Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 has arrived
For well over a decade now I’ve been absolutely fascinated by Telltale Games’ trademark style of episodic storytelling. They excel at creating immersive choose-your-own-adventures that are simply too compelling to put down until you’re done. From the moment-to-moment tension in The Walking Dead to the hilarity of Guardians of the Galaxy, they’re always so fun. Telltale Games are truly masters of their craft.
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 is the next installment in Telltale Games’ spin on the Minecraft universe. It tells fictional stories about characters living in a Minecraft world, which you can influence with your choices. It is yet again another dream collaboration between Telltale and Minecraft developer Mojang. Where every moment is filled with Telltale’s irresistible brand of episodic storytelling.
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Graphic Adventure
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Re-assume the role of Jesse in an all-new adventure
Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 has a total of five episodes, which at the time of this review, four have been released. When you begin the game, you can choose to quickly recreate your choices from the first season of Minecraft: Story Mode by picking between some simple options. Although, some may find that these choices may not really mean much if you haven’t played through the first season.
Though, that’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 if you haven’t played through the first season. The story begins with a recap of the main episodes of the first season, the battle against Wither Storm and makes references to important moments from previous chapters.
Although some characters do make a reappearance, the game introduces new characters and adventures that are quite different than those that were in the first season. However, you do resume your role as Jesse—the unassuming hero who saved the world. Just like in the first season, you can choose Jessie’s appearance and gender.
While I wont go into too much detail of the game’s story, I’ll touch upon a few key elements that are important to this season’s story. Several years have passed since Jesse and the gang have vanquished the Wither Storm, and life has gotten a bit more complicated. Jesse has become the mayor/leader of Beacontown and embarks on a brand new journey filled with tough choices, good times, and a mysterious glove.
Craft your own Minecraft story with changes to gameplay
Much like Telltale Games’ other franchises, Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 unfolds via a unique episodic structure. During the story you will need to make many key decisions, which can push the narrative in different directions. Choices can be as simple as selecting a secret handshake between your friends, or consequential like choosing who to save in life-or-death situations.
Telltale has made some changes to gameplay, most notably in the combat. In the first season, combat was extremely basic and involved swinging your weapon at the right time. This time around, you have a stamina bar, which depletes as you move and attack. So you’ll need to doge attacks by rolling left or right. It’s important that you play close attention to your stamina levels, as you’ll need some time to recover during battles.
I really enjoyed these changes to gameplay, as it now gives combat an element of strategy. It shows that there is still a huge potential for other improvements to gameplay that we could see in the future to help keep gameplay fresh and exciting.
Your story can take multiple routes
In a stark contrast to the first season, Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 has larger open areas with more interactive points. Additionally, the game will now notify you when you have made a decision that significantly alters the path of your story. A notification pops up on the screen telling you when this happens, to make you aware of the decision you just made.
Just as in the first season, Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 also has moments where you are presented with a decision that is a clear fork in the road. Do you use stealth to try and sneak your way in? Or, try and fight head on?
Given the target audience of Minecraft, the story is light-hearted and fun. And while you are faced with conflicts, you’re never placed in deadly situations like you would in other Telltale games. That does mean the stakes are a bit lower, but it feels age-appropriate for Minecraft’s younger core audience. Having played every Telltale series to date, the low-pressure nature of Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 is very refreshing.
Retro-inspired Minecraft graphics
The same colourful, blocky, beautiful, and familiar pixelated retro-inspired Minecraft graphics return in all their glory. Visually and technically, Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 is a fine example of how Telltale is a master at turning Minecraft’s boxy world into a lovely spectacle. The characters, for example, all have the signature pixelated look Minecraft is known for, yet they all look unique, too.
Given that only four of the game’s five episodes have released, I’ll need to wait before I give my thoughts on Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 as a whole. However, based on what I’ve played thus far, Telltale Games have succeeded again in creating a rich, engaging story set within the Minecraft world.
I love change to combat that Telltale has added, as it makes fights even more interesting than before. If you are a fan of Telltale Games, and Minecraft, you will surely not want to miss this game. My anticipation for the next episode couldn’t be any higher.
+ Exciting new addition to combat
+ Great for gamers of all ages
+ Interesting narrative that will leave you wanting more
+ Exquisite Minecraft graphics
– Choices have less consequences than in previous Telltale games
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)
Get Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One