Warning: This review will contain spoilers for the previous Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two episodes.Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two
is now in full swing and Jesse and friends have been through quite an adventure already. Now we hit the (presumably) penultimate episode, still having many unanswered questions and wondering what will happen to Jesse next. Episode four succeeds in answering some of these questions, but you'll be left at the end with many more.
Look out below!
This episode begins as Jesse, Xara and friends escaped the Sunshine Institute and made their way down into a hidden world. This place turns out to be the Underneath, a large world created by the three admins (Xara, Fred and Romeo). While the Sunshine Institute was an interesting singular place to explore, the Underneath has a number of different locations you'll be visiting, each more grand than the last. Lava filled rooms and twisting mine tracks are just some of the things you'll encounter. Unfortunately, the admin Romeo has left the cities to fall into ruin.
Your main objective as you navigate the Underneath is to find Fred's house, where he has hidden a weapon that will take down Romeo once and for all. This is something you'll want to have done quickly, as Romeo has taken on the identity of Jesse and headed back to Beacontown. In order to gain access to Fred's house, you'll need to take a trivia quiz about him, and spend some time researching the answers. This takes up a whole chapter, but you could actually ignore the research and you still get in the house anyway, even if it is fun to do as you interrogate the people that live in Fred's town and figure out how to get your answers.
Obviously the episode isn't just as easy as grabbing the weapon and leaving, you'll have some more fight scenes, QTEs and tough choices to make this time around. There's quite a fair bit of fighting to be done, as well as a brand new big boss with which to come head to head. This is definitely a highlight of the episode, even if the fights are over quite quickly. As usual, the boss only needs a couple of specific hits in order to be taken down, but it is still impressively designed and enjoyable to fight.
Get ready to fight off some new enemies and make some more tough decisions
The decisions you have to make in this episode are some of the toughest yet, building on the choice of the last episode in who to leave in Xara's prison cell. In the Underneath, some of your decisions will have a big impact in what happens by the end. You might want to ask for help, but it could cost you a friend's life, and the episode's end has another big, tough decision that might see you leave someone else behind. It is yet to be seen whether these decisions have a definitive impact on the last episode, but it does feel like what you choose is going to have an impact.
This dramatic end and start to the game is what will draw you in and keep you eager for the next episode by the finish, but it does feel like this episode, like the previous, has another sudden ending. While this isn't a big issue, another five or ten minutes at the end of this episode would have really set up the premise for episode five. Instead it feels like you are met with the ending a little too abruptly, which is a shame as the rest of the episode is told well.
What the episode does particularly well is make you feel for the characters, both the good and the bad ones. We learn even more about Romeo, and how he has changed over time into the warped admin he is now. Some old friends from the first season make a brief appearance and some new friends will need a bit of comforting, which really helps you relate to the characters. This episode is not only about getting something to beat the admin, it's about learning how to cope with losing friends, either permenently or temporarily.
All of the episode's six achievements will be earned with natural story progression, like with the previous episodes.
Episode four has set us up for an exciting conclusion to Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two
. We have another exciting boss fight, some more genuinely tough decisions and some serious topics that make you really feel for the characters. There are bits within the episode that can be skipped, which make them a little pointless, and the sudden ending feels like there has been something cut out; it could have benefitted from a little more set up for the last episode. Overall, though, it's another solid entry into the season and will have you excited for what is to come next.
- More tough decisions
- Serious topics that make you feel for the characters
- Impressive new boss style enemies
- Interesting locations to explore
- Another slightly sudden ending
- Some bits can be essentially skipped
The reviewer spent just over an hour fighting through the Underneath in order to find Fred's weapon, earning all the episode's achievements along the way. The Xbox One season pass was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.