Review: Minecraft – Story Mode (Episode 1)

To give you, my beloved readers, a glimpse of my history with Telltale Games, I shall regale you with a story of The Wolf Among Us.

It started like any other game review: play, play some more, jot some notes down and then play some more (11 minutes total). I was enjoying myself despite all of the swearing when it crashed. A restart did nothing to fix it. No one else seemed to be having the same issue so I just reinstalled… then I reinstalled the game another four times.(Like I said, I was enjoying myself.) To no avail, the game had crashed and wouldn’t even load/fix itself. That was the first and the last time I had played a Telltale Games’ game. It’s not that I held anything against them, I just didn’t seem to care after that.

Boop! I got your nose Mr. Ghast!

Boop! I got your nose Mr. Ghast!

I’ve largely ignored the franchise for some time, but I do love me some Minecraft and I was curious to see what they could do with the IP. When given the opportunity, I figured it was time to give the franchise another look. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.

Minecraft: Story Mode is a weird visual feast for your eyes. If you take your basic Minecraft and give it a “HD” facelift, that’s what Telltale Games has done here. However, even though the levels look good the character feel out-of-place mostly because they almost appear to be ripped directly from Minecraft proper. I have nothing against Minecraft, but I feel they kind of stick out like in old cartoons where you could tell what object was going to be interacted with due to the coloring. Sure the faces are a bit better and their arms are noodle bendie… but still. Something just seems off. While it doesn’t ruin the experience it still stood out.

They have some pretty great builds in this game about a game that's about building.

They have some pretty great builds in this game about a game that’s about building.

The story developing is interesting and I am impressed they could wind a story into such a non-story game. Sure people have more imagination than yours truly and can create narrative out of the basic game, but still. The story it tells is a fun romp with your friends and enemies presented… or are they really what they appear to be? Why is Axel so mean? Doesn’t it seem like they are shaping my team into what that legendary group was? Is that really what happens to a Wither if you let him wander? Where the crap is Episode 2?

Eventually I will defeat this thing... or at least I'm assuming I will. You know, I've never actually killed one in game...

Eventually I will defeat this thing… or at least I’m assuming I will. You know, I’ve never actually killed one in game… I hope they don’t eventually look like that in Minecraft do they?

One thing I would note is that this is not a Minecraft game at all. Since I’ve been away from the Telltale Games franchise, I don’t know how Telltale does things normally but most of the action is done with QTEs. While it works, I feel it breaks the immersion at first especially since it’s not how the game this is based on plays. However, the whole game is presented like this so you do get used to it and it does grow on you. In the end I think it was a good choice and I’m not usually into QTEs. I feel it helps gives the story action why not taking away from the fact that you’re not really here to play Minecraft or an action game per se, but to experience a story. I was able to get over it so I think anyone whose usually turned off by them should at least give this game a shot too. (Insert Reading Rainbow sound here.)

Minecraft: Story Mode plops you into a shinier version of Minecraft than what most vanilla users play with. This is a treat for your eyes. The story is fun and by the end of it you'll want to know more. I do believe that's the point of the franchise. I'll probably have to wait until Episode 2 or 3 for those crappy cliff-hanger endings that I hate so much, but we'll cross that road when we get there. Also, Patton Oswalt... so good, so fun. I feel he almost makes the game better than it is.

Minecraft: Story Mode plops you into a shinier version of Minecraft than what most vanilla users play with. This is a treat for your eyes. The story is fun and by the end of it you’ll want to know more. I do believe that’s the point of the franchise. I’ll probably have to wait until Episode 2 or 3 for those crappy cliff-hanger endings that I hate so much, but we’ll cross that road when we get there. Also, Patton Oswalt… so good, so fun. I feel he almost makes the game better than it is. Don’t get me wrong, the other voice actors are fine, but he, alone, almost carries the game for me for some reason. Also, QTEs… maybe there is a place for them in my heart after all.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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