Storm monster is a weak antagonist in the sense that it is your typical run of the mill end of the world monster, with no backstory involved at least not yet from what we’ve seen. The creator of the Wither Storm monster, Ivor, however is initially sought to be your stereotypical wizard type of antagonist however is shown later on to have a far more fleshed out backstory that makes him an intriguing character. Jesse, the main protagonist, begins the story as a naïve and sometimes tense character that soon fruitions into a heroic leader that protects and leads his/her group as they go on in their travels.

Minecraft Story Mode Screen 4

The dialogue in the game is very witty and it is apparent by the slapstick humour that it is aimed at a young audience, however this does not mean that it can’t be enjoyed by older fans of Minecraft. I personally found the story from this episode to be a very enjoyable and intriguing one that brings a great breath of life and history into the world of Minecraft, that is in its simplest form a sandbox game. From the first episode it is possible to see the relationships blossoming through the conversations between Jesse and his/her friends. Although it is a story aimed at younger audiences it does a great job of exploring themes such as betrayal, rivalry, respect and loss. The game’s art style is great and follows the classic Minecraft cube, Lego-like aesthetics phenomenally.

As any Telltale game it is a point and click game that focuses on story as the main aspect. Through the choices of the player the game is able to become customized into a great personal experience. There are some sequences in the game that are QTE (Quick Time Events) which require the player to press a specific button in order to progress further in the sequence. The game ran relatively smoothly with only a few graphically heavy instances causing the game to skip frames and lag.

the-verdict
By the end of the first episode, we are left with a group that lost people and gained people and is in search of the remaining members of the Order of the Stone in order to help defeat the Wither Storm monster. We receive some closure from the events of the first episode but are also left to wonder what’s next? Where will our heroes go from here on? Wherever they end up we know that it’ll result in an extraordinarily crafted story. Telltale has taken the flat-story Minecraft universe and expanded it into a history-rich intriguing story, filled with deep characters, witty humour that any Minecraft fan would enjoy. It has perfectly set the tone as an Indiana Jones – esque story that perfectly captures the Minecraft feeling of exploration and unknowing. I look forward to the next installment.

If you are a fan or have enjoyed any other Telltale games this is a game you should definitely pick up immediately. Additionally, if you enjoy Minecraft this should also intrigue you as it expands on the Minecraft universe in a way that hasn’t been witnessed before.

The Good

  • Adds great history and story into the world of Minecraft.
  • Great variety of dialogue choices between characters.
  • Captures the Minecraft exploration feeling.
  • Choices can impact later story lines.

The Bad

  • Lag occurs in some instances.
  • Antagonist monster seems typical, potential hasn’t been reached yet.

The Score: 8.5


Kosta Canatselis is an editor for Analog Addiction. You can like them on Facebook.

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